By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Amazingly, my mother also seemed to enjoy herself, as Taylor's illustrations contain plenty of cheeky and hilarious details—a grape jelly and pinecone party sub, Gustafer crying on a couch while talking to his pterodactyl therapist, etc.—for those on the lookout. And musically it's not half-bad, either. The little girl we saw raising devil horns at Saturday's Dinosaur Jr. show might scoff, but with songs that bring to mind everyone from Beulah ("Dream in Green") to the Ass Ponys ("Pterodactyl Tuxedo" had us humming their 1994 hit, "Little Bastard"), the music of Gustafer Yellowgold is certainly bearable—even downright enjoyable.
And these were just the DVDs. Obviously a live show—complete with projected animations, live instrumentation and audience interaction—would capture the imagination of just about any kid (or kid at heart).
Luckily for us, Dallas has a special place in Gustafer's heart. After a mutual friend showed the original 2005 Gustafer DVD to Polyphonic Spree manager Chris Penn, the New York City-based Taylor quickly had a reason to play Texas.
"They say that after watching the first song they knew that they had to have us," Taylor says. "They saw the Web site and saw pictures of us with Gustafer cookies. And they were like, 'You had us at the cookies.' So now we have to make cookies every time we come to Dallas.
"[They] asked me to come do their big Christmas show," Taylor says. "And it was then that we realized that we had this whole crossover appeal, 'cause up to that point we'd only played shows for kids. It all was happening so fast because we'd only been doing shows for probably three months at that point, and all of the sudden I'm on a stage in Dallas playing in front of 2,000 people."
Two years later, Gustafer Yellowgold has already brought Taylor more success and acclaim than any project of his long career. "We have crazy, really appreciative fans," he says. "They say that they're happy they have something that they can play their kids that calms them down," adding that some parents have even told him Gustafer DVDs are one of the few things that can make their autistic children stop and focus. And with more Gustafer in the works, including a storybook and an off-Broadway production called Gustafer Yellowgold's Mellow Spectacular, kids (and parents) will have plenty to focus on in the coming years.
"There's a lot of yellow stuff around our house," admits Taylor.
We certainly know what our favorite borrowed children are getting for Christmas. As Gustafer himself might say, "We're keeping it yellow."