Spacey stuff, this mysterious matter called "Moonfood". Songer-songwriter Leslie Bixler and the Moonfood Band perform songs about rainbows and mermaids as well as relatively terrestrial fare, such as fat cats. Bixler was once a normal rock singer-she co-wrote Eddie Money"s "shakin" (ed. note, this is incorrent)-but when young boys who had mixed into her all ages crowds began requesting songs about fancifu topics, Bixler caved to the pirate lobby. It's been happy, er, sailing every since. Bixler, a staunch believer in raising the roof, utilizes freeze-dancing, puppets and other madness. Children are urged to bring their grown-ups. 11 am Sat, McCabes Guitar Shop $8.00 310-828-4497;mccabes.com
Perry Crowe - LA Times (Nov 1, 2007)
Chad Smith Dick Van Dyke Leslie Bixler: Press
Leslie Bixler, who has made jazz CDs under her maiden name of Leslie Letven, here delivers Moon Food, a collection of thirteen original compositions written for children “and their grownups” in styles that include folk, jazz, light reggae and Broadway-style tunes. All very catchy, gentle and refreshingly innocent, they range in subject matter from the sprightly &ldquoI Love My Shadow,” to a Ms. Bixler's moody ode to “Tarzan,” to a playful movement song in &ldquoThe Freeze,” set to a jazz fueled Bo Diddly rhythm. Famed actor (and occasional children's music maker) Dick Van Dyke guests on lead vocals on two songs: “I'm a Pirate” (sure to be a favorite among young Jack Sparrow fans) and the wonderfully over the top “Vance The Vacuum Cleaner.” The well-crafted CD is sure to become a “car ride” favorite.
Lahri Bond ©2006 Parents' Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer and the art director for Dirty Linen: The Magazine of Folk and World Music. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.
With sounds both sweet and sassy, the new children’s CD “Moon Food” by Malibu singer/composer Leslie Bixler is a warm and witty introduction to the world of music for young children. Bixler boasts of a recording career that spans two decades, previously creating light jazz compositions under her maiden name, Leslie Letven. Raised in Malibu, Bixler took a detour to Fresno when she married reed player Bill Bixler. When first together, the couple owned a jazz nightclub inFresno where Bixler often performed. She also was a member of a dance company in the town. But Malibu beckoned,and when Bill Bixler was awarded the orchestra leader position at Malibu High School, they were able to return to the community. Now, Bixler is the mother of a nine-year-old son and has experienced a mus-ical transformation. “I took a break [from composing] when I had my son, then fell head over heels into childhood,” Bixler explained in a recent interview. The songs on “MoonFood” were inspired by Bixler’s involvement withthe local preschool Gardenof Childhood and the musical requests from the young students she met there. The CD debuted at a recent private fundraiser for the school, raising thousands of dollars to support its childhood education programs.
The “Moon Food” song “Fat Cat” was created from the preschool children’s fascination with a tiny, rescued kitten that soon grew into a large, well-fed feline. “Lolli’s Rainbow” was born from one of the pre-school teachers always dressing in the colors ofthe rainbow, one for each day of the week.The songs also have basic moral lessons to teach, such as in “Can You Imagine,” where Bixler asks the children to envision themselves as “being someone, not you, to think about what other kids go through.”
“I was freed up [musically; it’s the real deal working with kids,” Bixler states. “I was able to do what is best for each song, but I made sure that the music doesn’t speak down to the children.”Featured on “MoonFood” is longtime Malibu resident Dick Van Dyke,who has spent recent years working extensively to promote musical projects for Malibu youth. He has been part of past Malibu High School productions of “Les Miserables” and“Beauty and the Beast.”Van Dyke is the gruff but lovable voice on “I’m a Pirate” and on “Vance the Vacuum Cleaner,” intoning the plight of a carpet cleaner who has a dust allergy and succumbs to a serious fit of sneezing.The CD was produced by veteran composer, arranger and producer Ralph Carter and highlights some other well-known Malibu musicians, such as violinist Maria Newman.“Moon Food” can be ordered through the web-site lesliebixler.com, but Bixler is exploring other avenues for distribution.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Drummer Makes Kids' Album
By Warren Truitt, About.com Guide to Children's Music
Friday September 25, 2009
That's right: Chad Smith, 20-year veteran drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers, and latest of supergroup Chickenfoot, has put together a kids' music album with children's performer Leslie Bixler, featuring Dick Van Dyke rapping!
The album, called Rhythm Train, is a concept album of sorts, full of songs about rhythms and cadence. Bixler is a teacher at Smith's son's school, and funnyman Van Dyke is a friend of hers, so the collaboration was a natural. Check this out, Chili Peppers fans: Smith even plays guitar and sings one of the songs on Rhythm Train!
Here's a YouTube promo video for Rhythm Train
Getty Images / Kristian Dowling
Chad Smith Collaborates With Dick Van Dyke on Children's Record
Posted on Sep 18th 2009 2:00PM by Steve Baltin
Some musicians take a break from one of the biggest bands in the world and go on vacation, party it up, lay low with the fam or do some good old fashioned housework. But not Chad Smith. As we've previously told you, the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer has spent the group's hiatus doing not one but two other bands, or so we thought. It turns out doing the Chilis, Chickenfoot and his Meatbats combo still isn't enough.
So, Smith tells Spinner he has yet another project in the works. "I'm doing a record with this woman, Leslie Bixler, that actually sings for my four-year-old's pre-school," he says. "It's so funny. It's very kid oriented. The record's coming out pretty soon and it's called 'Rhythm Train.'" To make things more interesting, the album has a pretty high-profile guest on it. "Dick Van Dyke's on it," Smith says excitedly.
Despite having shared stages with some of the biggest names in music, Smith still recognizes the coolness of recording with a true television icon. "It's such a gas," he says. "I'm standing there with my headphones on and I'm with Dick Van Dyke. Surreal. He is the coolest f---ing guy. He's sharp as a tack, funny, so cool. He's friends with Leslie."
The combination of Smith and Van Dyke is intriguing enough on its own, but it gets better. "We were like pirates on the record," Smith says. "He raps. He rapped on the record, that's all I need to say."
Unfortunately, Smith didn't reveal the most burning question -- did Van Dyke rap in his Cockney chimney sweep accent from 'Mary Poppins'?
Modern Drummer Quote
..So that’s another cool project. Then I’ve got this children’s record called Rhythm Train, which is really fun. I did it with Leslie Bixler, who’s a teacher at my son Cole’s school. It’s kids’ songs that are rhythm-based and it teaches about different instruments. The funny thing is, she knows [legendary actor] Dick Van Dyke. So, next thing you know, I’m doing this rap song with Dick Van Dyke, who is hilarious. He’s eighty-one and he’s doing great—sharp, funny…. So I’d be playing grooves and showing him how to rap—like I have any idea! [laughs] But it was a blast. And there’s a book that goes along with it. I actually played guitar and sang on one of the songs. Dave Grohl I’m not, but for a kid’s song it’s okay. It was a labor of love and we had a good time doing it. "
- Chad Smith
Leslie Bixler at McCabe's: Chugging along
May 15, 2008, Los Angeles Times
Leslie Bixler's charming children's songs explore the transcendent power of cadence on her forthcoming CD, "Rhythm Train."
Featuring the talents of Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, the lighthearted concept album is based on the ultimate rhythmic vehicle: the train.
"Chad's son loves trains," says Bixler, "which was part of the album's inspiration."
Like an aural locomotive, the songs traverse various musical terrains to give kids a sense of the sheer joy of rhythm and movement.
"It's the most fun I've ever had working with a drummer," says Bixler.
Chad Smith - Chads Collaboration With Leslie Bixler
Featuring the talents of Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, the lighthearted concept album is based on the ultimate rhythmic vehicle: the train. "Chad's son loves trains," says Bixler, "which was part of the album's inspiration. ...»
"Estoy haciendo un disco con esta mujer, Leslie Bixler, que actualmente canta para mi preescolar de cuatro años"
"Es tan divertido. Es orientado a los niños. El disco está saliendo muy
pronto y se llama 'Rhythm Train." Para hacer las cosas más interesantes
el álbum tiene un invitado muy importante, Dick Van Dyke está en él" ,
dice Smith con entusiasmo.
A pesar de haber compartido escenario
con algunos de los nombres más grandes de la música, Smith todavía
reconoce la frescura de la grabación con un verdadero icono de la
"Estoy de pie, con mis auriculares y estoy con Dick Van
Dyke. Surrealista. Él es el mejor tipo. Está afilado como una tachuela,
divertido, muy cool".
La combinación de Smith y Van Dyke es
suficientemente intrigante por sí sola, pero se pone mejor. "Éramos
como piratas en la grabación", dice Smith.
"El rapea. Rapeó en la grabación, eso es todo lo que tengo para decir."