Archive for the ‘Muckaferguson’ Category

myhomeSOUNDTRACK: MUCKAFERGUSON-“MC Speller” (2010).

muckaI had never heard of Muckaferguson.  Okay, that is not true, as I see I made a post about them because of the They Might be Giants song “John Lee Supertaster.”  Because the real John Lee is a indeed a supertaster and was in the band Muckaferguson. (And John Flansburgh of TMBG produced this album).  So there.  But I still hadn’t heard them until now.

This song comes from that album.

The album is a flurry of genres and styles, and amid all of this, we get this old school beat box rap (sorta early Beastie Boysish).  And I like it because it is quite funny.  And since it’s only a minute and a half long, I’ll put all the lyrics, because I can’t pick a favorite line:

my name is mc speller and i like to spell…s p e l l spells spell. mc speller and i love to spell…q u e u e spells queue.

he’s a maniac, ya’ll. here comes the heart attack, yo. chris likes food. andy like atari. i like the work of john baldessari. my rhymes are fresh and my moves are hard. i play the plastic guitar like baudrillard.

my name is mc speller and i like to spell…d a d spells dad. mc speller and i love to spell…r h o n g spells wrong.

i’m mc scared of bees, ya’ll cause you know that i’m scared of bees, ya’ll. when i see a bee i run because by definition i’m scared of bees.

yo, i’m comin’ to you straight out of sutton in suburban south london. white, middle class, educated 20 something. i got me degree in pure mathematics. i don’t like to rap i’m just being sarcastic.

r i g h t spells right, mc speller’s gonna spell all night, talkin’ about. n i g h t spells night, mc speller spells everything right

Despite the kid friendly nature of some of some of these songs, the album as a whole is definitely not kid friendly (I mean, look at the cover and, frankly the band’s name).  The song “I Wanna Get…” is all about getting, well, F’d up, so be mindful.  But many of the songs are delightfully witty.

John Lee, incidentally, is also responsible for the show Wonder Showzen, so if you know the show, you get a sense of the kind of mischief he makes.

[READ: August 9, 2014] My Homework Ate My Homework

Regardless of how I felt about Guinea Dog 1 and 2 (overall I liked them quite a bit), it was impossible not to snap up a book with a title like this.  Especially when the book is about a ferret.  (The cover is by the same artist as the Guinea Dog books, which led me to assume the style was similar, which it was).

This book is about 10-year-old Zaritza (the unusual name is never explained).  She is… dramatic.  And is a fan of dramatic….  pauses.  She is incredibly excited to be playing Calamity Jane in the upcoming traveling theater production of Calamity Jane.  She has watched the film dozens of times and has her “Calam” down perfectly.

The problem is that if she doesn’t bring her grades up she’s won’t be allowed to do extra curricular activities.  Like drama.  She is not the best student, so rather than actually doing her work, she decides to do some extra credit.  Like bringing the classroom pet Ferret home for the weekend.  She hates the ferret.  She hates its smell, she hates its look. Hates it.  But she needs the credit.  And so it comes home.  And then she forgets to close the cage door and the ferret gets out.


While the ferret is out, and they are trying to catch it, Zaritza hears something–gnawing.  And that’s when her homework ate her homework. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS-“John Lee Supertaster” (2002).

I love They Might Be Giants.  And I love their kids’ records.  This was their first one, No!.  It’s got that awesome craziness of TMBG but lyrically, it’s more “educational.”  Unlike the Here Comes series, No! is not overtly educational (I mean, check out the nonsense that is “Violin”), but the themes are all smart.

“John Lee Supertaster” is about a supertaster.   Supertasters are people whose tastes buds are crazily sensitive and so everything tastes even more powerful than what most people taste (that can be good and bad).

The song opens with an introduction that tells about Supertasters and about a real life supertsatser who John Flansburg met.

The song is a cool, funky song, with funk bass and a great guitar solo.  It’s a short song (two minutes including all of the introductions) but it’s a very cool one.  It’s catchy (I dare you not to sing along) and informative.

I also just learned that it’s all true.  According to the TMBG wiki: “The real John Lee is a man from the band Muckafurgason, whose album was produced by John Flansburgh.”

(And it rocks, too).

[READ: December 10, 2011] Babymouse: Rock Star

This Babymouse book came before Babymouse: The Musical and it’s possible that the Holms used up all of their great music ideas in this plot.  I enjoyed it quite a bit (maybe it’s because I like rock more than musicals?).

The story opens with a fantasy of Babymouse as a rock star with everyone chanting her name…until it is revealed that the chanting is actually coming from her brother Squeak.  When Babymouse gets to school, we learn that she plays flute in the school band.

She is in the second to last seat (because the screech from her flute cracks the polar ice caps and causes elephants to stampede).

After a cool Pied Piper dream sequence, Babymouse learns that Penny, a poodle who was embarrassed earlier by Felicia Furrypaws on the bus, will happily teach Babymouse how to play better (especially if it embarrasses Felicia).  The next several pages show Babymouse in her full-on fantasy mode as a music video star (which includes a Tori Amouse cover version of her hit song–nice touch).

Penny teaches Babymouse to relax.  She has practices it enough so she knows the music, she just has to feel the music (good advice).  Suddenly the hills are alive with the sound of music.

Babymouse appears in the next school band performance and she has a small victory for herself (which is always nice to see in a Babymouse book).

This was an enjoyable continuation of the series.

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