by carl wilson

Guest Post: When Adult & Kid Worlds Collide


While Carl scrambles with deadlines, friends step in to keep Zoilus fresh. Today it's Helen Spitzer, broadcaster, writer, omni-rocker and mom, discussing an event this weekend that puts the "all" in all ages. - CW

Thrills abound in the T-dot this weekend, but perhaps the thrillingest ticket is an afternoon show at the El Mocambo this Sunday. Hotter than Feist tickets! More sold-out than Amy Winehouse! It's Rock Plaza Central and a band of 10-year-olds called The Bunnies!

I'm impressed by what the Bunch ladies (Rebecca Brown and Lisa Kaplan) have kicked into action. In a little over a year they've conjured up an entire scene in Toronto around the notion of rocking out with your kids - first with their Family Dance Parties, and then with the "Indie for Kiddies" events (they kicked it off last August with the always already kidfriendly Bicycles). And while at some all-ages events people still look at you funny if you bring your 8-year-old, these shows truly are kid-centred - they keep it under 85 dB and babies get in free. Crawling babies at the El Mocambo, ladies and gents. When did this all happen?

It should be a no-brainer (and I was dying for this kinda thing 10 years ago) but I think it's the confluence of indie kids breeding and feminist mamas who aren't apologetic about wanting to have lives. I'm thrilled about this long overdue shift into parenting culture - and I'm not talking about smug hipsters still fretting about their cred.

I was chatting about this with Bunch co-founder Rebecca Brown at their Family Dance Party a few weeks back for a piece I've been working on for CBC Radio 3. Kids were breakdancing downstairs and DJ Fase was spinning, but we were upstairs comparing notes on France, where kids go out on the town with their parents and Barney never rears his insipid head. "It's a North American phenomena - this idea that there's a grownup world and a kid world," she said. It's so true - and I wonder if it has roots in darker cultural manoeuvres. Further research may prove me wrong, but I can't help thinking that a children's culture that infantilizes the parents grew out of the whole 1950s move of shooing women out of the bigger world and back into more appropriate spheres.

Theorizing aside, I'm just glad that this is happening now. Rebecca and Lisa are fab for so many reasons, but what I enjoyed about them most was the frank way they speak of bridging the chasm between kid world and adult world. Lisa: "When I had my first kid, I kind of switched into 'mommy mode' - and I was actually a bit sad. Why am I suddenly just a mom? Why does it have to be that we have to do everything just for our kids and not ourselves anymore?" Rebecca: "Toronto's such a vibrant city and sometimes when you're a parent you can get a little pushed out of that. We just wanted to elbow our way back in."

Elbow away, mamas! If you're just learning about this show for the first time here - well, it's long sold out - so I'll leave you this little taste of the Bicycles from last year, and a quick hit from a lady who never seems to have a problem navigating the two worlds, Zoilus fave Mimi Smartypants, whose cheeky smartness kind of reminds me of Carolyn Mark. - Helen Spitzer

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Friday, May 25 at 1:53 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)



My wife and I haven't given up our indie-rockness and can't wait until the kids hone their chops so we can make an indie-family-band. Our 4-year-old is showing serious promise on the drums, and the 2-year-old sings into anything resembling a microphone. Why would anyone abandon such fun?!

Posted by Chad on May 25, 2007 3:00 PM




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