If you liked/saw Garden State, you probably heard and liked the Remy Zero song featured in it. I discovered them several years ago when the movie Crazy/Beautiful came out and I bought the soundtrack for one song: “Shattered.” Anyway, “Shattered” is an excellent song, filled with a gut-wrenching reverence for love. Cinjin Tate’s voice has an inherent ability to make any experience seem epic. He could be singing about going to the store for a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and a stick of buttah* and it would sound like the most poignant moment in the history of the world.
What disappointed me was how Zach Braff, the director of Garden State, took my favorite song** “Fair” and cut it up to fit an inappropriate moment. Because as I remember it, they’re sitting in front of the fire in that big house and maybe they get up for a second and dance around (kind of stupidly) or something. I just remember that it was anti-climatic and somewhat contrived (putting aside that all films are contrived. They shouldn’t feel contrived). Anyway, a song bottled with that much yearning, that much angst over losing love should be reserved for something greater. And especially it shouldn’t be cut and spliced like it was. If it’s going to be cut and spliced, attach it to something amazing.
This isn’t to say that I think Garden State sucks. It’s fine. Especially in comparison with the other films that came out in 2004. However. It aspired to be more than it was. If you enjoyed Garden State, a film I found to be more delicate and exploratory surrounding the topic of twenty-something’s in love is one that came out several years ago called All the Real Girls. It’s a very good show. And incidentally, “Fair” would have been more fitted to this indie-film.
The real point of all this is to point out how excellent Remy Zero is. But they broke up. From their remains a band called Spartan Fidelity has risen, made up of the brothers Cinjin and Shelby Tate. Yes, they’re brothers but not like the Partridge Family and nothing whatsoever like the Bee Gees and their hair (the first tape I ever owned was 1987’s E.S.P.). And I want to tell you that as far as I’ve been concerned, the real force behind Remy Zero was Cinjin’s voice and songwriting.
Anyway, listen to Spartan Fidelity ("Okay."). I'm recommending them to you. So go ahead. Listen ("I will."). I’ve been thoroughly swept away by several songs from their album Excava-11. So do it ("Fine, I will. You're the queen. Everything you say is amazing."). Simply follow the link on my sidebar for a free download of “Broken Drum.” ("Everything you listen to is amazing. Whatever it is, it must be great. Because you're great.")
*And if you get this reference, you obviously spent too much time watching public television as a child.
**The churning emotions and instruments of “Fair” snuff out “Shattered.” That percussion. That guitar. It makes my heart hemorrhage. Can a heart hemorrhage? It kills me. That line where he says, “All my words were bound to fail / I know you won’t fail.” It’s blinding.