Of the three bands on the bill the night of the Aloha show a week from tomorrow, Aloha is clearly the smallest, the least known and the least successful. The reason I went after Aloha will be obvious when you read the story’s lead (in fact, read the whole thing here). It’s not the first time I blew a review, and it won’t be the last.
Though they’ve been around for years, a tour with Sparta is still quite a catch for Aloha. “Both bands are much bigger than us,” said frontman Tony Cavallario. “Their crowds will not have heard our music. We don’t want to win everyone over, just a few.” Could be a tough crowd.
A few other things that Tony said that didn’t make it into the story:
— Cavallario isn’t exactly enamored with his own voice. “Singing isn’t like playing an instrument at all,” he said, “especially for your average indie rock singer who isn’t the most gifted. It’s never been easy for me. Figuring out the melodies is easy, but it takes a lot of work before I’m satisfied.”
He made it sound like his voice is pure shit, when in fact it’s one of the better voices in indie rock. I mentioned this, along with the fact that there are a ton of mediocre vocalists out there that are hugely successful.
“I’m proud of the stuff I’m able to do, but there’s a quality to my voice that I wouldn’t recommend for the job that I have, which is being a singer in a band,” he said. “I never listen to a band and say, ‘The singer of this band bothers me.’ There’s a certain discomfort you have with your own voice unless you’re born with killer pipes. Anyone who writes a good song has a voice people will want to listen to. There’s a lot of bad singing out there that’s great music. People who are really in touch with music aren’t looking for a good voice, they’re looking for a good song writer.”
We talked about lazy critics’ habit of drawing comparisons to bands. “Well, you have to start somewhere,” Cavallario said. “It gets even more difficult when you’re dealing with a specific readership. People who are into alternative and indie rock will name any band and assume the audience knows that band. But every day I deal with people who don’t read Pitchfork, and I wish they did so I wouldn’t have to say, ‘We sound kind of like Genesis or Simon and Garfunkel or the Beatles.'”
What about comparisons to Karate? “People may hear us and think of Karate, which is fine, because that’s where we came from. Karate played house shows at Neal House in Columbus. They were the indie undercurrent in the punk scene. That’s what turned us on to playing music. You didn’t have to sound like punk to be a punk band.”
Anyway, read the whole story here.
Tomorrow’s column is a piece on Terrence Moore, the man behind Dirt Cheap Records in Lincoln and Omaha, and the new challenge he’s facing.
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