Animated Sounds for the Younger Set Every once in a while, rockers take a stab at reaching a new generation of listeners, with decidedly mixed results. The movies are a lucrative way into the tween market. Among the artists making music for recent animated films are indie rockers Ben Folds and Paul Westerberg.


Animated Sounds for the Younger Set

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Every once in a while rock musicians try to reach a new generation of listeners with CDs and movie soundtracks. The results have been mixed. From a sales standpoint, it turns out that kiddie rock is one of the bright spots in the music industry these days. The label Razor and Tie, for example, has sold some seven million copies from its Kidz Bop series. The movies are a lucrative way into the tween market, and WEEKEND EDITION's Sunday music director, Ned Wharton, reviews the work of two artists who are making some fresh soundtracks for the younger set.

NED WHARTON: Five years ago, Ben Folds released this energized and somewhat profane song. The lyrics were clever and bitingly funny.

(Soundbite of song, "Rockin' the Suburbs")

Mr. BEN FOLDS (Singer): (Singing) I'm rockin' the suburbs, just like Michael Jackson did. I'm rockin' the suburbs, except that he was talented. I'm rockin' the suburbs.

WHARTON: If there are kids within range of the radio, perhaps they've pricked up their ears. Ben Folds re-worked the song for this past summer's animated blockbuster, Over the Hedge. The language was cleaned up, but the music wasn't watered down, and fortunately the lyrics are as a funny as ever.

(Soundbite of song, "Rockin' the Suburbs")

Mr. FOLDS: (Singing) (Unintelligible) magazines and 40,000-watt nativity scenes. Don't wake up the house with smoke alarms. Mom left the TV dinner on. We're rockin' the suburbs. I'm (unintelligible) to Chevy Chase. Rockin' the suburbs.

WHARTON: Another indie rocker making his way into the movies is Paul Westerberg. A former front man for the Replacements evidently was shopping around his music when Sony Pictures heard his stuff and said, We've got this bear movie coming up; do you want to do a bear movie? And he said, Sure, I can do that.

(Soundbite of song "Right to Arm Bears")

Mr. PAUL WESTERBERG (Singer): (Singing) We're going to be the party, yeah, and then we're going to be the game. It's the right to arm bears.

WHARTON: The song Right To Arm Bears is one of the musical highlights of Open Season. The film opens Friday, and the soundtrack comes out this Tuesday on Lost Highway Records. Westerberg's songs for Open Season demonstrate how music aimed at youngsters can be something that oldsters can rock to as well. Oh, and the movie looks like a lot of fun, too.

(Soundbite of film, "Open Season")

Unidentified Man #1 (Actor): (As character) Try that again, I'll be kicking your funny (unintelligible).

Unidentified Man #2 (Actor): (As character) You and what army?

Unidentified Men (Actors): (As characters) Oy!

Unidentified Man #2: (As character) Oh.

Unidentified Man #1: (As character): Fire.

(Soundbite of song)

Mr. WESTERBERG: (Singing) You and me, we run and hide. We can walk side by side. You and me...

HANSEN: Ned Wharton's Directors Cuts can be found at, where you can hear more from Paul Westerberg and Ben Folds, including the original version of Rockin' the Suburbs, without the profanities. This is NPR News.

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