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DEVO 2.0

DEVO 2.0
February 20, 2008 11:28PM
Okay, I'd heard about this, but never actually heard it, until it popped up in a search for Devo videos.

I believe this is one of the most subversive albums ever made.

It's on Disney's label, and Mothersbaugh and Casale are behind the whole thing. If you've never heard it, it's rather like that great Devo live album Now It Can Be Told-- really energetic and bashing -- with a 12-year-old girl singing the songs without any of the original irony or feeling. I enjoyed everything I listened to on iTunes, and I think the boys pulled a huge scam off on Disney. What else is the concept of de-evolution if not also the de-evolution of pop culture? What's today's music scene like? Here --a bunch of once topical and biting songs from an 80's band played by a bunch of kids who have no clue as to what they're singing about. I can see Casale and Mothersbaugh rolling around on the floor once they came up with the idea and realized they were going to pull it off.

It's like The Mekons using their one major-label album as a chance to complete, viciously attack major label rock and roll -- or Armed Forces' use of pure pop sheen to disguise the incredible darkness within the lyrics, more about the ties between military facism and emotional facism than one or the other.

I am fully prepared to accept that I am overanalyzing this. The pure commercial drive of getting royalties off your back catalog and introducing a new generation to your band makes perfect sense, but it is also a part of the whole de-evolving of pop culture into pure monetary gain.

So I laughed long and hard at the cover alone -- five squeaky clean kids, with a cute blonde in the middle, arranged in a standing pyramid like bowling pins, all smiling and their heads titled to the side, drawing more attention to the red flower pot helmets they're wearing underneath "DEV 2.O".

What a great f*****g joke.

Post Edited (02-20-08 19:32)
Re: DEVO 2.0
February 20, 2008 11:57PM
I think your assessment is spot on.

"Uncontrollable Urge" by DEVO 2.0: [www.youtube.com]

I prefer this cover version by one of my favorite bands:

Post Edited (02-20-08 20:00)
Re: DEVO 2.0
February 21, 2008 05:53AM
Some readers' comments from my blog when I wrote about this 2 years ago:

"There is just something wrong here.
As creepy as those kids who sang that ABBA medley.
Wonder if Disney has plans to have a kid band line up of GG Allin and the Murder Junkies?! Can you see some cute 7 year old little tyke singign "suck my ass it smells"

"The idea is pure Devo.

The execution is pure shit.

But worst of all...

I can barely bring myself to say it....


sad smiley x 10000"

"If you want to get your kids into Devo, why not just buy them the original albums?"

"It is kind of subversive in a "do Disney know they're working with a band who have songs called 'Penetration In The Centerfold', 'I Need A Chick (To Suck My Dick)', and 'Triumph Of The Will'?" kind of way, but I'm going to try and pretend this never happened, though I know morbid curiousity will eventually bring me back here to hear the samples."

"I think I'm with the rest of you on this. They changed a lot of the lyrics. "I'm a boy with a gun" becomes "I'm a girl having fun." That singer is just an annoying little smugstress, isn't she? I liked the idea, until I watched the videos. Then again, none of this is being marketed to people like me; thank Booji for that."

"Man or Astroman? did this shtick almost ten years ago, when they sent out the "beta unit" and the "gamma unit" along with the "alpha unit" (original band), so there were three versions of the band touring at once. (At least I think they did this...)
Props to Devo for adding the all-child wrinkle, though. I'm assuming that changing the last line of "Beautiful World" was mandated by the corporate suits at Dizco, but you never know. Devo might be using the occasion to grab some quick cash and laugh all the way to the bank. Hey, all those who hold DEVO so dear, WASN'T THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF THE BAND THAT THINGS WERE GETTING SHITTIER AND SHITTIER AS TIME GOES ON???????
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