Sunday, December 9, 2007

Kim - Candy Candy

Kim - "Candy Candy"

In 2001 I started writing for a tiny music website that, like most music review sites, was staffed by flaky and unmotivated writers and never really got off the ground. Its focus was on independent artists and local bands. Since most of the site's writers were from England, "local bands" pretty much meant "British bands," but that was just fine with me. I just wanted an opportunity to contribute, so I tried my best to find some good unsigned bands to review, wherever they might be from. Historians agree that these early reviews of mine remain some of the worst music writing ever found on the Internet, but I can take solace in the fact that the site that hosted them finally seems to have gone offline -- despite no activity at all from at least 2003 to 2006, it was still online -- and these reviews can begin the natural and long overdue process of fading away into the digital ether from which they came.

Around this same time I saw Kim open at a Fireside Bowl show, really enjoyed their set, and bought their 5-song EP. I really wanted to write about them, too, but didn't know how they'd feel about getting an unsolicited review. I think I sent them an email and then forgot about it for the next few weeks, until one day at school, a package arrived for me containing what was really one of the nicest press kits I've ever seen, and I can say this even after being an intern at a music magazine, where for more than half a year I'd open and look through at least a dozen of these every day. It also contained a copy of the CD, the one that I'd already purchased, and I couldn't help but wonder how much this had all cost to put together and ship to me. This was back when I was easy impressed by, not to mention grateful, for any musical swag that I could get my hands on, so while this was no skin off of Kim's collective back, I sort of figured it was, and suddenly I felt conflicted about writing about them at all, like I'd suckered myself into some kind of reciprocal deal. Obviously that wasn't the case, but at the time I was too confused and clueless to tell otherwise.

For whatever reason, I never reviewed the CD or wrote about Kim. Maybe I had some sense of guilt, like I'd accidentally promised them a fantastic review for a site that had thousands of readers. Being busy with schoolwork, incredibly depressed, and just lazy made it easy for me to neglect dealing with the matter, so I threw the whole packet in a drawer and didn't bother with it. I don't remember if they ever wrote me back about it or not. I'm guessing that they probably didn't, since they never seemed like a band that took themselves incredibly seriously. They had a good local following, lots of side projects, and their own lives to attend to. Occasionally, they'd up a new song to their now-defunct website, as well as play a few shows a year, but they never really took off like I thought they would. And that's just fine, though back then I probably assumed that all bands were somehow "failures" if they didn't end up on a label or progress from opening act status into headliners.

Do you like fun bubblegum rock with lots of great hooks? Then you'll like Kim. The song I uploaded is an instrumental. If you want songs with words, check their Myspace page.

Yeah, this was my big chance to finally give them their due, but after more than six years, that's the best I can do. Yeah, there's a reason I'm not writing reviews anymore. I guess I could mention how they're all Asian-American chicks and just focus on that like everyone else, or just regurgitate their band bio and talk about Chic-A-Go-Go and such, but I never wanted to do that. But then what?

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