Given the soul-crushing cascade of tween wannabes churning out monotonous pop junk for young audiences lately, we have plenty reason to fear for the future of America’s music taste. But we’re not worried. Why? Because in 2007, Yo Gabba Gabba debuted on the air.
The colorful, happy-go-lucky (and pretty trippy) Nick Jr. program was originally intended for a pre-school demographic, but has adopted a huge following among grown-up music fans by booking offbeat acts to perform on the show—from Weezer to Sean Kingston to more quirky fare like The Aquabats (which, not so coincidentally, is the band of series co-creator Christian Jacobs). Now the show, named by Entertainment Weekly as “TV’s hippest kids show,” has gotten so popular, the Gabba crew even performed at the White House during the annual Easter Egg Roll and are embarking on a live tour.
In the words of our favorite pint-sized Yo Gabba Gabba friend Nathaniel: Our name is Idolator, and we like to dance! If you like to dance, too, check out our list of the best 11 music acts to appear on the kiddie program, which happens to play more music than MTV does nowadays. And if you dig these original tunes, you’re in luck—many of these acts will appear on the show’s first official soundtrack. Music is awesome!
MGMT – Art Is Everywhere
We honestly think the catchy, mind-altering “Art is Everywhere” would be a more successful single than “Flash Delirium” ever could be.
“Weird Al” Yankovic – Circus Parade
We’re just surprised “Circus Parade” isn’t a parody song of My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” or Britney Spears’ “Circus.”
The Roots – Lovely, Love My Family
Finally, a recent Roots performance unsullied by the appearance of Jimmy Fallon. (Plus, the sight of those colorful monster creatures slow dancing together is one of the most adorable things we’ve ever seen.)
Weezer – All My Friends Are Insects
This should literally just count a regular Weezer music video. We wouldn’t be surprised if they donned those creepy-crawly outfits during one of their live shows.
The Killers – Spaceship Adventure
How was this awesome song left off of Day & Age? (Also, this should have been the music video for “Spaceman,” don’t you agree?)
Mýa – Dancey Dance
Maybe if Mýa had done the “Peanut Butter Stomp” while competing on Dancing with the Stars, she would have beat Donny Osmond and won the whole show.
Sean Kingston – Dancey Dance
We’re already counting down to when Iyaz will copycat Sean Kingston’s “The Minnie Spinny” dance as his own.
Devo – Work It
“Listening and dancing to music… is… awesome!” exclaims DJ Lance Rock. What’s more awesome? Devo turning into flying potatoes before our very eyes.
Of Montreal – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast
The only thing that could make this ode to healthy food even better is Susan Sarandon wandering on the set and whipping the banana.
Ting Tings – Happy Birthday
We want this delightful party ditty to be the 21st century’s go-to birthday song.
The Aquabats – Pool Party
We couldn’t end this list without including The Aquabats (and not just because pool parties are undeniably the greatest thing in the world)—Yo Gabba Gabba is frontman Christian Jacobs’ creation, after all.