I’m not usually a fan of scary horrific alternate realities but when they’re part of an alternate Sesame Street parody reality where Stranger Things, Netflix’s hit show where up is down and down is up and your laundry bill to wash away all the slime is ridiculously high, becomes Sharing Things, then I’m all in.
In yet another masterful playfully affectionate send-up of a hot pop culture property, Cookie Monster is the Cookiegorgon, who, surprise surprise wants to eat everything, Ernie is Dustin and Grover is Lucas, “a cute, adorable child of the ’80s” who simply wants to play a nice safe boardgame and 11 is, well, she’s the actual number 11 with, yep you got it, a number 8 as a sister (c’mon surely you can see the family resemblance).
Oh and Barb is still stuck in the Snackside Down, hoping Nancy will remember her … but hey she has a waffle so everything’s great right?
Hmmm not so much but Snackside Up everyone is learning to share with artistic evidence to prove it.
You’ll laugh … you’ll hop … and you’ll share your lollies (candy) and cookies …
One of the great, inestimable joys in life is when Sesame Street parodies a show you love.
Their brilliantly-realised parodies are a joy on just about every level – they capture the look and feel of the target show while making merry with its premise, its characters and plots while teaching all of us a valuable life lesson.
Their latest effort sends up The Walking Dead, which began its eighth season just last week, with the rapacious The Walking Gingerbeard‘s Crumbies turning up to eat all of Sheriff Graham’s (get it? get it?) cookies, all of them (oh the trauma!) and it takes the combined efforts of Muppet versions of Daryl and Michonne to make the forest safe for Sheriff Graham again.
The one big sticking point as the parody takes us to a host of The Walking Dead‘s favourite locales, all of which are surrounded by hungry Crumbies, is that Cookie Monster must be patient and not eat the cookies.
You can pretty much imagine how well that turns out.
The Walking Gingerbread is an absolute gem, proof that Sesame Street, which has long used pop culture to amplify it teaching lessons, is as strong in the parodying game as ever.
Take seeing a “Monster in the Mirror” for instance.
In this fun song, written by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles which debuted in 1989, Grover sees his reflection in the mirror. Rather than get scared by the monster staring back at him, he sings “Wubba wubba wubba wubba, woo woo woo” and with some help from celebrity pals like Candice Bergen, Ray Charles and Julia Roberts, gets so comfortable with his mirrored self that he evens embraces him by the end of the song.
Awww that’s my Grover!
Now to mark this year’s Halloween festivities, an animated lyric video of the song has been released by Sesame Street on their YouTube channel.
Featuring many of Grover’s besties like Herry Monster, Cookie Monster, Telly Monster and Count von Count, it breathes whole new monstrously fun life into the song, with Groovy getting his mummy on, bandages flailing all around him as he comes to grips with who the monster in the mirror is – a lovely guy who seems to agree with everything Grover says!
Welcome to Backyard with Bert, a vlog hosted by your favorite Sesame Street duo: Bert and Ernie! In today’s vlog, Bert & Ernie are competing in the Pumpkin Painting Challenge where they’ll have to draw a self-portrait on their pumpkins…blindfolded! (synopsis via Laughing Squid)
Ernie and Bert have been together a long time as close friends and roomies (and no, I have no intention of going any further with that, thank you) and so it makes the the hilarious yin and yang pair would team up on Bert’s new weekly vlog series Backyard with Bert.
Part Martha Stewart homemaker fabulousness, part DIY fiesta and all Bert being adorably serious and intense – as is his way; Ernie on the other hand not so much – one of the latest episodes feature two friends, who bicker like only two longstanding friends can do, about the vlog’s newest project – painting faces on pumpkins.
It’s a hot topic, what with Halloween looming and all, and so Bert gives it his all, blindfoldedly creating a life-realistic (he thinks so, at least) self-image, while Ernie … well, who not watch and see.
Suffice to say it’s very funny and a lesson in, ahem, being prepared.
Sesame Street is justifiably famous for a great many things.
Its still-necessary mission to educate the children of the world through bold and imaginative means, its hilarous parodies of all kind of pop culture moments (complete with rteachable moments) … and of course, “Manamana”, a catchy as all get out song, that debuted on the 47 season long show in just its 14th episode, way better in 1969.
The song very much reflected the spirit of the time with a heavy beatnik influence and an infectious folk vibe that caught on like crazy.
So popular was the song that the original version, featured beatnik Bip Bippadotta and two girls who riff around him, was updated for the first ever episode of The Muppet Show in 1976 where Bip became Mahna Mahna, backed by the fabulously-named Snowths.
You can see why the song was so catchy so quickly, and if you ever needed proof that Sesame Street had it all together and then some from the word go, I give you exhibit A.
Oh who are we kidding? It can be freaking impossible much of the time, and so, we look to those with wisdom, experience, special insights and well-earned truth to guide us.
As figures of authority go, you can’t do much better than Sesame Street‘s Cookie Monster, who knows a thing or two about making life a whole lot easier to get through, especially if, like him, you are more than partial to a cookie or two (or the whole packet; go on you know that’s what you end up eating).
In his advice-packed new book from Imprint, The Joy of Cookies: Cookie Monster’s Guide to Life, we are given sugar-filled (or nuts, you can have nuts too if you want) advice on all kinds of tricky life issues, all of it inspired by a recent commercial Cookie Monster did for Apple.
As you can see, it’s wisdom for the ages.
As long, of course, during those ages, you have access to eggs, butter, flour and all kinds of delicious add-ins such as chocolate chips or, yes, nuts.
With a cookie in your mouth, it’s way easier to duck and weave through the various slings and arrows of misfortune that befall us in life, and to celebrate all the good times too.
Does Cookie Monster have his blue furry finger on the pulse of life? Yes he does.
Is this book a must-buy purchase come April 2018. Like you even need to ask.
Now stop wondering what to do next, grab a cookie (or the whole packet) and hit the road, confident that all you need is Cookie Monster’s expert advice to get you through.
In the case of the catchiest song of the US summer, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi (feat. Daddy Yankee), that means lots of airplay, remixes without count and the constant presence of the song on just about platform imaginable.
It also means, Sesame Street fans rejoice, an absolutely gorgeous remix of the song featuring Ernie and Rosita singing a song of devotion to the object of his longstanding devotion, Rubber Ducky, in a gloriously-good bilingual take on the song.
“The family-friendly version of the bop pays homage to the original song while Ernie sings about his rubber duckie, a.k.a. el patito: ‘Rubber Duckie, it is a connection/ It doesn’t have to be a tubby session, ya/ Take my day from zero to 11, ya.’
“Then comes the chorus in Spanish: ‘Oh, el patito, es mi favorito/ Donde quiera que vaya hace su sonido/ El patito es tu buen amigo/ El patito.'” (ew.com)
As you’d expect from Sesame Street, which has consistently proven itself adept at having fun and teaching great lessons at the same time, the song is a joy, even down to a typically curmudgeonly Bert moaning about “that song again”.
Ha! This is so catchy even Bert eventually succumbs … and yeah, so will you.
Done right, and thankfully so much of it is, music should move you deeply and completely and wholly.
Mind, body and sould should be engaged; you should never hear a song and just go “Oh … that’s nice.” Upbeat songs should move you to dance or turn a dark mood into something a little bouncier. More sombre songs should go into the very marrow of your being, articulating emotions you’re feeling in ways that might defy you at the time.
Whatever the song or genre or mood, it must have some effect on you or it’s just been-there-done-that ear candy of limited value.
These five artists have the ability to craft songs that actually affect you in a real, tangible way; no earworm filler, although the songs are undeniably catchy and listenable, but songs that matter, that evoke, that change you … and make your world a better place, even if only for 3 minutes or so.
Hailing from Lowell, Massachusetts, PVRIS (Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, Alex Babinski, and Brian MacDonald) – once known as Paris, they changed their name citing “legal reasons” – are a lush-sounding rock band with a synth-laden edge.
“Winter”, which you might expect to be dour, cold and, well winter-ish, is, in fact, a barnstormer of a song, picking up more and more pace on its full-speed, melodically-rich course.
It’s one of the lead-singles for their sophomore album All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, due out 25 August, and it packs quite a punch, musically and lyrically.
It’s very much in the vein of the band’s music to date which is gorgeously epic, cinematic and drenched in what feels, winningly, like every emotion at once; if you got #allthefeels, then PVRIS are your band.
To be honest, my interest in the Goo Goo Dolls,until recently, began and ended with their luminously-affecting song “Iris” which provided the musical heart-and-soul of the 1998 film City of Angels.
While in many peoples’ minds, including truthfully my own, they were likely marked as One Hit Wonders, but as “Use Me” beautifully demonstrates, the Buffalo-New York formed, multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated band are still producing mightily good music.
In fact, so good is “Use Me” that it will be cycling in and around and through your earworm for days after you first hear it.
It’s giddily upbeat, harmonious as hell – the chorus alone is worth the price of admission – with a bit of ’60s-Roy Orbison-esque thrown in for good measure.
Fresh from wooing the hell out of the UK, festival appearances at the likes of Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival and with her first headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne since 2015 under her belt, Melbournian singer-songwriter, is making waves with “Running Second”.
Anchored by her pure, fresh vocals, enough emotionally-resonance to affect the hearts of anyone lucky enough to hear her songs, and lyrical insightfulness, Wills’s songs are deep, rich and accessible all at once.
“Running Second” is a stunning example of Wills’ craft, delivering up an important message – “The message within it, is dedicated to all of us who feel that for whatever reason, we aren’t good enough.” (source: Triple J Unearthed) – wrapped in sublimely-moving pop that can’t help but move you.
This is pop at its pinnacle and explains why Wills has become increasingly popular, not just in Australia but across the world where people are flocking to listen to real music that means something.
“Feel That” brings together two brilliant Australian musical talents – producer Akouo (pron. ah-kooh-oh), known for his exuberantly upbeat electronic masterpieces, and the captivatingly-good Montaigne, whose transcendentally-rich voice slips in effortlessly to this immersive piece of pop.
“Montaigne‘s vocals soar benevolently over Akouo‘s masterful, shimmering production, which elegantly pulsates in the background to create a wondrous sound floor. Carefully curated instruments, trumpeting riffs and beating percussion sets a feel for an exotic wilderness, with touches of echoing vocal samples to coagulate the ambience of this soundscape.”
You can well understand why Akouo is attracting so much interest – he pairs the oft-cold bleakness of electronica with a human warmth and analogue brightness that togetherness creates music both winningly ethereal and remote, and intimate and deeply personal.
NOW THIS IS MUSIC EXTRA EXTRA!
PINK, one of my favourite music artists in the world has a new song, “What About Us?”, a new album Beautiful Trauma out 13 October, and her finger right on the zeitgeist as Vulture points out.
Rejoice and be glad with insanely appealing attitude.
You know what you’ve been missing all this time? The gang from Sesame Street performing a series of ’80s pop hits. Hole in your soul remedied! (source: Laughing Squid)
Big Bird is one of Sesame Street‘s most beloved characters, the perfect embodiment of sweet childlike innocence, playfulness and an eagerness to learn.
For much of his time on Sesame Street, he was given life by Caroll Spinney, a charming man who devoted much of his life to his friendly feathered companion and who was responsible for the richness of Big Bird’s characterisation.
It gives us insight into what literally makes Big Bird tick and it will leave with renewed appreciation for the amount of work that went into making this delightful denizen of Sesame Street such a joy for children young and old.