STRANGE DEES, INDEED
The New Album Includes 19 Dee-Mocractically Offbeat Songs about
People, Places and Nature;
CD and Download Editions Debut November 1st.
New York, September 29, 2011 -
The Deedle Deedle Dees, a Brooklyn based educational rock band which Paste magazine hailed as one of the top “Music Picks for Families” this year, will release Strange Dees, Indeed November 1st. The Dees’ album of 19 new songs pays tribute to heroes like Marie Curie, Abigail Adams, Sacagawea and Cool Papa Bell, plus a host of unusual places and people.
The Deedle Deedle Dees are four teachers and musicians who were raised on Schoolhouse Rock, the Pixies, the Muppets and Tom Waits. With an approach unique to children’s music, The Dees are not content to offer fluffy-happy tunes. Each catchy piece is based upon something from history, science and folklore, and the Dees offer a fresh perspective even on the most familiar people and places.
Strange Dees, Indeed opens with a practical exploration of the Hindu philosophy of Ahimsa (“no harm” in Sanskrit), with the acknowledgment that even grownups have a hard time staying Gandhi-cool in the face of aggression. Another song follows the famous scientist Marie Curie as she smuggles radium in her suitcase. Every song tells a story or paints a picture, whether it be Sojourner Truth singing to a hostile crowd on a moonlit mountaintop, or Sacagawea seeing the ocean for the first time with her baby on her back, or an eerie view of the detritus at Dead Horse Bay. In “a song for Abigail Adams,” John Adams sends an indie-rock love letter to his wife. And one of the Dees’ grandmothers remembers what it was like to bump into NYC Mayor LaGuardia’s big belly back in the day.
Band leader and songwriter Lloyd Miller (aka Ulysses S. Dee) has always been fascinated with the personalities and drama of history, and he wants to make it exciting for even the most reluctant learners. Miller is a teaching artist in NYC schools, working with many at-risk kids who are disaffected from education. He skillfully weaves music, lyrics and stories to make the people and places of history relevant and interesting. Miller hones his songs as he performs with hundreds of children at weekly concerts and informal sing-alongs around the Northeast. The father of two children lives in Brooklyn.
The Deedle Deedle Dees’ music consistently wins raves from teachers, parents, and radio DJs alike. Miller provides lead vocals, bass and rhythm guitar. The other Dees sing and play along: Ari Dolegowski (Moby Dee) on mandolin and guitar; Chris Johnson (Booker Dee) on piano, keyboards, melodica, stylophone, electric bass, banjo, accordion and ukulele; and Ely Levin (Otto von Dee) on drums and percussion. Dean Jones, a fixture in the “kindie rock” movement, produced this wide-ranging album, with musical styles that will appeal to music fans of all ages.
The Deedle Deedle Dees’ two previous family music CDs, Freedom in a Box (2007) and American History+ Rock and Roll = The Deedle Deedle Dees (2009), won national acclaim. The Dees perform interactive, educational shows throughout the year at schools, libraries, theaters, parks and other family venues. They also develop original songs and shows based on curriculum via in-class workshops, long-term residencies, and other cooperative programs with schools.