Because your kids have better things to do than listen to Sharon, Lois and Bram condescend to them about elephants

Last month, the city’s most hopeful small press racketeers crammed their earnest handshakes into the gymnasium of the JCC at Spadina and Bloor for the Toronto Small Press Book Fair.

Having only minutes to check the scene out—dashing to work from a family garden party, at which candy sushi was served—my eyes fell on by far the coolest tablers there: Bronwyn and Madeleine Kay.

The young sisters were each hawking their wares, Bronwyn’s Kitty Corner, focused on all things feline, and Madeleine’s Curdled Way, with emphasis on guinea pigs and horse drawings.

Regardless of the ages of the Kay sisters, and their occasionally creative spelling, their zines are some of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a while. I mean come on — Kitty Corner features the untitled poem “I am a cat I don’t know why I am a / Cat why oh why.” Were you that existential at age nine? Doubtful!

Still, as rad as the Kay sisters are, they’re not the only pre-pubescent cool kids who have probably done things twice as awesome as the things you lie about to your friends.

I dare you to listen to the Kidz Bop version of “Float On” by Modest Mouse and not finally realize how great a song it is. And while we’re talking childrens’ choruses singing pop songs, how about the vintage charm of the Mini Pops? Or if you’re really trying to impress your cute record store clerk you could always go the obscure ’70s Canadian route of this little ultra-niche genre. A note to all cute record store clerks: I’m a cute bookstore-workin’ kind of girl, we should talk.

When I first got into the whole Kidz Bop/Mini Pops phenomenon, my then-roommate begged me to turn off the sick jams, but she listened almost exclusively to show tunes and new country. I love you, Amy Deverell.

Anyhow, I realize these renditions aren’t for everyone but it’s hard to not at least appreciate their existence, disturbing as they may occasionally be. Your kids don’t want to listen to Sharon, Lois and Bram condescend to them about elephants — they want nine-year-olds singing Sk8er Boi. And I’m okay with that.

Of course if you’re in the mood for kids rocking out original jams you still have plenty of options. A few years ago Blocks Recording Club put out this Toronto Is Great compilation of local bands, the likes of which has scarce been seen since. Mid-way through the disc, I was at least mildly surprised to hear a song about Jessica Simpson by what sounded like a chick. It turned out to be a little boy. The band was Frank FB_A.

Granted only one of the members was a youngster and pretty much anything can be arbitrarily considered cool these days but come on, if your older sibling had let you be in their band when you were thirteen how much more awesome would you be today? Hey, Sam! Can I be in your giant killer musical yet?

But more important than harassing my brother via his own web-o-blog-apolooza, more important than “I backed my car into a cop car the other day / Yeah!” and even more important than CANDY SUSHI is the fact that kids half your age have done things way more impressive than you. Way to go, loser.

Posted on July 11, 2008 by | Old Stuff | 2 Comments »| Tags: ,

2 Responses »

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