Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Telephone Company "Panda Brain" (Business Deal)

Ostensibly these Austin oddballs are a children's music band, and on their first record I kind of can concede that, but on this hypnotic offering the children they seem to be entertaining are the tiny baby oompa loompas that live inside their heads and tell them what to do. A Lord of the Rings-scope epic about a old man puppet, a King, a blue footed boobie, and a coffin is beautifully bizarre but pretty death-centric for the Yo Gabba Gabba-set. The unsettling title track about a feral Panda Boy trying to make his way in the world is heartbreaking. And I'm pretty sure there's three different songs about babies, one in which parents take the wrong kid home from the hospital, one in which a homeless man finds an abandoned baby, and one in which I'm pretty sure a baby is either killed or something near to it when it is left in a hot car then ends up in a refrigerator. Not to say kids don't love this stuff (obviously dead babies are cool., and who doesn't wish their cooler real parents hadn't got mixed up at the hospital and took these losers' kid, and who doesn't want a homeless dad?) but i just don't think nervous mommies will approve. That said, you have to admire them keeping Austin weird by damaging its youngest. And more importantly, this album funtionally will make any adult recall how bizarre the world felt when you were seeing itn from an adult's knee-level perspective and didn't understand all the words. And Shel Silverstein would certainly approve of "booblegum."

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