Kid Koala Vinyl Vaudeville at Cedar Poster
Kid Koala Setlist
5/5: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
5/7: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
5/8: Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater
5/10: Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
5/12: Austin, TX @ 3TEN ACL
5/13: Dallas, TX @ AT&T Performing Arts Center
5/15: Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
5/16: Washington, DC @ Union Stage
5/17: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's
5/18: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Hall
5/19: Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
About Floor Kids
Floor Kids is a new breakdance battle game featuring unique freestyle gameplay, rhythm challenges, and multiplayer sessions. Discover stylized hand-drawn graphics by award-winning animator JonJon set to an original soundtrack by world-renowned scratch DJ/producer Kid Koala. Innovative controls allow you the freedom to play the way you like with a dynamic scoring system that rewards your moves based on musicality, originality, and style. Build up your crew of bboys and bgirls, unlocking new characters and locations as you cross the city, busting hundreds of different moves and countless combinations on your journey from the corner to the club. Bring Your Skills. Build Your Crew. Find Your Style.
For this 2018 tour, Kid Koala dubbed these 18 shows as “The Floor Kids Edition”, as it is also in part a promotion for the breakdancing video game called Floor Kids (available for the Nintendo Switch and coming soon to Steam), which he provided the music soundtrack for the game. It’s quite an interesting cross-promotion, as you rarely see arcade video game machine available for fans to test out at the show. The three Floor Kids machines were constantly used before the show started, so it was a big hit.
The show was also billed as kids-friendly, so there were plenty of parents and their children at the show. Unfortunately, many of the parents and children left early. It’s understandable, as it’s a school night, after all.... but you can’t help but think that this kind of kids show would better be held in the day (and preferably on a weekend).
Warming up the show was DJ Jester the Filipino Fist (aka G. Michael Pendon), who played plenty of medley of the 80s and 90s pop hits. You can tell what era he grew up in, playing David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” to Vanity 6’s “Nasty Girl” to Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” to The Pointer Sisters’ “Automatic”, etc.
Although mostly pop/rock songs of yesteryears, there’s also plenty of odd wonders in there too, including King Missile’s “Detachable Penis”, Dead Milkmen’s “Right Wing Pigeons”, and DJ Jester’s theme song, Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time” (which we declared as a hit on our playlist in August 2009).
The other cool thing about DJ Jester is that all these songs were from vinyl records, played on two turn tables. It’s probably much easier and effortless to just bring a laptop and a harddrive, but where’s the fun in that? In the time Jester spent on stage, he must’ve gone through a crate of records (probably over a hundred 12” records).
Next on the “Vinyl Vaudeville” bill was Adira Amram & The Experience. Kid Koala “experienced” one of her shows in New York City and immediately fell in love with her act, which is part singing, dancing, and comedian. He begged her to be part of this show, and as a result, this was Amram’s first time in Minnesota. Thankfully, most of the snow have melted by this time.
Amram is joined by two dancers: Jessi “Jamz” Erian and Maresa “Body and Soul” D'Amore-Morrison. She loves her dancers so much, she actually wrote (and performed) a song for them (“Jessi and Maresa”, played after “Boom Boom”). Her set was rather short, but full of high energy dance routines. During the end of her set finale for “Pizza Party”, she body surfed to the DJ soundboard (where Kid Koala would sometime help out on his wireless sampler).
The Canadian turntable artist Kid Koala closed out the night. As previously mentioned, we’re actually big fans of his work since 2001’s Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Ninja Tunes). We love Deltron 3030 and amazed at his Nufonia Must Fall shows. Perhaps some of those, puppeteers from Nufonia joined Koala on this tour, but we can’t be sure.
Kid Koala’s “Vinyl Vaudeville” show was some of the most fun, most inventive show we’ve seen in a while. There’s just something really magical about watching puppeteers animate these homemade fabric puppets. There’s no computerize tricks, just old fashion hand manipulated puppets.
Koala’s set (please refer to setlist), used a lot of material from his 2012 album 12 Bit Blues... which is not his latest release. His current album Music to Draw To: Satellite was more of a collaborative album with Icelandic singer Emilíana Torrini... and probably would require live vocal singing from Torrini. Instead, he sample her song “Gun” with “So What Cha Want” by The Beastie Boys.
Koala explained the secret origin story of his (now) infamous Koala suit he wears at shows. He jumped at the chance to appear on the children show Yo Gabba Gabba to show off what a cool dad he was to his daughter. The night before he was to fly to the Yo Gabba Gabba set, his wife asked what he was wearing on the show. He quickly realized that everyone who appeared on the program wore crazy outfits and costumes. With her trusty sewing machine, she whipped out a Koala suit for Kid Koala to wear.
He wore the suit for a year, after he lost a bet with his record label Ninja Tune, and now, despite his protest, is synonymous with the outfit.
For his “Was He Slow?” song, Kid Koala told us that he almost appeared on Baby Driver as a hand model because Ansel Elgort was busy filming a stunt that day. Thankfully, Elgort (who is also a DJ), stepped in at the last minute and saved the day.
Late in his set, Kid Koala asked the audience for participation. They were developing and filming footage for their upcoming Conjoined Octopus DJs story. A story about conjoined Octopus DJ brothers. The two scenes they shot at our show was a rave scene and a sweeping, quiet piano scene.
Koala closed out the show with one of his famous mix for “Moon River” (dedicated to his mother and “all the women over 60”) and set finale “8 Bit Blues”. The latter song is about being on the road, traveling from “Chicago to LA to NY” and catchy chorus “312 to 213 to 312 to 213″ samples. The finale song was a lot of fun, as Adira Amram and the Experience, dressed in flight attendants, threw out a ton of paper airplanes.
If you’re looking for a fun, kids-friendly show, go to the Vinyl Vaudeville: Floor Kids Edition show. If you want to find out more about Floor Kids, head over to Engadget.com and read about it. If you want to help support the game, you can buy it or add it to “your wish list” on Steam and it will help boost the games’ ranking.
P.S., Sadly, when a fan requested “Tricks N Treats” (which sampled “It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” as Charles Schulz lived in St Paul), Koala had to politely apologized because he didn’t bring the record. Still, the Kid Koala’s “Vinyl Vaudeville” show was so much fun and entertaining, no one seemed disappointed when that song wasn’t played.
Adira Amram & The Experience
|DJ Jester||Floor Kids Arcade Machines||Nufonia makes an appearance||
Fan: King Mitch
312 to 213
Kid Koala at Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis (30 April 2018)