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 V.15 No.29 | July 20 - 26, 2006 


The Giranimals and The Cherry Tempo Double CD Release Party

In a family way: The Giranimals
Wes Naman
In a family way: The Giranimals

School House Rock

It all started innocently enough, when newlyweds Maury and Connie Crandall were up late one night watching “The David Letterman Show.” The musical guest was terrible. So bad, in fact, the two agreed they could do better themselves and decided to form a band on the spot. The Giranimals were born, not unlike a secret pact made in a tree house.

Stylistically, everything about this band--from their name (inspired by a children's clothing company) to the care-free lyrical content of their songs to the art on their new album, Imperfectly Timed Words—is a nod to the innocence of childhood.

Cherry Tempo
Cherry Tempo

“In real life we're happy-go-lucky people,” says Maury, “so that's the type of music that just comes naturally to us.”

Imperfectly Timed Words is a wonderful catalog of indie-pop melodies that are quaint without veering into irritating territory. It's like listening to a mother coo a little ditty about nothing to her baby. You can almost feel warm, sudsy water brushing up against your skin.

Creating the album was a family affair in more ways than one. It was recorded at Maury's stepfather's studio in Arizona--the same place his brother Marty used to cut Flake Music’s first album. Since finding success with The Shins, The Giranimals say they’ve benefited from Marty's brotherly advice. “He's always told me to be realistic,” Maury says. “If big things don't happen for The Giranimals, it's not really a big deal for us since we have families, careers and lives outside of music. We're happy.” (LM)

Santa Fe’s Pedal Princes

While on their first regional tour, The Cherry Tempo had the time of their lives journeying from city to city, listening to the comedic stylings of Dane Cook, spending the night in their van and playing with a band whose lead singer brandished some sort of duckbilled sock contraption on his genital region. The latter made some of TCT’s members feel “a little violated,” but overall the band is very happy with what they’ve accomplished.

In addition to their tour, TCT’s achievements include a debut, self-titled LP that’s smothered in Beatles-esque melody, Talking Heads ingenuity and, of course, a menagerie of effects pedals.

“I try to have as many sounds and textures to try to be a little more unique,” explains guitarist and primary pedal purveyor Dave Jordon. He also admits, “I like playing with knobs and blinking lights and I really like being nerdy about sound.”

The unflashy but highly self-assured vocals of Javier Romero (who also contributes his guitar work to the album) tie the record into a tight, indie rock knot that’s held together by the unabashed rhythm section of Jasper Schriber and Will Phillips. “Four heads are definitely better than one as far as song writing is concerned,” says Romero. “We feel like everyone’s got a real strong grasp of their instruments and I think we’re getting better and better, especially live.” (SM)

The Giranimals and The Cherry Tempo will release their albums at a free show on July 21 at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over). The Mindy Set will open.

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