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Bitter:Sweet (Kiran Shahani & Shana Halligan)

THE MATING GAME • Bitter:Sweet

note from the design department:

A mid-August message from Paige said: "Wilkins / Bittersweets reviews coming soon." She was about to leave Tennessee with a grandmother and an eleven-month-old. "We will, with any luck, arrive at the home of the paternal grands in the evening (Michigan). With three grands at the ready, I will settle in w/ laptop tomorrow and finish and hit send." But five days later, unexpectedly back in Nashville, Paige wrote to say that somewhere in Kentucky their rented car had been in an accident with a large truck. Writer, baby, and grandma were "all okay, just jangled and a little sore."

Meanwhile, I had started putting together review pages for the upcoming issue. Searching for a new album by a band named Bittersweet (their s misplaced in my memory), the only thing I came upon was the group Bitter:Sweet. I began assembling a page for them. A mistake. Paige was in fact planning to review the new release from The Bittersweets--not the Australian trio with a similar name (The Bitter Sweets, found here) but the quintet from San Francisco (The Bittersweets, found here).

My error wasn't revealed to me until the day before the issue was supposed to go up, those reviews of Paige's now delayed by virus and various dilemmas unknown. Damn! I should've asked instead of guessing. I hastily created a new page for the correct band, adding their CD cover to the covers page in place of the one for The Mating Game.

           bitter:sweet            the bittersweets

But I'd grown fond of this band I had bumped into by chance, Bitter:Sweet. An L.A.-based duo, Bitter:Sweet is Shana Halligan and Kiran Shahani. They have a nice story: though they'd lived only a block apart, had several friends in common, and six months earlier had each recorded in the same studio with only a soundproof wall separating them, they'd never met--until Shana returned from a trip to Europe and decided to answer an ad for a singer. She hadn't ever answered an ad before. It'd just been placed by Kiran, founding member of Supreme Beings of Leisure. Shana was the first person to call him, and the pair hit it off. Tastes overlapped surprisingly, much energy was released, and the music captured on The Mating Game is the delightful result.

Well, I already had this page prepared, so...why not just slip Bitter:Sweet into the September issue somehow? Like a bonus track: they are not exactly being reviewed here (I'm not a reviewer, just a designer) but offered for your consideration.

Summer is coming too quickly to a close. Looking for something to help make it last a little longer--something buoyant and colorful, with an interesting undertow? Try this. Will it bring you joy? The audio clips on the Listen page can likely tell you what you need to know. I played their songs repeatedly through a long night of web-wrangling and by morning Bitter:Sweet had completely won me over. I like their sound. I like their attitude. (I even like their distinctive use of the colon.)

Shana & Kiran

listen to clips       go to the reviews      

buy the CD here or here or find bitter:sweet at itunes

bittersweetmusic.com      quango.com     their myspace

the review of the CD by The Bittersweets never arrived

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