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Pop Montreal: Kids Pop

October 4-5 / École Lambert-Closse (5840 St. Urbain)

October can be a stressful time. The carefree, warm days of September have ended and McGill students must actually tackle all the assignments that have piled up while we were partying, playing in the park, and pretending it was still summer. One technique many psychologists suggest to deal with such stressful events is known as “regression.” It involves reverting to patterns of behaviour used in childhood, when life was simple and there was no need to write a ten-page paper about the use of the Realist theory to explain protracted conflict in the Middle East.

If you’re looking to journey back into your childhood, Kids Pop might just be the ticket. The event offers free programming for “budding young artists.” Activities include various workshops and shows that take place at the École Lambert-Close at the corner of Bernard and St. Urbain.

One of the more notable events is a family dinner concert put on by Socalled, a hip-hop musician who mixes music from strange sources such as klezmer bands and Hebrew prayers. Ironically, his other performance at Pop Montreal will be a musical collaboration with Final Fantasy for a porn film at Cinéma L’Amour.

Two Kids Pop activities will be put on by McGill’s own CKUT. The Soundwalk is a tour of Mile End where kids record “iconic sounds” such as traffic, and people having coffee at the Cagibi, as well as local artists who have been invited to perform in local spaces.

Also, families are invited to participate in a workshop where a CKUT group that invents its own sound equipment and experiments with circuit bending will help kids build their own instruments using electrical circuits. According to Marc Montanchez, who will be running the workshop, this type of musical experimentation is all part of a “subgenre of people exploring music as noise.” The tradition has roots in radio and allows musicians to explore the physics of sound. Information about the programs can be found on their MySpace page:

Charlotte Scott, who will be running the Soundwalk, states, “CKUT has a 20-year-long tradition of using sound in an experimental way” and is always excited to offer children an experience that can’t be found in schools, raising their awareness of other ways of making music. According to Scott, family workshops are important parts of festivals like Pop Montreal because “the people who established alternative culture are getting older and having kids. They don’t want to give up everything they created, move to the suburbs, and have their kids grow up with only TV and crappy music…. In the ‘iPod era’ of consumer electronics, it’s important to show kids they have the ability and the right to create the culture they enjoy instead of just being blind receivers of it.”

– Carly Shenfeld