Results: Child Vocalists

Jeffrey Markowitz

The Shaggs – My Pal Foot Foot

I have a secret to tell you: my pal foot foot is sitting right next to me, and he would like to say “hello stranger, I will hug you, love you, and haunt your dreams and turn them to nightmares for the rest of your days.” He looks strange, like a foot fucked a tiger and someone slapped a googly eye on it. Isn’t he just the most precious thing you’ve ever seen? Don’t you think so, I mean for true? Someone gave foot foot to me, some strange person named Dot from some group called The Shaggs. She looks a bit homely and I think she wants to put my pet rabbit in a pot of boiling water, or maybe she just wants to watch the latest episode of Cop Rock with me, I can never tell these days. In any case, I have this little foot foot and this little tribute to this little foot foot that is just so wonderful in a not-so-little way.

When I play with foot foot I hear its feet go pit-pit-pit-pat-pat-pat in 57/128 time. You may not have heard 57/128 time before, maybe because you don’t have a foot foot of your own, idiot. Don’t dismay though, I have the perfect solution for your dilemma to the tune of a tune with a cartoon that has pictures of my lil’ foot foot pit-pat’ing to the bluesy 57/128 beat. Really, isn’t a pit-pat’ing foot foot in 57/128 the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen? No? Then may foot foot live in your dreams and nightmares for the rest of the days.


Chris Lucas

Notorious B.I.G. – The Sky’s the Limit

A child’s vocal ability lies in their ability to mimic the sounds of their parents. But a true child vocalist needs more than vocals – he or she needs skills. What Spike Jonze found and what you are watching is perhaps the most gifted child vocalist of our generation. Sure, we may not catch a single sound from this kid’s voice, but you hear this shit, don’t you. He is tapping a deeper level of mimicry – beyond sound – that recreates and taps the very soul of a (now dead) man. I concede that he’s got a bit of that child obesity that was going around in the late 90’s, but physical resemblance only goes so far. For example, the kid who plays Puffy looks a thousand times cooler than Puff. For authenticity’s sake, he should have been much douchier.

This video not only features the greatest child vocalist, it is a metaphor for the entire child vocalist experience – be a child entertainer but act like an adult to successfully operate in the adult world. The cruel irony is of course the adult world is playing a child’s game of make believe.

And for you parents out there, I made sure to find the censored version of this song. It’s got a positive feel, but we wouldn’t want our kids to learn any bad words or anything.

Th McCaffrey

Smoosh – Rad

Months ago, the Iron Clef lottery first tasked me with selecting a song about puberty. That was fine. In anyone’s personal cannon there is bound to be some musician performing some interpretation of that horridly embarrassing time zone of youth, right? But Child Vocalists? Since I do not even like children (save for family and friend’s kids), never mind not having any music in my library by children, I had no idea what to select. The song I finally picked is technically not even sung by a child (the singer, at the time, was 13), but is sufficiently childish enough to qualify.

Smoosh is, as far as I have read, beloved by many esteemed indie rockstars such as Kim Gordon and Cat Power (the latter of whom actually covered the song). “Rad,” from Smoosh’s second record, She Like Electric, is a song my roommates found a couple of years ago on a cable On Demand music channel. When I first heard it it was horrifying. I demanded its execution by remote control firing squad as soon as I saw one of the two punch the On Demand button. But despite my consternation, both roommates continued playing the song while I was in attendance. I don’t know if it was the “Uh huh, Uh huh / Yo, yo” vocals or the awkward lyrics about soccer practice and being able to “go anywhere,” but the song felt menacing to me.

That is when I realized it was my problem. Sure, the song is not written for my demographic (28, male, lush), and while there is nothing in me that recommends Smoosh during the morning commute, it is still somehow amazing. It remains a song I could never write, being too old. I have too many guards up, too many blinders, to write with abandon. Maybe that’s why so many established acts support them. In that youthful abandon lies potential for a future artist. All the years we spend growing up, there are areas where musicians don’t have to. They get to dance and swagger on about whatever it is they want while the rest of us grind along in the stuttered, banal requirements of life. We’re too entombed to do anything about anything ourselves. But the kids don’t give a shit. They haven’t lost interest. They’re alright.

Voting age? Hell no.



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Filed under Chris Lucas, Jeffrey Markowitz, Response, Th McCaffrey

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