The Boogers' sophomore album rocks even harder than their debut Road to Rock," with more Ramones-inspired punk and more band-written songs. Head Booger Paul Crowe presents originals like "Otto's Orange Day," "Eat Your Vegetables," "Allright!," "I'm Ridin' My Bike," and "In Wonder with the World," while transforming traditional tunes like "Pop Goes the Weasel," "The Big Rock Candy Mountain," and "London Bridge" into punk-informed classics. On Let's Go! The Boogers also cover Barry Louis Polisar's "What if a Zebra Had Spots?", and tweak The Ramones' tounge-in-cheek "Beat on the Brat" into a kinder gentler version called ""My Baseball Bat." Also, check out The Boogers' version of "I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground," an old tune first recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford back in in 1924.
Paul Crowe, punk rocker and holder of a PhD in Developmental Psychology, is the creative force behind The Boogers. Crowe combined his love of The Ramones and his background in child development in forming The Boogers, who have released two albums of music for families, 2008’s NAPPA Gold Award winner Road to Rock and 2010’s Let’s Go!
Crowe’s link to The Ramones is not limited to the music on Let’s Go! alone. The cover and liner art was created by John Holstrom, one of the co-founders of PUNK magazine in 1975. Holstrom’s artwork also graced several Ramones albums in their heyday, including the back cover of the Rocket to Russia album and the cover of the Road to Ruin LP. Crowe’s connection to The Ramones continues with the liner notes for Let’s Go!, written by Monte Melnick. Melnick was The Ramones’ tour manager for the band’s entire career, from 1974 to 1996, and he offered his thoughts about The Boogers’ efforts in following up the spirit of The Ramones with their albums for families.
The Music of 'Let's Go!'
The album kicks off in a big way with the brief “Let’s Go!,” a punk rock rallying cry to get up and start the day. Next is “POP Goes the Weasel,” the first of several traditional tunes transformed by and performed in a punky style by Crowe and The Boogers. Next up is “Otto’s Orange Day,” an original tune by The Boogers based on underground comix legend Jay Lynch’s book of the same name. As a side note, Lynch’s Otto’s Orange Day was published by TOON Books in 2008 (illustrated by Frank Cammuso).
“Eat Your Vegetables” is a super speedy, two part punk tune about a kid’s initial dislike of veggies, and his discovery that it only takes an exploratory try to find out vegetables aren’t all that bad. Next comes the venerable oldie “The Big Rock Candy Mountain,” most likely written by drifters between 1910 and 1920. Crowe cites Burl Ives’ 1949 version as the inspiration for the inclusion of the song on Let’s Go!, although the original lyrics had to be sanitized a bit (cigarette trees and whiskey lakes aren’t so kosher for kids).
The Boogers’ original “Allright!” is one of the highlights of the album, presenting a great punk pop picture of children’s growing confidence. The band follow up with their speedy version of “I Wish I Was a Mole,” a traditional spiritual song first recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford back in 1924. Then comes The Boogers’ take on The Ramones’ “Beat on the Brat,” a sarcastic punk rock classic that young listeners might not “get” yet. So The Boogers kept the driving beat and catchy melody and rewrote the song as “My Baseball Bat,” a brief celebration of America’s pastime.
More Music from 'Let's Go!'
Another childhood pastime in bike riding, and The Boogers include their tribute to the joyous memories of that two-wheeled hobby with the original tune “I’m Ridin’ My Bike.” A remastered cover of Barry Louis Polisar’s “What if a Zebra had Spots?” was originally included on the double album tribute to Polisar called We’re Not Kidding, released in 2009 on the Rainbow Morning Music label. The uplifting Boogers original “In Wonder with the World” follows, describing a child’s relentless and exuberant fascination with everything. Let’s Go! comes to a close with a crunching cover of the classic nursery rhyme “London Bridge,” much like The Boogers’ first album Road to Rock concluded with their version of “Wheels on the Bus.”
Paul Crowe and The Boogers bring a breath of fresh air to the kids' music world with their punky musical style and their take-on-the-world original lyrics. I'm pretty sure The Ramones would be proud of The Boogers' loving tribute to their sound, and would agree that Let's Go! is definitely some of the best kids' music of 2011.
Released November 23, 2010; Spire Records
- "Let's Go!"
- "Pop Goes the Weasel"
- "Otto's Orange Day"
- "Eat Your Vegetables (Part One)"
- "The Big Rock Candy Mountain"
- "I Wish I Was a Mole"
- "My Baseball Bat"
- "I'm Ridin' My Bike"
- "Eat Your Vegetables (Part Two)"
- "What If a Zebra Had Spots?"
- "In Wonder With the World"
- "London Bridge"