Wednesday, February 22, 2006

DEV2.0...Way Better Than Raffi.

I received a copy today of the new "DEVO-for-kids" CD/DVD package, DEV2.O...

It's a collection of 13 songs and 10 videos, all DEVO tracks, but sung by 5 kids. The musical tracks were re-recorded for the album by the actual members of DEVO, but allegedly the kids now have learned to sing and play their instruments well enough to perform the songs live themselves, and a tour is supposedly forthcoming.

Here's more info from a press release:

Founding DEVO member Gerald Casale recently explained to Billboard Online: "We were looking for kids that were as unlike the mainstream as Devo was in its day when it was part of mainstream, trendy culture. They're all really smart. They're by no means goodie-goodie, but they don't have any of the behavioral clich├ęs of the mainstream. They're really kind of like little scientists and they love Devo music."

Instrument: Lead singer
Favorite DEVO songs: "Big Mess" and "Whip It"
Musical influences: Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson, Fergie from Black Eyed Peas
Interests: Dancing, swimming, soccer and playing with her dogs.
Cool fact:
Nicole was "excited and shocked" to find out that she was going to be the lead singer of DEVO 2.0. She wants to be a famous singer, but would also like to be a doctor.

Instrument: Guitar
Favorite DEVO song: "Big Mess"
Musical influences: The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Carlos Santana, Coldplay
Interests: Online Scrabble
Cool fact:
Nathan is also a songwriter and says "DEVO has helped expand my knowledge of music." He wants kids everywhere to hear his songs, and hopes to use music to improve the world.

Instrument: Drums
Favorite DEVO songs: "Girl You Want" and "Whip It"
Musical influences: Josh Freese, Gregg Bissonette, The Mars Volta
Interests: Drums, drums, drums
Cool fact:
Kane got his first drum set from his father, a touring musician, when he was two years old. Before that, he played on pots and pans. Kane wants to be an actor and a musician when he grows up.

Instrument: Keyboard
Favorite DEVO songs: "Whip It" and "That's Good"
Musical influences: Chopin, Puccini's "Pagliacci," The Beatles, the Broadway musical "Wicked"
Interests: Musical theatre, singing, chocolate
Cool fact:
If she doesn't make it as a musician or actress, Jackie would like to be the first female professional baseball player.

Instrument: Bass
Favorite DEVO song: "Cyclops"
Interests: Martial arts
Cool fact:
Michael has been a DEVO fan since he was very young, and says, "DEVO's music was at least 20 years ahead of its time." He hopes to be a martial arts world champion someday.

Some of the lyrics have been changed a bit to better suit the younger ears of the target audience, and the ironic bite of "Beautiful World" has totally been neutered to make the song as sunny as its title...but the fact that there even exists a compact disc designed to get kids singing DEVO songs in the backseat of SUV's across America (marketed by Disney, no less!) seems like DEVO's most subversive project yet.

Oh yeah, don't miss the bonus footage on the DVD of Jerry Casale & Mark Mothersbaugh explaining the concepts of "De-volution" to a couple of the kids in the band. Thankfully the kids didn't ask "What was your inspiration for the song 'Sloppy'(I Saw My Baby Gettin')'".

Now I know what my nieces are getting in their Easter baskets from me this year.

DEV2.0 - "Freedom Of Choice" mp3

Pre-order DEV2.0 here.

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