Thursday, February 23, 2006


When I heard Disney Records had created a cover band of 10-13 year-olds to do remakes of Devo songs, I was nearly apoplectic!

I mean Devo?

Perverted by Disney?

Devo had changed my life.

It was 1978. I was about the age of the kids in this new band, Dev2.0. I had no inclination to contemporary music at all. The AM radio was a wasteland of melancholy ballads: You're So Vain, Gypsies Tramps and Thieves, and the insufferable Billy Don't Be a Hero.

FM radio was dominated by arena rock and the big acts of the 70s.

Then one day I saw something incredible on Saturday Night Live.


They performed Satisfaction, and then later Jocko Homo, in their yellow jumpsuits doing robotic movements, tearing them off in an orgy of de-evolution at the finale (on 10/14/1978, according to this incredible site).

And the sound was like nothing I had ever heard!

It was a revelation.

It was nerd-punk with a sinister edge.

They then became the first band I ever saw live.

As well as the second.

To be followed by the likes of the Go-Go's (also discovered on Saturday Night Live), the Ramones, the Cramps, and the B-52s.

But I digress.

Checking out the "official site" of Dev2.0, I watched the videos, and immediately realized this was TOTALLY AWESOME!




I mean, having pre-teens perkily singing those songs???

Though remade, the sound was so authentically Devo, as well as the look of the band and the videos, that it was obvious the original Devo was heavily involved in this project.

Indeed, they recorded these remakes, chose the kids, and directed the videos, all themselves.

This was a Devo project through and through.

Did they ever have the last laugh against their corporate oppressors!

Amusingly, some of the song lyrics have been re-written; for example, "Uncontrollable Urge" is no longer about a raging libido, but about a case of the munchies. And "Beautiful World" is no longer meant ironically.

Club Devo explains,
Q: DEVO + Disney = ?
A: DEV2.0

DEV2.0 is a strange, Corporate-Feudal experiment that attempts to bring the original DEVO music sensibility to children in the 5 to 8 year old demographic range.

The band is composed of 5 talented kids ranging in age from 10 to 12 years old. They are able to play and sing. DEVO produced the music for them and Gerald Casale directed all of the videos for the DVD which was funded by Buena Vista Records, a division of the Disney Company.
Brilliant. They tried to appeal to a younger segment in their New Traditionalists phase, but it didn't really pan out then (for example, consider the junior high demographic appearing in their videos for that album, and their appearance on Square Pegs -- starring a young Sarah Jessica Parker!)

They were just too ahead of their time.

Now their retro sensibilities are cool!

Be sure to listen to the videos for Big Mess, That's Good, Uncontrollable Urge, Girl U Want, and Beautiful World.

I even like their version of Big Mess better than the original, which I hated!

We're all Devo!


Post a Comment

<< Home