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Anyone Else But Kimya Dawson

Coming to terms with the Juno soundtrack star

That you'd put music like this on for pleasure is highly unlikely. And wrapped up in something as arch and 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.

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 Moldy Peaches' original "Anyone Else But You" and the version used in the film, sung during the fade-out by co-stars Ellen Page and Michael Cera. 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.

Peas and carrots: Pee Wee Herman and Kimya Dawson
Danielle St. Laurent
Peas and carrots: Pee Wee Herman and Kimya Dawson

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 Dawson's 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.

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