Best Underage Band - 2005
Rock 'n' roll is a young person's game, but the local quartet $lot Ma¢hine takes that axiom to the extreme. The lead singer is only 8 years old, for bajeezus' sake. The wise old "man" of the group is the guitarist -- who's 12. Toss in the 10-year-old bassist and the 11-year-old drummer and you've got an act that's younger put together than Pete "Hope I Die Before I Get Old" Townshend all by himself. But don't let the tykes' ages fool you: $lot Ma¢hine is already better than half the bands in this town. Perhaps the breeding helps -- experimental techno godfather Jonah Sharp is the daddy of two of the lads, and big-time DJ Jenö is the father of a third. Or maybe these sprites -- who hooked up at the Creative Arts Charter School and have since had gigs at the Great American Music Hall, Bottom of the Hill, and Rickshaw Stop -- have tapped into the primal power of punk. While the musicians list O.P. groups like the Ramones as influences, they actually sound more like shambling funk-punkers the Slits, only with more songs about pizza. There's something both simply childlike and unabashedly enthusiastic about $lot Ma¢hine. Pray the boys stop before they get bored.