"Snow Day," by Emma: 8-year-old girl rocks out massively.

This is all kinds of awesome. "Snow Day," written and performed by a very cool 8-year-old girl named Emma at the 2009 Spring Coffee Shop Jam, at The Columbia City Theater in Seattle, WA. This is the same event, same teachers, same group of kids where that "Folsom Pwison Blues" video came from, last week. There are more videos here, and quite a lot of gems within the mix. Rob, from Hampton Guitars, who teaches Emma and the previously blogged Wesley, says:

Emma announced during a guitar lesson one day that she felt like writing a song. I started playing some chords, and this is what she came up with. Amazing. The Jam's a chance for Heartwood Guitar Instruction students to showcase their talents. Enjoy!
I'm pretty nuts about the original punk/hardcore/deathmetal jams written and performed by 9-year-old Connor, too -- 'specially DEATH NIGHTMARE. WTF with all these rockin' kids, Seattle, is it something in the water up there?


  1. It’s gonna be hard for her to use anti-parent angst as an inspiration when she grows up. They’re just obviously way too cool. Made me smile.

  2. She is indeed a rockstar! Great going!

    However, if somebody doesn’t get her some earplugs soon, she’s going to grow up to be a DEAF rockstar. Or a rockstar with severe tinnitus.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. Fred = buzzkill. But consider this: which is less cool, hearing protection or having to say “what?” all the time?

  3. I think this young lady should check out “ROCK CAMP FOR GIRLS” in Portland, Oregon – It might just be a perfect fit.

  4. OMG!! Death Nightmare is so totally kickass… I can’t believe it. Jesus. That kid is the next Curt Kobain.

  5. Both Emma and Connor are stoopid talented. Maybe they should join forces to form the first pre-teen supergroup.

  6. Is it the water? Is it the trees? IS IT THE GOAT RENTER GUY?! (…two local ad campaigns in one! hurrah.)

  7. kid rock is pretty awesome! not kid rock the trailer trash rocker dude… you know what i mean.

    here’s one 6 year old that improvs all her songs!
    there’s a song called ONCE IN AWHILE that’s about how she has no choice and has to go to school… pretty fun.


  8. Much better than most of what’s played on the radio these days. The hot chocolate verse is my favorite.

    I really love the fact that she’s into it, but still a little self-conscious. There’s humility in her stage presence, an all-too-rare characteristic in performers.

  9. These kids are talented.

    “Much better than most of what’s played on the radio these days.”

    I agree.

    Not to be overly critical (these are kids, afterall), but I think you’ll agree that what these kids are playing is highly unoriginal, in terms of music. In fact, I’d argue that that’s what makes it sound good– we’ve heard it before, liked it (or at least acknowledged it was catchy) then, so its still good now.

    Now you can draw a few different conclusions from this observation. With the absurd quantity of music being produced these days, I use this (in my head) to justify not listening to most pop music out there. A kid could make it! I want music that took some experience to make.

    Now I’ve seen some intelligent posts on here about music, so I’d like to read what other people think along these lines.

    (waits for No Wave fan to tear me apart…)

  10. Oh man, I love that venue. Such great atmosphere. I had my graduation party there in ’05 (remember ‘The Oracle,’ guys?).

  11. I agree, it’s not highly original, but there was a time when music composition was taught by copying note-for-note the works of other composers. Bach learned that way. And all performing musicians grow by imitating others in their field.

    I wouldn’t judge it on absolute terms but more as an interesting starting point for further development.

    It’s promising that at 8 she’s absorbed enough of the style to give a recognizable performance, but I’d also concede that 75% of the result is the backup band’s contribution. Now if the band was 8 also…

    Oh yeah… get her some ear protection.

  12. In Seattle now. Nice city, with cool people, but it’s definitely not the water, which is heavily chlorinated and kinda nasty/industrial tasting. This may be why I’m unable to find a decent bagel around here….

  13. WOW!!! that was awesome! Love to see talent in the raw like that. Emma’s the same age as my daughter (who also wants to be a rockstar – damn you Mylie Cyrus!!!)

    But it is the venue that has me wiping homesick tears from my eyes – I had a paper and print making studio exactly across the street from the Lish back in the late 80’s. Many trippy nights spent over there taking in experimental music gigs and early sound space collaborations by up-and-coming techno artists.

    Goddamn I miss Seattle!!!
    Goddamn I hate Phoenix!!!

  14. Nothing, nothing kid-rock ever tops the Death Killers. East Peoria protopunk 7-year-old girl singing about Homer Simpson’s fat butt on a DIY cassette recording TO THE MAXX.

  15. Hear those tiny feet coming up from behind Björk?
    Guess I can retire the Old Skull cassettes.

  16. @ #24
    bomb shit Death Killers, I agree, but this “Big Black-Bikini Kill-Daniel Johnston” style MP3 doesn’t say whether or not you’re talking about east Peoria, Illinois or Peoria, Arizona, or some other Peoria?
    Just sayin’ since I posit that Arizona F*ing sucks (Meat Puppets, Supersuckers and Bad Karma notwithstanding – yet all of which flourished after moving to Seattle)

    Yup, there may be something in the water in Seattle.
    It sure aint in the *lack* of water here in Hell.

    Piss on Phx.
    Aww, shit, I still live here!

  17. It was cute. But- wasn’t 2008/09 pretty much the only year Seattle schools have even had snow days in that girls’ lifetime? And given the limited accumulation (and horrific ice) that accompanied (thanks to the city of Seattle’s near total unpreparedness for the task of actually salting/clearing roads), her snow-sledding and hot chocolate experiences are much more likely associated with weekend trips to a Snoqualmie ski lodge than a day off from school. Maybe I’m too cynical… but this stuck me more like regurgitated adult nostalgia channelled via Nickleodeon/Disney than a genuine expression of juvenile glee. Which is not to say the kids don’t still have more talent than most adults I know- music education for my generation was basically limited to tamborines and rythym sticks.

  18. @28: I agree, that song was way too slick to have come from a kid. It struck me as parent doing kid voice, which just isn’t the same. But that’s not to say this song doesn’t absolutely completely rock. She can really really feel the music, which is pretty amazing, especially considering the melody has a pretty complicated rhythm, which she never ever lost. Most kids would have jumped all over those pauses, but she was downright funky. Wow.

  19. I’ve lived in the suburbs of Seattle my entire life (I’m 20 now) and I’ve had plenty of snowdays that involved sledding and hot chocolate. My best friend’s neighbor had the most amazing sledding hill and we would build ramps and things and end up totally frost-bitten and exhausted. This may be less common in the city, but I don’t see anything that actually says where she lives, just that the performance was in Seattle. Even if she’s never experienced a real snow day, every kid imagines how awesome it would be. I still get excited and want to go sledding and build snowmen every winter.

  20. This poor girl, she’s going to have a lot of trouble rebelling against her parents when she gets older. If she’s not careful she’ll go way off track and grow up to be an attorney. Someone needs to call child protective services!

  21. Seattle, is it something in the water up there?

    The only Dutch punk acts I stumbled upon in the past ten years or so (not my genre) were all populated by the under-aged, so I doubt this is something particular to Seattle. Do grown-ups even make punk any more?

    One act in particular, All Missing Pieces, got a special state exemption this year allowing their 10 year old bass player to perform in more than a handful of shows, in defiance of child labour laws.

  22. Resnovae and Wrybread,

    I swear on Jimi Hendrix’s charred Stratocaster that Emma wrote the lyrics and melody to that song. She wrote it in January after our incredibly snowy holiday season. She came in for a lesson and announced she wanted to write a song. I asked her what was making her really happy, and she blurted out, “The snow day we had last week!” So I started playing some power chords and she started freestyling in front of the tape recorder.

    She amazes me, too. She has an incredible gift for rhythmic hooks in her melodies.

    –Rob, her guitar teacher

  23. The little tapping Birkie…I can’t help but think I’ve been collecting a lot of kids singing lately…what with Care Bears on Fire, A Very Merry Unauthorized Scientology Pageant, and the Langley Schools Music Project…

  24. Do I smell a cover version by They Might Be Giants? Perhaps with faint overtones of Jonathan Coulton?

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