SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
avatar for Kids Of 88

Kids Of 88

Some kids are just different. Jordan Arts and Sam McCarthy knew it from their first, strange meeting of minds at school. Asked to bring their favorite song to class, most 12-year-olds naturally dug out Backstreet Boys or Britney CDs. To their mutual surprise, Sam and Jordan both lugged in Jimi Hendrix LPs. An alliance of outsiders was forged that day. As fashions shifted from dance to nu-metal and hip-hop, the two Auckland teenagers evolved from hitting tin pots to coaxing beats, buzzes, cheeky rhymes and killer tunes from any combo of gadgets fit to plug in and twist to their own often wicked ends. "Jordan and I were both born in 1988," says Sam. "The name Kids of 88 sort of captures what we're doing, picking up bits and pieces of pop culture, sifting the debris from yesteryear and making something new." "I could trace the dance influence back to playing pots and pans in the living room, banging along to a Stereo MCs video," Jordan adds. "But we both went through all kinds of music, played in all kinds of bands to get to this point." "I think our first recording was a live desk track Jordan's dad took off a DAT recorder," he says. "It was the most amazing thing to have one of our own songs burned onto CD. It sounded horrible, probably, but it was pretty cool to hear your first MP3 at the age of 14 or 15." Armed with a precocious store of musical history, rough-edged performance skills and state-of-the-art digital recording know-how, Kids of 88's frenzied home production unit was in full swing before they were old enough to vote. "My House" hit the New Zealand Top 10 in 2009, and the duo's irreverent take on teenaged sexual politics was suddenly on the global pop radar from Sydney to New York and Los Angeles. An international blur of handshakes and backslaps culminated in a deal with Sony Music in mid 2010. Meanwhile, somewhere in the USA, the Kids landed a remix for Ke$ha's single of the moment, "Tik Tok". In turn, Cobra Starship came knocking for a similarly sexy treatment for their "Hot Mess" single. Before their own album was halfway finished, they'd earned a reputation as an outfit that could mash anything to anything else and come up roses. Back in Auckland, they put the finishing touches to their now hotly anticipated debut album for the Dryden Street label. Between the steamy club-floor insinuation s of "Just A Little Bit", the mysteriously intimate groove of "Downtown," which both also hit the Top 10, and the opaque character sketch of "Feed The Birds", their debut album SUGARPILLS slowly defined its sordid allure. "What would a movie be like if this was the soundtrack?" Sam muses. "That's what often directs the lyrics. They might range from really cheeky things that we won't disclose to more specific things, like the bitter side of relationships, or little niche things in pop culture we like to run with." "What surprised us about the album was how much of a melting pot it is," says Jordan. "We feel like we pulled off a four-on-the-floor stomp with 'My House' so that released the pressure and allowed us to be bit more eclectic, go off on tangents." "That moment when you show a song to another person and they get excited, it can just bounce off in any direction," says Sam. "That's the moment we live for. It's that energy that makes a track really take off." Having just supported Passion Pit in Auckland and Scissor Sisters in Australia, Kids of 88 are operating as a four-piece band in a sweaty club near you, which has recently included a stop at the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC. In fact, the U S of A features heavily in the Kids’ plans for 2011. Their new single, “Just A Little Bit,” was released in the states in November, and in February Sony Music is taking the band’s debut EP to college radio in anticipation of a late spring U.S. release of SUGARPILLS. A U.S. tour is also in the works for early 2011. Additionally, Kids Of 88 were chosen to support Ke$ha on her December 2010 European tour which hit the following markets: Zurich, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Madrid & London.

My Artists Sessions

Thursday, March 17

11:00pm CDT

Saturday, March 19

9:15pm CDT