Alibi V.15 No.19 • May 11-17, 2006 

Music Magnified

Aloha

with The Giranimals and The Cherry Tempo

Aloha!
Aloha!
Shawn Brackbill

Monday, May 15, Launchpad (21-and-over); $6: Things have been solidifying for Aloha. It used to flow. Composition was loose. Improvised sections were built into songs. Now they've hardened a bit.

"I think what Aloha is all about [is] the point where our love of songs and our desire to make musically interesting compositions come together—the meeting point of songwriting and musicianship," says guitarist, pianist, lead singer and lyricist Tony Cavallario.

On their latest, Some Echoes, sounds come up bare without all the whistles and bells of extraneous post-production. Gentle and strange, the effect is soothing, with a peculiar kind of hypnotizing heartbreak accompanying the voice.

It's the good parts of progressive music from the '60s and '70s, Cavallario says. But though the music is fairly abstract, the lyrics are not. "That's the best thing we have to offer," he says. "We do interesting things musically but communicate real feelings to people."

That's why, he says, touring is so fun. Aloha takes out the songs its members are pretty proud of and gives them room to breathe on stage in front of, hopefully, a responsive crowd. "When we get a lot of energy from a crowd, it's easy to give it back," Cavallario says. People coming out to the show might be surprised by how faithfully the band is able to execute sounds from its album, which is full of subtle instrumentation.

Aloha's musicians are able to achieve this by being multi-instrumentalists. An added bonus, Cavallario says, is the audience is usually impressed when they switch things up on stage. They've also worked on transitions, bridges between songs that still maintain the improvised element that was such a big part of older Aloha. And "it's better than watching a band tune their guitars and try to tell a joke," he says. Amen.