With their biggest local gig of the year coming up, the Twin Cities’ two best-known kids-music makers have dropped details and previews of their upcoming albums. Each is performing two sets at Rock the Cradle at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts/Children’s Theatre on Sunday, details of which can be had over at the Current’s site.
THE OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS: This time last year, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing were still basking in the glow of their Grammy Award win for best children’s album with “Can You Canoe?” and planning their month-long hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail. On May 20, the bluegrass-picking childhood buds will issue the results of that adventure, “Through the Woods,” another album and DVD filled with songs about enjoying the outdoors and each other’s company. The duo posted a trailer video for the album yesterday, which shows them on the trail and in neighboring towns collaborating with some of the Appalachian area musicians. The Rolling Stones can sing about wild horses all they want, but I bet ol’ Mick and Keith never got up close to actual wild horses like we see young Justin and Joe do here.
KOO KOO KANGA ROO: Coming off their big profile boost from a fall tour with British rocker Frank Turner – like the Okees, the Koo krew also fare well with big kids – dance-rap duo Bryan Atchison and Neil Olstad earned a deal with a national indie label for their next album. Northern California imprint Fun Fun Records -- a childish offshoot of the adult-punky Asian Man Records (see: Alkaline Trio, Queers) -- will issue “Whoopty Whoop” on May 13. Just as they’ve given it up for unicorns and mini-vans in the past, Bryan and Neil champion another uncool subject in the record’s first single, available via iTunes and their Bandcamp page. Here’s a lyric video for the tune, "Fanny Pack."