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  1. #1
    Unchained HailNgirl's Avatar
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    Children Applaud 'Generation O!'

    By LARRY McSHANE
    .c The Associated Press


    NEW YORK (AP) - Roll over, Josie, and tell the Pussycats the news.

    It's time for Molly O!, the spiritual successor to the cartoon rockers of the distant past - but, like, totally younger and totally hipper than The Archies and their animated ilk.

    Eight-year-old Molly's got a manager named the Colonel (Bobb, not Parker), a guitarist known as Eddie (actually Edwina, but she's got an Eddie Van Halen fixation), and a kangaroo drummer dubbed Yo-Yo (for reasons unclear).

    Once a week on the Kids' WB - generally Friday afternoons - Molly and her friends come out to play.

    LOUDLY.

    The show, simply titled ``Generation O!'', debuted this fall to critical and kiddie applause.

    Why? A more innovative approach to making the music more important than it once was. Each episode features an original song, complete with animated video, mingled in with the story line.

    ``With Josie & the Pussycats or The Archies, the music was completely an add-on,'' explained executive producer Ken Olshansky. ``There was a generic story, then a song added in, then a generic story.''

    Not so on ``Generation O!''

    ``We try to make the songs part of the story,'' Olshansky continued. ``We want to add another dimension, to integrate the songs into the story we were telling.''

    Those stories, mostly targeted for grammar-school-aged girls, touch on everything from bed-wetting to overbearing siblings (an older brother, natch). An education adviser offered tips to the writers.

    In ``Pierced Ear,'' Molly must deal with being the only rock star in all creation without a single piercing (her mom says no pierced ears until age 15!).

    In ``You Copied,'' Molly is unfairly accused of plagiarizing another band's song. ``Bedtime Blues'' tells the tale of Molly's invitation to appear on ``Saturday Night Live.''

    Yes, as the last story shows, Molly rocks. Or at least the real band behind Molly does; rather than a Partridge Family arrangement, with session musicians and phony backup vocals, an actual band - the Boston-based Letters to Cleo - provides Molly's tunes.

    Letters to Cleo lead singer Kay Hanley does the singing voice for Molly on songs such as her sonic assault on big brother Buzz, ``Girls Rule,'' or the my-lobes-are-so-lonely lament of ``Pierced Ears.''

    ``Girls Rule'' has even scored some play on college radio stations with its snappy lyric: ``Girls are just plain better!''

    While that's nothing new for Hanley, whose music has appeared in films and on television, it's quite a breakthrough for a fictional kid singer with a taste for chocolate chip cookies, pink limousines and her own Web site.

    Molly's three creators were actually men: Jim Proimos, Tim Newman, and David Hale.

    ``All three guys shared certain interests - including the fact they have daughters with big personalities,'' Olshansky said. Hale credited his daughter, 8-year-old Isabel, as the inspiration for Molly.

    And Proimos credited his 13-year-old daughter, Annie, for bringing Letters to Cleo aboard. Annie, a huge fan of the band, launched an e-mail writing campaign to the show's staff urging the band's hiring.

    The band was chosen out of two dozen under consideration. Hanley had just delivered a baby and was looking forward to some time off the road when the offer was made, but she jumped at it.

    ``Annie won,'' Olshansky said with a laugh.

    Olshansky said the show is definitely a tip of the hat to the original animated rockers of the '60s and '70s, from the Jackson 5 and the Beatles cartoons to the made-for-TV Josie and the Pussycats and the Archies.

    ``We've taken the best of all of them, with a little of the Monkees thrown in,'' Olshansky explained. ``It's interesting to see a bunch of grown-ups in impassioned arguments about the Monkees:

    ''`I don't want the same approach as the Monkees.'

    ''`But a lot of people LIKE the Monkees.'''

    The show has one other strange little twist. After finishing her duties for season one of ``Generation O!'', Hanley recorded five songs for use in an upcoming movie.

    The film? A live-action version of ``Josie and the Pussycats.''


    ------------------
    ~~ Looks just like an Angel, but angels talkin' trash ~~

  2. #2
    Good Enough hellohawk's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great idea!

    It just goes to show what a musical icon Eddie is.


 

 

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