Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand,” Reimagined as a Dr. Seuss Book

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

There are very few bands more rock and roll than Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Likewise, it doesn’t get much more kid-awesome than Dr. Suess. Mash them both together as Dr. FaustusAU has done, and you’ve got one amazingly creepy-fun rendition of Cave’s Red Right Hand.

Get to know Dr. FaustusAU.

See the video for Red Right Hand. Get to know Nick Cave.

A big thank you to Flavorwire for sharing!

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

Flavorwire

The Internet can be the worst place, but occasionally something comes along that makes you glad that it exists — like, for instance, this Dr Seuss-style rendering of Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand.” These are the things you’d never get to see if it wasn’t for the web — they’d be in someone’s desk drawer, or something the artist’s friends laughed at in delight over drinks. Instead, the whole world can appreciate the work of one DrFaustusAU (who previously gave us a Seussian interpretation of The Call of Chthulu). This, which we discovered via Dangerous Minds, may just be his/her finest work yet. Click through and marvel at just how well it works.

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Loud. Fast. Hard. Live Banjo.

Trying to keep it together before the show.

Trying to keep it together before the show.

You know that moment when you get all giddy with excitement waiting with the crowd for a show to start? I love that about live music. However, that was not my experience just before the start of my last concert. Just moments before the band took the stage I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I’ve been known to get claustrophobic at shows, but never like this. Looking around the room at the hundreds of children and their adults, I thought, “This was a mistake. HUGE mistake.” Sitting cross-legged on the floor, tot in lap, I couldn’t believe I’d been suckered into a kid’s concert again.  But within a few bars of the first song, that dread dissipated. This wasn’t any typical kids music performance, it was The Okee Dokee Brothers.

It was a fine day to sit on the floor.

Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander getting this party started.

This was obviously a kids show, but there was plenty for adults to enjoy. The production was really well done and the music was great. There were obviously plenty of big fans in the audience because many, kids and adults alike, were singing along to all the songs.

There was a lot of encouragement for the audience to dance (This could be considered another sign it was a kids music show, but I’ve been to hip hop concerts). Several times TotGirl stood up as if to dance, head bent toward the floor, froze and then slowly sat back down again. She can’t help it, it’s in her blood. To my shock, both children willingly joined the “train o’ kids” that snaked through the audience during Memphis Town. TotBoy’s favorite part of the event was “when we danced ALLL CRAAAAAZY at the end.”

If there has to be an educational supplement, dear Lord, let it be this one.

If there has to be an educational supplement, dear Lord, let it be this one.

You know what’s another sure sign of kids music? Educational supplements. However, as far as educational supplements go, this one is pretty stellar. A music person can appreciate the mention of Odetta, Lead Belly and Bill Monroe as innovators of folk music. If an educational supplement is what it’s gonna take for my kid’s preschool to go on an Okee Dokee Brothers field trip, I will stop my yakking.

If you read this review from the Chicago Tribune, you’ll get a strong wiff of kids music:

“Without getting preachy or heavy-handed, Mailander and Lansing come off like happy, kind and fun big brothers eager to show their younger siblings how to have an ethically sound and green-conscious good time.”

This review is better:

“Like the great Woody Guthrie, they’ve tapped into that magic quality of folk music to bridge the age gap and connect listeners young and old with their universal message.” UTNE Reader.

If you go see The Okee Dokee Brothers in concert, you won’t forget you are listening to music for kids, but you won’t hate yourself for singing along. That’s good enough for me.

Get to know The Okee Dokee Brothers.

Talk about redemption.

Ask 100 parents how they approach talking about bad things in the world, and you’ll get 100 different opinions. But this Mama thinks it’s important to discuss challenging subjects.  It’s important to talk about slavery. It’s important to discuss oppression and discrimination in age appropriate ways. One way to start that conversation is through music.

Tot Rocker: Redemption Song by Bob Marley (sleepy baby)

Rolling Stone places Redemption Song at #66 of the top 500 songs of all time, behind No woman, no cry at #37. (Incidently, Hotel California is at #49. Ruh- Roh.)

Redemption Song is credited to Bob Marley and Edwin Hawkins, but the iconic lines “emancipate yourself from mental slavery… none but ourselves can free our minds” are attributed to civil rights activist Marcus Garvey in 1937. There have been several covers of Redemption Song lately (you probably have to try really hard to make a bad version of this song), but my favorite cover is by Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer.

Other Tot Rockers by Bob Marley: I think this is a gimme. Like The Beatles, Bob Marley has so many very recognizable songs and so many of them  translate easily into a lullaby that potentially every child has heard Three little birds and No woman, no cry by kindergarten. But just in case they haven’t, there you go.

Similar Tot Rockers: Police and Thieves by Junior Murvin (sleepy baby), Black boys on mopeds by Sinead O’Connor (sleepy baby).

Stuff to think about: 

New Republic: Cities need to understand what riots over police brutality are saying. 

New York Times: To talk Baltimore with kids, focus on the positive.

Get to know Bob Marley

Motorcycles and Mamas

Some quality time last summer around a bike.

Some quality time last summer around a bike.

“Mama,” TotRock Girl said, “tomollow [sic] can we wash your motorcycle?” Spring might be coming along slowly, but motorcycling season is just around the corner. And a girl that wants to get her hands dirty and spend some quality time with her Mama by washing a motorcycle? It’s most assuredly the most beautiful thing I’ve heard all day. To commemorate the sacred occasion, let’s have a motorcycle themed Tot Rocker.

 Mr. Young’s more popular song about ladies riding motorcycles, Unknown Legend, came 14 years after Motorcycle Mama on the album Comes a Time (1978). I can’t think of another musician that has two songs about lady riders, so way to go, Neil. I particularly appreciate that both of these songs depict women driving motorcycles. I could go on and on about the importance of women with their own hands on the throttle, but let’s just listen to the song, shall we?

Tot Rocker: Motorcycle Mama by Neil Young:

Kind: Awake Baby

Reasons it’s a Tot Rocker: Motorcycle Mama is about subject matter kids know: mamas and motorcycles. It has a few  “ooo’s”, “oh yeah’s” sprinkled about for fun, it’s a great song, and even reinforces Mama as the preferred title for this mother (remember Don’t call me Mommy?)

A thing a beauty.

A thing of beauty.

Other Tot Rockers by Neil Young: Helpless (sleepy baby), Teach your Children (sleepy baby), Hey hey (sleepy baby)

Other Tot Rockers about motorcycles: Motobike by The Olympic Hopefuls (awake baby), Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las (awake baby)

If you still have a toothache from the my girl’s sweet evocation, don’t worry. Less than 5 minutes later she was crying because I hurt her feelings. By her report, I hurt them by singing along with the radio. Aaaand we’re back.

Get to know Neil Young.

Vroom. Vroom.

My feet can’t fail me now!

Stop what you are doing and watch this video now.

I’ll wait:

Feel better? I knew that you would. I foresee your tots and everyone else in your world will be similarly impacted. So spread it around.

My feet can fail me now by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has the cure for what ails you.

Kind: Awake Baby

Reasons: There are 6 words, people- it don’t get more simple, and heck kids totally know what feet are. The upbeat tempo, the clapping, and damn it’s a good song are all the makings for a spectacular tot rocker.

Similar Tot Rockers: Eh la ba by Lizzie Miles (awake baby), Iko Iko by the Dixie Cups (awake baby)

Happy Mardi Gras, ya’ll. Thank you WWOZ for today’s inspiration!