Have you met Gustafer Yellowgold? He’s a small, bright yellow little creature that used to live on the Sun, but has since landed in the Minnesota woods and been getting himself in all sorts of absurd situations with his pet eel, well, at least in our imaginations. This cone-headed character is the bizarre, but whimsical creation of Morgan Taylor, a self-made, award-winning cartoonist and songwriter that pairs his psychedelic animated adventures with warm, heartfelt pop songs.
It’s described by a New York Times reviewer as a cross between Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss, and I couldn’t agree more. Taylor’s hand-drawn music videos, which play on the big screen during his live multi-media performances, are a pleasantly surreal companion to his mellow, catchy pop tunes.
But these shiny pop songs are weaving narratives I’m sure you’ve never heard before. I mean, the weird adventures that Gustafer finds himself in, are at the very least highly creative. In one song, Taylor’s alien finds his mouth erased after getting his wisdom teeth pulled out. In the song “Cakenstein,” Gustafer charges a robot made out of cake with electric volts, to awaken him and make the “world a sweeter place.” What comes next is a bizarre and oddly sad friendship tale, of an autotuned cake creature, with cherry eyes that only wants to party. The last song that I’d like to recommend is “Dark Pie,” which tells the story of a green creature that requires inspiration from UFO’s to ensure that he doesn’t continuously bake a burnt dessert. It’s a fun affair that’s unique enough to work and embed its infectious melody inside audience members’ heads.
So why am I recommending such an offbeat show, that’s primarily marketed to children? Well, I think it stokes the fires of imagination and creativity within us. There’s a reason Taylor’s brilliant world of vocals, instruments and hand-drawn animation is so captivating to both adults and children. Taylor has performed for all adult audiences before, opening for the likes of Wilco and Polyphonic Spree. The songs are hypnotizing and transport you to another world for a little bit. In our chaotic and stressful world, an acoustic escape, into a trippy world where you can fly on pancakes and experience infinity in a sock. Gustafer Yellowgold and his eel and his dragon and his pterodactyl named Forest Applecrumble are reflections of our former selves; the child inside of us that wants to ignore responsibilities for a brief moment and explore a colorful world where the only thing that can make you cry is an anthropomorphic onion. Yeah, I know it sounds a little silly, but I challenge you to not get “One’s Onions” stuck in your head.
If you’re like me and consider yourself a semi-intellectual adult, but still enjoy the hell out of light hearted musicals, or shows like Adventure Time, make sure you keep this memorable fantasy experience on your radar.
Gustafer Yellowgold | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St. | Sunday, Oct. 25, at 11:00am/doors at 10:30am | $8