Water Cycle Episode on HFVS (11/20/07)

Water Cycle Episode

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
Tuesday evening @ 7pm

11/20/07 Playlist

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This week’s Water Cycle Episode goes out to the Yellow’s (2nd & 3rd graders) at Hilltown Cooperative Community Public School who are studying the water cycle.

We’ve found a few web sites exploring the water cycle that kids and educators might enjoy. Click here to share a water cycle web site/resource you’ve discovered:

  • Thirstin’s Water Cycle – Put out by the EPA; reviews rain, water storage, vapor and clouds through flash video for kids.
  • Droplet – NASA has put together a water cycle game for kids.
  • The Illinois EPA shows how to make a water cycle wheel for kids.
  • Enchanted Learning posted a water cycle diagram that can be used for curriculum planning.
  • The Water Education Foundation has a Water Kids page.
  • ProTeacher! offers water lesson plans that, including the topics of evaporation, water, water cycle and weather.
  • For teachers and homeschoolers, National Geographic has a water lesson plan.

And here’s a cute video for the younger crowd titled, The Cat Who Hated Rain, originally aired on Sesame Street, and animated by Bruce Cayard. A cat wishes the rain away and the consequenses of no rain are illustrated. Appropriate for all ages.


on winning a CD & T-shirt of Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang!


For this week’s contest we’re offering music and the t-shirt from Milkshake. Their t-shirt won a Parent’s Pick from the HFVS T-Shirt Review.

“WGosh!� We are so honored to be one of the winners.� Always a nice thing.� Glad you liked Moo.� Right now she’s pouting in the studio.� Seems Mikel told a bad cow joke (“What do you call a dancing cow?� A milk shake!”)� She wasn’t amused.� So I’m off to make her a sprout sandwich and pour her a tall glass of veggie juice.” – Lisa from Milkshake.

For your chance to win simply post us a comment below. We’ll draw a winner from everyone who leaves a comment. IT’S THAT SIMPLE!  Deadline is 11/27/07 @ 7pm (EST).

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Kids Reviewed, Parents Approved – The Results are IN!


Collage of all shirt submitted to the HFVS 1st Annual T-shirt ReviewThe results are in! Several weeks ago, Hilltown Families sponsored the Hilltown Family Variety Show’s 1st Annual T-Shirt Review Mini-Fest and Ice Cream Social in West Chesterfield, MA, cosponsored by Silver Screen Design and Grendel Books.

  • Click here to go straight to the tallied results, or just scroll down.
  • Click here for some background on the review, including several posts leading up to and covering the event.
  • Click here to listen to two-hours radio program of music by all the bands who submitted to the reviewed, hosted by Sienna Wildfield from the HFVS and aired on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child.

T-Shirt Review T-Shirts are available.

The event was not a contest, but rather a review. Not to say that there wasn’t a lot of “buzz” around a few designs. The kids (our “Official Reviewers”) were very attracted to stars, guitars and vivid colors, especially Ben Rudnick & Friends tie-dyed guitar playing alien design, along with the Sippy Cups‘ robot design. And the parents were keen on logos, with Rebecca Frezza‘s Big Truck logo being a top favorite along with Recess Monkey. Parents overwhelmingly found the humor in Milkshake‘s cow illustration, but it seemed to go over the heads of the kids.


AudraRox | Bari Koral Band | Baze and His Silly Friends | Beethoven’s Wig | Ben Rudnick & Friends | Biscuit Brothers | The Bottle Let Me Down (Compilation) | Brady Rymer | Charity and the JAMband | Elizabeth Street | Ellen & Matt | Gustafer Yellowgold | Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang | The Hipwaders | Imagination Movers | Milkshake | Mr. Richard | Music for Aardvarks & Other Mammals | Play! (Compilation) | Pop Rockets | Princess Katie & Racer Steve | Ralph’s World | Rebecca Frezza | Recess Monkey | ScribbleMonster | The Sippy Cups | Soundzania | Steve Weeks | Sugar Free Allstars | Suzi Shelton | Toxic Muffin | Trout Fishing in America | Uncle Moon Dog | Uncle Rock

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Dance and Jam Episode on HFVS (10/16/07)

Charity and the JAMBand T-shirt Design


WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
Tuesday evening @ 7pm

Dance and Jam Episode
10/16/07 Playlist

listen now | subscribe to podcast | archived shows | contests

HFVS Weekly Contest – Featured Artist: CHARITY AND THE JAMBAND

Congratulations to Kelli Ann of Quebec, Canada, winner of last weeks Sugar Free Allstars promotion!

This weeks promotion features Charity and the JAMband. Here’s your chance to win

Both albums are winners of the Children’s Music Web Award and Rock Your Socks Off was honored with a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. The Indie Food Channel even featured their song “Cake” in this neato retro-themed illustrated baking video, back from the days when baking a birthday cake was a ritual our mothers performed from their grandmother’s secret family recipe (not something picked-up from the supermarket or made from a box):

Read on to discover what you have to do to enter to win: Read the rest of this entry »

Goin’ Banana’s with Monty Harper Episode on HFVS (10/09/07)

Sugar Free Allstars T-Shirt Design

with Monty Harper & Persephone

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA -Tuesday evening @ 7pm

Goin’ Banana’s with Monty Harper Episode
10/09/07 Playlist

listen now | subscribe to podcast | archived shows | contests


Monty Harper stopped by the studio with his lovely family after their stay in Albany, NY for the Children’s Music Network national conference. He filled in as a guest DJ for this week’s episode, with co-host Persephone, and play his version of an old children’s folk song, “The Cat Came Back,” off his album Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales.

Monty Harper is an award-winning musician from Oklahoma. He’s currently offering a free download of his song, “1907,” a musical celebration of Oklahoma’s statehood. Click here to listen. His wife Lisa and their daughter Evalyn host a podcast too, Kids Music Planet. Take a listen.

On this week’s episode two songs were featured from his album, Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales. His newest album is Get a Clue and his previous recordings include:


Monty featured another group from his home state on this week’s episode, Sugar Free Allstars. Sugar Free Allstars participated in the HFVS 1st Annual T-Shirt Review, and their CD, Dos Ninos, is a current favorite of Persephone and I. This week’s contest features Sugar Free Allstars (SFA) and here’s what you have a chance to win:

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Best Friends Forever Episode on HFVS (10/02/07)

with Sienna & Persephone

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA
Tuesday evening @ 7pm

Best Friends Forever Episode
10/02/07 Playlist

  • Jack Johnson – “We’re Going to Be Friends” [Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies for the Film Curious George]
  • The Hipwaders – “”Watch Your Friendship Grow” [The Hipwaders]
  • Laurie Berkner – “I’m Me and You’re You” [Under a Shady Tree]
  • The Pop Rockets – “Best Friends” [Blast Off With The Pop Rockets!]
  • The Pop Rockets – “Bubbles” [Blast Off With The Pop Rockets!]
  • Ella Fitzgerald – “Chew-Chew-Chew” [Nicky’s Jazz For Kids]
  • Rebecca Frezza – “Bubble Bath Blues” [Music in My Heart]
  • Steve Weeks – “Someday” [Alphabet Songs Vol III: Rabbit Run]
  • Barney Saltzberg – “Best Friends with Jackson Browne and Vonda Shepard” [Crazy Hair Days]

listen now | subscribe to podcast | archived shows | contests


This week Persephone’s learning friendship skills in her kindergarten class. Important skills that will carry her through her life. Skills that teach communication, understanding and how to work through conflicts. (I wonder if there’s a refresher course available for parents?) To celebrate friendships, we’ve put together an episode with several songs about friends, including “Best Friends” off of The Pop Rocket’s brand new CD, Blast Off with the Pop Rockets!


As promised, for the next year we will be offering a chance to win a CD and T-shirt from one of our featured bands. This week’s contest features the Pop Rocket’s, and here’s what you have a chance to win:

  • Newly released CD, Blast Off with the Pop Rockets!
  • Youth size green t-shirt (Size XS 2-4) (Design above)
  • Pop Rockets poster, signed by all members of the band
  • Pop Rocket stickers

(c) Hilltown FamiliesWe like Funny Caption contests like Milkshake does on their website. Taking into account the photo displayed here (which was taken during a recent Pop Rocket’s performance in Florence, MA), the family/individual who posts the funniest caption (as determined by an expert panel of judges: Persephone, Persephone’s dad and myself) will win our Pop Rockets giveaway packet. Click here to see a larger image.

Be sure to put your email address in the proper field (it won’t be visible to the public) but please do not post links in the body of your post for it may be filtered out as spam. Deadline is midnight on 10/08/07. (And remember, this is a family radio show. Good old clean fun works best!)

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Get ‘cher T-Shirt Review T-Shirt!

Support Hilltown Families
Buy a Limited Edition T-Shirt Review T-Shirt!

T-Shirt Design by Seth Gregory

Having our own event T-shirt for the T-Shirt Review made perfect sense. The sparks were flying when I was brainstorming with freelance artist/designer Seth Gregory of Ashfield. He came up with the PERFECT design! The front image has a singing ostrich sitting on top of an ice cream cone that announces the event. The back design is the punch-line, with a scoop of ice cream atop ostrich legs. (Just bizarre enough for a variety show!) The names of all the participating band are listed on the back, creating the effect of an ice cream cone! It was really brilliant. (Click here to view larger image) And Seth was so easy to work with. If you’re looking for a freelance artist/designer, I recommend giving Seth a try. Drop him a line at sethhgregory@@gmail.com (remove one @).

“I love the contest t-shirt. Jesse, my 7 year-old, steals it from my drawer whenever she can.” – Lisa from Milkshake

But what good would a wonderful design be without the t-shirts for it to be screened on? Enter our co-sponsor Silver Screen Designs of Greenfield, MA. Through their generous donation we were able to produce a limited edition of our T-Shirt Review T-Shirts! If this event has inspired you to make a t-shirt or update your t-shirt design, check out SSD. They have American Apparel shirts, as well as an organic cotton selection too. Top notch stuff!

What does all this mean?


If you were there and didn’t pick one up, or if you live in Canada and just want to celebrate along with us, we have adult & kid sizes in four different colors. All the proceeds will go to support the communications and community outreach efforts of Hilltown Families (that’s us!). A limited number have been made, so don’t miss out. Adult sizes are $15 and kid sizes are $10 (plus $2 for shipping). Order now to make sure you get the color and size you’re looking for.

It’s as easy as 1,2,3 (4,5,6):

  1. Click here to download an order form.
  2. Print it out.
  3. Circle the size & colors you want.
  4. Write a check to Hilltown Families.
  5. Put it all together and mail it in to Hilltown Families, PO Box 98, West Chesterfield, MA 01084.
  6. It might be best to also email swildfield@juno.com to reserve your color and size.

Now … while supplies last!

Our design is now listed in the T-Shirt Search Engine web site.

Carrot Arms & Winking Girls @ the T-Shirt Review

Hilltown Families Hosts in a First of It’s Kind

HFVS 1st Annual T-Shirt Review Mini-Fest & Ice Cream Social

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This past Saturday (09/23/07) in West Chesterfield, family members of the Hilltown Families listserv were invited to participate in the first ever review of t-shirts submitted by renowned kids music bands from all over the country.

The Hilltown Family Variety Show (HFVS) hosted a T-Shirt Review Mini-Fest & Ice Cream Social, sponsored by Hilltown Families and co-sponsored by Silver Screen Design of Deerfield, MA. HFVS is a family radio show that can be heard live on WXOJ 103.3FM every Tuesday at 7pm, or anytime on the HFVS podcast.

(c) Hilltown FamiliesI like the community spirit Hilltown Families has offered through this event. Not institutional, but not exclusive either,” commented Hilltown Families parent member David Rosenmiller.

In addition to Hilltown kids participating as “official reviewers,” many members of Hilltown Families volunteered during the event: Tony(a) Lemos of the Children’s Art Museum in Shelburne Falls, led participants in a t-shirt design project; freelance artist Seth Gregory designed the T-Shirt Review T-Shirt; Lauren Abend led a tie dye t-shirt project; and Jane dazzled the kids with her amazing face painting!

When Abend’s five year old son was asked what he liked about being an “official reviewer,” he echoed a response heard from many of the kid reviewers, “I like being a judge…

One of the ideas behind the event is to give kids a sense of authority by letting them know that their opinions counted and would be heard,” said organizer Sienna Wildfield, producer of HFVS.

Encouraging their kids to think critically, parents armed with a list that corresponded with 47 displayed t-shirts from 35 artists noted their children’s comments and observations.

I like how his limbs look like carrots,” comment one 5th grader on the t-shirt design by the band ScribbleMonster. And one kindergartner said of Princess Katie & Racer Steve’s t-shirt design, “I like it because there’s a girl winking.

Results from the review will be tallied an post sometime in the next few weeks. Bands submitted promo CD’s along with their t-shirts. The CD’s and corresponding t-shirts of each band will be offered as give-aways on HFVS each week over the course of a year. To find out the results and to discover how to participate in this year long promo, subscribe to our eNewsletter for the most recent updates to Hilltown Families.

Pop Rockets Blast Off!

HFVS Tips its Hat to the Pop Rockets

Pop Rockets at Cup & Top - (c) 2007 Hilltown Families

This week’s episode of the HFVS was an encore presentation of the episode, King of the Insects. It was a big hit with all our budding entomologist so we thought we’d play it again … But mostly because we needed a little R&R following the HFVS 1st Annual T-Shirt Review Mini-Fest & Ice Cream Social that happened this weekend in West Chesterfield, MA.

The review/fest/social was a big success and as far as I could tell everyone had a blast. I’ll be posting more updates and photos from the review, but first I wanted to thank the Pop Rockets for their “Blast Off” performances during the event. They were a big hit!


I first saw the Pop Rockets at Cup & Top in Florence this past spring. This four-piece band rocked the house. The place was packed. Moms and dads got jazzed up on fresh cups of joe, as the music pulled kids off laps and onto the dance floor. They had their waist high audience jumping up and down, twirling in circles like spinning tops. (OH!!! I get it … Cup & Top … duh!) I recall one parent referring to their performance as “a rock concert for kids.” That it was!

This summer we saw them perform again in Deerfield and were very excited to learn they had a new CD coming out. So we invited them to be our featured band during the HFVS’s 1st Annual T-Shirt Review Mini-Fest & Ice Cream Social. And once again they rocked the house, er, lawn. More on that to come.

On Sunday they were back at Cup & Top for their new CD Release Party, pictured above with Hilltown Families and friends. They performed all their new songs including “New Sneaker Jive,”which I now consider one of may favorite shoe songs, along with “Where’s My Shoes Blues” by AudraRox, “Shoe Bandit” by Uncle Rock (all artists that have also performed at Cup & Top with in the last year). Here’s a video from their recent Cup & Top performance:


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T-Shirt & Blue Jeans Episode on HFVS (09/18/07)

with Sienna & Persephone
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio – Northampton, MA
Tuesday evening @ 7pm

T-Shirt & Blue Jeans Episode
09/18/07 Playlist

listen now | subscribe to podcast | archived show

In preparation for the HFVS 1st Annual T-Shirt Review Mini-Fest & Ice Cream Social happening this Saturday, we pulled out a few shirt songs (plus jeans, pants and a hat) and threw together a wardrobe episode. A little mixed-matched, but it works. This week’s photo is a collage of t-shirt images we received from our participating artists. We’ll have details from the event in the upcoming weeks following the review. So be sure to check back often.


We received a couple of new compilation CD’s this week that we included songs from into the mix. The first CD is Classic Animal Songs. We decided to play Billy Jonas’ song, “What Kind of Cat Are You?!” While the song was playing I asked Persephone what kind of cat she was. She predictably said, “A Cheetah!” Then she asked me what kind of cat I was. I responded, “A black panther caught in a circus act!” —  Jonas’ song doesn’t actually explore the different kinds of cats but rather different words that begin with “cat,” like catastrophe, catalytic converter and catacomb.  It’s a cleaver and “cat”chy song. Other artists featured on Classic Animal Songs include Trout Fishing in America, Dan Zanes, Peter Himmelman, Joe McDermott, Parachute Express, and many others.

We also played a couple of cuts from Every Child Deserves A Lifetime, a new fund-raising CD to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. I couldn’t resist playing Bob Dylan singing “This Old Man” and Bruce Springsteen singing “Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips.” Another cut off this album I’d like to play on a future episode of HFVS is Little Richard’s version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  You really can’t go wrong with this CD.  It has “gift” written all over it.  Between a group of artists that have parent appeal, a song selection that has kid appeal, and the proceeds going to benefit a children’s health organization, I’ll be stuffing this into stockings this upcoming holiday season.

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Kid’s Music T-Shirt Review

The Hilltown Family Variety Show’s
1st Annual T-Shirt Review
Mini-Fest & Ice Cream Social

On September 22nd the Hilltown Family Variety Show will be hosting the first-of-its-kind review of children’s musician’s t-shirts!

T-shirts were sent in from all over the country by notable children’s musicians for this event. They will be reviewed by a select group of “Official Reviewers.” Our reviewers are from our listening area and many are members of Hilltown Families; but above all, all of our “Official Reviewers” are kids. This time the kids get to sound off and their opinions, talk backs and sasses WILL matter.

The HFVS T-Shirt Review is a great opportunity to let the world know that just as there are plenty of great kids bands out there, you might not know about, there are that many great t-shirts too. This review is such a fun and original idea! – ScribbleMonster


There are three reasons I can think of, other than “Why Not?:”

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HFVS 1st Annual T-Shirt Review!

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