This past Saturday we took Azita to her second show at one of our local music joints, Jammin Java. Both Roger and I tend to like indie music more than popular, overly-produced stuff. This is not to say that we don’t like Coldplay or bands like Wilco that are a lot more popular and produced than when we first fell in like with them. But really, there’s something about a self-produced song that holds a lot more charm than music that’s been claimed by the major music labels.
We’re doing our best to give Azita just such an appreciation for music. This is mostly because I think I may slit my wrists if she ever asks me to take her to a Hannah Montana or Britney Spears concert. I just can’t have it. There’s a little more selfishness to our madness, though. We both love live music, and I hate to leave Azita on a weekend to go off to a show when I already see so little of her.
Jammin Java and many small music venues in the area have presented a solution to our dilemma — children’s shows that adults can love on weekend mornings and afternoons and on weekdays before the 11pm crowd we were once a part of takes over the place. On Saturday, we caught a musical act that more than fits this bill. Gustafer Yellowgold.
This is happy and haunting music. It sticks with you. Two days later, I am still humming these tunes. And kids love it too. Azita literally climbed up on a table and started dancing, and I’m not using the word “literally” in that annoying way that people tend to use it. I really mean “literally.” As in, she was sitting on a table and swaying, kicking her feet, moving her arms and bobbing her head to the music. It was pretty awesome, and it made us laugh so infectiously you could almost see bubbles of laughter floating over the audience making everyone else laugh also.
Not only was the music pretty awesome, but it was accompanied by stop-frame animation. So it was that we learned the story of Gustafer Yellowgold, who comes from the sun and now lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota with his best friend, Slimothy the eel. Over the course of an hour, their lives were sung and illustrated more lyrically and whimsically than anything I’ve ever seen.
Critics have compared this show to the Yellow Submarine, but I think it was far more sublime.
Gustafer Yellowgold. Remember the name, and go buy the CD/DVD set immediately. This is a commandment. You will love it.