Pancake Mountain

January 24, 2008 at 4:58 am Leave a comment

Thievery Corporation showing the kids the ones and two’s

This show seems to have already established itself as an institution in the States. Pancake Mountain, now in it’s 5th (?) season is entirely produced by volunteers and features guest music spots from such indie pop giants as Shoen Knife, Arcade Fire, Scissor Sisters, Built to Spill, The Go Team and many more.

“It’s a school night and we’re out past our bedtime!” shrills the announcer at Washington’s 9:30 Club. “Yeaaaaah!” scream the fans, throwing up their hands. “Ready for Arcade Fire?” she says. “Yeaaaaah!” they shriek. On cue, the rock band whips into its scratchy anthem “Wake Up,” and a couple dozen adrenalized tots start air-guitaring around them onstage.

It was a scene that could take place only on Pancake Mountain, the hippest music program on television, and America’s best hope that the future will rock.

Started in 2003 as a variety program for children, this kooky public-access show has quietly become the must-play gig for grown-up bands from the White Stripes to Eddie Vedder, and a must-watch for music fans in the know. Past shows have featured dance instruction with hip-hop star M.I.A., an impromptu rendition of “Wheels on the Bus” by indie rocker Ted Leo, and a sheep puppet interviewing funk legend George Clinton.

It’s a prime example of how a little D.I.Y. integrity—Pancake Mountain is filmed in D.C. on a shoestring—and a lot of patience can go a long way in building a brand. “It pisses on every music show I’ve ever seen,” enthuses Ian Parton of British ensemble the Go! Team, who recently jammed on Pancake Mountain. “I don’t know who’s behind it, but obviously it’s someone who knows their shit.”

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Entry filed under: Television.

Kid’s TV Goes Sideways Look Out! It’s Kids With Mullets!

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