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Kids on TV

Mixing Business with Pleasure

(Chicks on Speed; US: 1 May 2007; UK: Unavailable)

It’s hard to really follow in the footsteps of the Scissor Sisters, but Toronto-based dance trio Kids on TV attempt just that with Mixing Business with Pleasure, their largely forgettable debut album. Their basic-level beats sound like BT with a lobotomy. The songs have hooks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the songs are catchy. This wouldn’t be a problem if not for the group’s perverse sense of humor. The album is aimed directly at a gay audience, making countless references to blowjobs and sex acts (including a detailed list of the “Hanky Code”). Yet the Scissor Sisters get away with the same trick by not only making their songs accessible for mass consumption, they do so with a sly wink to their crowd—a playful come-hither glance in its own right. Kids On TV shut themselves off with a horribly introverted lyricism that gives the vibe of “not gay—go away”. This evidence is furthered by a pointless Boy George cameo and a cover of the Jermaine Stewart abstinence-practicing classic “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” that shoots for irony but comes off more annoying than anything else. The reason why Stewart’s song was a hit was not just because of its all-ages non-partisan message, but because it unabashedly copped from a far better song: Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”. The day when Kids On TV follows the lessons of those before them, they might create something for everyone. Until then, there are plenty of other clubs in town—and none of them will be playing this mixed Business.

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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV's "Revolt Live!" as well as WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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