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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 

In lieu

Two recent reviews for the Ontarion, for albums I really can't muster more than 150 words on:

Juliet – Random Order (Virgin)

Indie band frontwoman turned house kind-of diva, blah blah blah, but that's not important because what's key here is the Hit (or maybe just the Single). “Avalon” push push pushes like all really great house should, Juliet slinking overtop it, and it doesn't matter if she's spouting nonsense because it's wonderful nonsense. Sadly, the rest of the album isn't as inexorable; luckily, the songs also aren't as long as “Avalon” (which would get old quick) and Juliet proves herself a surprisingly decent singer-songwriter (even when she breaks out the acoustic on “Pot Of Gold”). Stuart Price aka Jacques Lu Cont produces nearly the whole thing and keeps it electro-something, and the contrast between that and Juliet herself is mostly interesting. Definitely not dancefloor material, though, save for “Avalon”.

Kiss Me Deadly – Kiss Me Deadly's Misty Medley (alien8)

This Canadian/American quintet (who presumably are trying to make some sort of point with their painfully plain song titles – you have “Dance” 1-4, “Groove” and “Pop”) don't sound like Bloc Party, but like that band they seem to realise that disco was, in fact, the most interesting thing about the music of the 70s. So an everlasting ethereal groove chug-chugs through these songs, with the impossibly breathy singer squealing and purring and generally acting up a storm (except for the few tracks where Indie Guy sings instead – he's not bad, just less distinctive). Sadly, for me this falls into they-were-better-when-I-saw-them-live territory; back then they had a tension and a drive to their sound that was viscerally compelling, and whatever the culprit here (time? bad production? loss of nerve?) they've siphoned their muscle into sighs. Still recommended.

Hey - unrelated comment - did you know that the Mountain Goats are playing in Toronto this Monday (October 17)?

You mentioned them earlier, so I wanted to make sure you knew.

MOTHERFUCKER.

Thanks for letting me know. I have to go buy tickets now.

Err... I don't suppose there's any chance you're going, huh?

I can't. I have class.

If it helps (I can't really see how, but it's worth checking), I'm in Toronto and I can pick up tickets for you.

Appreciated, but I can get the tickets from Ticketmaster here in Guelph easier.

And bah to class.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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