Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Halloween Treat

Okay, so as I mentioned yesterday, I've been checking out lots of fall/Halloween videos from the library lately. I will admit to using the TV a lot in the afternoons for the younger two especially while we get used to the school schedule and all of the homework Amabel brings home. I have also been checking out lots of fall/Halloween books, but I am still working on a list of greats in that category- maybe next year. I actually don't have a list of "greats" as far as Halloween DVDs go. They're all fairly mediocre, really. The only great one I know of is It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! -that's about it. There is also a brand new Charlie and Lola DVD out with some fall and Halloween episodes on it.

One other video we checked out was a Nick Jr. DVD called All About Fall. There were several shows on the DVD I had never heard of before, but we gave it a try because of the Wonder Pets and Blue's Clue's episodes that were included. As I expected, the Blue's Clue's episode was one with Joe. Bummer. What I did not expect was that the entire video had almost nothing to do with fall. I was so surprised that I actually wrote a product review on Amazon. There were a few episodes with links to school, and my guess was that the idea was that going back to school is an early fall event (only the episodes weren't about going back to school!), but there were no fall leaves or pumpkins or apples or even cold weather clothing except in one episode of six. I do not recommend the DVD, the one fall-ish episode is available on another Nick Jr. DVD called Halloween.

The pertinent episode was a Halloween episode from a show I have never seen before, Yo Gabba Gabba. First let me say this: I had a negative opinion of the show without ever having seen it before simply because I have overheard St. Louis mothers making some remark or other to their children about Yo Gabba Gabba (this said in my most nasally, Northern accent- CPA alums, think Thelma Neal!). It particularly grates because it is that same vowel and consonant combo in my name. I cannot stand being called Abby with a really nasally A at the front. A in front of N or M makes a relatively nasal sound, even for non-Northerners, but A in front of B is just a flat A and should not come from the nose! George enjoys making fun of this pet peeve of mine and often says As in a British accent to make fun- Omabel, Obby, ponts, banona, Olaboma. It's fine with me, the British would say Yo Gobba Gobba too!

Getting back to the point, I was prepared to dislike Yo Gabba Gabba. And one night when George and I were sitting downstairs while the kids were watching a video up the stairs in the next room (the house is split level), we heard what sounded like very weird and discordant music. It sounded pretty awful, honestly. But it was so bad that we came up to see what it was. It was Yo Gabba Gabba. But as we watched and listened, we sort of moved to the appropriate wavelength, I guess. We started appreciating some of the music for what it was. George compared it to Sufjan Stevens, which may not be a bad comparison. When I first heard some of Sufjan Stevens' stuff, I was not a fan. It also sounded very discordant to me and in no way melodic. But it really grows on you. I can really dig some Sufjan Stevens. But I don't know if I'm ready to say I could dig some Yo Gabba Gabba. Some of the music is pretty cool. They have even had the Shins do a guest spot (and Elijah Wood, Jack Black etc.). However, some of the music sounds like it is being sung off key by monsters and robots (example), which it is obviously supposed to sound like, but it gives it a really spoof-y feeling. George compared it to an SNL skit or a Japanese gameshow. Those are pretty accurate comparisons! The monster thingys and the DJ guy are just weird. If you watch the Shins clip, you see a little bit of the DJ and his overly animated persona.

Then the other night I was washing my hair and I had this strange song in the back of my mind that I could only describe as "skating party." I had that happy childhood memory of music from the skating rink and disco balls and the dizzy feeling, even later that night, from spinning around and around in circles. I couldn't quite wrap my brain around it, but I was thinking at the same time what a great song it was and how sad I was that I wouldn't get to hear it anymore. So I started to wonder where in the world I had heard that song and how I knew I wouldn't hear it anymore. I finally somehow recognized it for the song from the video I had just returned to the library. Fortunately, while there are not many videos available for Yo Gabba Gabba, "Halloween" is on youtube; and while it likely wasn't around when I was at the skating rink circa 1984, it certainly has the feel (but you'll have to wait until about 40 seconds in before it gets awesome). That's really the point of all of this, watch the Halloween song. It rocks! And Yo Gabba Gabba is bizarre. Anyone else seen it? What do you think?


Matt Churnock said...

Have you seen any of the highlights from Yo Gabba Gabba on E's 'the soup'? You may want to check those out online.

Wright Family said...

I'll have to watch the link. Right now I am laughing at the Thelma Neal comment. I saw her at the pool this summer-ha! Her daughter lives in Spring Hill and so I guess she was there because of her grandkids?! She is just the same as you remember her. Anyway, I also really love Sufjan Stevens. I got into him last year but thought I hated him at first too. Okay, I know I am way off the point of your post. I'll have to go back and look at your links but just thought I'd share those tid bits:)

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