Jeffrey Lewis and Drink Up Buttercup both have an affiliation with Rough Trade Records. Their shared sensibilities but uniquely different music genres created an inspired line up. Kidrockers is the perfect vehicle to expose the young to emerging and established music on the independent scene.
Seeing music live true to form without filters is a Kidrocker philosophy. Their Non-commercialized approach to present music raw and full of energy or simply acoustic is the groundwork for a lifetime of appreciation. The founders of Kidrockers Morton Lorge and Beth Lorge are fine hosts and curate fabulous afternoons of diversity in the music with Time Out Kids their sponsor partners.
Kidrockers don’t KID DOWN. So as an adult member of the audience much of the music and general banter is aimed at the adults without ever loosing site of the children's experience. The awesome MC team Seth Herzog and Craig Baldo took a few liberties with adult material. Their jokes were effortlessly delivered with, clever and quick responses. They said to the children “now watch your parents there is a two drink minimum today”. In the middle of each performance set they work the room with mic in hand for a Q and A, much like a contemporary version of Kids Say The Darnedest Things. Waiting for the unexpected question is part of the fun. It was especially interesting hearing the non-questions along with poignant ones. One boy raised his hand and recited abcdefg and Seth’s response was I think that’s a Feist song.
Drink Up Buttercup brings out the kid in me. I assumed they would play an acoustic set but I was so wrong! Not at Kidrockers! The sound was loud but not nearly at the intensity of a typical Drink Up show. They do protect the little ears. The carnival like atmosphere was toned down. They started with "Sozy and Dozy" a hard rocking zany children’s rhyme in a two-step rock polka. A treat was a great new song that repeated the word honey.
The kids politely took it all in not knowing exactly what to do but when asked to join the group on stage they eagerly marched up. The bombardment of little feet forged toward the stage, leaving only the timid behind. The Ramshackle miniature orchestra of percussionists accompanied Drink up for “Gods and Gentlemen".
Drink up thought for their next song the kids would follow them to the center of the venue for a stomp and clap sing-along. Watching the faces of the band turning toward their abandoned instruments to sing to their little comrades of music who stayed firmly on the stage was a riot. When the set was finally over our MC’s referred to it as the best trash can related Jam ever!
Seeing Jeffrey Lewis has been a goal of mine. I think that I chose the best possible venue to see him perform. Nothing was toned down he was totally himself yet his interaction and inspired off the cuff reaction to the kids was genuine and charming.
The songs he chose to sing were sophisticated nursery tales with broad visions of a better world. He delivers his inspired lyrics through an idealistic lens of hopefulness but with the ironic witticism of a seasoned adult. The music celebrates his commitment to social justice, global warming and a broad scope of issues using irony and humor. The banter was highbrow to the pleasure of adults and charmingly sweet with the kids.
He played a great song that he never performed live called “I’ve Been Everywhere”. He invited three enthusiastic audience members to hold the lyrics up and he described them as avant -garde teleprompters.
The questions for Jeffrey were great. “Have you been everywhere”? “When did you get your guitar”? “Do you write the songs yourself”? My favorite was, “how do you get your ideas”? His answers were sincere and thoughtful. I just loved him.
If you have your own kids I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon with them. If you don't, borrow a kid bring a nephew or niece then check the Kidrockers calendar or subscribe to their newsletter for scheduled events at a variety of venues. Their plans to take Kidrockers on the road are emerging. So LA get ready.
Gothamist interview with Beth Lorge
Maryanne Ventrice Flickr set (Official Kidrocker Photographer!) Her Site!