You can probably tell by the title of this DVD (Gustafer Yellowgold's Infinity Sock) that it's not your typical kids' album. From the moment I read the description of the DVD in a press release I received, I was totally intrigued and unsure of what to expect. But I was also definitely looking forward to experiencing it for myself. Here's a bit from the press release that caught my eye:
Morgan Taylor developed the “musical moving storybook” Gustafer Yellowgold experience as equal parts pop rock concert and minimally animated movie. Featuring guest artists John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of WILCO, along with John Munson (bassist for Semisonic and late ‘80s cult favorite Trip Shakespeare), Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock is the first Gustafer Yellowgold DVD/CD package to have a storyline, unfolding in graphic novel fashion and weaving together ten thought provoking, melodic soft-rock music videos in the inimitable Gustafer Yellowgold style, ranging from sublime alt-pop to gentle acoustic.
In Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock, we find former Sun-dweller Gustafer Yellowgold settling into his new Minnesota woodland home, finally beginning to understand what a strange and peculiar planet he landed upon! The story follows Gustafer, who begins an ordinary day by washing his pet eel's laundry but soon embarks upon an hilarious, mind-bending musical journey in search of the toe-end of the longest sock in the universe. Gustafer learns much along the way, as he encounters a Band of Bees performing at their late night hangout in the chime-and-timpani drama of ”Beehive,” joins in the Broadway romp "Wisconsin Poncho" (set in an all-cheese clothing store), and comes upon the pterodactyl's unusually calm cat in the Fleetwood Mac lushness of "Cheddar,” all the while discovering that everyone has a use for The Sock. In an artful balance of poignancy and the absurd, Gustafer ponders his own curiosity in "Question Marks" (a tune in the classic folk tradition) and enjoys a fun, one-of-a-kind look at the interconnectivity among all life on Earth in the uplifting, Bacharach-esque "Sock Of Ages."
This DVD is designed for kids ages 4 and beyond, but my kids (ages 3 1/2 and 1 1/2) were totally mesmerized by it. Honestly, so was I. Despite the crazy sounding plot (a pet eel? an all-cheese clothing store?), the story is actually very sweet, and the music is funny and beautifully played and strangely soothing. I love this minimally animated storybook idea- it's kind of like reading a comic book, with some animation in each frame. Nothing too busy or frantic, just enough animation to make the story come to life.
|The kids watching Gustafer Yellowgold. I don't think they moved a muscle the entire time that it was on!|
Along with the story, there are bonus features like "Gustafer Guitar Lessons and How to Draw Gustafer" as well as "Proof or Foof- Does Gustafer Yellowgold Exist". The videos on the main part of the DVD are playable in either normal or karaoke style. And along with the DVD, there's a CD soundtrack disc, so you can listen to the music anytime! For a sneak-peek, visit this page.
Gustafer Yellowgold's Infinity Sock will be available for purchase on March 1, 2011 at the Gustafer Yellowgold website, Amazon, and retailers nationwide. And, if you want to catch the Gustafer Yellowgold show in concert, touring will be going on this spring, with stops all over the US. See a list below:
GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD’S SHOW - HIGHLIGHTS – WINTER/SPRING TOUR 2011
February 13 – Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
February 19 – Goat on a Boat, Sag Harbor, NY
February 20 – Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City, NY
February 26 – April 2 (Saturdays) – DR2 Theatre, NYC
April 3 – Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington, NY
April 9 – Space Gallery, Portland, ME
April 10 – Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
April 16 – World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA
April 17 – Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA
May 7 – Town Hall, Seattle, WA
May 15 – McCabe’s, Santa Monica, CA
Disclosure: I received this DVD/CD set to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.