Gustafer Yellowgold’s Wisdom Tooth of Wisdom Is The Most Intriguing And Original Children’s Story So Far This Year

Courtesy:  Apple Eye Productions

Courtesy: Apple Eye Productions

2014 has been a good year so far for children’s releases. New albums from The Okee Dokee Brothers, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Danny Weinkauf and others have proven to be some of the most enjoyable albums to be released in said genre so far. There are others of course. These are just a few of the year’s top new releases. Now as the year winds down, another new release has come along that is sure to make audiences take notice. That release is Gustafer Yellowgold’s the Wisdom Tooth of Wisdom. The latest release from musician Morgan Taylor, this sixth story about the former resident of the sun sees Gustafer on a journey to find the owner of a giant tooth. The very story presented here is the most important factor in the appreciation of this new release. While being central to the overall appreciation, the story presented in this release is only part of the whole that audiences will appreciate. Also worth noting is the music. By and large, the instant comparison that can be made in this release is to The Flaming Lips of all bands. Although there is one song in the story that bears quite a resemblance to The Beatles circa Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Rounding out the whole presentation is the fact that the story is presented by orally and visually. Taylor’s not so young (but still young enough) audiences will appreciate the use of what is essentially storyboarding to tell the story of Gustafer’s journey. The storyboarding helps bring fully to life the story presented in the set’s audio side. It is the final noteworthy portion of this presentation. And together with the release’s music and very story, it makes the story in whole one that any older child will want to hear at least once with their parents.

It goes without saying that in listening to singer/songwriter Morgan Taylor’s latest Gustafer Yellowgold story that it is one of the most intriguing and yet original children’s works to be released so far this year. Its very story is one that exemplifies this critic’s firm belief that children’s releases are actually more creative and original than most albums released for grown-ups. That argument can be backed up just by going through this outlandishly original story. Presented here is the story of former sun resident Gustafer Yellowgold’s journey to find the owner of a giant wisdom tooth. Yes, a giant wisdom tooth. Few musicians, bands and groups can claim to have ever crafted such a story, regardless of whether said story be for adults or kids. The only story that even begins to come close is the short story ‘Imaginary Friend’ from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. And that story alone only filled out one song from a whole album of songs. It was a song about a boy’s imaginary friend named Pickles. Pickles liked mustard popsicles and came from another planet totally unlike that of Earth. That being noted, it can be said again that this latest adventure of Gustafer Yellowgold is easily one of the most intriguing and original children’s works to be released this year. It’s just one reason that older children and their parents will want to check out this story at least once.

The journey on which Gustafer Yellowgold embarks in this story is the central point of the whole presentation’s interest. It is definitely the most original and intriguing children’s work to be released so far this year. The music that accompanies the story adds another layer to the presentation’s interest. Those that might be familiar with the band’s work will instantly make a comparison to famed indie-rock act The Flaming Lips in listening to the story’s musical side. Even Taylor himself sounds somewhat liked TFL front man Wayne Coyne. At the same time, the song ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ conjures thoughts of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with its mix of vocals, guitar and horn arrangements. Audiences will laugh almost hysterically as Taylor sings about Gustafter getting his face numbed at a dentist’s office. Audiences can check out the song’s official video online now via Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YsQOhjVB1c&feature=youtu.be. To say that the combination of the song and video trippy would not do either one justice. They must be experienced first-hand in order for audiences to really appreciate the artistry that went into both elements. It’s just one more reason that audiences will want to experience Gustafer Yellowgold’s latest adventure at least once.

The story and the music that make up Gustafer Yellowgold and the Wisdom Tooth of Wisdom collectively exemplify why this story is the year’s most original and intriguing for children so far this year. By themselves, the story and its music make for one heck of a ride for listeners. Together with the story’s visual side included in the set’s DVD, the story is made whole. The use of storyboards of sorts is just as ingenious and creative as the story and its music. There is no narrator; only Taylor singing. And each storyboard also includes the lyrics to the story’s songs. So audiences can follow along with ease as the story progresses. It makes the overall experience like watching a book on television. Together with the work’s music and its very story, the tale’s visual side completes the overall presentation, proving once more just why this story is one that every parent should take in at least once with their older children.

Gustafter Yellowgold’s Wisdom Tooth of Wisdom is the single most original and intriguing story to be released for children so far this year. Whether it be for the story itself, its indie-pop sound or its original visual storytelling style, plenty can be noted as to why audiences should experience this story at least once. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Gustafer Yellowgold and his many adventures is available online at:

Website: http://www.gustaferyellowgold.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gustafter

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Gustafer

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Weinkauf’s Children’s Debut Is One Of 2014’s Top 10 Best New Children’s Albums

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records/Idlewild Recordings

Courtesy: Megaforce Records/Idlewild Recordings

Bassist Danny Weinkauf is best known for his work with the quirky cult favorite band They Might Be Giants. He will be known for much more when he releases his debut children’s album No School Today next month. No School Today is just as enjoyable for parents that know Weinkauf for his work with TMBG as it is for the children at whom it is aimed. That’s because the songs aside, its sound is at times similar to that of TMBG’s catalogue. Weinkauf even openly admitted in an interview to promote his new album that the album’s opener, ‘Archaeology’ was written in response to fans of TMBG confusing the song ‘Paleontologist’, calling it his [Weinkauf’s] “Archeology”song. He said, “Several times after a Giants show, people would come up and tell me how much they liked my“Archaeology” song. They were confusing the title of ‘Paleontologist,’ but I decided to honor them by writing another song.” It is a wonderful way for grown up fans of MTBG to introduce their own children to their favorite band. Another of this album’s songs that the whole family will enjoy is the mid-tempo rocker ‘Champion of the Spelling Bee.’ This song features Weinkauf’s son Kai on vocals. And the vocal talents of the younger Weinkauf are surprisingly impressive. These two songs are both great examples of what makes No School Today such a fun record. They are collectively only a portion of what makes this album so enjoyable. Just as fun for the whole family is ‘The Moon is Made of Cheese.’ The song’s title is self-explanatory. At the same time that it uses the old joke of the moon’s composition, it also teaches a short musical history lesson and even pokes fun at the conspiracy theorists out there. All these elements combined together make this one more of this album’s highest points. When set alongside the rest of the album’s songs, it becomes one more part of a whole album that every family should add to their child’s music library.
No School Today is a wonderful album for the whole family. That’s because Danny Weinkauf incorporates elements of They Might Be Giants throughout the course of the album’s sixteen songs. Right from the album’s outset, he pays tribute to fans of TMBG with a semi-companion piece to the song ‘Paleontology,’titled ‘Archaeology.’ Weinkauf noted in an interview promoting his new album that ‘Archaeology’ is a tribute to fans of TMBG who constantly called ‘Paleontology’ by the wrong name. At the same time that it’s a companion to the noted TMBG song, it’s just as enjoyable in its own shoes because it teaches a fun, musical science lesson for young listeners. Weinkauf sings in the song, “We’ll survey around the grounds/Seeking data that abounds/Then postulate on what we’ve found/Will our reasoning be sound?” Listeners can actually see scientists probing an excavation site, gathering items and studying them as he sings. That ease of visualization, the simple lyrics, and the song’s seemingly Beatles influenced sound collectively make the song even more fun for listeners of all ages. And it’s only the beginning of the fun for Weinkauf’s fans. Another one of the many high points shared throughout the course of this album is the grammatically-themed song, ‘Champion of the Spelling Bee.’
Danny Weinkauf’s debut children’s album is loaded with more high points than can be noted in one sitting. One of those many high points has already been raised in the album’s opener. Another high point worth mentioning is the grammatically-themed light rocker, ‘Champion of the Spelling Bee.’ Weinkauf’s son Kai takes center stage in this song. And he does so in surprisingly impressive fashion, singing, “Is it French/Is it Latin/Does it come from the Greek/Tell me of its derivation/Is it ooh/Is it oh that you speak/Do I have correct pronunciation/I’ve been readin’ every night from the dictionary/Memorizin’every word/My teacher says that I could be extraordinary/If I just would put in the work.” The young man’s vocals are quite sharp as is the song’s driving guitar line. The song gains even more footing in the fact that directly or not, it serves as a starting point in promoting literacy among young listeners. It’s an added bonus to a song that thanks to its catchy hooks and choruses is already a joy to begin with. That added to the mix makes it all the more enjoyable of a listen whether in the classroom, the living room or even in the car.
Both ‘Champion of the Spelling Bee’ and ‘Archaeology’ are great additions to No School Today. There is at least one more song from this standout debut from Danny Weinkauf worth noting in just one sitting. That song is the science-themed song, ‘The Moon is Made of Cheese.’ The title itself makes one want to listen to the song. And in listening to the song, audiences will not be disappointed. Weinkauf playfully pokes fun at all the conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landing never happened all while teaching a history lesson about the moon landing. He even incorporates the old joke of the moon being made of cheese. The song’s punk style musical backing makes the song as a whole even more enjoyable for listeners of all ages. As enjoyable as the song is, it’s only one more of so many wonderful examples of why No School Today is without a doubt, one of the top ten best new children’s albums of 2014. No School Today can be pre-ordered online now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/No-School-Today-Danny-Weinkauf/dp/B00IQFBZPA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1395837036&sr=1-1&keywords=Danny+Weinkauf.
Parents and kids can check out the lyrics to every song on No School Today on Danny Weinkauf’s official website, http://www.dannyweinkauf.com. While there, fans can also learn more about who played on the album, keep up with the latest news from Danny, and even check out music videos for some of Danny’s songs. Fans can also keep up with all of the latest from Danny Weinkauf on his official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/Danny.Weinkauf. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Danny Weinkauf Announces Release Date For Solo Family Debut

Courtesy:  Idewild Records/Red Distribution

Courtesy: Idewild Records/Red Distribution

They Might Be Giants bassist Danny Weinkauf will release his debut solo family album this Spring.

No School Today will be released Tuesday, April 29th via Idewild Records.  The sixteen-song album includes songs that cover a number of topics.  From topics as simple as spelling bees and the four food groups to more in-depth topics such as voting rights and a song about fellow musician Ben Folds, this album runs the gamut.  Weinkauf even follows up his hit song ‘I Am A Paleontologist’ (from They Might Be Giants Grammy-nominated album Here Comes Science) with a new song simply titled ‘Archaeology.’  Says Weinkauf of the song’s birth, “Several times after a Giants show, people would come up and tell me how much they liked my “Archaeology” song.They were confusing the title of ‘Paleontologist,’ but I decided to honor them by writing another song.”

Just as interesting an addition to Weinkauf’s new solo family album is a bonus track titled ‘The Kidney That Lived in Four People.’  The song is based on a true story.  It was written and recorded with guest Hank Green of the Vlog Brothers.

Green is just one of a handful of guests on No School Today.  He also included his own son Kai, daughter Lena, wife Michelle, and fellow family music star Laurie Berkner.  She joins Weinkauff on the song ‘Our Love Fits.’

No School Today was an entirely fan-funded album.  Weinkauff funded production of his album via Kickstarter.  There was such support for No School Today that Weinkauf had reached his support goal in only five days.  He ended the campaign with the album being 160% funded.  The albums’ release will be preceded with the release of a video for the song ‘Marsupial’ in early April.  More videos will be released around the album’s release date.

More information on No School Today is available online now at http://www.dannyweinkauf.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.