Thursday, May 21, 2009

Faith Renewed

Last night, after laying low for a few months, the Kids On TV emerged from their haunted house jam space, dressed as Hibiscus of the Cockettes (featuring sequined eyebrows applied by Margot Keith), to perform two new songs and a Kate Bush "Cloudbusting" tribute at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The show, which also featured Gentleman Reg and a new be-wigged Eurosongstress, was a party for the sold out Inside Out screening of "Hogtown Homos," featuring videos by Final Fantasy, Reg, The Hidden Cameras, and shorts by local artists.

The Kids On TV "Cloudbusting" tribute featured arrangements by Katie Stelmanis and a choir that included members of The Pining- a fantastic new local band that plays stripped down songs in a country vein.

But it wasn't only the Kate Bush choir singing: The Kids On TV have become more melodic and tuneful of late, and with "That Man is Just a Man," it seems they have a new song that is every bit as good as Breakdance Hunx, AKA the song we all know the words to. Shout it with me now, from your office, or the cafe where you surf the web: "YOU THINK SO? I KNOW SO!"

That the Kids re-emerged with even more glitter than ever is symbolic of the state of the West end's artistic imagination. For a brief period in the early 00s, Toronto bands and artists were winning hearts and minds around the world, and local labels and collectives were popping up like spring gophers. But it seemed like that scene had sort of fizzled, which anything does as soon as it is called a 'scene.' It is true that Canada's increasingly administrative culture, which prioritizes "mainstream" thinkers (see this Toronto Star article for more info about what counts as "mainstream" in the PMO's office), and general economic malaise have been like carbon monoxide to artists.

But, if the fiery golden glitter in the Kids On TVs' molten beards is any indication, the artistic imagination will not be kept down, nor confined to a past moment that casts occlusive shadows on the future by means of the false light of nostalgia. Like the moon, nostalgia's glow is merely a pale reflection of the future's brilliant possibilities.



  1. The new be-wigged Eurosongstress is Mao Mao and she's fabulous!

  2. With a name like that, does she cover the song from Godard's "Les Chinoises"?