Tag Archives: Heidi Swedberg

What is on my iPod?

Welcome to a new feature that should be a lot of fun. It’s a tweak on The Friday Five from our good friend Michael Parr over at Popdose.com. It’s pretty simple – have a kindie artist hit the shuffle button on their ipod, and tell us what comes up. Not a playlist, a shuffle of their entire collection of songs.

The songs that pop up could be good or could be filled with sadness and regret. No skipping is allowed, no matter how awful the song.

In fairness to the artists who will share their shuffled songs, I will share my 5 songs to set the bar. Low.

Dan Walsh’s iPod – 13,637 songs, 2,842 albums, 34.2 days of music.

IMG_7470[1]1. Imagination Movers – Good Morning Sunshine.
This was their first post-Disney release. I had no idea they even existed until they were no longer on Disney. So their Rock-O-Matic record was my first introduction to the band. It’s not a bad record. It’s not a great record. We pick and choose a couple tracks from this album for playlists. This song is a simple sweet acoustic track, with wonderful harmonies.

IMG_7471[1]2. John Mayer – All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye
And this is what happens when you import your wife’s music (I love you sweetie, but no on this one). I don’t dislike John Mayer. He’s a decent guitar player and song writer, but he just seems like a giant douchebag. Fair or not, I usually just skip over any of his songs. I tried to play nice, but I skipped over this song at the :54 second mark.

IMG_7472[1]3. The Faint – Violent
Haling from my hometown on Omaha, Danse Macabre released on Saddle Creek Records in 2001 was a game changer for me. Electronic beats dropped over compelling lyrics, as a single, geek I immediately connected to this record. I would never skip over a track from this record. Easily one of my Top 10 records of all time. Being from my hometown helps.

IMG_7473[1]4. 311 – Flowing
Also from my hometown, one would think “Hahahahaha, I bet Dan regrets this one” but I don’t. No really, I don’t. I get a ton of grief for still liking these guys. Sure, I get bored and skip over some of their rap heavy tracks, but a straight ahead rocker like ‘Flowing’ never get old. At least for me it doesn’t. It’s currently on my running playlist. I also had a fun interview with the bass player back in March.

IMG_7474[1]5. Heidi Swedberg & The Sukey Jump Band – The Owl & the Pussycat
Whew. Finally a true kindie artist. Was getting worried not a single one would show up. From her incredibly eclectic and joyful, My Cup Of Tea record. One of the quieter tunes from the album, but one that continually gets played in our household. And frankly, this album should be played in your household continually too.

To entertain myself I let the next 5 tracks play:
Ozomatli – Moose on the loose
Beastie Boys – Groove Holmes
Barnaby Bright – Gravity
Matthew Perryman Jones – The Angels Were Singing
Scythian – The Last One

So stay tuned, in the coming days/weeks/months we’ll find out what songs came up from artists 23 Skidoo, Joanie Leeds, Lucky Diaz, and many more.

Behind the B3: On the Road Again

**CAPTAIN’S LOG: SATURDAY, JANUARY 18TH 2013, 2330 hours**

I found the simple life ain’t so simple, when I jumped out on the road – VH

No truer words have been spoken Mr. Roth, no truer words indeed. As a matter of fact I’m on the road with Sugar Free Allstars at this exact moment – heading east on I-40 toward Gallup, New Mexico where we will be playing the last show of a 10 day tour that also included Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California – so it’s only fitting that I should be thinking about the challenges of touring. Touring is hard physically, mentally and emotionally, but if you want to expand into new markets and build a fanbase outside of your home area you have to do it. It’s fun and exhausting all at the same time. It can be something of a paradox because when you’ve been at home for a long period of time you start itching to get back out on the road, but as soon as you’re on the road you just want to get it all over with and come home. You miss your family, your home, your friends, sleeping in your own bed, home cooked meals, but it’s really fun exploring new places, meeting new people, playing for new fans and old fans you haven’t gotten to see in a while.

Until I had to do it, I never realized just how much work goes into booking a tour. Months of preparation went into putting together this one and it only lasted 10 days. You have to find your venues, make contact with their talent buyers, work out dates that make sense with routing, negotiate a fee, confirm and/or contract the shows, promote the shows (through all social media, emails, reaching out to friends/family in each town, sending posters, etc, etc) and when that’s all done you have to find places to stay while on the road. It is a lot of work and there is never a guarantee that something won’t go wrong along the way, whether it’s issues with the touring vehicle (an all-too-common issue for most bands), shows falling through, band member illness, or any number of problems.

Sounds like more trouble than it’s worth right? Well maybe on paper, but the experiences and benefit gained from touring usually outweigh the amount of work that goes into putting them together. Because we have so many friends, family and fellow Kindie artists that are willing to help in any way they can, it makes all the work so much easier. Just a few examples are: on this tour we didn’t have to worry about having a place to stay in L.A. for our first several days there because our great friend and fellow Kindie musician Heidi Swedberg opened her home to us and even cooked several amazing meals! The venue we played in Santa Monica, McCabe’s, was recommended to us by another good friend and awesome Kindie musician Lucky Diaz – it was through his introduction and referral that we were able to build a relationship with the venue (I also got to catch part of a Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band show at The Grove while in town and man, they rock so hard!). Our new friend and family musician Birdie Mendoza organized a potluck get together with other musicians including David Tobocman where we all got to enjoy great food and make music together. We also met Mista Cookie Jar as well as Rodney Lee from Groove Kid Nation for the first time at our McCabe’s show, and ALL the family musicians mentioned thus far helped promote our appearances – the Kindie community really is like none I’ve experienced before and we thoroughly enjoy all of the personal and professional relationships we have developed on this journey!

So we’re closing in on home and about to finish up this westward run that we’ve been on for the last 10 days. As difficult as it can be to put together and be gone for so long it, was worth it on this trip. We had fantastic shows everywhere we played, moved some merchandise, made some new fans – basically what you hope all tours turn out to be like. That being said, we are so ready to be home and not in a moving vehicle for a good while. But before long we’ll be back out there again, maybe somewhere close to you! Until next time, that’s life on the road from Behind the B3…..


A Conversation with Heidi Swedberg

The kindie scene is full of artists who don’t get the kind of recognition they deserve, but of all the names I frequently share with parents looking for good family music, Heidi Swedberg’s is the one that most often receives a quizzically raised eyebrow in response. And the thing is, you may not think you know who she is, but you do — at least, if you were one of the millions of people who watched Seinfeld during George’s doomed courtship with his frequently exasperated fiancee Susan, who famously expired after licking poisoned envelope glue. Susan was Heidi.

These days, Heidi is doing something completely different: taking her ukulele (a whole bunch of ukuleles, really) on the road for a series of teaching clinics where she shows people just how easy it is to start making music of their own. Heidi’s debut CD, Play!, has been a favorite in our house for months, and with Heidi about to play Kindiefest — and spread some of her ukulele magic with a Haitian orphanage — we decided now would be the perfect time to catch up.

All the artists I talk to have had some sort of journey to the kindie world, but it seems like yours was more interesting — and unexpected — than most. Let’s start by talking about how you got here.

Yeah, you know, I grew up with music in my life. Everyone in my family was musical, and I have one sister who is a musician. We all sang together all the time — in the car, everywhere. I think that’s part of how you keep four girls busy without spending any money. [Laughter] It sort of organized the din, I suppose. So we all grew up making music, and since we lived in Hawaii, we all had ukuleles — but they were just kind of around. I think I learned five chords, and it was part of the thing, but I was really interested in acting, and that was the direction I took until after my kids were born. Then I started having fun and playing again.

This is what I love about kids’ music and teaching — I teach a lot of early childhood classes for music — which is that when we reach adulthood, we tend to leave music behind. You’re in band or choir when you’re younger, but then you go out into the “real world,” and you leave performing to the professionals. You don’t make your own anymore. Until you have a kid, and then it’s all okay again, and the fact that you don’t have a great voice doesn’t matter. A window opens up, and it opened up for me in such a way that…I never felt like I have a beautiful voice, and I don’t. I have an acceptable voice, but it isn’t so good that people feel like they can’t sing with me. It’s accessible. Continue reading