“26 Animals” is the first kids record by Timothy Sellers and his northeast Los Angeles indie pop band Artichoke. It is an alphabet of groovy little songs that comes with a full-color, hardcover 8”x8” songbook. The songbook contains complete lyrics, chords, and Timothy’s watercolor illustrations of each animal.
Can you imagine sleeping every day and spending your nights eating ants? Don’t answer right away. Think about it. They bite. They are full of acid. You will need to close your nostrils with special nose muscles so the ants don’t crawl up into your face and bite you when you shove your way into their colony. You will also need a very long sticky tongue capable of licking up 50,000 ants in one night. If this describes you, congratulations! You are probably an Aardvark.
What about the other 25 animals? Yes, Beavers would make excellent pets -- except that they would chew your wooden furniture into convenient sticks with which to build dams and lodges, creating wetland habitat in your very own home. Cats do what they like. You probably know a few Dogs. Elephants can listen to low frequencies with their ears, feet, and trunks. Frogs are the best vertebrate jumpers. Giraffes are tall. Hippos are cranky. Do you wanna Iguana?
“Jellyfish” could have been a Pixies song. “Kangaroo” swings like a marsupial should. “Lungfish” finally brings some attention to this versatile creature, long obscured by the lion in other menageries. “Mosquito” is a true story. “Newt” is an amphibious party. “Octopus” describes the talents and tricks of the sea’s foremost escape artist. “Porcupine” is groovy and instructive. “Quail!” Yes -- “Quail!” “Rattlesnake” has got two ends. One makes noise, the other venom. She’s got some pointy teeth for biting you. “Skunk” could have been a Bob Dylan song. “Tiger” rocks! “Sea Urchin” is seasick seafood. “Vulture” could have been a Kinks song. “Woodpecker” could have been a Belle and Sebastian song. “Tyrannosaurus Rex” is an ex-animal. He’s exanimate, he’s extinct. “Yak” takes you to Tibet for a few minutes. And “Zebra” is a survivor, thanks in part to the colorblindness of lions.
“26 Animals” and its illustrated songbook are recommended for environmental and musical families who want to sing in the car and strum by the campfire. Thanks for listening -- and feel free to swirl around like a jellyfish.
Artichoke / greeen records 2009
Since 1999, Artichoke has performed countless Los Angeles shows, including: Spaceland, Mr. T’s Bowl, Al’s Bar, The Echo, El Cid, the Bordello, an Architect’s Treehouse in Echo Park, The Hive Gallery downtown, Bigfoot Lodge, a Democratic Party Fundraiser in Pasadena, the reopening of the Griffith Observatory, two Highland Park Music Festivals, Lummis Day, the Hotel Café, Silverlake Lounge, Sea Level Records, the Outdoor Stage, the Mt. Washington Elementary School Pumpkin Festival, Culver City’s Winter Faire, South Pasadena’s Fun Fair, the Wisdom Arts Club’s Animal Day, and on radio stations KXLU and KSPC.