Hear Karen O's Sadly Pretty Cover Of "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys"

Last night was the opening of Stop The Virgens, the opera starring and co-created by Karen O, which runs at St. Ann's Warehouse through Oct. 22. (There are still some tickets available!) The Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer has also lent her voice to an ad campaign spearheaded by the burrito-and-taco chain Chipotle, singing a weary, gorgeous version of the country classic "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys." (The ad campaign is really for Chipotle's pro-sustainable-agriculture nonprofit arm, hence the sadness.) Listen below.

And here are some early reviews of Stop The Virgens:

César Alvarez: "Anyone who is taking non-mainstream popular music and putting it in a theatrical setting has my attention and I applaud the work for walking that very tricky and unfriendly territory... Karen O's voice was exquisite, the vocal arrangements in the chorus were elegant and the momentary cacophonies were pretty interesting. Most interesting was the beginning when the chorus members are all singing antiphonally. Though I'm a sucker for big groups of singers using their voices as texture and singing off mic."

Meg Mason: "stop the virgens was totally sublime. The music was awesome, the costumes were insane, & closing #, phenom"

ckflano : "... was pretty wild."

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I give the show a C-. Highlights were Karen O's gorgeous voice, her own costumes, the projection art, and the music. But half the audience was unable to see the choreography on the stage floor because they were standing and the stage was only about three or four feet high. (The set designer could have put mirrors on the ceiling or staged it in a venue like BAM Harvey with raked seating above the stage.) The virgens' wigs looked like they came from Party City's Halloween section and the poly satin dresses looked like off-the-rack choir gowns--in fact, one of them was coming unstitched. I have hope that if they hire a better director, the show could work. It was exciting to see so many women on stage and the music was wonderful. But what a disappointment overall. 

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

I'm down with Karen O's advert music—that "Hello Tomorrow" song she did with Squeak E. Clean for a Spike Jonze–directed sneaker ad in 2005 was the shit.

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