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Archive for the ‘Mamma Yamma’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: TEGAN AND SARA-“Alligator” on CDC Kids’ Mamma Yamma (2010).

Tegan and Sara take a slightly different approach than the other artists on Mamma Yamma.  Rather than creating a new song, they took their hit “Alligator” and made new words for it (much like many artists have done on Sesame Street).

The melody is exactly the same (which is good, as it’s a really catchy song). But rather than being about a failed relationship, it’s about alligators.

Old lyrics: Run around on me, I’d sooner die without

New lyrics: Run around a tree, skip and jump about

It’s a cute version and the band sounds very good.

I really enjoy these introductions to interesting musicians on kids shows.  I wonder if kids actually like seeing grown up musicians like this.

You can watch it here:

[READ: April 20, 2012] Vespers Rising

I finished The 39 Clues series last year. Or so I thought!  After completing books 1-10, I found out that they were planning a whole new series.  And they began with this transitional book, which they called #11 and which was co-written by four of the prominent authors.

Vespers Rising is actually four short stories that trace the history of the Cahill family and their feud with the Vesper family.  The Vespers were not a part of the first series at all.  In the first series, the 39 Clues were a kind of Amazing Race for Cahill family members.  (I’ll get to some details about the family in a moment).  It was a kind of private race for the prize–which was a life-enhancing serum.  But this book introduces a new villain to the story and explains that the villain has been there all along, just lurking.

Rick Riordan wrote the first story in this book takes us back to the beginning.  In 1507, off the coast of Ireland, Gideon Cahill invented this serum.  He was and alchemist, seeking an antidote for the Black Death which was ravaging Europe.  He was working for Lord Damien Vesper, a man bent on power.  Vesper wasn’t interested in helping people with the Black Death–he had no real value for life–however, he was interested in the results that Gideon might discover. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: KATHLEEN EDWARDS-“Eat the Alphabet” on CBC Kids’ Mamma Yamma (2012).

I love Kathleen Edwards.  I think she has a wonderful voice (there’s something just slightly off that I think is really great).  I love all of her songs, because lyrically she’s clever and at times a little dark.

This is the only children’s song that she has sung that I know of. I don’t think it’s based on any of her proper songs.  It’s a simple strummed electric guitar ditty with a catchy chorus (as befits a children’s song).  Lyrically the song is all about different kinds of foods that start with the different letters of the alphabet.

Of course, she gets off to a strange start because after doing A (apples and apricots) and B (broccoli and banana) she gets to C which is “for Cat and mine’s called Mr T”).  She gets back on track (feta cheese!).  Although she skips J&K (which aren’t that hard, frankly).  She also skips Q and then  T, U, and V (in a way that seems like it’s improvised, although surely it isn’t).

It’s fun that she ends with Y as Mamma Yamma, our favorite talking potato.  It’s not the greatest kids song, but it is certainly fun.

You can see it here:

[READ: January-February, 2012] The Secrets of Droon: Books 17-21 & SE#2

I established with my previous Droon post that I would write posts for the books in between the Special Editions.  The arcs may not be completed, but the Special Editions seem like a natural recapping point.

I’ve been reading this series to my son and he is totally hooked.  And I have to say by the next sequence of books I was really blown away by the twist that Abbott put into the series.  At this stage, each book is getting more intense, although they are all kind of formulaic.  By the end of Book 21, though, things start to change, and the series has just gotten better and better.

Book 17 is called Dream Thief.  It has the kids waking up with dreams of Jabbo.  And Eric wakes up with a silver stone in his hand–a stone that he brought from the dream world!  The action of this book is set in the Bangeldorn Forest, where the monkeys live.  They befriend Tweet and Woot and go to the Dark Lands. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACKDALLAS GREEN-“The Gift” on CBC Kids’ Mamma Yamma (2012).

I have no idea what Mamma Yamma is (well, obviously it’s a kids’ show on CBC–Wikipedia tells me, “Mamma Yamma, who is played by puppeteer Ali Eisner, is a yam who represents Ontario as the owner of a fruit and vegetable stand in Toronto’s Kensington Market” so now we know).  It’s pretty low budget and quaint and actually rather funny.  Also, (given the few links I’ve seen on YouTube) it must host some pretty hip Canadians.

On this episode Dallas Green (who is City and Colour) sings a little tribute to Mamma.  here’s a brief intro and then he starts singing.  As one of the comments says, “Dallas Green: Phenomenal musician, terrible actor.”  And that’s pretty accurate.  If you can get through the awkward introduction (although I have to say Mamma Yamma is pretty funny…check out the clip with Jian Ghomeshi!), the song is really nice.

Dallas has a great voice.  Usually his songs are kind of angsty, but this one is really nice.  Not too many Dallas Green songs have the lyrics, “with jelly beans and sprinkles from front to back.”  I just hope that the kids aren’t running out to buy his proper album based on this.  It’s a rare treat for City and Colour fans.

[READ: November and December 2011 and January 2012] The Secrets of Droon, Books 13-SE#1

Even though I waited 12 books to talk about Droon the first time, this next section of books seems to have a definitive “arc” with SE #1 serving as a kind of transition. Book 13 introduces a new bad guy.  And although he doesn’t last all the way through to Book 16, Sparr is noticeably absent for this arc.  But just because Sparr is still missing, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of trouble in Droon.

With this book, the series grows more magic based.  One of the first reviews I’d read of the series negatively compared it to Harry Potter.  I didn’t quite understand that since (in Books 1-12) the only magic came from the people who lived in Droon; the Upper World heroes didn’t have any.  Well, since book 12, Eric has gained magic and there is a bit more of a Harry Potter element now (remember HP was published in 1997, and really hit its stride around 2000).  I have no idea if Tony Abbott intended to give his main character magical powers from the beginning.  It’s possible, as there was magic in Droon, but Eric’s magic does add a new element to things.  He doesn’t use it often, it just seems to supplement things.  And remember, it’s not like wizardry is the point of Droon, the point has always been that the kids can work together to solve their problems (notice just how often Galen has to go away and can’t help any of them).  And, of course, this series is aimed at a younger group of kids.  Consider it a gateway book. (more…)

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