Duke Otherwise | Beehives and Bedheads

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Recommended if You Like
Shel Silverstein They Might Be Giants Tom Waits

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United States - Wisconsin

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Kids/Family: General Children's Music Kids/Family: Kid Friendly Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Beehives and Bedheads

by Duke Otherwise

Fun, quirky, intelligent music for children
Genre: Kids/Family: General Children's Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dancing Pig
3:16 $1.00
2. What Kind of Hairdo Do You Do?
1:56 $1.00
3. Nose and Ears
2:31 $1.00
4. Sawannah
2:29 $1.00
5. Don't Say What Daddy Says
2:09 $1.00
6. Super Rowan
2:38 $1.00
7. Indecisive Joe
2:16 $1.00
8. Good Good Jobby Bird
3:07 $1.00
9. So Good At Smelling
2:58 $1.00
10. Dog With a Tail
2:14 $1.00
11. Kitty Wampus
2:50 $1.00
12. Whistle Like Bird
3:46 $1.00
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Duke Otherwise (aka Noah Riemer) is a playful wordsmith, energetic musician and a thoughtful and hilarious entertainer. His outlandishly fun and artful music tells the tales of vibrant characters and extraordinary animals. Merge the quirky storytelling of Tom Waits with the playful poetry of Shel Silverstein and set it to the eccentric music of They Might Be Giants—take those elements, put them in tap dancing shoes, and you will have Duke Otherwise.

Duke Otherwise’s sophomore release, Beehives & Bedheads (House of Mercy Recordings), is filled with captivating and challenging musical arrangements and features the stunning illustrations of Miss Merry Childe. Listeners encounter trombone, Farfisa organ, fiddle, accordion, clarinet, piano, guitar, whistling and drums that make them want to get up and dance.

Duke’s first album, Creepy Crawly Love leapt into the world with frenetic joy and introduced listeners to music that was not “dumbed down” for kids or “too kiddy” for adults and quickly became a family favorite. This time around, Beehives & Bedheads keeps the fun and zaniness and adds a healthy balance of beautiful melodies and arrangements.

Based out of Madison, WI, Duke Otherwise performs 150+ shows a year throughout the Midwest and Namibia in libraries, schools, festivals and theaters to children of all ages. Both children and adults leave his performances hankering for more!

“[Duke Otherwise] obviously delights in wordplay, using nifty, brainy lyrics… …Definitely recommended” – Stefan Shepherd, NPR Children’s Music Reviewer

“…unlike anything currently available in children’s music. This fun, unique collection is a must-have” – School Library Journal – praise for Duke’s first album, Creepy Crawly Love

Review: Beehives and Bedheads - Duke Otherwise - FROM ZOOGLOBBLE - Sept 2015

If you're going to give yourself a stage name of "Duke Otherwise," you'd better not go halfway. No, I expect the full arch distance of royalty, mixed up with an oddity that recollects Bowie (David) and Burton (Tim).

Thankfully, Duke Otherwise, AKA Noah Reimer, gives each song on his brand new Beehives and Bedheads the full flourish, and then some. Looking for an album that provides guidance on moving through early childhood life transitions? Move along, then, because this album kicks off with a song called “Dancing Pig” that answers the question, “What would a Tom Waits song about a prancing porcine sound like?,” and never really gets any less weird from there. The zippy “What Kind of Hairdo Do You Do?” crams in at least dozen hair-related cultural references ranging from Medusa to Kid and Play. “Nose and Ears” uses a jazzy clarinet tune to accompany a consideration of the implications of living to the age of one thousand while your nose and ears never stop growing.

I could go on describing odd scenarios out of Shel Silverstein and or perhaps Roald Dahl in gentler moments, or waste many electrons jotting down the nifty wordplay on many tracks. If it sounds a bit like Zak Morgan, then that may be a case of affinity as Morgan makes appearances on a handful of tracks. On and on the album careens, winding up with the next-to-last track “Kitty Wampus,” about a bus driver with an exceedingly poor sense of direction and featuring at the end a chorus of kids pleading, “Are we there yet, are we there yet?...” And, then after all the flights of fancy, the album gently lands with “Whistle Like Bird,” an ode to musician and well-known whistler Andrew Bird (with Morgan doing his best Andrew Bird whistling impersonation).

The album will most tickle the fancies of kids ages 5 through 9. Clocking in at about 32 minutes in length, the twelve tracks breeze by.

I am all for a broad range of kids music -- straight-ahead celebratory pop, songs that explore emotional depths, and even though I don’t always talk about it, even music that helps literally learn things. But part of that should also include imagination and skewed viewpoints that take the young listener out of the everyday. Beehives and Bedheads does that nearly perfectly. Highly recommended.

Note: I received a copy of this album for possible review.

REVIEW: School Library Journal
The second album by performer Duke Otherwise, aka Noah Reimer, is polished and filled with oodles of imagination and wacky, silly tales of people, personalities, and situations. Opening with guitar plucking and oinky, disgusting sounds, Reimer reaches down to the bottom bass portion of his vocal range as he assumes a porcine personality to gruffly growl “Dancing Pig,” a song about the kinds of dances this pig can do. This song sets the tone for the lively bunch to follow: “What Kind of Hairdo Do You Do?” (a peppy number listing possible hairstyles), “Nose & Ears” (a soft-shoe treatment conjecturing about what a 1,000-year-old person’s nose and ears would look like, since those body parts continue to grow forever), and “Sawannah” (a story-song about a girl with a speech impediment, with a multitude of words that contain the letter v). Other unusual described personalities include “Super Rowan,” “Indecisive Joe,” a boy who never bathes and is “So Good at Smelling,” and “Kitty Wampus,” the school bus driver who gets lost. VERDICT A wide variety of musical styles, vocal ranges, musical instruments, clever lyrics, and clean, honest humor make this an enjoyable experience in vocabulary building and a solid selection to add to most collections.–Stephanie Bange, Wright State University, Dayton, OH



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