Yes, this is the same pieces for Isthmus, and he reports that "When Julie Calls" is based on experiences with a real Madisonian during his brief sojourn here.
The zesty pop track has a wonderfully nonchalant, disco-driven chorus that gets its bite from Mendels(s)ohn's sarcastic keening. This is the devilishly saccharine Steely Dan of "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" as translated through Bryan Ferry and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker.
If you like your pop sly and withering, you'll be impressed -- particularly when you learn that Mendels(s)ohn played everything, save for a rhythm guitar part contributed by Justin Bricco of Blueheels.
Madison rarely produces much in the way of cheeky pop. When it does, the music usually involves "naive" guitars and determinedly oddball vocals, though a recent exception would be synth-inclined expats Solid Gold. That makes this arch, demo-quality recording especially refreshing. It also makes you wonder what would have happened if Mendels(s)ohn hadn't been forced out of the band that morphed into the Mael brothers' overblown, unfailingly arch pop-rock thing Sparks back in the early '70s.
An MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right. More of Mendels(s)ohn's writings are available at his blog Rocks Backpages.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.