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Friday, July 07, 2006

An Artistic Challenge 

How do you cover objectionable material for the younger set?

Take, for example, Devo's "Whip It."

When the Chipmunks put the song on one of their albums, they emphasized the whipped cream portion of the song. (See my 2004 comments on this topic in the old version of the Brooks Blog.)

The same tactic, by the way, was followed by Dev2.0.

When a group of middle schoolers recreated the video on a school assembly hall, they truncated the song to one minute and twenty eight sections, and left off the cigarette-smoking woman.

See here.

Returning to Devo 2.0 or Dev 2.0 or whatever they're calling themselves, if you're wondering what Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh think about the project...well, it was their idea.

Working in tandem with David Agnew, a long-time Devo fan who is also an executive vice president for the Buena Vista Music Group (the music branch of Walt Disney Pictures), Devo founders Gerald V. Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh created Devo 2.0, in which five talented youngsters between the ages of nine and 13 perform faithful (but updated) versions of classic Devo tunes, along with some new material written by Casale and Mothersbaugh for the group. (Casale and Mothersbaugh also rewrote a few of their songs for Devo 2.0, changing some possibly offensive lyrics and shifting genders to reflect the fact the kids' version of the group is coed.) Chosen by Casale through a series of auditions, Devo 2.0 features Jackie Emerson on keyboards and vocals, Michael Gossard on bass, Nathan Norman on guitar and vocals, Kane Ritchotte on drums, and Nicole Stoehr on lead vocals. While original Devo members Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh, Gerald V. Casale, and Robert Casale handle nearly all the instrumental chores on the debut album, Dev2.0, released in the spring of 2006, the young group will play live on a subsequent concert tour....

...which will visit the Anaheim House of Blues on July 23.

So how does Devo explain Dev2.0 to their original fans?

DEV2.0 is a strange, Corporate-Feudal experiment that attempts to bring the original DEVO music sensibility to children in the 5 to 8 year old demographic range.

No word on Nicole's thoughts about brain-eating apes.

Incidentally, Robert Mothersbaugh Sr. (a/k/a General Boy) still appears at various Devo events. As does David Kendrick, who is in a new band.

This is probably as good a time as any to mention that I had the Shout song "C'mon" stuck in my head earlier this week. Don't know why; I hadn't heard the song in over a decade (probably longer). It's groovy, though.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

We just rented the DEVO DVD The Complete Truth About De-Evolution, and we all love it, even the kids. Is there anything inappropriate on there for kids? Hm... They really can't figure it out yet, so... naw. :D

They just like the music!
The girl in the window nearly had her head taken off by that whip! But I do love that group of rebels swigging Coca Cola. Very cute.
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