Kid Rock


Saw this poster taped to a lamppost in my neighborhood last weekend. There is so much to admire about it. My first thought concerned the talent/practice angle as espoused by Anders Ericsson.

I played in a bunch of bands when I was a kid. Although we were generally dreadful, playing clumpy versions of bad cover songs at poorly attended basement gigs, it was hard to deny that all that very deliberate practice paid off. By the time you’re 16 or 17 and start writing your own songs, you have some idea of what works and what doesn’t and, perhaps most important, how to not drive each other crazy, since being in a band is essentially like being married to four or five people at the same time.

So it wouldn’t shock me if the kids who put up this sign accumulate some worthwhile human capital — whether or not related to actually playing music — by the time they’re young adults.

First of all, I love how organized they are. Looks like they went to the trouble to secure use of their building’s common room for an hour on two consecutive days (no easy feat in New York). I love the alternate coloring of the lettering. I love their upbeat attitude (“Hope to see you there”), and the fact that they’re taking themselves seriously enough to hold auditions. I especially love that their band is called Punx (and is trademarked), and the sign has a skull-and-crossbones on it, and yet they’re also looking for a pianist to round out their hardcore sound. Finally, I love that they’re recruiting within such a broad age rage, 9 to 14. When I was a kid, 14-year-olds and 9-year-olds didn’t hang out; as a parent, however, I’m all for such age diversity.

Yeah, I’m not crazy about the i’s dotted with hearts, or the ungrammatical “your own,” and I doubt they really meant for kids to lug their own pianos to the audition. But it wouldn’t shock me to one day see the Punx (or, more likely, some eighth or fifteenth iteration thereof) actually making some good music.


My gut tells me this poster was done by one of the band members' older sisters or mother. Most 9-14 year-olds don't yet know all the elements of style that were used in this -- and still being in school probably wouldn't make the "you're own" mistake like many adults do.


I'm guessing by "pianist" they meant "electronic keyboard player" or "synth player." If 13 year olds are buying expensive synths, then, well, I guess this is New York.

Willie Cavecche

Forget the pianist, I'd hate to have to bring my own drum set to an audition, especially as a 13-year-old.

David Beach

I am hoping someone challenges the trademark lol

Holly Loudly

There are girl punx in that band.


Looks like a good way to abduct children ages 9-14.


there's definitely a conflict
in the hearts vs skull
Girl band?

btw Everyone adds extra apostrophes these days, young and old alike.


As a member of a rock band, what struck me was they were recruiting just about an ENTIRE band. As in perhaps one person, who wants to be a rock star, deciding to hold "auditions" for, well, everything else.

Bands are notorious for the difficulty within them. There are at least a couple of contributory reasons beyond just having a bad attitude:

1) Good musicians are, to some degree or another, "artists." They CARE about their music, and are very territorial about it. So, when working on a new song, and somone says, "That sounds like something out of the 80s," well, you can imagine that the writer might have some problem with that. And if he/she doesn't bark back right then, then it just goes into the Resentment folder for future use.

2) Being in each other's faces all the time. I love my wife, but if we don't have some apart time here and there, we'll break apart here and there. That's why many bands, close as brothers on the road, lead relatively separate lives off the road. They either know better, or simply don't WANT to be around these people anymore...until a couple of months later they start missing the band.



My bet is that the "we" is two sisters, a vocalist/guitarist and her younger bass-playing sister. Their ages? I would say 9 and 12, possibly 9 and 13.


I think that Malcolm Gladwell's thoughts on how access to opportunity early in life are more appropriate here. While it's nice to think that this is a totally self-directed project by a few musical kids, I think it's a bit disingenuous. this is, after all, the upper west side, and chances are the resale value of the apartment those kids live in is a bit higher than the median home value in the united states. the kids starting the band are lucky to have been born into a household that clearly cares about concerted cultivation, as are the kids who see that sign and respond, bringing along their own instruments, which probably aren't rentals.

is it a nice idea? sure, and it seems like a great way to meet new kids in your neighborhood. kudos to the kids if they thought of it on their own. however, in terms of economic concepts, i think it's a much more telling illustration of the inequality of opportunity in america than of the value of practice.



Can anyone else not see the poster image?


I'm thinking that by "punk" they mean Avril Lavigne punk. As in, not punk in any way, shape, or form.

Richard Weitkunat

I think you're reading WAY too much into this. Maybe they didnt "secure" use of the LOBBY - its a public space. Surprise, creativity in youth - they must be geniuses.


If they could make a piano work in a hardcore punk band I think this could be quite innovative. I do, of course, realize that the 9-14 age group has almost no concept of what punk really is. After all, these kids were born after the punk revial of the 1990s.

Rafferty Uy

Cool! but the colors isn't really rock band colors! haha


I can't get past the "you're". Maybe their parents should discourage any extracurricular activities until the kids can pass English.


It looks like Punx already is taken -- it's a german electro label:

Kids these days and their trademark violations, next thing you know they'll be stealing music over the internets

Mr. Noah Kleiman

I run a nonprofit music recording studio for teens in Portland, Oregon. I'll say this: I would never underestimate the ability of 9 - 14 year old musicians to create music that would rawk the world of even the most discriminating author and journalist who lives in New York City. It's true that practice doesn't happen any faster, but music writing and instrument playing aren't the same skill.

A lot has changed since we were that age. Music production equipment & software is cheaper, easier to use, and more commonplace today (Garageband). Teens and tweens of today spend more time listening to more music than ever before (iPod), and they have the ability to share their own music (MySpace), even distribute their own CDs (CDBaby).

Brian Wilke

If anybody wants to check out what a kids' band can do, check out Smoosh

When they made their first album, the two older sisters were 12 and 10.


The superscript TM (correctly used here) indicates that they claim it as a trademark, but that it is not registered. This would require one of those little R-in-a-circle thingos which you get to use when your trademark is registered.