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Glass Candy is an American indie electronic band from Portland, Oregon that formed in 1996. The band consists of vocalist Ida No and guitarist/synthesist/general producer Johnny Jewel. While the band's early work blends elements of no wave and glam rock, their later work incorporates Italo disco. The band is known for evolving through the years since their original collaboration, and experimenting with various musical genres. They have released a number of albums since the early 2000s, their most recent being 2008's Deep Gems.
Ida No's vocals have been likened to '60s German singer Nico and "a frightened Debbie Harry or a pissed-off Lene Lovich in a haunted disco". Their work as of 2008 borrows from Italo disco, freestyle music, Krautrock, hip-hop, and new wave. Glass Candy was formed by Ida No, from Vancouver, Washington, and Johnny Jewel, from Austin, Texas, in 1996. The two met while working together in the video store of a Fred Meyer in Portland, Oregon, just across the Columbia River from No's hometown of Vancouver, and soon began producing music under the name "Glass Candy and the Shattered Theatre." No describes their early work as "droney and weird." Nonetheless, their early releases show a heavy glam and new wave influence, as evidenced in their self-released first three singles, "Brittle Women" (1999), "Metal Gods" (2001) and a cover of Josie Cotton's "Johnny Are You Queer" (2002). They toured with The Convocation Of... in 2001, and released a live album that year on Vermin Scum. Their first studio album, Love Love Love, was issued on Troubleman Unlimited in 2003. A second full-length followed on Troubleman the next year. Jewel founded Italians Do It Better with Mike Simonetti as a subsidiary of Troubleman. In 2007 Glass Candy released their third album B/E/A/T/B/O/X on this label to considerable critical praise. In late 2008, a rarities, b-sides and remix album was released under the name Deep Gems. In a review of Deep Gems, Spin Magazine referred to the band as "an eccentric Portland pair" that "spook the dance floor".
Glass Candy songs were used for a Chloé runway show, as well as used by Karl Lagerfeld for the Spring/Summer '08 Chanel Haute Couture fashion show and the Fall/Winter one of '08/'09.
Glass Candy's song, "Digital Versicolour," was featured prominently in Nicolas Winding Refn's film, Bronson, partially in a pair of scenes, and in full over the closing credits. A music video was made for the song in 2005 and starred notable Australian actress Rose Byrne.
Johnny Jewel has cited Marilyn Monroe films, 1980s cop show soundtracks, Goblin, and John Carpenter soundtracks as inspirational. All music tracks are produced by basic analog equipment, without the use of computers. Critics have also compared the group to Nina Hagen, The Shirelles, David Bowie, James Chance, and Jarboe. Glass Candy has covered songs by James "Sugar Boy" Crawford, Kraftwerk, Roxy Music, Belle Epoque, Dark Day, The Rolling Stones, and Queen. The group has also said that stores could appropriately file their music "between Olivia Newton-John, Suicide and Schoolly D".