Reviewed by Gregory Keer
Among the FMR: Quick Picks for this month is A Year in the Day, the new CD/DVD from the delightfully odd Gustafer Yellowgold. As with previous collections, these songs and videos are about a golden alien from the sun who comes to Minnesota, though this project’s theme involves holidays (both the usual and the unusual). Musicially, a little bit of The Beatles and Elliot Smith layers in with lyrics that could be from Dr. Seuss or William Joyce. If you haven’t gone Yellowgold before, this is a good one to try out.
Instrumental Dreamland is the latest release in the multicultural music series from Putumayo Kids. It’s an exquisite collection of bedtime tunes for kids (and relaxing music for adults, for that matter). Musicians from Brazil, Ireland, and Mali, among others, bring their skills (ranging from the guitar to the kora) to songs such as the familiar “What a Wonderful World” and “Brahm’s Lullaby” as well as the unique “O Filho Que Eu Quero Ter” and “Kouyate.”
For the very young, The Good Ms. Padgett Sings The Little Red Hen makes a fine choice for its combination of song and story. Anna Padgett tried out these tracks on her Brooklyn, NY, preschool students and the result is four stories — “The Little Red Hen,” “Goldilocks,” “Henny Penny,” and “The Billy Goats Gruff” — that are full of whimsy and intelligence. At just over 22 minutes, this is a great way to entertain little ones over and over again.