Modern Music is the 2nd episode of Season 4 of Kids Incorporated and 67th episode overall. In this episode, Riley invents a Max Headroom-like synthesizer that tries to take over the band..
The episode opens with "Music for the Modern World". Following the song, the kids congregate at the counter when Connie spots Riley's new invention: a synthesized automated music device (or S.A.M.); which generates videos to go with automated music (Stacy notes the similarity to Max Headroom; though she mistakenly calls the device Max Headrest). After Riley tightens a transformer, S.A.M. is officially operational; playing the intro to the next song ("Jump Start My Heart"); leaving the kids impressed...with the notable exception of Kid.
Audition time arrives for S.A.M.; and - following an attempt at sounding like a wannabe comedian - Kid quizzes S.A.M. on music and; still skeptical, wants to know if he can play. The next song ("I Am the Beat") confirms in the affirmative while also showing S.A.M. could give the Kid a run for his money in the ego department. Again, the others (sans Kid) celebrate.
However, the device quickly begins showing its dark side. It begins during rehearsal (while Riley is taking inventory); S.A.M. is snoozing, but upon being awakened begins trying to steal Ryan's guitar solo...and everyone else's (going so far as to mimic Kid's voice); with it becoming evident S.A.M. is attempting a hostile takeover of Kids Incorporated; leading to "Shakedown" as a confused Riley looks on. At the end, S.A.M. overloads. Soon after, Riley has been told of the problems and retooled it into R.A.Y. with a much simpler task: helping clean up the P*lace (upon which R.A.Y. quickly breaks down); leading to closing song "Mind Over Matter".
Kid Cast Edit
- Ryan Lambert - Ryan
- Connie Lew - Connie
- Rahsaan Patterson - Kid
- Renee Sandstrom (credited as Renee Sands) - Renee
- Stacy Ferguson - Stacy
- Richard Shoff - Richie
Adult Cast Edit
- Moosie Drier - Riley and S.A.M.
- Michael Cruz (uncredited) - Voice of S.A.M.
- Dee Caspary
- Nicole Cropper
- Challyn Markray
- Brian Poth
- Gina Marie Vinaccia
- "Music for the Modern World" (Kids Incorporated original; performed by Stacy and Kid)
- "Jump Start (My Heart)" (Natalie Cole cover; performed by Kid)
- "I Am the Beat" (Kids Incorporated original; performed by S.A.M.)
- "Shakedown" (Bob Seger cover; performed by Ryan, Kid, Stacy, Renee and S.A.M.)
- "Mind Over Matter" (E.G. Daily cover; performed by Renee and Connie)
- This is the second of three episodes where the original song "Music for the Modern World" was used, along with Season 2's "The Masked Mauler" and Season 5's "Constellation Connie". Notably, despite Rahsaan Patterson's voice having slightly dropped by Season 4 it sounds like the track may be the same as the original Season 2 version.
- Stacy's malaprop reference to Max Headroom as Max Headrest may also be a reference to the comic strip Doonesbury; which around that time had a synthesizer spoof of both Max Headroom and then-President Ronald Reagan named Ron Headrest as a secondary character.