From diapers to hipsters

    Many musicians got their start as show-biz kids. Music blog Stereogum recently unearthed some of these videos from before they were famous, finding everything from a ten-minute film starring Animal Collective’s Panda Bear literally eating shit to a trailer for Ezra Koenig’s shoestring-budget horror flick “Vampire Weekend.” See Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino as a child before you see her at the Lakefill, along with a few other artists in our roundup of the funniest, cutest and honestly downright creepiest videos of former child stars turned songstresses and buzz band frontmen.

    Daniel Rossen

    Somehow, even as a 5-year-old, Daniel Rossen has the ability to make hearts melt. Rossen, a member of the harmonic and dream-like Grizzly Bear, as well as the folktronic Department of Eagles, apparently had quite the Elvis obsession in his pre-kindergarten days. According to an interview with, hearing “Jailhouse Rock” for the first time even spurred a desire to “dress like a late-’50s motorcycle Elvis.”

    To prove this point, recent video evidence of Rossen mouthing the words to the 1960 hit “Stuck on You,” has been unearthed, though sans mini-leather jacket and James Dean cuffed jeans. It’s probably for the better though, because even without a copious amount of hair gel, he still manages to channel that bad boy swag with his sassy shoulder shimmies and smoldering looks.

    And while he may be missing almost all of the words, his Elvis Pelvis is spot-on, executed with the sort of technique that takes years (or in Rossen’s case, a lifetime) to perfect. He also has his badass, rock ‘n’ roll guitar moves already down, swinging his plastic, Fisher Price instrument around like the true professional he is.

    So while he may not have the coif or the Danny Zuko demeanor down pat, his boyish good looks more than make up for the lack of pomade and blue suede shoes, and proves that even the tiniest of tots can still get you “All Shook Up.”

    Alexis Krauss

    Along with Pokemon, spandex shorts and scrunchies, Slime Time and fart jokes were an integral part of one’s upbringing if they watched Nickelodeon in the 90s. However, in between reruns of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Doug, there were always those advertisements for Nickelodeon Magazine, the must-have publication for the 10 and under set.

    The commercial also just proves that Alexis Krauss, one half of the much buzzed about Brooklyn dance punk band Sleigh Bells, was a trendsetter even back then. Krauss appears in the classic commercial, perusing the magazine and giving us a cute, little wink as she reads about Grampa and Julie, Zelda Van Gutters and that weird, naked pink man and his bear friend.

    In the end though, she moved beyond the world of nose-picking and green slime. Luckily, she’s matured with her audience and gone on to produce music with bass deafening enough to make you feel like you’re at a North Campus kegger with a circle pit. After all, her new tunes are much easier to dance to than those incessant cuckoo noises and splat sound effects.

    Alanis Morissette

    When Alanis Morissette, the poster child for angry females everywhere, was younger she apparently wasn’t allowed by her television mother to associate with rock stars because they “dress funny, they make strange noises and they act weird all the time.” Ironic how things like that work out, since Morissette is currently one of the best-selling female artists worldwide with an whopping 30 million records sold for her 90s classic, Jagged Little Pill.

    When she was younger though, Morissette acted in a Canadian sketch television show called You Can’t Do That On Television. Think All That with a funny accent and a lot of “eh’s,” but definitely not as entertaining and minus Amanda Bynes.

    A montage of her various appearances on the show is available on YouTube, including an awkward Meet the Parents type scene and lots of jokes about rock stars and bands (were they on to something?).

    And like most children’s comedy shows, Morissette definitely got slimed, ruining her tragically 80s wardrobe, which ranges from excessively puffed shoulders to awful multicolored prints. No wonder she’s so angsty.

    Bethany Cosentino

    Surf rock sweetheart Bethany Cosentino, the frontwoman for Best Coast, apparently got her showbiz start on one of the weirdest, non-sequitur ads ever.

    Little Caesar’s, purveyor of sub-par pizza, had a string of strange commercials during the early 90s with everything from foam puppets to scientists to crying babies. The best one, however, was the one with the family conga line, which included a tiny, bouncy Cosentino who shimmied her way across the dining room.

    Clad in a blue ruffled dress, she whips her frizzy head of curls while awkwardly following the grandpa who wheezes “Hey!” She’s probably not half as awkward though as the grandma and dancing poodle with matching hairstyles who follow her.

    As disconcerting as the experience of being in that commercial must have been, at least Cosentino can take comfort in the fact that she probably gets free pizza and breadsticks for the rest of her life to satisfy all those late night munchies which inevitably come up, especially when you’re dating href="">Waaves’ Nathan Williams.

    Chantal Claret

    Remember Chantal Claret, the lead singer of Morningwood? That sassy, glam rock band whose irritating power pop song “Best of Me” got in the way of reruns for I Love the 90s? The one that sounded like a bad imitation of Debbie Harry if she had a vocabulary limited to “c’mon,” “yeah” or “bitches?”

    Well if you thought she got her 15 minutes of fame from being featured in a couple commercials for Daisy of Love and Mercury mid-size sedans, think again. Because even before she was singing about boys and being a girl-power-biznatch, she was also the star of a segment on depressed children that Oprah said was a phenomenon which “now lurks with alarming frequency in children’s fantasies and dreams.”

    At first, there’s nothing wrong. You just think that she’s a spoiled little 9-year-old who enjoys opera, French food and truffles (depending on what they have in them, of course). But then cue to a way too sudden fade-in and a very serious Claret saying “I love blood,” which then jumps to “I love mostly things about death.”

    Commence unnecessary paranoia with quips like “I think somebody’s just going to come and kill me” and “I like thinking about what happens when I’m dead because I want to be ready.” Whoa, isn’t that a little heavy for someone who hasn’t even hit double-digits yet?

    Luckily though, it seems like she’s gotten over her early-onset emo phase, especially since the present day Claret seems a little more preoccupied with your zipper than the Ripper.

    Editor’s note: A draft of this story was accidentally published without the Stereogum credit — it has been replaced with the final version.


    blog comments powered by Disqus
    Please read our Comment Policy.