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Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Apr 03, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In Gustafer Yellowgold s Year In The Day, we find former Sun-resident Gustafer Yellowgold enjoying his Minnesota woodland home and experiencing his own unique take on a year s worth of Earth holidays, both classic and unusual. These humorous and hand-drawn music videos follow Gustafer through eleven different days of the calendar year. The season kicks off with the crackling, minty optimism of New Is The New Old, then moves to some worm s-eye- view philosophizing with a groundhog in the McCartney-esque A Shadow. Pancake Smackdown gets a Freddy Mercury-type royal treatment by intertwining a rocking medieval choir with a flurry of frisbeed flapjacks to celebrate Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day.
Gustafer spooks himself a bit with an awesome Halloween costume in the howling 1970s guitar-driven exhilaration of Werewolves Rock, then settles head first into comfort-food heaven in the Tin Pan Alley swing of Pumpkin Pied . Many more celebrations receive the one-of-a-kind Gustafer blend of blissful pop-music, lyrical poignancy and gorgeously drawn cartoon absurdity.


Morgan Taylor once again wows us with his latest chapter in the Gustafer Yellowgold saga. Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day musically celebrates most of the major holidays in typical Gustafer style, as Taylor utilizes a warm, super melodic background for his deep, witty, and amusing lyrics. Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day easily makes our Best Kids' Music of 2012 list.

The Music of Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day

Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day kicks off appropriately with a celebration of the new year in the super upbeat 'New is the New Old' a tune that Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham would drool over. Groundhog Day gets a nod in the quieter, more introspective 'A Shadow' while the shuffly, Paul McCartney-like 'Keep it Simple Sweetheart' (get it? k.i.s.s.?) sweetly gives Valentine's Day a nod. 'Pancake Smackdown' is a celebration of Fat Tuesday and National Pancake Day, featuring a largely acoustic description of flying pancakes, ending in Flaming Lips cacophany. The hypnotic, impressionistic 'Four Leaved Clover' sounds like a cross between Beck, Jason Falkner, and Stereolab; while the tuneful Easter 'Eggs' could be America playing a Smile-era Brian Wilson outtake.

More Music from Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day

The uber cheerfulness of 'Midsummer's Son' will remind you of sunshine pop bands like The Yellow Balloon, The Millennium, and The Sunshine Company, while the excitement of the Fourth of July explodes in 'Fireworks!' complete with a 'Bang! Bang! Bang' chorus (take that, Katy Perry!). 'Werewolves Rock' Halloween, complete with awesome drum production and power chord guitars, and Thanksgiving gets 'Pumpkin Pied' with a jaunty Tin Pan Alley tune that Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson could have written. Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day ends with the tender, waltzing, harmony-filled singalong 'Fa and a La'; celebrating Christmas, family gatherings, and the holiday season in general.

Besides animated videos of every song, the Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day DVD includes bonuses like Making of Year In The Day, a behind the scenes one-on-one with Gustafer creator Morgan Taylor; and Gustafer Guitar Lessons, which features Morgan Taylor demonstrating his six-string technique and sharing facts about Gustafer and songwriting.

The Verdict

The major selling point of Morgan Taylor's Gustafer Yellowgold releases is the fact that thay are DVD/CD packages, with each song accompanied by iconographic animation and sing along lyrics. This way, fans can see what Taylor had in mind when he wrote each song, plus the whole family can watch along and join in the singing fun. Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day continues Morgan's string of artistic, critical, and entertainment successes, and promises to be one of the best kids' music releases of 2012. --About.com Children's Music

Gustafer Yellowgold is no mere band more like a multimedia explosion. Offered as a CD/DVD combo platter, Year in the Day is a hand-drawn musical moving storybook. Imagine an animated Beatlesque dude, Gustafer, who came from the sun and now is happily uncovering Earth s best holidays. Let s just say he has a different perspective. Fireworks! takes an apolitical look at Independence Day, and Werewolves Rock hands Halloween some 1970s hard-rock licks. From Tin Pan Alley stylings to Queen-esque glam rock, this graphic musical comes to life, while offering two-plus hours of content for the four-and-up crowd. If that wasn t enough, featured guest musicians include drummer Robert DiPietro (Norah Jones) and bassist Robert Jost (Bjork). Having opened for Chicago s very own Wilco, Gustafer will surely capture the attention of the whole family with his fifth release. Available April 3. --Tor Hyams for TimeOut Chicago Kids

As you may already know, I lead another life as an entertainment writer for a variety of grown-up sites and publications (including our parent site, Popdose). In that life, I ve devoted a lot of column inches to my hatred of prog bands and concept albums, and had a lot of fun at the expense of airy-voiced, caftan-wearing singers like Jon Anderson of Yes, whose fascination with fairies (sorry, faeries) and bluebirds and the like has given me endless cynical joy.
I m saying this now because while watching Gustafer Yellowgold s latest magnum opus, Year in the Day, I realized that the wide-eyed little alien from the sun has been peddling the kindie equivalent of prog, what with the concept albums and the fanciful creatures and all the mellow singing about living in harmony, man. And also that my love of all things Yellowgold makes me a dirty old hypocrite.
I admit this. I m not proud. But in my defense, there aren t any 10-minute keyboard solos on Gustafer Yellowgold s records, offering a subtle sonic lesson that all prog bands could stand to learn. (I m looking at you, Keith Emerson.) Anyway. We re here to discuss A Year in the Day, which is here, and it is good.
If you ve ever spent time with the Gustafer oeuvre, you know what to expect: Funny, sweetly melodic songs, driven by acoustic instruments and deceptively simple arrangements, all centering around the adventures of a yellow alien and his assortment of unusual friends. Like the rest, Year in the Day is a musical moving book, meaning that in addition to a CD of the songs, you also get a DVD that adds illustrations to the songs. They re barely animated musical moving book is a perfect description but trust me, your kids aren t going to complain. (And neither will you.)
This time around, as the box art tells us, we find former Sun resident Gustafer Yellowgold enjoying his Minnesota woodland home and experiencing his own unique take on a year s worth of Earth holidays, both classic and unusual. (I d make a Kwanzaa joke here, but I have class.) Like most things Yellowgold, the concept is fairly loose; you ll be able to pinpoint certain seasonal themes in the track listing ( New Is the New Old, Fireworks! Pumpkin Pied ), but songs like Pancake Smackdown and Eggs could fit in on pretty much any Gustafer record.
Which is fine, really. Throughout his career as Gustafer Yellowgold, singer/songwriter Morgan Taylor (who I interviewed for Dadnabbit not long ago) has excelled at the artful blend of silly and sweet that so frequently evades kindie artists, and he pulls it off again here, using non-sequiturial turns of phrase to build a cuddly, homespun vibe that s pretty much impossible to resist. There are reasons Gustafer is one of the genre s biggest stars; they are very good reasons, and they are all on display in Year in the Day. Order it with confidence, and prepare to sing along. --Dadnabbit.com

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Gustafer Yellowgold
  • Directors: Morgan Taylor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Apple Eye Productions
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006WDE87A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,803 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

As a huge Gustafer Yellowgold fan, I was very excited to get my hands on the brand new album ,"Gustafer Yellowgold's Year in the Day," a quirky and imaginative interpretation of 11 different Earth Holidays. Before we could watch the DVD, my 8-year-old son was determined to identify the Holiday in each song (as there is no mention of the actual name of the Holiday), which made watching the "reveal" on the DVD that much more exciting. The brilliant husband and wife team, Morgan Taylor and Rachel Loshak have put together yet another amazing DVD/CD set that is enjoyable for the whole family!

"Year in the Day" is the perfect mix of fun and upbeat tempos and mellow sweetness that Morgan Taylor "soft rocks" out like no one else, and captures genuine child-like innocence and curiosity. You aren't going to find yourself going on a musical journey like this anywhere else- from relishing in the joy of having a shadow ("A Shadow"), a sweet romance between an eel and his sock puppet ("Keep it Simple Sweetheart"), a fashion-conscious flightless pterodactyl finding a lucky 4-leaf clover suit("4 Leaf Clover") surprise pancake attacks ("Pancake Smackdown"), and ending on a joyous note, bringing this clan of quirky characters together to celebrate their friendship ("Fa and a La")! It's impossible not to sing, dance, and laugh while watching the DVD or listening to the CD!

For those of us who know and love Gustafer, there is a fun smattering of characters from over the last 4 albums that make an appearance in the videos, so keep your eye out for them! Even Cheddar, Forrest Applecrumbie's beloved cat, makes an appearance in "Werewolf Rock" (hey, wait a minute...)!

Time to take that Wiggles CD out of your car and replace it with "Year in the Day!
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The newest release (out in 2012) is not disappointing. Year in the Day features a song for every season -- or holiday. Fourth of July Fireworks, green clovers, pumpkin pies, and even werewolves are shown in innocent and delightful situations, complete with the cast of the other DVD's (Gustafer, his friends, and various creatures from Earth and above!)

While I have only gone through the DVD 12 times or so (we seem to always have one of the DVD's playing on "infinity play" since our newest addition was born), I already have my favorite songs picked out from the playlist. "Pancake Smackdown" is a hilarious ode to Fat Tuesday, and pairs a surreal pancake fight with floating melodies. "Pumpkin Pie" is rhythmic and nostalgic, giving you an immediate need to relive the joys of whipped cream and nutmeg. "Fa La La" honors the heart and soul of the Christmas season by inviting friends and family to "come as they are". It is touching and real.

Kids who are used to fast-paced, high-tech romps in TV and video make be taken aback at the truly intentional use of animation and lyrics in these DVDs. It's slower, creative, and wastes no word or sketch in telling the stories. We have music going on 100% of the time at our house. When we don't have praise and worship music going, we keep one of the Gustafer playlists going. It mesmerizes the little ones and soothes the soul.

Like bonus features? This particular DVD has a rather long (but super-educational) bonus of watching Morgan create his masterpieces! Kids can see the process of animation - something that inspired my kids to start up their own cartoons. Morgan's video clips of him working while he carries his new baby in a baby carrier is awesome
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"A Year in the Day" is Gustafer Yellowgold's White Album. More rocking, more harmonically and instrumentally varied than the previous four albums. Sample "Four Leaved Clover", "Eggs", and "Pumpkin Pied" for a taste.

And with no overarching story or new character to introduce, each song expresses itself as a pure soft pop-rock confection.

For the first time in five albums, every track has made its way onto Dad's iPod playlist.

Oh, and the boy loves it too!
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