The Rich Girls Are Weeping

26 July 2006

The slow burn. I first heard the Candy Bars' album, On Cutting Ti-Gers In Half And Understanding Narravation, earlier this year (via Said the Gramophone and EIPI and Stereogum) in March -- I probably didn't take much notice as I should have, honestly, because this was during the SXSW (and post-SXSW) heyday, and though I found the band pretty and strangely compelling, they didn't exactly grab me and shake me up in any significant way. Then, oddly enough, the other morning, I woke up with a snippet of one of their songs in my head.

Talk about delayed reaction!

Anyway, here's a nice little profile from Tampa's Weekly Planet to get you started, in case you missed the buzz the first time around (or the second round in May...).

Yes, the Candy Bars are from Florida (really, not exactly a hotbed of indie dream pop action, you know...), and there's more than a little of fellow Floridian Iron and Wine's influence present, which isn't as dull as you might expect. Other writers seem to be quite fond of namechecking the Beatles -- probably because of that modified variation-on-a-theme motif on "Landscape" that echoes "Norwegian Wood" reimagined with flamenco guitars and harpsichords and latin percussion -- and the Beach Boys -- probably because of that twinkles-and-harmony, Carole Kaye-esque bass line'd breakdown with a side of sleighbells in the middle of "Violets" that's reminiscent of the best moments of Pet Sounds. Ambitiouous? You bet. And the rest of On Cutting Ti-Gers In Half And Understanding Narravation shoots for the stars as well. Because there's so much more going on here than just an extensive catalog of influences -- here's a band doing something charmingly, unselfconciously new and beautiful without falling into a lot of the traps that plague baby bands. It's impressive, to say the least.

I know can get stuck on remixes of trendy bands and post-electro pop and wax poetic on the virtures of Spoon, The Wrens, Interpol, and The Mountain Goats incessantly whilst simultaneously tugging your sleeve, reminding you to give The Arm and Shearwater a listen and dancing around to Kylie and Christina and Goldfrapp and all that kind of thing sometimes, but what I'm looking for -- what I imagine we're all looking for, really -- is music we can connect with on an emotional level.

I hear a lot of pretty good music daily, and a lot of really crappy music daily, but the kind that hits you where you live, well -- that's a rarity. Once a year, maybe every six months? The past few months had been pretty barren for me -- I was worried that I was experiencing symptoms of extreme overexposure and that I'd become immune to feeling anything more than and "eh, this is okay" response to new bands I'd nowt heard before. And well, not to be totally cheezeball about it, all that changed when I gave the Candy Bars another listen the other morning. I'm not really all that bothered with the fact that they're a buzz band, or overhyped, they're just plain good, and I hope you think so too.

Candy Bars -- Landscape
Candy Bars -- Violets (via New Granada Records)
Candy Bars -- Lovesong Lake
Candy Bars -- Enough to Choke a Cold Air (via New Granada Records)

(buy a copy of On Cutting Ti-Gers In Half And Understanding Narravation direct from New Granada Records)

ps -- Superexciting! A (surprisingly) work-safe trailer for John Cameron Mitchell's long-delayed "sex project" film, Shortbus, set to the dulcet tones of The Hidden Cameras.

pss -- For the record, there were a bunch of great records released this week, not the least of which were The Long Winters' Putting the Days to Bed, Midlake's The Trials of Von Occupanther (they've really ditched that Flaming Lips manqué for good, thank heavens, but have picked up a Gram Parsons/Neil Young one instead, which is totally fine with me), and the Silversun Pickups' Carnavas. Less interesting are the offerings from White Whale (I thought I called a kibosh on anymore prog-country-emo bands fronted by ex-emo dudes?) and Say Hi To Your Mom (currently neck-and-neck with Sam Champion for the honor of most mind-numbingly boring buzz band...) Biggest surprise: Mika Miko's C.Y.S.L.A.B.F.

psss -- Say what you will about the Village Voice's Robert Christgau, but his 32-shows-in-30-days directive was impressive, to say the least.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Candy Bars are excellent and I stumbed on them recently while looking up bands from Florida (since that is where I am). It's good to see a good band coming out of Fla..

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 2:30:00 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

wow, i have to say i'm totally surprised to see you give a nod to silversun pickups. i figure their 90s-alterna-grunge sound has them positioned to get dumped on by the critics.

i certainly enjoy the record, but it sounds like a patchwork of all my favorite 90s bands. but i've never been one to hate on a band for retreading fond and familiar territory.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:10:00 PM  
Blogger francis said...

nice post. nice job with the beatles and pet sounds explanation, because until you explained it i didn't see the correlation. ya got a good style.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:33:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Merz: I admit, I was surprised to see an indie band come out of that area. Kind of reminds me of how The Shins came out of Albquerque...

Derek: Oh! Totally! I mean, I'm 30, I was there (ha!) for that stuff the first time around, and I like SSPU's take on that sound... It is well, derivative, but good. I mean, mostly they sound like good Smashing Pumpkins, which is totally all right by me.

Francis: Thanks! Glad I could be of assistance!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 7:18:00 PM  
Blogger Andy Fenwick said...

If I had Christgau's job, I'd do that every month. I always figured he did that, anyway, since I always see him, somehow, when I go out -- thank god just not at some of the shows he goes to (I really do not like Coco Rosie) but only the few I go to every month.

Thursday, July 27, 2006 5:16:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Mr. Parnell: I thought so, too -- I see him out at like every show I go to when I'm in NYC too, but maybe that means that he's no more ahead of the curve than we are, which is heartening, I suppose.

Thursday, July 27, 2006 5:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check it !!! more FLA stuff --

Friday, August 11, 2006 1:14:00 PM  

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