Sunday , October 25 2020

DEVO’s Mothersbaugh to Receive TV and Film Scoring Award

Mark Mothersbaugh has come a long way from Akron, Ohio. Mothersbaugh will receive the 2004 Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement at the BMI Film & TV Awards, May 12 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions in the field of film and TV music. Former recipients of the award include John Barry, Randy Edelman, Danny Elfman, Charlie Fox, Jerry Goldsmith, Earle Hagen, Michael Kamen, Alan Menken, Thomas Newman, Mike Post, Lalo Schifrin, Alan Silvestri, Richard and Robert Sherman, W.G. “Snuffy” Walden, John Williams, Patrick Williams and Hans Zimmer.

Mothersbaugh, has composed in his accessible but highly eccentric style for the forthcoming films Lords of Dogtown and The Life Aquatic; as well as having scored the hugely successful Rugrats television, stage and film franchise. He has also scored a diverse array of films and television shows, including Welcome to Collinwood, Thirteen, The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, 200 Cigarettes, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Happy Gilmore, The Mind of The Married Man, Power Puff Girls, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Beakman’s World, The Big Squeeze and more, over 100 credits in all. Mothersbaugh also has over 400 commercial credits, and is the co-owner of Mutato Muzika, an umbrella company that is home to a full-time staff of composers and music editors including Bob 1 (Mothersbaugh) and Bob 2 (Casale) of DEVO.

DEVO began as an elaborate art project when Mark Mothersbaugh and jerry Casale met as art students at Kent State in the mid-’70s. With their brothers – the aforementioned Bobs – and drummer Alan Myers, DEVO fleshed out its ideas about the self in a dystopian future in cartoonish, but very serious musical and graphic form.

The name “DEVO” is shorthand for de-evolution, and DEVO scoffed at the very notion of progress. DEVO took a blues-based genre, rock ‘n’ roll, deconstructed its connective tissue, rearranged it in a spastic manner, and played it back to us with a machine-like intensity that turned emotion into blind impulse, an “uncontrollable urge.”

DEVO’s first album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO, produced with demented glee by Brian Eno, presents the most compelling version of their worldview. Besides offering a rhythmically complex, emotionally preverse cover of the Rolling Stones’s “Satisfaction,” and the band’s statement of identity, “Jocko Homo” (“Are we not men? We are DEVO!”), the album’s very first track is (arguably) DEVO’s finest moment: “Uncontrollable Urge.”

The singer (Mothersbaugh) revels in the pressure that seems to come from outside his body: “Got an urge, got a surge, and it’s out of control.” By ceding sovereignty to his urge, the singer is liberated from responsibility for his actions: compulsion as liberation.

Mothersbaugh holds his urge up to the light like something to be admired: “I wanna tell you all about it, uncontrollable urge makes me scream and shout it.” Pressure and release propels the song to its giddy conclusion, the celebrated urge never identified, left in its generic glory. We have thrilled to the urge’s expression, we are left to ponder its ramifications.

Pioneers Who Got Scalped: The Anthology is an exceptional 2-CD collection that includes all of the above plus “Girl U Want,” “Freedom of Choice,” “Gates of Steel,” “Whip It,” “Working in the Coal Mine,” “Through Being Cool,” “Jerkin’ Back and Forth,” “Beautiful World” and a whole lot more.

DEVO will be performing live this spring and summer:

Los Angeles, April 25
(Sunday) – LA COLISEUM
Nike Run Hit Wonder event

NYC, July 22
(Thursday) -CENTRAL PARK
Nike Run Hit Wonder event

NYC, July 23
(Friday)-Central Park’s Summer Stage
Devo performs at sundown
OPEN TO PUBLIC (Ticket Info Soon)

Portland, August 1
(Sunday) – VENUE TBA
Nike Run Hit Wonder event

Chicago, September 23
(Thursday) – VENUE TBA
Nike Run Hit Wonder event

I also reviewed Mothersbaugh’s Christmas album, Joyeux Mutato here.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected],, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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