Junior Senior's Queer Pop for the Straight Fop
Fri Nov 21, Crocodile, 9 pm, $12.50 adv/$15 DOS.
Junior Senior hail from Denmark, but don't expect these cutely absurd pop stars to be toting Kierkegaard tomes in their backpacks as they tour America. Junior (Jesper Mortensen, skinny, straight) and Senior (Jeppe Laursen, chubby, gay) share Andrew W. K.'s heroic will to party, as one listen to Junior Senior's debut disc, D-D-Don't Don't Stop the Beat, proves.
With their music, Junior Senior want to take you to the moon and back and, furthermore, they want to give you a heart attack--but in the most fun way possible.
These "Rhythm Bandits" prove T. S. Eliot's axiom about talent borrowing and genius stealing. By sweetening up and energizing the most ecstatic bits from '60s garage and surf rock, '70s new wave and disco, and all eras of chart fodder, Junior Senior excel at what I'll call the Jukebox in a Blender Effect. Take "Boy Meets Girl"; it melds elements from "Honky Tonk Women," "Celebration," "Monster Mash," and more brilliant atomic particles from other people's compositions, and morphs them all into a Day-Glo party anthem that'll make you feel half your age. Junior Senior's songs may seem like haphazard confections, but they're built to last. It's like finding out cotton candy rids you of toxins.
After I spout a 19-page list of influences I hear in their songs, I ask Senior about the duo's musical tastes. "We love a lot of stuff, and, yes, it's mostly older stuff. Songwriting was just a lot better [then], and the way [it was] recorded has a lot more soul and edge to it than new stuff." But they also dig recent stuff like Le Tigre, Missy Elliott, Daft Punk, and OutKast.
The media have been making a big deal about Junior Senior's sexual preferences; does the band think this particular setup lends something special to the creative process?
"I'm glad you say it's the media that makes a big deal out of it," Senior says, "'cause it has never been for us, apart from it being a fact and something you shouldn't hide. It very much is a part of our sound and how we work together. Jesper is not the typical straight guy and I'm not the typical gay guy, so I suppose we meet somewhere in the middle of it all and it works well."