Lollipop People We Need a New F-Word

Remember the Seinfeld episode where George gets "Master of the House” from Les Misérables stuck in his head? If you’ve ever listened to that song, you probably know how preternaturally catchy it is — and while the Lollipop People can’t exactly be called "catchy,” they are weirdly enchanting in similar fashion. A line-up of professional musicians herded by self-made weirdo Friendly Rich (organiser of the Brampton Indie Arts Festival and composer for The Tom Green Show), the Lollipop People play Klezmer, vaudeville and… opera (I think), in avant-garde fashion. On paper that might not sound as appealing as it really is, but just think about "Master of the House” — you didn’t think you liked it at first, but really, did you ever? We Need a New F Word is a lot more dark and abstruse than the band’s live performances tend (or maybe tended) to be, mixing unconventional arrangements with operatic vocals and harps, accordions and banjos with theatrical beatnik recitations (such as "The Ballad of George Chuvalo’). The group’s quirky and histrionic tendencies might polarise their audience, but to many (myself included), this only makes them better. See them live before you buy the album, but both are great, sometimes for different reasons. (VSC)