Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang
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Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang

The “Farm Animal Friends” video premiered on NOGGIN:
July 11 2005


Little Monkey
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VOTE for Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang for best kids' music cd!  

Nickelodeon Parents Connect:
Vote for Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang for best kids' music cd! You sing along to it in the car, in the shower, in your sleep...which ones don't drive you crazy? VOTE TODAY!!!

Boing Boing
"Best Kiddie Band" of 2008! "You'd think you were at a Stones concert, except the screaming girls are four and the heartthrob at center stage is wearing pigtails and knee socks. Give it up for GWENDOLYN AND THE GOOD TIME GANG, a seven-member rock band that has inspired kids to dress like them and parent to book them for the hippest preschool parties. When they're not performing "Red Means Stop" or "The Selfish Shell fish" Gwendolyn and the band's drummer, Brandon Jay, are composing music for the Showtime series "WEEDS". The band proves that tot-centric music needn't be moronic - its fans include parents - unlike
Mick Jagger, Gwendolyn gives hugs after the gig."
Boing Boing BOING BOING "When I was about to have my first kid, back in 1997, a fellow editor at Wired told me that there were really only two downsides to having kids: 1) The lack of sleep, and 2) kid music. He was right. Fortunately, a few kid bands are excellent. My favorite is Gwendolyn and the Good Time gang. Their lyrics are funny, and the music is clever and engaging. We saw them perform live in the woods of Topanga Canyon on Sunday, and it was the best live music performance I've seen since Joe Strummer played at the Troubador shortly before his untimely death. They put on a lively show. If you have young kids, you owe it to your sanity to microwave the Barney and Gymboree CDs in your possession and seek out Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang."

HILLTOWN FAMILIES This week’s episode was co-hosted by our special Guest DJ, all the way from L.A., Gwendolyn Sanford from Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang. Performance at the Children’s Art MuseumThis West Coast seven-piece band recently finished an East Coast Tour, including a stop here in the Hilltowns... READ MORE>>

San Francisco Bay Times SAN FRANCISCO BAY TIMES Music Beyond Boundaries I must agree with the legendary Mr. Rogers (of Mr. Rogers neighborhood), alt-rock heroes They Might Be Giants and even the divalicious Miss Patti LaBelle that music for children should not be dumbed-down but instead feed the soul and lift the spirit. LA-based Gwendolyn And The Good Time Gang has all the shine of a cutesy pop band but the chops and wit to get even the most jaded to care about vegetables and sweet marmalade. In fact they deliver enough that they almost sound like a rock band doing a cover of kids music ala Schoolhouse Rocks. My picks: "Red Means Stop," "Eensy Weensy Spider," "Sweet Marmalade," "Bicycle Ride" and "Out In My Garden."

ALTERNADAD Music from Gwendolyn & The Good Time Gang, designed to inspire the kids while also pleasing the musically discerning parent. PARENTHOOD.COM Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang's new CD, Get Up and Dance is a shimmering good time that urges toddlers to shake their body, move to the groove, and perhaps even learn a few lessons. The stage show enthralls little ones with colorful costumes, clever choreography, and interactive play.

NEW YORK MAGAZINE "This L.A. band’s poppy original tunes are impossible to listen to without tapping and wiggling."

ZOOGLOBBLE With her dress and pigtails, the uni-monikered Gwendolyn has a lot of fans amongst the preschool set in the Los Angeles area. Of course, she’s got a bunch of fans amongst those preschoolers’ parents, too as her music manages to be targeted directly at the young’uns while still appealing to the oldsters’ ears... READ MORE>>

TOMORROWLAND.ORG "Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang played an incredible set -- 45 minutes of tight, amusingly executed, energetic pop that totally captivated the audience of kids AND parents."

ZOOGLOBBLE Talk about double lives -- Los Angeles-area-based Gwendolyn Sanford spends some of her time scoring the second season of the Showtime series Weeds, while simultaneously performing music for preschoolers as the uni-monikered Gwendolyn in Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang... READ MORE>>

THE LOVELY MRS DAVIS In college, we had an art professor who was famous for using the phrase "layers of sophistication." Actually, because he was from the Northeast, it was "layuhs of sophistication." This was high praise -- something many students strived for. I don't believe I've ever used that phrase in a music review, and it may surprise some of you to find me using it to describe an artist who wears a flowered blue jumper, knee socks, and pigtails. But I'm saying it now... READ MORE>>

ERIC HERMAN When you listen to the first couple of songs on Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang's latest album, Get Up & Dance, your brain may have a hard time putting together what you're hearing... well, perhaps it's just my brain that has that problem... On the one hand the music is very down and funky, almost like Sly and the Family Stone at times, but then there's the voice of Gwendolyn singing, and... well... her voice is about as far removed from Sly Stone's voice as you could possibly imagine... READ MORE>> (scroll down and check out Captain Bogg & Salty - pirates they be... arrr!)

Lo Angeles Magazine LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE Tunes for Tots! When Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang appear on a small stage outside the Burbank Public Library just as the sun sets, it's like the second coming of Beatlemania. Fans rush the stage, shriek, and sing along rapturously -- dressed, if they're female, in the vintage rag-doll style of the blonde, pigtailed lead singer...


STUDIO BAMBINI Top Of The Tots! Finally, kid songs that won't kill you... Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang - Be warned: the songs on this record are extremely catchy. You'll be unable to get the "Selfish Shellfish" out of your head for days. It's pop rock that everyone can get into.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang 'Tis The Season To Be Rockin'! (Whispersquish) Gwendolyn, L.A.'s pigtailed siren of kiddie song, released one of the best children's CDs in many a cow-shadowed moon last year, and her tot-friendly band's sophomore effort is a Christmas (and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) album. Parents who want to expose their small fry to electric guitars in the gentlest fashion should start with this sha-la-la-filled bag o' pretween fun.

KIDZMUSIC.COM 'Tis The Season To Be Rockin', Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang
"Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang's second children's album whisks into the holiday season with bright and upbeat takes on old favorites and new creative classics for the youngster within. 'The Channukah Medley', in particular, will have you dancin' and clappin' round the house!"

GWENDOLYN And The Good Time Gang - Whispersquish Records

--- Paul Leeds (unable to score) CULTURE BUNKER.COM
Now, I'm not sure this record is even appropriate to be sending to an indie rock powerhouse like Culture Bunker, but it showed up, and we're gonna do our best. This record is for children, literally. The songs are cute and catchy, with clever little lyrics that kids will love to sing along with. I have no children, so I can't say with proof that kids like this, but how could they not? There are tons of animals mentioned, from the titular shellfish of "The Selfish Shellfish," to "The Little Monkey," and even all kinds of farm animal shenanigans in "Farm Animal Friends." All of these songs have lessons to be learned in them, not quite morals, but good instructions for the future of America. Do you think that shellfish gets away with being so stingy? Hardly. Overall, this is a pretty cute record. Gwendolyn made a genuinely fun album for youngsters with lots of wit and melodies guaranteed to delight. I think it takes courage to make something special for kids, not only for putting her more legitimate music on hold, but also for trying to give children something they will take to heart.

Anyway, Gwendolyn herself is a flaxen haired medieval minstrel from Los Angeles. Two of the players from The 88 are her backup band, so musically they're all top notch in a folksy Beatlesy way. She's wearing a dirndl in the photo, but maybe she sports less traditional gear when she's playing around town. See, she has an alter ego that is folk troubadour without silliness. (Someone else is reviewing that record, so stay tuned.) If you are looking for a gift for anyone with young children, check out Gwendolyn And The Good Time Gang. It will keep them entertained without the usual treacle.

AMOEBA MUSIC presents Music We Like - Best of 2003 (so far)
Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang
A KIDS RECORD - Huh? A rare record indeed that your 2-7 year old will enjoy - AND SO WILL YOU PARENTS! Interesting kid-pop with cool stories and messages...
-- Marc Weinstein, Owner of Amoeba Music (San Francisco, Berkeley & Los Angeles)

ERIK HIMMELSBACH, celebrated rock critic Top Ten Albums for 2003
(as featured in City Beat - LA, Village Voice - NY)
1. Bettie Serveert, Log 22 (Palomine/Hidden Agenda).
2. Liz Phair, Liz Phair (Capitol).
3. Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang, Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang (Whispersquish/Orchard).
4. OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista).
5. Fleetwood Mac, Say You Will (Reprise).
6. Stew, Something Deeper Than These Changes (Smile).
7. Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers (S-Curve/Virgin).
8. Baxter Dury, Len Parrot’s Memorial Lift (Beggars Banquet).
9. Gillian Welch, Soul Journey (Alcony).
10. New Pornographers, Electric Version (Matador).

(Music Reviews p.153)
Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang in which she and her side project band celebrate sharing, baths, good manners, and monkeys. From "Farm Animal Friends" (a rival in catchiness to Old Macdonald...")on, it's as good as tot rock gets, and a tonic for grown-ups who miss Jonathan Richmond's mid-period infantilism. Gang: A

I Don't Want to Grow Up! Adults who stay playful in the face of realities like mortgages: The Good Time Gang (Gwendolyn in pigtails). By CHRISTOPHER NOXON
It's fair to say that the singer-songwriter who calls herself Gwendolyn never thought her band, the Goodtime Gang, would appeal to anyone over the age of, say, 7. A typical performance includes covers of the preschool standards "Bingo" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and original compositions that tackle topics like human anatomy, the importance of sharing and bugs.

So it was with some surprise that Gwendolyn, who is 28 and performs in a Raggedy Ann dress, cartoonish pigtails and knee-high socks, found herself one recent evening in a packed Los Angeles nightclub performing for a crowd of fans whose idea of a stiff drink extends beyond undiluted o.j. Many in the audience sat cross-legged on the floor, cocktails perched on bobbing knees. Some sang along.

The performance was part of a bill that began with an elaborate puppet show and ended with an appearance by the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, a "conceptual art rock band" from New York, which includes a 9-year-old girl on drums. For Gwendolyn, who has no children of her own but who says her songs for children are inspired by "a 4-year-old kid inside me," performing children's music for an audience of grown-ups was more than just a hipster lark — it was liberating.

"All the inner children of these adults are suddenly speaking up and saying, `Hey wait — what about us?' " she said. " `It's our turn to have some fun.' "

LOS ANGELES TIMES. Los Angeles, California: Jun 5, 2003
Kids' music for all With apologies to Barney and Raffi, some children's music that won't make big folks leave the room: "Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang" (Whispersquish, 2003): This wonderfully upbeat album is a smart and raucous delight, the kind of sonic adventure that ranks up there with Marlo Thomas' classic "Free to Be You and Me," Harry Nilsson's "The Point" and anything from the Muppets in their heyday.

LOS ANGELES TIMES. Los Angeles, California: Jun 5, 2003
With the kids; Unique (oodily, oodily); The kids' music of Gwendolyn and her gang is a raucous delight! Jessica Hundley. (Copyright The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times 2003. All rights reserved.)
Once there was a girl named Gwendolyn, a young lady with a fondness for simple, one-name monikers, vintage dresses with plenty of flounce, patent- leather Mary Janes and pigtails. She grew up outside Los Angeles, the daughter of working musicians, yet she didn't begin playing music herself until she was 19, after stumbling across her sister writing a song on their father's guitar. "I was immediately fascinated," recalls Gwendolyn. "I had been acting before that, but when I saw her playing, I was like, 'Give me that!'

By the time I was 22, I had written over a hundred songs." Since that time Gwendolyn has been playing in and around L.A., and over the years her band, also named Gwendolyn, has won a loyal Eastside following. The music they make is cheerfully indefinable, strange and whimsical and threaded through with an innocence that inspired producer Joey Waronker to ask the band to contribute a song to his "Chuck & Buck" soundtrack. "He wanted something that had the feel of Marlo Thomas' 'Free to Be You and Me,' " explains Gwendolyn, who will perform Sunday at the Los Feliz Street Fair. "I said, sure, I'd try." Her translation of Thomas' 1972 children's hit was "Freedom of the Heart (Ooodily, Ooodily)," a giddy, utterly irresistible romp that won over the film's audiences and created a new demand for Gwendolyn's unique music. "It was well-loved by people who heard it," says Gwendolyn with a laugh, "which was nice. And after that a friend suggested I write a children's album, so I did."

The result is "Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang," a cheery collaboration between the young musician and her boyfriend, Brandon Jay, a talented multi-instrumentalist and member of local acts such as the 88 and Quazar & the Bamboozled. Gwendolyn and friends, accomplished musicians and quirky and insightful storytellers, have created the kind of children's album many parents have waited for: one free of sugary sentiment and cutesy lyricism.

"The music speaks for itself," says actor John C. Reilly ("Boogie Nights," "The Hours"), who, along with his children (ages 1 and 4) is a devoted "Good Time Gang" fan. "There's a sense of play in the music, and the lyrical content is instructional without being finger-wagging," he says. "It doesn't try to tell kids what to do, which, as anyone who has kids will tell you, never works anyway." Indeed, while most music specifically made for children tends to either preach to its audience or drip with condescending goofiness, "The Good Time Gang" has mastered the art of being childlike without being childish. In "Please" they encourage good manners and politeness with a bright and bouncy melody. In the singsong "The Selfish Shellfish," they warn of the repercussions of greed. In the rockin' "Scrub, Scrub, Scrub," they prove how fun bath time can be. "I think the key with kids' music is that it appeals to adults as well," says Reilly, softly singing a line from "Please": "That's what keeps it on rotation." Reilly eventually became so fond of "The Good Time Gang," in fact, that he invited the band to play at his 4- year-old's birthday party. "What I discovered by having them in my living room is that not only do they not condescend to the kids, they don't condescend to the music either. They play with as much focus and commitment as they do for their other music." "What was most important to me about having them play," says Reilly, "was to have my kids understand that music doesn't come out of a tape player -- to show them that it's something they can do too. "That's a really beautiful, empowering thing to share with kids, and it gives them the self-esteem and the confidence to feel like they can make music themselves," Reilly says. "And that is what keeps music going." *

"Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang, one of those rare kiddie albums that's endearing to tots but has enough weirdo musicality to make it appealing to adults."

"From the moment I popped the CD in, my kids were in musical heaven! This is definitely one CD that I don't mind playing over and over and over again..."

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