January 24, 2006

No One Around Here Comprehends My Potato


Walt Disney Records takes devolution to the next level with Dev2.0: Devo reincarnated as telegenic kids.

Kind of creepy, yet kind of mesmerizing. My internal irony-o-meter was flashing like a strobe light and finally blew a hole through my skull during the video for "Beautiful World." It's never straight up and down...

(via Boingboing.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at January 24, 2006 01:28 AM | TrackBack

"Kind of creepy?" Frank, if this isn't a sign of the cultural apocalypse, I don't know what will be. My head didn't make it intact to "Beautiful World." Mine blew apart watching Dev2.0 singing "Uncontrolable Urge" in front of 2 flat-screens showing cartoony images of dancing potatoes.

I have to believe that the Mothersbaughs, Casales, et al. would have laughed themselves naseous if someone had told them back in 1975 that the kids who used to beat them up in high school would themselves have kids who would one day be hired by Disney to sing their weird tunes as bouncy pop songs. Especially if they knew that Disney would make them change "I'm a man on a mission, I'm a boy with a gun" to "I'm a girl with a mission, I'm a girl having fun."

And do these kids actually know what these songs are about? Here's the first analogy that enters my addled brain: Devo2.0 is to Devo as that big, blonde guy in the furs on the "Yangs and Coms" Star Trek (some geek greater than I will tell me the name of the episode, the character in question, and the actor who played him) saying "Ee Pleb Neesta!" is to the Preamble to the Constitution.

BTW Frank, aren't these kids the target demographic for "King Dork?" Or some kind of pod-child version of it?

Posted by: Nick at January 24, 2006 02:30 AM

Disney owns everything old and new. You will be assimilated into Walt's collective.

Posted by: Mark Mothersbaugh at January 24, 2006 03:46 AM

I think they should have replaced the whip sounds in whip it with electric mixer sounds since that is what they show... hmm... I guess it's not as catchy that way. Those kids sure can't lipsynch, but I think I'm starting to want a merengue... hopefully that was the idea...

Posted by: Debbie at January 24, 2006 04:26 AM

Am I the only one who thinks this is brilliant and subversive?

I can't wait to hear little kids screeching DEVO lyrics in the back seat of mom's SUV.

Posted by: COOP at January 24, 2006 06:59 AM

Yeah, I'm kind of with you, COOP. It's subverting me even as we speak. And it's not like they didn't warn us, way back.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at January 24, 2006 04:03 PM

I guess I could see having a problem with this if it weren't for the fact that that the DEVO boys are doing this themselves, and producing the whole thing. As it is, conning Disney to put out a record w/a 12-year-old girl singing "Uncontrollable Urge" is fucking INSANE. (They didn't even change the arrangements much!)
DEVO has always been about subverting pop culture for their own nefarious uses, and this might be their finest hour, if only because it so effectively slinks under hipster radar to pinpoint impressionable little kids.

Posted by: COOP at January 24, 2006 06:50 PM

COOP and Frank,

I agree with you guys -- I guess it might have sounded like I disliked the mind-blowing I experienced last night, but I think it's more like what you guys have said. I noticed (maybe you did too, COOP), on the Devo wikipedia entry that Dev2.0 is actually a project that Devo's involved in (they play the instruments, the kids sing). And COOP, I think this might not only be their finest hour -- what if this is the realization of some plan they first devised 30 years ago? It certainly brings Mutato Musik (Mothersbaugh's music scoring company that does Rugrats, Wes Anderson films, etc) into a new, strategic focus. It was all part of the plan, as you say COOP, to get Disney to put out a record of a 12-year-old girl singing "Uncontrollable Urge." Malcolm McLaren couldn't have done it any better.

Posted by: Nick at January 24, 2006 07:26 PM

Well, I always assumed they meant aesthetic-psychological devolution to be taken quite seriously, or perhaps "seriously," if there's a difference...

Posted by: Dr. Frank at January 24, 2006 07:31 PM

Devo must be bored and looking for stuff to do... First the album with Green Day (see "the Network") and now Disney. Fascinating.....

Posted by: Spock at January 24, 2006 07:45 PM

A long time ago I worked with a lady at a library in Utah who claimed her daughter married a member of Devo. Still don't know if that's true, but seeing as how Mothersbaugh is allegedly reading the blog, I thought I'd just toss it out there. BTW I watched Recess just to hear that soundtrack! kudos

Posted by: slickdpdx at January 24, 2006 09:52 PM

i think the singer needs a new choreographer.

Posted by: r a e d y at January 24, 2006 10:51 PM

The girl does have some bizarre dance moves. Honestly, I think this is a cool idea. If it does anything to introduce kids to better music than Aaron Carter, I say it's a job well done.

Posted by: courtney at January 25, 2006 12:06 AM

She's just the girl, she's just the girl, the girl U want to lure into a van.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at January 25, 2006 02:48 AM

This is the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life.
I distinctly remember being in high school in the 70's, and being the first person to realize that DEVO's appearance on Saturday Night Live wasn't a sketch. Of course, I HAD to buy the album. And the one after that, and the one after that...
Everything is finally falling into place. De-evolution has finally begun.

Posted by: Stigfink at January 25, 2006 05:19 PM

Somehow I feel that Mark Mothersbaugh is behind all of this.

Posted by: Alex Caprio at January 25, 2006 06:00 PM

OK, so I checked out the videos. They mime the songs slightly more convincingly than The Partridge Family, but not as well as The Monkees.
Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerry Casale are brilliant.

Posted by: Stigfink at January 26, 2006 05:47 PM

I was prepared to hate it but the whole idea quickly grows on you.

However, I wanted the kids to yell "....BUT NOT FOR ME!" at the end of Beautiful World.

Posted by: greg at January 27, 2006 01:18 AM

Jocko Elmo!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at January 27, 2006 09:49 PM

1980 - The Clash - Sandanista - "Career Opportunities". "Bus driver...ticket inspector" Punk kids consider their future options. Check it out.

Posted by: Laurie at January 28, 2006 05:30 PM