KIDS ON TV (1 am) with HOSTILE TAKEOVER (9 pm), the VULCAN DUB SQUAD (10 pm), MaDRID (11 pm) and the postage stamps (midnight) at Sneaky Dee's (431 College), Friday (March 5) as part of CMW. $6, wristbands accepted. 416-603-3090. Rating: NNNNN
Disco and punk have both had dozens of different revivals since their heyday in the 70s, and if you hadn't noticed, the most recent ones have included a bit of both. The electroclash thing may have died off, but the aftershocks of that intersection of underground dance and underground rock have broken ground for a more open-ended project that's still evolving around the world.
Meet Kids on TV. They're sleazy, in your face, obnoxious (in a good way), loud and fast. Born out of burlesque performances by John Caffery and Mike E.B. at Buddies in Bad Times and Vazaleen, with the addition of Minus Smile they became a full-on synth-punk attack force.
"I guess this summer was arguably the tail end of the electro thing. Some people would say it died long before that, and others would say it's still alive. There's a fairly strong electro influence on this CD, but since then we've added drums, guitar, bass, percussion and all kinds of sounds that aren't in that style but are still kind of dance music," Minus Smile explains.
Caffery's explanation of their intentions is a little more basic.
"We just want to make music for people to dance to - that's a big agenda for us. We want people to move and engage and participate."
Songs about breakdancing, music combining electro and acid house references with post-punk aggression, queer underpinnings to the lyrics and attitude - sounds kind of like 20 years ago, eh? For Minus Smile, it's a tad familiar.
"I didn't make any music in the 90s, but I was in bands all through the 80s. In fact, the first band I was ever in was the first band NOW interviewed, in 1981. It was called the Party's Over."
Funny - Minus Smile dropped out for 10 years, coming out of hiding to find the kids coveting his old no-wave and electro records. He wants to use the same drum machines he did back then, and he's getting interviewed by the same paper.
With Mike E.B. currently on tour with the Hidden Cameras (he also DJs around town as That Robotic Kid), the Kids are roping in Chris Mills from Just Like the Movies to fill his shoes. Caffery's thrilled about performing with him again.
"Have you seen him play before? He's a firecracker, that boy," he says with a wink.