Koo Koo Kangaroo Has a New Concept Album All About St. Louis Bread Co.


The concept album has been a potent weapon in the songwriter's arsenal ever since Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads chronicled the devastating economic hardship wrought upon migrant workers in California during the drought and erosion of the 1930s.

Since then it has been employed to devastating effect by artists including Pink Floyd, whose classic The Wall tells the tale of a man grappling with his place in society as he plunges further into isolation and insanity; Weezer, whose album Pinkerton deals with matters of sexual frustration and lost love while taking inspiration from Puccini's Madame Butterfly; and Kendrick Lamar, whose To Pimp a Butterfly takes a hard look at the pressures and pitfalls of being a black artist and entertainer in America.

Well, get ready to mark another notch on the wall for the potency of the form, because Koo Koo Kangaroo just released a new concept album, and the subject matter is no less vital than those mentioned above: specifically, the virtues of St. Louis Bread Co.

The members of Koo Koo Kangaroo. - PRESS PHOTO
  • The members of Koo Koo Kangaroo.
The album, entitled Fast Casual, just came out at the end of September, and every bit of it is a celebration of the somewhat-pricey-but-pretty-tasty Bread Co. food St. Louisans have been enjoying ever since the chain opened its first store in Kirkwood in 1987. (Since Koo Koo Kangaroo is based in Minneapolis, all of its references are to "Panera Bread" rather than the chain's real name, but we know what time it really is.)

Along with the release of the album, Koo Koo Kangaroo has also launched a new Bread Co.-based blog called Bread Boys. In it, the duo explains what inspired them to write an entire record about soups and sandwiches:
We’re a touring band and we make our living by playing live events all over the place. That means for weeks at a time we dine at restaurants and bars. Those meals can be wonderful and delicious! But most of the time we’re looking at greasy, fried food that is best consumed in moderation. Over the last few years we’ve made a point of dining at Panera Bread when we’re on the road, and with over 2,000 locations across the county, they’re easy to find!
The band cites the stores' relatively healthy food, consistency and its coffee lounge as the three main reasons for its brand loyalty (and artistic inspiration). On the record, its songs extol the virtues of salads and "pick two" menus over party-pop beats written to excite children (Koo Koo Kangaroo's fan base is predominantly in the ten-years-of-age-or-under demographic).

On gift-giving, from lead track "Gift Cards":

I can get
something fantastic
if I have
that piece of plastic
step right up
maybe pick two
so much choice
love this menu

If ya’ll need gift ideas for me me
no need to go on shopping spree spree
very specific currency see
Panera store credit’s my plea plea 
On difficult decisions, from "U Pick 2":
I'm the type of person who can't decide anything
Stuck at a four way stop, left right or straight?
I wanna eat way more than one thing
I can't be expected to choose
and I see so much that I want
on this menu

when you’re looking for food
you pick two
let me show you the move
you pick two 
On internet connectivity, from "WiFi":
I bought a coffee to use the WiFi
I bought a coffee to use the WiFi
I hope they don’t notice that my cup is dry
I bought a coffee to use the WiFi
The WiFi
The WiFi
I really really really like the WiFi
The WiFi
The WiFi 

There's nine tracks of this. It's absolutely perfect music for brainwashing your kids into being excited about eating a Fuji apple salad and soup out of a bread bowl. And hey! Those kids will have a chance to see their new health-food heroes in the flesh next month when Koo Koo Kangaroo hits the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill for a show on November 29.

A word of warning to the band though: Remember, around these parts we call it "Bread Co." Keep that P-word outta your mouths and you'll do just fine.

Listen to the new album for yourself below:

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