November 06, 2001

Brittle Stars "Garage Sale"

Sometimes, bands can't make it. The reality of this whole music thing is that it doesn't matter how good of a musician you are or how lovely your records are. Sometimes, it's sad to say, good bands just can't survive. All things must come to an end, and it's better to leave your audience with brilliance than to bore them into submission with songs that indicate your talents will not be missed.

Florida's Brittle Stars is amongst the casualty list of "good bands that died." I don't know what prompted this band to break up; if I'm not mistaken, one of the members moved to California, which probably had a hand in this band coming to an end. Garage Sale is their farewell. To their credit, instead of simply releasing a three or four song EP, they decided to give their fans a nice farewell treat.

Garage Sale contains their last recordings, but it also contains a few other rare tracks, but that's only the beginning! This EP also contains seven remixes by mix masters such as I Am the World Trade Center, Japancakes, and Steward. When these artists meld their own musical aesthetic to the Brittle Stars' pop, they highlight an electronica heart beating beneath their "never met a Factory Records release or Sundays album we didn't like" facade. From Phofo's hip-hoppish beats, to Stewards' noisy mix, to Scott Schultz's ambient touches, these remixes are a nice, welcome treat. It's bittersweet, too, because you realize that the Brittle Stars will never attempt to expand on these outside variations.

It's a shame, too, because the Brittle Stars were one of those little bands that you wanted to hold in your hands, carefully caress and stroke and protect from the cruel world around it. They were the band you wanted to remain a little kitten. Alas, that wasn't going to happen. The Stars' brand of light, unobtrusive, ethereal pop provided the pretty accompaniment to mid-Sunday fuzzy-headed "hold me" moments. They wanted to be the soundtrack of your life, the little light on a cloudy day, the chill to the air of your summer's day, the name-dropped and mid-mix tape band, nothing more. Listen to Garage Sale and lament what it is you have missed.

--Joseph Kyle

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