You force the music section to get horrid pop troll Avril Lavigne an ice pack, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.
Dear Payback Time: Not really here to slam your reviews as I realize everyone needs a job in these trying times, but just want to point out what seems to be glaringly obvious. I don’t know what the average age of your readership is, but I have a feeling that the fans of Avril Lavigne, Selena Gomez, and the like aren’t getting their moms to drive them to the nearest Straight box on Thursdays so they can find out what an adult nonfan thought of their idol’s latest concert. Do you think anyone who regularly reads your paper actually cares anything about these manufactured mini-pop kids? I say save your witticisms for the over-13 crowd. Then someone might have some real rage for something they actually care about.
> Clayton Bachynsky
Mike Usinger replies: Dearest Clayton—Have you ever truly experienced the magic of the Mini Pop Kids? If not, let me assure you that they are at their finest as we head into the Christmas season. During the rest of the year, they can be counted on to totally nail the party-till-you-fucking-puke spirit of Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” and drag every bit of pathos out of Toto’s amazing “Africa”. For the Xmas months, though, you haven’t lived until you’ve turned on Teletoon, waited for the Mini Pop Kids Christmas commercial, and then thrilled to the more-Céline-Dion-than-Céline-Dion clenched-fist overemoting that goes on during “Silent Night”. Like it or not, these kids are tomorrow’s Selena Gomezes and Avril Lavignes. And today’s Lavignes and Gomezes are tomorrow’s Britney Spearses and Christina Aguileras, which means one of them will end up a farting, bald, umbrella-wielding psychopath and the other will become the kind of mascara-smeared lush who dumps Kahlúa and milk on her soaked-in-Scotch corn flakes. And admit it, such characters are a lot more interesting than Bono or the Tragically Hip or whoever happens to pop up on Pitchfork each morning. You might not care about them today, but lord knows you will tomorrow. And, as a wise man once said, you can’t know anything about a person’s present unless you know something about their past. So consider us your friends who are out to help you get to know Gomez and Lavigne every bit as intimately as Justin Bieber and Brody Jenner. The latter two, funnily enough, although both over 13, can’t wait to hit their straight boxes, and not just on Thursday mornings with their mothers helping with the driving.
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