The Pillow Fight of Her Life

On the precipitous rise of the cloying, maddening, occasionally devastating Kimya Dawson

That you'd put music like this on for pleasure is highly unlikely. And wrapped up in something as arch, as cloying as Juno, it sounds increasingly contrived by association. The film even reprises Garden State's much-loathed "The Shins will change your life" trick, but this time it's hapless living-in-the-past loser Jason Bateman raving impotently about Sonic Youth. (I repeat: Jim DeRogatis is pissed.) If you come to Kimya's music through this movie, the first step to increased enjoyment is to forget she was ever involved with it—even if it occasionally helps her. The soundtrack includes both the original Moldy Peaches "Anyone Else But You" and the version used in the film, sung during the fade-out by stars Ellen Page and Michael Cera themselves. The Peaches' version is tremendously cloying, but the one sung by two Hollywood celebs portraying impossibly cloying teenagers somehow feels much sweeter, much more honest, much more real. I don't have an explanation for this; neither, in all likelihood, does Kimya Dawson. That music so unguarded and guileless might propel her to some small semblance of "stardom" is somehow mortifying, but again, to her especially. When her Southpaw show ends, she instructs us to stand in a circle and hold hands. Cautiously, she shuffles out into the crowd and triggers a massive group hug, a mosh pit of reckless love, a strange but fitting attempt to use a large crowd to protect herself from a large crowd.

More songs about vampires and poop
Cary Conover
More songs about vampires and poop

Kimya Dawson plays the Juno soundtrack release party on Tuesday, January 15 at Sound Fix Records, 110 Bedford Avenue, and then headlines Europa, 98 Meserole Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on Wednesday, January 16.

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