Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A post perhaps befitting my infancy on the Stash Team...

I thought Kidz Bop was the most mind-bending thing I could hear done to music. I remember distinctly sitting on a friend's couch and just ... not ... breathing for a couple seconds when I learned there was a Kidz Bop with *Outkast* on it. Because your six year old needs to learn early to 'shake it like a Polaroid picture', doncha know. How do you even BEGIN to make that kid friendly? I haven't listened to any of it all the way through, so I certainly couldn't tell you.

Imagine my surprise when I'm minding my own business, loitering in my favorite IRC channel full of geeks and nerds, and someone links Baby Rock Records ... yes, that's right, lullaby gumdrop versions of your favorite songs from the likes of Metallica, Tool, Nine Inch Nails and many more. The Beatles ... I grew up with the actual Beatles as actual lullaby fodder. No seriously, I fell asleep more times than I can count to the sounds of The White Album alone. Granted I was a teenager, but still. Mother Nature's Son is really very peaceful. I guess Revolution, maybe not so much.

I just think it feels like cheating somehow, though. I don't have children, so perhaps that's why I don't understand. I do however know people who have children, people who listen to the bands Baby Rock lullabizes (ooh, new word!), and every one of them I can think of would just play the real thing for their kids, at least, as far I know. I immediately decided the very existence of these CDs was a tragedy, a horror visited upon our youth, a thing to fear and shy away from, like sunlight, or perhaps hygiene.

But then I listened to the clips, and then to a couple more - there's something really kind of captivatingly creepy about Smells Like Teen Spirit played on a glockenspiel, wordless, just this sort of plinking, cheery chiming. Maybe Kurt could have kept going if he'd had his own melodies played back to him so sweetly. Or maybe he's turning in his grave now, who can say. I do wonder what sort of dreams the gentle sounds of Sunday Bloody Sunday will inspire. And will baby have the strangest sense of deja vu when he or she hears Something I Can Never Have on the oldies station of the future? It's the sort of thing that leads to far too much existential thinking for a Tuesday afternoon. Is it as simple as making anything warm and fuzzy by using the right instruments? I'm vaguely reminded of the old game of cussing out your dog in the sweetest voice imaginable and having him roll over and slather for you, but scaring him under the table by saying "Good dog, best dog!" in a horrible, aggressive tone. I won't even go into the irony of Mother being made into a lullaby. I just won't.

I'm disturbed, but intrigued. I mean, someone took the time and care to craft these songs into lullabies. Someone, one would imagine, who did so out of shrewd business sense, not out of a drunken or otherwise inebriated state such as the average joe might invent this kind of thing. I wouldn't have believed it was real if I hadn't heard it myself. And it clearly has a market! More than 3500 friends on MySpace, and hundreds of supportive comments. According to their MySpace blog, they made it into the Grammy Gift Bags. They even have a special Hot Topic edition if you're a Various Artists sort of person. Heck, even as I sit here now, making jokes, I find myself strangely attracted... I wouldn't buy them for a child, but you know, I'd buy them for that especially hard-to-shop-for person, as that perfect gift for the fan who has everything else. And if I got one from someone? I could see myself listening to it, at least now and then. If for nothing else than that sort of serene yet surreal feeling I keep getting right now as I find myself compelled to click every single active mp3 link on the page... so ... mellow ... so ... happy ... *snorksniffle* wha? I'm awake! I'm awake!

Is it a travesty of musical justice? I don't think so, unless of course this is ALL you allow your children to listen to. I'm honestly rather curious what the bands whose music is on these albums think of all this. To decide what YOU think of it all, I really do encourage you to go listen to their selections on MySpace. It's trippy. It's weird, which coming from me says a LOT. And you might well be horrified - I know I was at first. But let the soothing sounds of the vibrophone and the glockenspiel wash over you, and maybe you'll find yourself giggling with guilty pleasure like I have been the better part of the afternoon.

Don't worry. Trent and Robert Smith and the rest will still be there in your CD collection should you need to rinse your brain out when you're done. And no one will revoke your Heavy Metal Points for getting a kick out of it. Unless, of course, you actually admit you liked it. Then all bets are off.

Listen:
Sunday Bloody Sunday clip
Something I Can Never Have clip
Smells Like Teen Spirit clip
Mother clip


Visit:
Baby Rock Records on MySpace
Baby Rock Records homepage

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2 Comments:

Anonymous dasMobius said...

Wow! Some of these lullabies sound scary. It's all minor chords and stuff played on a music box - like something you'd hear on the Exorcist or something.

It is a very clever idea though. I'm surprised at how well Nine Inch Nails translates! Haha!

Thursday, February 22, 2007  
Anonymous cchang said...

Hell, I'd play that for my kids....(anyone notice the graphics are going nuts on this page...wtf? what happened to my adzuki beans?)

Friday, February 23, 2007  

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