What Would Charlie Brown Listen To?


Another installment of Hugs and Kisses from Brisbane-based Everett True.

Cartoon-dub genius

Hugs and Kisses

The Cartoony Outbursts of Everett True

This week: Charles Schulz’s Peanuts

Inspired by the presence of the latest awesome Peanuts box set reissue from Fantagraphic Books on my desk, I fell to idly wondering what music its characters of Peanuts would be enjoying if they were still around (and, uh, real).

I saw a great homemade video years back of the entire cast freaking out to OutKast’s “Hey Ya” (the original was presumably taken from A Charlie Brown Christmas)–the reason it works so well is because the juxtaposition doesn’t feel ironic on any level: rather, you feel that Linus, Sally and the gang would totally have appreciated OutKast’s enthusiastic groove, and the synergy is natural.

When long-time creator Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, his room was preserved with a Brahms album on the turntable and a couple of Buck Owens records and a best of ABBA nestling among the classical and jazz albums on the shelves. But since when did a cartoon’s mentor have any say over the musical taste of his creations?

The amount of agonising and pontificating Charlie Brown and friends did over the strip’s run of nearly five decades places them naturally among today’s indie kids. Charlie Brown himself, with his constant self-doubt and tormented thoughts, is a natural Sebadoh or Bill Callahan fan–too navel-gazing to realise his attraction to the opposite sex (particularly Peppermint Patty), he spends his days agonising over his lack of character amid occasional naïve bursts of optimism. Snoopy, on the other hand, would like the bubbly outpourings of a Los Campesinos! or These Dancing Days: life is too short not to be spent in constant enjoyment. And occasionally, he might indulge his darker (Red Baron) side with a little Neu! or Harmonia. No really: forget all that sugary Sixties stuff and doo wop.

Schroeder–fed up with countless years of being laughed at by Lucy for playing Beethoven, and wanting to ‘sex’ up his image (to use the academic parlance)–pretends to like Bond (not the film, the all-female violin troupe), although secretly he loathes them for tainting his beloved music with notions of ‘glamour’. Pigpen (the one-joke boy forever covered in dirt) appreciates the finer nuances of Fucked Up. Sally, Charlie Brown’s younger–and smarter–sister, being somewhat of a proto-Riot Grrrl, still brings out her early Sleater-Kinney albums and pines for the old days. Woodstock, Snoopy’s constant and irritating bird companion, I’d have pegged as a Coldplay fan (the colour gives it away).

And as for Lucy–the loud-mouthed, brashly opinionated, domineering bully herself? She’s clearly an Oasis fan.

Most Popular