Saturday, October 29, 2011

2nd Annual Spookey Month: What does Halloween have to do with the Banana Splits?

And comic books for that matter? Nothing, really. But since I go on a Spookey kick every Halloween, I thought you might enjoy comparing their cover of "The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)," the theme song to The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, to the original and the versions by the Dickies and Liz Phair. Here's the original:

And here's the circa 1979 cover by the Dickies. They upped the tempo a bit for that punk rock feel:

Liz Phair and Material Issue covered it in 1995 and this was the result:

And here's a live performance by Spookey:

I wish that video had better sound quality. Their rendition of the song from their Shakin Pop 'n' Roll album sounds a lot better. Not really surprising, considering the whole "recorded in a studio" versus the "recorded onto some person's digital camera" thing, right?  Their take owes a great deal to the Dickies's version, especially with the nearly incomprehensible verse sections. The studio cut is especially hilarious because you can actually hear them not really give a damn about what they're singing. They make the barest effort to enunciate, instead putting all of their energy into simply having fun with a ridiculous song.

Yes, I know the Dickies version was used in the movie Kick-Ass.  While researching this little article I forced myself to watch that particular scene-- you can find it on YouTube if you haven't already seen it.  While using this song was an inspired choice, the overall effect was lost on me.  I didn't find the crude language or the over-the-top violence offensive; it just struck me as a dumbed-down version of much cooler fare.  Voice courtesy Dirty Harry Callahan, cursing from your junior high locker room, setting from Pulp Fiction, fight choreography and editing nicked from Hong Kong cinema, gore from Kill Bill Vol. 1.  Watching it made me feel like I'd stepped on a soiled diaper with my bare foot and did nothing to convince me to read the comic or watch the rest of the movie.  I'd rather just listen to Spookey-- their cover predates the movie-- or watch this:

Didn't see that coming, did you? Hey, I'll shoot straight with you-- neither did I!

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