Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wtf Wednesday- songs butchered on kids' shows

After being out of school for a year, I am still working on unlearning things I was taught. Pluto isn't a planet anymore, the "rocket's red glare" in the anthem wasn't from fireworks but from canons, Christopher Columbus wasn't really a hero but a slave trader, and I never did need to use some of that math later in life.

And no wonder I was filled with all this false information- look at this crap we have kids watch.

Tim Finn of Split Endz wrote "Six Months in a Leaky Boat," a song cool enough for Ted Leo to cover- probably because of its references to a mental breakdown. But when Finn performed it on the Australian kids' show, The Wiggles, the producers threw in some pirate stuff (not even cool pirate stuff) and some Irish dancing at the end and hoped the kiddies didn't ask too many questions.

Finn performing "Six Months..." amidst a foreground of pirate vomit.

Feist's altered performance of "1,2,3,4," on Sesame Street is little better. The single-take is nice and reflects the style of her music videos, but again, dumbing her song down gives it an empty feeling. She also went wrong with her high-waisted pant. They almost fall into Sesame-street style mom-jean territory, until the inseam somehow enhances her, well, camel toe. Not a muppet we need to see on the 'Street. See the video in high quality here. (For the right way on how to do Sesame street- see Ray Charles, Ellen, Patrick Stewart, and others sing the alphabet song. The key is they all stay true to form)

Finn and Leo also share another connection: Leo named his album The Tyranny of Distance after a lyric in Finn's song. However, Leo's choices in educational programming are better attuned to what is actually entertaining and not just sickeningly saccharine. In this clip from the Washington D.C. cable access show Pancake Mountain, he shows Finn and Feist how to play a kids' show - exactly like you would for some adults.

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