Sunday, May 27, 2007

JunkThief Worthy: Weird But Harmless

When JunkThief was on a trip to Mesoamerica last year, he was thrilled to see a U.S. and a Guatemalan coworkers bond as soul sister because, as they put it, “We’re both weird but harmless.”

That’s pretty much the JunkThief vibe, and he’s always seeking out others with similar sensibilities. In other words, he gravitates to the eccentrics sitting in the corner at the party but hastens his step as the ranting loons in U.N. Plaza start coming his way.

In that spirit and realizing that he sometimes forgets to elaborate on why he has listed some of his favorites in the “Dumpster Dive” section of the column on the right, he felt compelled to mention Jens Lekman. Since the closest JunkThief ever comes to listening to top 40 radio (Does anybody? Isn’t it sort of like pay phones these days? Even low end drug dealers have cells.) is KCRW online from Santa Monica, he has no idea how well known Jens is in the U.S.

Unfortunately he often gets labeled as the “male Bjork,” mainly because he’s from another northern latitude (Sweden) and sings in English. Like most Swedes, his English could pass for that of a native speaker. He also gets compared to Jonathan Richmond (pretty fair assessment) and the Magnetic Fields a lot too, but he’s got his own quirkier, specific vibe. He’s written a song from the perspective of Rocky Dennis from the movie Mask and released titles such as “When I Said That I wanted to Be Your Dog” and “You Deserve Someone Better Than a Bum Like Me.”

He’s probably also the most famous person after Tiny Tim to bring the ukulele back to pop music. (And, no, don't worry, JunkThief never had the hots for Tiny.) After all the division over last week’s post about Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy, JunkThief is a bit cautious to talk about Jens appeal but does think he’s probably a heck of a lot better look than Neil albeit with a more endearing than arousing vibe. Grabbing a few tracks this morning, JunkThief felt compelled to explain the appeal. There is something puppy-dog cute about him with is under-sized fedora while plucking his ukulele on this YouTube clip of him singing his nordic chart buster "You Are the Light."

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At 6:32 AM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said... are the only other person I know not only has heard of Jens, but also likes him. :)
The 'Maple Leaves' EP is sublime...and he is indeed adorable, no?

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

And unlike Sufjan Stevens, who is just as fetching but starts to grate on me after a while, he seems less and less silly with repeated listens.


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