Young and Sexy is the other pop band with sparring male and female vocalists on Vancouver’s redoubtable Mint label. Getting the public to pay attention to you when your neighbour is te New Pornographers is a bit of a chore, but with three excellent albums under their belts the Vancouver quintet is beginning to gather a steady legion of fans ... just not in Ottawa.

Zaphod Beeblebrox was feeling a little empty during the one man performance by That’s The Spirit, a.k.a. Ben Wilson, a guitarist for two other well-regarded local bands, Paperjack and the Polytones. There were perhaps two dozen people in a club designed to hold more than 10 times as many, and things did not pick up appreciably afterward. A pity, since That's the Spirit’s jangly bedroom folk was lovely and sedate, as well as literate.

Young and Sexy was founded as a somewhat casual affair following the breakup of the relationship between its two central members, Lucy Brain and Paul Pittman. The band draws on influences ranging between the Beach Boys to Alex Chilton, and could fit comfortably on a bill with Belle and Sebastien, the aforementioned New Pornographers or Saturday Looks Good To Me.

The group had a somewhat offhand performance style; while Brain and Pittman’s vocals were on target for such songs as 'Stand Up For Your Mother' – the title track to their stellar debut and 'Herculean Bellboy', the band’s all-to-knowing portrait of an obsessive music fan, and the rhythm section of Brent McDonald on bass and Brain’s brother Alex on drums provided a steady hand. Pittman and second guitarist Andre Lagace are evidently devotees of the “good enough for rock’n’roll” school of tuning. For the most part, this didn’t prove jarring, but at one point Lucy Brain was moved to declare that both men would be getting tuning pedals for Christmas.

The band leavened their own numbers with a cover of the Grateful Dead’s 'Box of Rain' (“Are there any Grateful Dead fans in the audience?” inquired Alex Brain to dead silence. “No, I didn’t think so.”), then finished things off with a burning version of Neil Young’s 'Cowgirl in the Sand'.

It was a faithful and entertaining, if not stellar, performance.

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