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Thursday, February 02, 2006

For Your Ears in February

Traditionally, adding a "z" to the end of a word grants it instant cred, like Boyz in tha Hood or just about any of the current hip-hop jamz on MTV Hits (they really should have pluralized it with a "z"). But that's not to say that merely capping off a word with the ol' zed -- as the Canadians like to say (Not Canadianz, mind you. Not aboot to give them that cred) -- will equal cool. Note the sad exceptionz: Smooth jazz, Jason Mraz, Boyz II Men, Cheez Whiz.

Another sad exception to the Z Rule are the Kidz Bop CDs. Well, at least until seven albums into the series. That's when Kidz Bop 7 transformed what was formerly a Chipmunk'd version of the Now That's What I Call Music compilations into a hipster novelty with its kindergarten chorus taking on the indie histrionics of Modest Mouse's "Float On." Then Kidz Bop 8 came along, so tots could shake their Pull-Ups to a googly-eyed version of Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out." This month, the latest Kidz Bop CD is coming out, and sweet fudgeknuckle, I think I'm going to have to get it.

Mark your calendars -- February 21 is the day Kidz Bop 9 presents a new set of toddler-transformed- tunes that I'm pretty sure will be a hit on the preschool musical chairs circuit. The indie hit du jour this time around is "Feel Good Inc." by the Gorillaz (note the "Z"). And for some reason they do a version of the Crazy Frog cover of the "Axel F Theme." A helium-throated frog or The Sippy Cup Singers? What's the difference? Even stranger is that Hilary Duff's "Wake Up" sounds a few octaves lower than the original when 5-year-olds are singing it. Plus, it's kinda unsettling to hear preschoolers singing about how they "wake up, wake up on a Saturday night" somewhere on "Hollywood and Vine" or in "London, Paris, maybe Tokyo." Someone put a leash on those Kidz Boppers! They shouldn't be waking up in random places like that! That's just ridiculuz. With a capital Z.

Other music to check out in February:

Belle & SebastianThe Life Pursuit

One Tree Hill, Vol. 2 SoundtrackFriends with Benefit -- A random character on the show gets cancer! The result is a benefit concert and an OC-style compilation CD with half-good indie bands, and half-crappy ones. Guess who's malignant and who's not.

Arctic Monkeys Whatever I Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Bloc Party
Helicopter (Remix EP)

LilysEverything Wrong Is Imaginary

MagnetThe Tourniquet

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