My perplexed third graders inquired as to the meaning of the message. The next day, I brought in the song "Life During Wartime" to play for the class. They got up and immediately started singing along to the chorus. I mentioned that the Talking Heads were pretty well known and that they should ask their parents if they had any of their music at home. Constant Interrupter stood up and cried, "I've seen a movie with this band and the singer is wearing this really big suit and he looks really funny!"
Of course, I brought in the dvd of Stop Making Sense the next day. Over the past few weeks, we've watched a bunch of it. The class loves both "Life During Wartime" and "Once in a Lifetime" mainly because they love the crazy dancing in both songs. Constant Interrupter always requests "Pyscho Killer" but I think I'll steer clear of that one. Science Teacher Who Likes to Rile Up My Class and Then Leave has come in a couple of times to practice some of the simpler "Once in a Lifetime" dances like the "Sing to Your Hand" dance and the "Follow the Bouncing Ball Dance With Your Hand as the Ball and Your Arm as the Bottom of the Screen" dance.
Amazing Dance Teacher has taken this love for the Talking Heads and has incorporated it into an upcoming dance. I haven't seen any of the practices yet but I do know that it involves seventeen matching oversized coats. Cheese Boy brought in a humongous jacket to school the other day and told me that he was going to be David Byrne for Halloween although he keeps referring to him as David Byrnes.
A few days ago, I decided to branch out and show them some of R.E.M.'s Tourfilm. It didn't go over too well. At first, a few kids complained that it was giving them a headache. While Stop Making Sense is easy to digest, Tourfilm is all herky-jerky artsiness alternating between black and white and color. The quiet boredom quickly turned into outright hostility. A crowd of kids gathered near the TV and heckled Michael and by extenstion, me.
What does R.E.M. even mean?
Sounds like the Beatles but not nearly as good.
He's no David Byrne.
His voice is good but I don't like his dances.
Cheese Boy knew "Stand" and started singing along.
I put on "Pop Song '89 with a shirtless Stipe. This drew quite a reaction.
OHMIGOD!, He's SOOOOO skinny!
Get him some calcium.
Drink some milk.
Eat a hamburger.
Then it turned really ugly with six or seven girls taking turns screaming insults.
Shave your awful mohawk.
Gross, it's not even a mohawk. What is it?
Is he wearing makeup?
Are you sure that isn't Michael Jackson?
He looks like death.
He looks like a zombie.
He's the living dead!
Then the eerily prescient comment:
He'll never get married.
Followed by the bizarre question:
Are you married to him?
I was told by Broken Arm Girl with No Front Teeth to never put that movie on ever again.