The best part of this job is discovering great bands before they become widely known. I have yet to meet an act that went on to top 40 radio or a stadium tour, but I have met many whose music was good enough to warrant those perks.
A tough part of the job is seeing talented bands break up before their time. The latest example is Minneapolis' Vicious Aloysius (www.viciousaloysius.com), whose violin-drenched groove monster "Viceroy" highlighted their catchy debut (and farewell) album.
The blow is softened because Vicious hasn't appeared recently at the Eclectic Cafe. And of course, you can catch the Vicious members in new projects, but that's like saying you can catch the cast of your beloved-but-canceled TV show in guest roles on "CSI" and "ER."
Good songs come from sensitive souls; good performances come from having (or faking) the confidence of a rock star - musician's inner selves are a tenuous balance between low self-esteem and huge egos.
Now-defunct Vicious Aloysius, fronted by Noah Hoehn, was one of the staple bands in the Eclectic Cafe rotation in recent years.
Bills, day jobs and families have factored into band breakups. But usually, the spark just goes away. To keep going, music-makers need to feel they're doing something worthwhile.
The next time you're at The E and you see a band you like, tell the musicians how much you enjoyed their set. That one song they played was the best thing you've ever heard, but that doesn't mean the band knows it's any good.
In the grand scheme of things, Vicious Aloysius was a pop footnote. But, as I listen to "Viceroy" again, I have to say they were a special footnote.
- By John Hansen,Entertainment Editor
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.