Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tiny Masters of Today

The marketing of pop culture aimed at kids and teenagers is such an influential and, often times, mind-numbing behemoth that, at best, you hope they shun it by picking up a book or a musical instrument. In Austin, there is the Girls Rock Camp where girls ages 10-18 can learn about the music business, music history, songwriting, etc. At this most critical age, it should be encouraged and it has a lot to do with why I'm a fan of a band called Tiny Masters of Today. The band consists of siblings Ada(13) and Ivan(15) and while it's very tempting to say "not bad for their age," their music is actually quite catchy. Pitchfork, however, saw it far differently. This is what reviewer, Matthew Perpetua, had to say about their latest album released this year called Skeletons:

They are impressive only in comparison to a) other kids their age who have not somehow been encouraged to become a full-time touring band by hipster stage parents, and b) their least-inspired adult contemporaries. At their best, the Tiny Masters provide self-conscious kiddy variations on vaguely arty strains of punk and alt-rock, but there is very little practical use for this music besides causing adults to go, "awww, cute!" The lyrics are predictably banal and laughable, the vocals are uniformly flat and insecure. The melodies are not bad, but they are simplistic and mostly have the irritating cadences of playground chants and jingles. (Truly, much of the album sounds like a series of homemade Mountain Dew ads.)

This work may be "pretty good for their age," but that's about it. It does not matter how old the authors may be-- this is very shallow, unengaging music, and it is hard to imagine anyone truly caring about any of these songs.

And it's hard for me to imagine how this review is worth anyone taking seriously. The beauty of this album is that it is kids being kids making music that appeals to them produced on garageband, no less - not by slick producers. How DIY is that? Put down the self-righteous pen, pitchfork, and let them be kids.

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