Pet peeve: an arrangement that completely disregards or misunderstands the meaning of a song. Exhibit A: The recording of "Sail Away" on Tonic Sol-Fa's latest album "Just One of Those Days." Let me state for the record that I think Tonic Sol-Fa is an excellent, hard working group. They're performing over 100 shows a year, tearing up the Midwest, bringing contemporary a cappella to long-standing fans while making new converts at every show. They deserve praise for their consistency and indefatigability.
It's rare that an a cappella group gets 90 seconds of air time on a prime time television show, so when they do, it's worth paying attention. Closely. How did Mosaic do? Let's take a look (you can watch the video on the CASA.org home page, or at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOJULQWITNo&eurl ): 1:17 - song starts - vocal percussion - strong kick snare backbeat - Troy lays an an excellent foundation.
I'm sitting here in Hawaii, listening to a Hawaiian music station, and reminding myself that if things every go South for me, I'm hopping on a plane (or a boat!), moving to Hawaii, and starting an a cappella group with some local boyz singing Hawaiian music. Because it's an entirely untapped market, and a Hawaiian group based in Honolulu would make a nice living singing about the island breezes. Actually, on second thought, I'm probably not coming back. Aloha! But it got me thinking about all of the other untapped markets and styles of a cappella. Tired of the same old sound?
It seems every month I cross paths with a professional a cappella group who seems largely ignorant of the general a cappella community and all it has to offer. The topic doesn't come up directly, but rather they'll be asking me how to get more gigs in this recession, and when I start asking them questions, they stare at me with wide eyes and blank stares. So, once and for all, here's a list of things you can do to make more money while at the same time becoming more connected to the a cappella community:
This blog entry will be a short one, with a message directed specifically at college grads: Many of you love a cappella, and you're about to enter the "real" world in perhaps the worst economic climate since the 1930s. This might have you concerned about employment, ready to take the first full-time job offer that comes your way. But you have a dream: singing a cappella professionally. Seems highly unlikely. Should you try? Absolutely!