Friday, Jan. 11, 2008

Juno Sparks a Moldy Peaches Resurgence

By Evan Rytlewski
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I have no beef with Juno. It seems that every year the public selects one quirky indie comedy for mainstream success, and especially compared to recent years' selections (Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine), Juno is a worthy pick: a genuinely funny, moving film with some great performances.

Going into the movie, I'd heard grumblings about the soundtrack, which is heavy on music from The Moldy Peaches and solo work from the band�s singer, Kimya Dawson. For those who aren't familiar with their work, it's pretty awful: Cloyingly precious twee-folk built around childlike or sophomoric lyrics and flatly intoned vocals. Inane as the music is, though, it suited the film well enough, mirroring its themes of innocence and immaturity.

But now that Juno has become smash success, there's unnatural interest in the film's Peaches/Dawson-heavy soundtrack, which Rhino is belatedly releasing next week and is expected to top the charts. The Moldy Peaches are even beginning to receive radio play. This week, Milwaukee's top 40 station, 103.7 Kiss FM, played their Juno anthem "Anyone Else But You" right before a Britney Spears song.

So now Juno has gone to far. The Moldy Peaches essentially broke up in 2004, and their awful brand of twee had gone largely out of vogue, but now because of one spunky indie comedy, the band is more popular than ever, and a full reunion is almost a compete certainty at this point (the group reunited to play the film�s premiere). Juno has created a monster.

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