Candy Town Does Digital

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The following is an email exchange between the writer of the article and the ringleader of Candy Town

Hidey-ho, Sean. I’ve been enjoying a playlist of Candy Town‘s Lizard in the Wings and Letters from Candy Town during my train commute. I was thinking about doing a possibly inaccurate article, but it would be irresponsible to disseminate misinformation. If you’re interested, I thought that I could present my speculations with your affirmations and rebuttals. The easiest way might be for me to print the transcript of this email thread (with some editing for grammar and style but not content).

If memory serves me correct, we talked about possible Candy Town releases her lunch at Big & Little’s. You said that previous iteration of the band was recorded and you were thinking about what to do with the recordings, if anything.

It strikes me that a digital release makes aesthetic sense. It’s not as archival as vinyl or CD (at least to collectors like me), but it doesn’t need to be when considering Candy Town. I’ve wondered what a Candy Town album would be like, in part because the band is such a theatrical experience. There are costumes, choreography and greasepaint. The experience would not completely translate to a recorded medium, so a physical release becomes somewhat irrelevant. I have a couple of releases that have attempted this. Prom Queen (from Seattle) put out a CD/DVD package called Midnight Veil with videos for each of the songs. Wonderland was a Detroit burlesque adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that released a similar documentation of the event along with the soundtrack.

Physical releases are used as money makers for bands, provided that the merch table recoups the production costs. Let’s consider Candy Town as roving theatre instead of a band. As a theatrical art experience, Candy Town may not require the same trappings of sales. How often do you expect to buy merch when you go to a play? This further legitimizes the digital releases as a musical platform; the music is inherently separate from the theatrical experience.

Lend me your thoughts.


Joseph, I love you to pieces, and that’s a cold hard fact. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the albums. Frankly, I would be totally fine with you disseminating misinformation about Candy Town; I do it all the time! But here’s a bit of truth to chase it back with:

We’re actually now preparing artwork for the CD release of both of these albums…Josh and I felt it would be good to have physical copies available at live shows. But it really was the online release I was looking forward to…one of the nicer changes the Internet has brought about is the option to listen to a sampling of a music track before purchasing it. It used to be a constant irritant to shell out cash for albums that had only one good song on it; the online sale of music strikes me as a much happier transaction.

Obviously, the live band has theatrical elements which aren’t in the recordings…which is why I decided that it’s okay that the recordings have elements not reproduced in the live show. Letters from Candy Town was created on a 4-track cassette player with a cheap, damaged microphone to approximate an old radio sound…while Lizard in the Wings makes liberal use of sampling and overdubbing. I want each venture we undertake to succeed on its own terms, so I don’t see these albums as a soundtrack for the show we do…but rather as separate statements from the same invented culture.


Hot damn! I’m gonna get me some CDs when they come out!


Yay!! Thank you!

Sean Guinan is Candy Town’s ringleader. Lizard in the Wings and Letters from Candy Town currently are available at

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Topics: Chicago, Music

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