CLEMENTOWN "POLKA BATS AND OCTOPUS SLACKS - THE MUSIC"
The Sound: Everything, plus the kitchen sink, washing machine and Cuisinart. There are no fewer than 5 genres of music explored over the course of the 28 tracks included here. A sprawling, glorious and beautiful mess of an album.
In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: Recess Monkey, Gustafer Yellowgold, They Might Be Giants
Best Moments: "Kansas City Octopus" may go down as my all-time favorite song under 100-seconds long. And while I contend that Calef Brown's image of the funky octopus will add greatly to the enjoyment of this incredible, funkdafied track, it's still a gem of a song without the pictorial aid. The Muddy Waters-inspired "Seven Bad Teeth" is a riot. The bubble-gum pop of "Gumbubble Monday" could be a top-40 hit in an alternate, better universe, while "Mulligan Poker" is as good a country song as there is if, you know, there were country songs about two dogs playing a silly game where "the only rule is to act like a fool and pretend the cards are the same".
Bonus Thoughts: The Clementown CD has just one Calef Brown book in it's title ("Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks"), but the album's 28 tracks cover all the stories in this book and "Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers".
Bonus Bonus Thought: Check out the video for "Ed":
Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: One word - Obsessed. My two girls have embedded the Clementown CD and both Calef Brown books into their brains. At random, they will shout the following absurdities: "Sleeping Fruit", "Polka Turds", "Go Snowman, Go Snowman" and many more lyrics/song titles from this CD. The Bear and Mouse have fallen head over heels for the music and the books, and the Mrs. and I have as well. I strongly advise you pick up the affordable, paperback books to accompany the disc. If you're reading OWTK and you've made it down here to the last sentence, I feel pretty strongly in stating that you too are going to fall in love with the absurdity that is Clementown.
*For Minnesota readers: Catch a very special, free Clementown live performance with guest author/illustrator Calef Brown - at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis on January 2nd 2010. More info here.
*The "Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks" CD and both books were provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true - no arm twisting took place in the review process.