"Shazzbot!" was an exclamation oft-uttered by Robin Williams on the '80s sitcom Mork & Mindy.
"We thought that would make a good name, especially for a kids' band that travels a fictional universe in a space Winnebago," Ian Hummel, mastermind of local children's band The Shazzbots, told The Beat.
The band started in 2008, the outgrowth of a songwriting experiment for Hummel in which he decided to sit down one day and see if he could write a song for children. About 10 songs into his experiment, he figured he was on to something.
The Shazzbots will host a party and concert to mark the release of Blast Off!, the band's second release, at the Gateway Film Center at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Shazzbots host a once-a-month video shorts-and-original songs gig at the Gateway, so the location was ideal, Hummel said.
Visit theshazzbots.com for details.
In other "local artists making records" news:
* Todd May, formerly of The Lilybandits and late of songstress Lydia Loveless' band, has released Rickenbacker Girls, a slate of satisfying alt-country hillbilly rock, on Peloton Records. Check out pelotonrecords.com/toddmay.
* Hip-hop outfit Real Em In will host a CD release party for Occupy All Streets Feb. 29 at the Scarlet and Grey Cafe. Local and regional shows, festivals and airplay have scored the group a development deal with Big Noise. Visit realemin.com.
And in other "kids' fun stuff" news:
* Spend the afternoon with "Jungle George" as Albert-George Schram leads the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in "Jungle Music," at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Capitol Theatre. Interactive and hands-on activities and more precede the concert, an hour-long musical safari.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children. Visit columbussymphony.com.
* Disney on Ice returns with Treasure Trove Feb. 20-24 at Nationwide Arena. Indeed, the show is a treasure, as it includes music from the first Disney animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the most recent and 50th Disney animated film, Tangled. It's a melting pot revue of a show, and, in case you were wondering, all nine princesses will be on hand.
And in one piece of news that (we're stretching here) combines both of these previous "news" categories:
* Ohio Wesleyan University assistant professor Jennifer Jolley was among the composers whose entries was selected to be a part of reimagined Bach Brandenburg Concertos.
Chicago's Baroque Band, a leading period-music ensemble, commissioned the pieces, and will perform six of the reimagined works alongside the originals in concerts this weekend in Chicago.
Jolley described her "version" of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 as a mash-up between Bach's work and Steve Reich's Different Trains, with some musical bits of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Trolley thrown in. (There's your children's angle.)
She titled the piece Toy Trolley.
A composer, teacher and blogger, Jolley is also co-founder of the New American Opera Workshops. Find out more at jenniferjolley.com.