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Hawaiian singer-songwriter, acoustic guitar player, and surfing connoisseur, Jack Johnson, is one of the most wholesome musicians of our time. You can play just about any of his songs for your kids and feel assured that the content not only contains positive messages, but they will probably want to dance to it too! Johnson has released six full length studio albums, but you may have also heard his music in films like Curious George

This Cool Kids choice is especially awesome because Jack Johnson actually got kids to help him create the music video for this song. "Radiate" off of his most recent 2013 album From Here to Now to You is about watching someone who may be unsure of themselves grow into something great. He teamed up with directors, The Daniel's, organization OMG! Cameras Everywhere and gave the task to bunch of summer camp kids to create the perfect music video for this upbeat tune. Check it out!

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Today's Cool Kids choice is from an experimental alternative rock group, Ween. Ween was formed in 1984 by Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo in New Hope, PA; an area not too far away from Philly. The group has a pretty strong underground cult following based on their musical combination of avant-garde rock tunes and often silly lyrics.

"Hey There Fancy Pants" is off of their 2003 album, Quebec, and has a fun, light-hearted composition that can easily put a pep in your step. It's hard to not bop your head back and forth with this one. All of the goofy characters in this song like Fancy Pants, Mr. Buttercup, and Sour Grapes may be having a tough day, but their mood is about to be turned around to something positive.

Show your kids this fun song, just don't tell them where the name Ween comes from!

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All of the cool kids and their parents should be listening to Fleetwood Mac, specifically todays pick, "Over My Head." Christine McVie, keyboardist and vocalist of the band wrote this single which was released on their 1975 self titled LP. "Over My Head" was the first song of Fleetwood Mac's to reach Top 40 radio status which ultimately set the band into their most popular era.

Many people claim that this song, written by Christine McVie, was written about her marriage at it's current state of affairs to the bands bassist, John McVie. Whether true or not, the marriage ended one year after the song was released, in 1976. This song delivers a strong meaning with a light hearted tune to it, making it enjoyable for both parents and kids.

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If you or your kids were/still are fans of the 2006 Sony Animation Picture "Open Season" you might recognize this weeks Cool Kids pick. The soundtrack from "Open Season" heavily features Paul Westerberg, former front man of The Replacements.

After The Replacements disbanded in 1991, Westerberg soon began his career as a solo artist, releasing 15 albums and being featured in 13 album compilations or soundtracks including "Sam I Am" and "Catch and Release."

This Cool Kids pick sings about how the seasons come and go and how other memories may pass, but he will always remember the one this song is about. "Love You in the Fall" let's kids hear a familiar tune from one of their favorite movies, while parents hear a familiar voice from one of their favorite former bands.

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This Cool Kid pick is by San Francisco born singer-songwriter Ben Kweller. Kweller is a former member of the band Radish (whose prime was in the 90s. "I Gotta Move" is from his self-titled album released in 2006. Since then, Kweller has released two more albums along with multiple EPs and singles. Each of the other songs off of this album are just as cheery as "I Gotta Move."

In this song, Kweller advocates living life to the fullest while you are young, agile and have endless opportunities in front of you. It's a song that kids can feel inspired by, and that parents can enjoy listening to as well since Ben isn't originally a children's songwriter. Check out more music by Ben Kweller to show your cool kids!

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Seattle band, Presidents of the United States of America, produced a lot of cool indie rock music, but a member of this band has moved on to bigger and better things: children's music! Chris Ballew, who was the bassist and vocalist of the nineties-originated band tried his hand at children's music in 2002 when he recorded and donated an album of traditional children's music to a nonprofit organization. Trying again in 2008 while creating a children's book with his wife, Here I Am! was released and Caspar Babypants was born.
This Cool Kids song, “Stompy the Bear” tells the tale of an infamous bear whose looks and personality are unknown to most people. The goofy song is from the album Hot Dog! released in 2012 and can be found on other children’s music compilations like Music for Little Hipsters.

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Today's Cool Kids tune was picked by a pretty cool cat, namely Toby Leaman of Dr. Dog! His pick for the day is Cardova by The Meters, an entirely instrumental guitar-driven jam.

Toby's daughter is 10 months old, and she loves music with good beats. While Toby usually puts on WRTI in Philadelphia, a classical and jazz station, his daughter has her own taste. She loves music with a good beat, like dub music, reggae, and the Meters. "It's not how me or my wife dances, she's got her own little jam going on," Toby says. Even Joey admitted that a few people have told him their kids like The Meters, so there's got to be something there. "It doesn't get much better than that even as you get older," says Toby.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott. Click the title to hear the song!

Overseas - "Old Love". Lyrically accessible, patiently combustible songs dot the debut album from this indie-rock band that includes David Bazan (Pedro the Lion; Headphones). This standout track casts an unflinching eye at marital strife and acceptance via quiet acts of desperation. The opening line: “I’m thinking back to a sensual act I enjoyed with a girl in my teens/While me and the Mrs. exchange goodnight kisses, roll over and pretend we’re asleep.”

Ashley Monroe - “Weed Instead of Roses”. The other side of the long-time married coin, where the wifey suggests to her hubby that they send the kids to grandma’s, and pull out the whipped cream, sexy underwear, a whip, a Polaroid and some of her brother-in-law’s homegrown. Monroe’s songs are entertaining, and I love the trend she represents – along with newcomer Kacey Musgraves and The Pistol Annies (Monroe’s side project with Miranda Lambert) – namely female-led country acts steering the genre away from dumbed-down pop, with songs that sound traditional in a Parton-esque or Loretta Lynn-ish way, with a few pinches of modern lyrical edginess.

Arcade Fire - “Reflektor”. How could rock’s most important band du jour possibly follow-up 2010’s best album, “The Suburbs”? Well, by incorporating disco and Haitian influences alternately good for a party or a deep-think session. This is the title track from their long, ambitious album that never ceases to intrigue. Now that they’re famous, a backlash is inevitable. But Arcade Fire is ready for that as indicated in another album cut, “Joan of Arc,” with its prescient line “First they love you/Then they kill you/Then they love you again.”

My overall top-10 albums:
1. Kanye West, “Yeezus"
2. Ashley Monroe, “Like a Rose”
3. Foals, “Holy Fire”
4. Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”
5. Two Cow Garage, “Death of the Self-Preservation Society”
6. Jason Isbell, “Southeastern”
7. Disclosure, “Settle”
8. Overseas, “Overseas”
9. Justin Timberlake, “The 20/20 Experience”
10. My Bloody Valentine “M_B -V”

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Belle and Sebastian were some of the coolest kids in indie music in the 90s, and they continue to be super cool to this day. They came through Pittsburgh this summer with label-mates Yo La Tengo, and they did an awesome show. Belle and Sebastian's song "The Blues Are Still Blue" is today's Cool Kids song of the day, and it has a hilariously awesome music video you can find below.

The band's name actually comes from a French children's book called Belle et Sébastien, written by Cécil Aubry and published in 1965. The book features a young boy named Sébastien and his dog Belle, and it has actually been adapted into both a television series and an anime. If your child likes reading, or being read to, maybe you should pick this one up!

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Optimistically, today's Cool Kids Song says "Don't take it so bad, You know the summer's coming soon," and eventually that will be true. But for now we're stranded on the highways in snow just before the Winter Solstice has even hit us. Valley Winter Song by Fountains of Wayne is today's appropriate Cool Kids tune, and it's much more relaxing than driving in this weather. Maybe it should be required listening after getting out of the car just so everyone can cool down, as if the snow weren't chilly enough.

Finally, after this past weekend and today's snowfall, kids probably have had enough snow to make a halfway decent snow man or snow woman. Maybe, if their imaginations take them there, they can imagine them singing this song to each other.

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