Arts & Entertainment
1 min

In the pantheon of all-time greats

Toronto's Kids on TV call it quits and say goodbye with a new album

Kids on TV’s final lineup: Roxanne Luchak, John Caffery and Minus Smile. Credit: Kid with camera
Glitzy video from Kids on TV’s final album, Pantheon. Kids on TV

“I find that dancing around in my underwear really loosens people up.” With this cheeky remark from John Caffery comes good news and bad news. 

The good news is that Toronto club-scene darlings Kids on TV have released their much-anticipated second full-length album, Pantheon. This digital download features 10 songs, with contributions from such artists as Diamond Rings, Katie Stelmanis, Julie Faught, Gentleman Reg and Snax. 

The final incarnation of KOTV, shape-shifters for a decade, comprises Caffery, Roxanne Luchak and Minus Smile. The energetic group has done shows in arcades, bathhouses, music festivals, warehouses, farmhouses, art galleries and basements. Innovative performances with unique visuals have been their trademark since Caffery launched the group in 2003. 

With the release of Pantheon, which was mastered by Bob Weston (best known for his work on Nirvana’s In Utero), several new videos have popped up on the internet featuring KOTV and dozens of Toronto’s glitterati interpreting the stuff of Pantheon with wild abandon.

Caffery recalls the debut gig with then band mate Mike Barry, back when KOTV was a duo. “Paul Petro booked us for a C Magazine launch party in the spring of 2003 at Bar Italia. Mike and I performed two songs on a mattress in the middle of the floor surrounded by people. The crowd was on fire.” A spark was lit. The rest is history. KOTV was on its way. 

And now the bad news. Unknowingly, KOTV’s last performance was in February 2012 at The Great Hall. “That was a really great gig,” Caffery says, “but we have decided on creative closure. After a decade, Kids on TV officially disbanded in the summer of 2013.” 

KOTV’s adoration of real or possibly-could-be-real queer mythological characters is something Caffery is particularly proud of: “KOTV has a long history of archiving and preservation, collaboration and homage. We celebrated The Cockettes, General Idea, Klaus Nomi, Dazzler, Jasper Johns, Fifth Column, Holly Woodlawn, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and many others who have influenced us.”