Music Talk Stuff

Music Thursdays: Dinosaur Rock From Toronto’s Howdytoons – “Dinosaurs & Monsters”

Welcome to the Music Thursdays segment! Each week here on Geek Alabama, Music Thursdays will feature music related content. Music Thursdays will feature an artist or band and their latest song and / or music video. People love music, and we here at Geek Alabama love featuring artists and bands!

Worldwide fans of the popular “dinosaur rock” albums and animated videos produced by Howdytoons can look forward to the September 30 release of Dinosaurs & Monsters, the fourth album in the brand’s award-winning “Dinostory” series, which is closing in on a billion YouTube streams.

The wizard mastermind behind Howdytoons is Toronto-based musician Mike Whitla, who cites influences as colorful and varied as Iron Maiden, Mastodon, Pink Floyd, jazz legend Thelonious Monk, and classical Carnatic ragas of South India.

Howdytoons, famous in the kids’ world for its heavy metal-inspired dinosaur songs, digs even deeper into the genre with Dinosaurs & Monsters, unearthing tunes about super-fantastic creatures, both real and imagined. There is still a healthy serving of music for dino-crazed fans, but the album also includes songs about Pterosaurs (“I’m a Pterodactyl”), synapsids (“Dimetrodon,” listen to the song to find out what a synapsid is), and Pliosaurs (“Kronosaurus”), plus an eponymous number about a legendary Scandinavian sea monster, The Kraken. Even when telling a great tale, Howdytoons keeps thing scientifically accurate, packing statistics and facts into every song.

Offering something a cut above inconsequential, autotuned kids’ music, Howdytoons songs fire the imagination with amusing complexities that require the full attention of the listener, regardless of age. The stellar musicianship of Dinosaurs & Monsters is commanded by the searing guitar riffs and blazing vocals of Mike Whitla and Jimmy Reid and bombastic drumming, provided by Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani, Alex Lifeson, and more). Compositionally, the music is an exotic mixed bag that combines elements of not only rock, reggae, ska, and metal, but also South Indian classical (Carnatic) music, courtesy of Mike Whitla, who became fluent in this musical language while studying at Toronto’s York University. Whitla’s Carnatic guru, the acclaimed virtuoso Trichy Sankaran, is featured playing mridangam on two of the album’s Carnatic-influenced songs.

There are now four YouTube channels under the Howdytoons brand, featuring work in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Across the brand on YouTube, Howdytoons has scored more than a billion views (with 10 million more added each month) and currently has more than a million subscribers. YouTube has honored Howdytoons with “Silver Play” buttons, denoting more than 100,000 subscribers, for its Howdytoons, Howdytoons Extras, and Howdytoons en Español channels.

As a solo artist, Mike Whitla has been honored with numerous awards for his kids’ music, including Parents’ Choice, NAPPA, Indie Music, Academics’ Choice, Creative Child, Tilliwig Toy, Mr. Dad, and more. He was a finalist in the Great American Songwriting Competition, a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, and was nominated as “Best Children’s Entertainer” at the SiriusXM Indie Awards.

Dinosaurs & Monsters will be available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube Music, YouTube (video), and other streaming services.

Rate This Post