Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is…Awesome! Volume 2


RIYL: hipster bands, watching your kids dance

Landing a cool 10 months after the release of Volume I of Yo Gabba Gabba’s Music Is…Awesome! series, this set rights some of the wrongs of that first album by including some of the bands they overlooked the last time (Jimmy Eat World, MGMT, Datarock, and thank God they finally released the Ting Tings’ cover of “Happy Birthday”). The catch with this set is that the songs by the contributing rock bands are much better, but the songs from the show are, well, not. Yes, “Hold Still” finally makes an appearance, but it’s the lesser of the two versions that have appeared on the show. Meanwhile, the “Freeze Game” song here does not measure up to the ‘you can’t catch us!’ ‘Freeze’ song from another episode. (Perhaps they chose the version they did so they didn’t have two songs that featured Brobee whining about not being able to keep up.) Alas, the Aggrolites’ song “Banana” is still nowhere to be found, nor is GOGO13’s song “Pick It Up” which, years after their debut on the show, are still the two most commonly sung “Yo Gabba Gabba” songs in this writer’s household. Their exclusion from these sets is bordering on comical, if it weren’t so tragic. Still, the Weezer song (“All My Friends Are Insects”) is great, as are the songs by Hot Hot Heat (“Time to Go Outdoors”) and the Apples in Stereo (“That’s My Family”). In the end the album, much like the show, has some moments of genius, surrounded by stuff that you merely tolerate for the sake of your kids. No excuses, guys: put “Pick It Up” and “Banana” on the next set, or there will be hell to pay. (Filter 2010)

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Click to buy Music Is Awesome! Volume 2 from Amazon

  

Me, Myself, and iPod 6/9/10: They work in bars. Whether they are all on drugs remains unknown

esd ipod

Strange. I thought that the closer we got to summer, the more awesome mp3s I’d have for all y’all. Instead, it appears the opposite is happening. Like I said, strange.

The Chap – We Work in Bars
I’m not 100% sold on this London band, but there’s a spirit to the work that I find appealing. Definitely want to hear more before officially passing judgment.

The Mercury Program – Arrived/Departed
This made the cut for one reason: the delay-driven guitar line at the beginning of the song is a near note-for-note copy of the beginning to the song “Outside” by the late, great band Tribe. These guys obviously took it in a much different direction (an instrumental, moody jazzy direction, that is), and that’s cool.

Hot Hot Heat – Goddess on the Prairie
You have to feel a little bad for these guys. When people start making jokes about the ’00s, these guys will be near the top of the One Hit Wonder joke list, and the worst part is that even the members of the band don’t like that song and wish they had never recorded it. This song, from their new album Future Breeds, which came out this week, shows the band, well, pretty much where the world left them. Give them points for not suddenly pretending to be Franz Ferdinand.

Parlovr – Pen to the Paper
Is Montreal the new Brooklyn? Or was Montreal Montreal before Brooklyn became the destination of choice for musical immigrants? Either way, this song has a driving quality to it that brings out the New Order fan in me.

  

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