Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Nickelodeon's wonderfully weird Yo Gabba Gabba! is kind of a thing -- and not just among the pre-school set, either. Thanks to its finger-on-the-pulse musical programming, the frenetic, 23-minute kids favourite has also become a cult hit among cool parents, music fans and musicians alike. (Yes, that is indeed head Foo Fighter and onetime Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl rocking out with YGG monsters Muno and Toodee).
Everyone from The Flaming Lips and Band Of Horses to Metric and Jack Black have appeared as guests -- sorry, "Super Music Friends" -- to perform songs about such important concepts as the importance of sharing, caring for the environment and trying again. (Life lessons, I'm sure we can all agree, that are applicable regardless of your actual age.)
Not only have Yo Gabba Gabba's live shows attracted such special guests as Lauryn Hill and Perry Farell, but they've also popped up at such hipster music festivals as Coachella and SXSW. That's because whether you're five or 35, these songs are really, really good.
In celebration of the recent release of Music is Awesome: Vol. 4, we run down the best Yo Gabba Gabba! songs so far.
Song: Ting Tings, Happy Birthday'
<strong>Why it's awesome: </strong>Because it's not <em>that</em> Happy Birthday. Hard to believe it took this long for someone to make a new version of a birthday song and this upbeat earworm will have birthday boys and girls of all ages bouncing about their party.
Song: The Flaming Lips, 'I Can Be A Frog'
<strong>Why it's awesome: </strong>Because trippy kids TV + Technicolor freakshow of a band = obvious pairing. Wayne Coyne and Co. have always had an imaginative, childlike wonder about them. Case in point: this song wasn't actually written for Yo Gabba Gabba but is a track off 2009's <em>Embryonic</em>.
Song: Chromeo, 'Nice N Clean'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because only Montreal electrofunk duo Chromeo could make a song about hand washing into a legit ass-shaking club jam.
Song: The Salteens, 'I'm So Happy I Can Dance'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because it's a jittery indie rocker by a bunch of cheery Canadians that's "sure to clear away the grumpies." (Ed. note: it's my todder's favourite song of all time ever!)
Song: Jimmy Eat World, 'Beautiful Day With My Best Friend'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because it's a fist-pumping rock anthem about spending a beautiful day with your best friend -- the four-legged variety.
Song: Metric, 'Everybody Has a Talent'
<strong>Why it's awesome: </strong>Because it sounds just like a regular Metric song, but with positivity!
Song: Band of Horses, 'Out in Nature'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because bearded, denim-clad Pacific Northwest indie rockers singing about nature in golden, hum-along harmonies is just too perfect.
Song: Of Montreal, 'Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast'
<strong>Why it's awesome: </strong>Because it's a glammy synth-pop tune to cure what ails you -- tummyache, seasonal depression, whatever.
Song: The Shins, 'It's OK, Try Again'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because it's an impossibly catchy -- and totally uplifting! -- indie rocker about never giving up (and/or lowering expectations).
Song: Weezer, 'All My Friends Are Insects'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because it's seriously the best Weezer song in over a decade.
Song: Mates Of State, 'No One Likes To Be Left Out'
<strong>Why it's awesome: </strong>Because it's handclap-sprinkled hook fest with an important message: it's NOT cool to leave people out, you guys.
Song: The Sounds, 'Party In My Treehouse'
<strong>Why it's awesome: </strong>Because it's a synthy sugar-rush of a raveup made for shimmying.
Song: Smoosh, 'Pajama Party Time'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because it's a sweet, syrupy pop song made by people born in the '90s.
Song: MGMT, 'Art is Everywhere'
Why it's awesome: Because it's a psychedelic jam about colours that appeals to stoners and kindergarteners alike (same interests, same attention span).
Song: Jack Black, 'Goodbye Song'
<strong>Why it's awesome:</strong> Because it's the cutest song you'll hear all day. Also lends itself well drunken swaying and singing along.