What’s so amazing that keeps us star gazing? For me it’s the imagination, the way people can take something and make something else out of it. Sounds trite I know, but it is in the adaptation that I often find the genius of a thing.
When Brad Paisley spoofed a few Lady GaGa songs at the CMA awards this year, it highlighted the fact that beneath the smoke and mirrors, is actually some decent music. When something translates to a different medium, and does it well, that’s the litmus test. I’m a regular follower of Sprite Stitch, which showcases geek crafts, where I can find an origami Goomba or a print out turtle shell for a remote control car. I am an avid follower of Gregory Maguire and have been since long before Idina Menzel took to the stage as Elphaba in Wicked. I am addicted to Jasper Fforde’s unique brand of whimsy, taking you into the pages of your favorite books with the Prose Portal, or straight into a nursery rhyme with the Nursery Crime Division. Muscially, the redux of The Nightmare Before Christmas was disturbing but surprisingly enjoyable, and more recently I was exposed to the wonders of “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the Ukelele. Now I can add to that list The Green album, released this week by Walt Disney Records. You can catch the whole thing on NPR, as I did earlier this week, but I strongly suggest that this is one you’re going to want to add to the CD collection, or the playlist if you’re that way inclined.
Contemporary rock and alternative artists, such as Weezer and My Morning Jacket, revisit classic Muppet songs, in their own way but with a big chunk of homage to the original. Some I could happily skip past, but quite honestly it’s just nice to hear some of these guys play these songs and think, “they like the Muppets too!” While the Muppets don’t really require this album for me to see their genius, it’s still nice to know that it translates.