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Indie Rock that Rolls Past the Radar
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Indie Rock that Rolls Past the Radar

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Indie Rock that Rolls Past the Radar

Indie Rock that Rolls Past the Radar
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The Candy Bars will not cause cavities. And the Theatre Fire won't threaten your safety. They're two young bands whose music offers proof of an independent rock renaissance.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Indy rock is in the midst of a renaissance, and as proof, our critic, Will Hermes, offers up the music of two bands - the Candy Bars and the Theatre Fire.

WILL HERMES reporting:

The Candy Bars are one of my very favorite new bands. They began making home recordings in 2003 that eventually became their debut, the verbosely titled On Cutting Ti-Gers in Half and Understanding Narravation.

(Soundbite of The Candy Bars)

HERMES: The Candy Bars came together in Tampa, Florida, where two of its members sold guitars and other gear in the same music shop. Tampa is known for bands, like - well, it's not especially known for any bands. But now it is. The Candy Bars make wonderfully melodic, and sometimes melodramatic, pop with guitars and keyboards and bells and a cello. And their music shimmers like the air over a hot asphalt road.

Its impressionistic lyrics also sound distorted by the heat, even when they invoke cold weather, which they often do. If pop music is partly about escapism, Floridians singing about sub-freezing temperatures makes perfect sense.

(Soundbite of The Candy Bars)

HERMES: Like the Candy Bars, The Theatre Fire are another little-known young band with a new CD, which is titled Everybody Has a Dark Side. The Theatre Fire hail from Ft. Worth, and they remind me of another indie band with a similar name, Montréal's The Arcade Fire.

Not so much musically. The Theatre Fire have a Texas sound, full of country, blues and mariachi flavors. But they share with Arcade Fire, and the Candy Bars for that matter, a taste for melancholy storytelling that manages to make dark emotions strangely comforting.

(Soundbite of The Theatre Fire)

HERMES: The current indie renaissance began in artistic hot spots like Brooklyn and Montréal and Reykjavik. But I think it's significant that the Candy Bars and Theatre Fire come from cities not known for their music scenes.

Both bands have MySpace web pages where you can hear their music, making them part of an international scene that's less dependent of physical location than on freshness of vision. And on that, both bands get high scores.

(Soundbite of The Theatre Fire)

NORRIS: The new album for The Theatre Fire is Everybody Has a Dark Side, and the new one from The Candy Bars is called On Cutting Ti-Gers in Half and Understanding Narravation. Our critic is Will Hermes.

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