and you thought devolution didn’t exist

There seems to be some debate on the internet as to whether or not we, the fans of the band DEVO, should be supporting their most recent attempt to build their brand and monetize the material in their library. Personally, I think it’s great, but I can see how some die-hard fans might find a partnership with Disney a bit distasteful, especially as it entails having enthusiastic, photogenic young performers covering the band’s classics (without even the slightest hint of irony). They’re calling the new Disneyfied incarnation of the band DEV2.0. (Thanks to Boing Boing for the tip.)

I get the whole Trojan horse idea, and think it’s brilliant, but, even if this weren’t just a clever delivery mechanism to sneak their music into the ear holes of a new generation, and it were just an attempt to make some more money, I don’t think that I’d care. DEVO has somehow positioned themselves, at least in my mind, to be beyond criticism. If the Ramones had sold the rights for one of their songs to be used in an ad for Target, and then followed that up by joining with Disney to hire some attractive blonde kids to cover their tunes, I’d have made it my life’s mission to hunt each and every member of the band down and make them pay for what they’d done. With DEVO, though, it just makes me smile. They could be President Bush’s official house-band and it would make me smile. I’d just be thinking, “How fucking brilliant is that?”

Here’s the explanation of DEV2.0 posted at Club DEVO:

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.

For my money, I like what these fifth graders in Minnesota did better… At least they wore their energy domes when they played. (In case you couldn’t tell a difference, the top photo is of the cast of Disney’s DEV2.0, and the second photo is from the fifth-grade student talent show in Minnesota.)

And it doesn’t really fit here, but my absolute favorite DEVO sellout product is the single action figure with the five, plastic snap-on heads.

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8 Comments

  1. Stella Magdalen
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    that is purely wierd. I’ll have to cogitate on it for awhile.

  2. mark
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I want to produce The Sex Pistols 2.0. I just need to find four really attractive kids.

  3. danandkitty
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I had heard about this a while ago, but actually hearing the kids sing “Peekaboo” while looking at the Disney Music web-site that it’s on was enough to make my head asplode. Whoaa. I like Devo a lot, but have always found many of their songs very disturbing. Peekaboo, in particular. I want to see the video, but it’s not playing on my Mac.

  4. mark
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    The videos were playing for me yesterday, but not today. I’m not sure what’s going on.

  5. chris
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, given the blogger’s argument I concur wholeheartedly! Here! Here!

    Iggy Pop shilled out for Carnival Cruise Lines

    Nick Drake for Farfugnuven (you know what I mean) from beyond the grave no less

    I swear I heard a Pixies riff on an Army enlistment commercial, and at the very least they did do a song for the Shrek 2 soundtrack

    And please let us not forget Bob Dylan’s music commercial for Victoria’s Secret which to this day I am sure I dreamted it

    And last but not least, Jesus for the GOP

    So,Devo? Why not?

    But yeah, you’re right…nothing’s sacred anymore. That little blond girl is especially annoying. No wait, they all bugged the fuck out of me esp the lead guitarist (?!?!?!? did I just say lead guitarist?) and his stupid moussed hair cut.

  6. danandkitty
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    The kids from the MIdwest are way better than the new ones. Oh well. It’s like Beta and VHS.

  7. Theodore Glass
    Posted January 30, 2006 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    GG Allin 2.0

  8. chris
    Posted January 30, 2006 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    GG Allin hee-hee

    Throbbing Gristle 2.0

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