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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Parents: tonight, is it black metal or Yo Gabba Gabba?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 10:45 AM


Obviously, if you're a parent to at least one human being, you're obligated to choose Yo Gabba Gabba! in this very-much-fictional decision. The landmark Nick Jr. series takes its live show to the Mahalia Jackson Theater today (3 p.m. and 6 p.m.), while pioneering Norwegian black metal outfit Mayhem is at The Hangar (8 p.m.). But just for funsies, let's break down your choices:

Yo Gabba Gabba!'s star characters are inspired by anime and goofball monster movies. DJ Lance Rock is the friendly, drum major-esque human emcee, with cyclops-friend Muno, cat-dragon-friend Toodee, robot-friend Plex and a cast of others. Mayhem's members sport the "corpse paint" look with spiked leather gauntlets, vests and belts, and sometimes are covered in what may or may not be actual blood.

Yo Gabba Gabba! was created in 2006 by two cool dads: Scott Schultz and The Aquabats' Christian Jacobs. Mayhem was founded in 1984 by Necrobutcher (bass guitarist Jørn Stubberud) and now-deceased guitarist Euronymous (Øystein Aarseth) — who was "murdered" by fellow black metal musician Varg Vikernes (aka Count Grishnackh, of Burzum, aka "the most notorious black metal musician of all time," released from Norwegian prison two years ago).

Yo Gabba Gabba! features sunshine-y musical guests, like Biz Markie (who joins the live cast), MGMT, The Shins and Mates of State. Songs featured on the show teach kids to be nice to animals, share, and look both ways before crossing streets. Mayhem's lineup has only one "original" member (in quotes because there never was a consistent lineup, with at least a dozen former members, not including its present lineup) — others left after Death's death, and others joined, including, briefly, Varg Vikernes, and current vocalist Attila Csihar. Lyrics explore Pagan histories, gore and demons.

So not so different after all, you guys.


The story of Mayhem is one of the most fascinating, terrifyingly dark band histories, whether nonsense fiction or horrible truths — ones that makes Behind the Music bad boys look like 100 percent poopy-diapered babies.

A few years after the band started, it was joined by drummer Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg) and vocalist Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin) — who was found dead with slit wrists and a shotgun wound to the head. (He left a grim note: "Excuse all the blood." Euronymous photographed his body before calling the police, and the image was lifted for the bootleg collection Dawn of the Black Hearts.) Legends surfaced of the band making a pact to eat his remains, or necklaces of his skull.

Following Euronymous' death in 1993, the band again went through several lineup changes, some landmark black metal album releases, and more controversy: in 2003, an audience member was hit by an airborne sheep's head. The band's current lineup features Necrobutcher, Hellhammer, Attila Csihar and recent additions Morfeus and Teloch.

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