Happy In Bag

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Junior Achievement

Tuesday night’s show at the Record Bar did nothing to dispel my bias against live performances by electronica acts.

Because the Junior Boys’ new So This Is Goodbye is imbued with rare warmth, I had considerable expectations. I praised the Canadians’ superior new album here. Aside from witnessing Jeremy Greenspan faithfully reproduce his familiar voice, the modest crowd of about 75 might have been equally served by listening to a CD.

As a friend suggested, computers did all the heavy lifting last night. And even that posed problems. When a technical glitch delayed the start of the third song, Greenspan glumly suggested, "This is the Junior Boys live experience."

Opening act Ensemble, who create happy music perfect for antidepressant pharmaceutical television advertisements, fared no better.

It takes an enormous amount of charisma and audience rapport to make any live performance engaging. Junior Boys, alas, had neither. They were still trying to make a connection when I left the Record Bar at 12:20 a.m., forty minutes after they began playing.


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