Mark Your Calendars for the River Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash!

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

Uncle Rock tomorrow, plus other updates and an announcement

We’ve had some great turnouts at the shows we’ve had recently, and they just keep on coming…most importantly for right now, here’s tomorrow’s show:

  • Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 2:00pm: Uncle Rock at Northampton Community Music Center – $5! (net proceeds to NCMC’s scholarship fund) Long time Hudson Valley friend of the radio show and favorite visitor returns to town to rock out. Uncle Rock will appear on tomorrow morning’s radio show (93.9 The River, 101.5 in Brattleboro, also on 103.3 Valley Free Radio). NCMC has highly functional heat, so we’ll keep you warm.

Some other upcoming stuff to note on your calendars is below, including a big announcement of a kids’ music festival in the end of March. You can also follow our calendar at here.
(which is also on our page at or listen to the show every Saturday morning from 7 to 9.

  • Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 1:00: Harmonica Pocket at Mass MoCA (we’ll have them on our show either that morning or the following week, btw) (this is not a show we’re putting on, but it’ll be fun) Fun indie pop for kids.  You can enter to win free tickets from Hilltown Families here.
  • Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 1:00pm: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo at Lyman Hall, First Churches – $7! (a portion of proceeds to the church’s capital campaign) – positive hip hop for kids with a sound that’s all grown-up. SA23’s show last fall was a highlight of the year, and this will be a great pre-Super Bowl show for the whole family. We’ll have you home in plenty of time for the game, I promise.
  • February 11 (and March 11), 2009 – Marcy Gregoire returns to Cup & Top for after-school shows; 3:00 face painting, 4:00 music.
  • Saturday, February 21 at 2:00pm: Elizabeth Mitchell at Northampton Community Music Center – $5! (net proceeds to NCMC’s scholarship fund) Can’t tell you how excited I am for this show. if you don’t already know about her.


We’ll have lots more details and announcements to come, but on Saturday, March 28, 2009 from 10 am to 4 pm at the JFK Middle School in Northampton, MA, we’re super excited to be presenting the inaugural River Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash.

We’ll have:

  • Two stages of music (one more rocking, one mellower)
  • Some of the most exciting children’s book authors working today
  • Story time with River DJs
  • Great activities – not just the same old stuff you see at every kids’ event; promise
  • Local food
  • Wonderful local groups and businesses

On the music side, here’s just some of who we’ve got lined up (all subject to change, and there’s more to come):

  • The Nields (full band show!) – local heroes, national following, great new two-disc record
  • Deedle Deedle Dees – from Brooklyn, longtime friends of Northampton and the show, fantastic historical rock
  • School for the Dead – more local heroes doing a rare family show
  • Aric Bieganek – You know him from the Northampton Parents Center; the Gazette calls him the “Jack Black of kids’ music,” and his shows are great fun
  • Uncle Rock – Long-time friend of the show, former Fleshtone, rawk.
  • Marcy Gregoire – newcomer to our happy valley, quickly becoming a big part of the area, including a fun series of shows at Cup & Top
  • Dennis Caraher – one of the first guests we ever had, and still a favorite with a fun new record
  • Laura Cayer – Formerly of the Juice Pops and Pop Rockets, now doing solo stuff, along with shows with Marcy Gregoire

And for the authors, we’ve got:

  • Anna Alter – Anna’s work is reminiscent of a modern day Bread and Jam for Frances. Her work is beautiful! She is the illustrator for the lavishly illustrated chapter book The Purple Ribbon and she is the
    author/illustrator for Estelle and Lucy and Francine’s Day. Her upcoming book (which should be here in time for the festival) is called What Can You Do With an Old Red Shoe? (A Green Activity Book).
    It’s a craft book on recycling and Anna will work with kids at a craft table.
  • Timothy Basil Ering – Tim is the illustrator of the award-winning Tales of Despereaux and the author/illustrator of Frog Belly Rat BoneI and Necks Out for Adventure! He’s the biggest kid you’ll ever meet.
  • Jane Yolen – Jane really needs no introduction. Jane has been called the “Hans Christian Andersen of America” by Newsweek and “the Aesop of the 20th century” by the New York Times. She has countless books to her credit -How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, the immortal Owl Moon.
  • And then there is our friend Jarrett Krosoczka, who’s putting together the book side of the event. Jarrett used to be a goofy kid that liked to draw. Now, he is an award winning published author/illustrator with
    many books to his credit, including the Punk Farm series and, coming this summer, the graphic novel Lunch Lady

How much would you pay for all of this? $20? $30? Nope. It’s free, folks. Free! Put this down on your calendar. Now.

If you’re a business or organization interested in becoming a sponsor of the inaugural Meltdown or a vendor at it (or if you have any questions about it, etc.), get in touch with me (show AT sparetherock DOT com) and I’ll get you a sponsorship package. We’re hoping to get a ton of folks from the community involved and would love to work with you to get you a part of it.

Bill Childs & Ella

Bill Childs

Bill teaches law school by day in Springfield. With his kids, he produces a radio show for kids, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, which airs on Saturday mornings from 7-9 AM on 93.9 The River (101.5 in Brattleboro) and 103.3 Valley Free Radio. He’s also a columnist for regional parenting magazines, covers music for Parenting magazine, and is a bi-monthly contributing writer to Hilltown Families. Contact him at

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