Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Kids Are Alright!

O.K., let me be the first to say that my knowledge of teen pop culture is tenuous at best, (perhaps NYMary can help!) but Drake Bell is apparently the star of the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh. He showed up on my radar when I recently plucked his latest disc It's Only Time from the budget bin at my local disc emporium the other day. Alright, I know what you are thinking! No, I normally don't buy discs by television teen idols but the pic of Drake on the cover reminded me of a young Brian Wilson so I'd thought I'd take a chance and give it a spin.

Wow! This disc is chock-filled with tunes that fans of Jellyfish and the Wondermints will really dig! I don't know if the 20 year old musician worked with other writers on this (Andy Sturmer maybe?) but it's comforting to think that kids are being exposed to classic pop songcraft such as this rather than the dreck they are being fed now.

Anyway, here's the video for the single I Know to give you a little taste! Cheers!


NYMary said...

Oh good god.

My 7YO loves Drake and Josh, which makes it more preteen pop culture, I should think. There are two guys, one fat, one thin, one ugly and hapless, the other handsome and effortless. It's like a live-action Goofus and Gallant. Guess which one Drake is?

Having said that, you should definitely check our A Cure for Bedbugs, one of the music blogs linked in the sidebar. Dave Moore has a real thing for this kind of pop and is single-handedly attempting to get Skye Sweetnam into the pantheon. (He's a former student of mine, and among other things, he wrote the original Pitchfork review of Arcade Fire, unleashing who knows what upon us all.)

emma said...

OK, honest to gawd truth: Drake Bell's father, Joe Bell, just remodeled my garage last month here in SoCal. It's a long story, but Joe was a constant part of Drake's child-actor career, but no longer is. He played his son's new cd for me on his boom box.... what did I say when it was done? "Humpfff. Sounds like he listened to a lot of Jellyfish."

steve simels said...

Not bad at all, and yeah -- Jellyfish a go go.

And is hair is perfect.

Frighteningly young, though. By which I mean young like on the cover of the very first Beach Boys album. Like younger than Fonzie.

Kid Charlemagne said...

Emma, you guys are posh in SoCal remodeling garages and all.

But good story. Seven degrees of separation and all.

Thanks Mary for the lowdown on Drake!

emma said...

You never saw the "before" garage - no self-respecting spider or mouse would even go in there.

Yeah, I sorta pooh-pooh'd Joe's proud papa routine until we got the corroborating word from a third party - a guy who works at the guitar repair place my husband uses - they knew the kid and his father. Yup, small world.

steve simels said...

BTW -- when I said not bad at all I didn't mean great.

It's well made I'll grant you, but I don't get the impression that this somebody singing about somebody's real life, if you know what I mean.

Kid Charlemagne said...

True Steve.

I don't have the particulars regarding song credits (it's a disc only promo) so I'm not sure who is responsible, but it was interesting to me that they went the Jellyfish route rather than churning out more of that ubiquitous punk/pop stuff.

NYMary said...

I'll give the kid some credit: He knows where his debts are.

And apparently, Roger Daltrey taught him to play the guitar. Huh.

emma said...

I guess the kid and Daltrey were in a movie together, guitar lessons ensued during their time on the set. He got other lessons/studio time from Doc Patillo of "The Guitar Doctor", one of the better guitar tech shops in Orange Co. According to our friend, there were the inevitable squabbling divorced parents-Svengalis/child star conflicts and the kid now has a professional agent/manager. Oy.