Snacking on Music: Jared Wright, Oh Dorian and Rova Zoetella
Every now and then, even under deadline, I find myself at a place that has nothing to do with my writing, but everything to do with enjoying the pleasures this city has to offer. This time, that pleasure took me to the 567 on Cherry Street to hear Jared Wright (sans Rolys and Bots), Rova Zoetella (a new band) and Oh Dorian (aka Heather Kemp). What I found is that…Sometimes I forget what a great singer/songwriter Jared Wright is. I remember the first time I saw him, at the Singer Songwriter Showcase for the 11th Hour’s Reader Choice Awards. Since then, I’ve enjoyed Red Swill and also fallen totally in love with Roly-Bots. The biggest complaint I’ve heard concerning Jared’s singing is that some people don’t like his voice. I could name off a number of musicians that people don’t consider good singers who are, themselves, very good. I personally like Jared’s voice and it was in fine form Sunday night.
After Jared, the very young Rova Zoetella came on the stage. The music at the start was atmospheric and the singer’s voice was melodic. Once they lulled you into a sense of comfort, coaxing you into the parlor in spider like fashion, they throw in the heavy guitars and the crashing drums and they move from emo to rock. Being fully aware emo is more about the lyrics than the music, I can’t completely rule out emo, but I can say that they fully embraced rock. Even in the noise, there is still a strong bit of melody. When I say noise, I don’t mean it in an old people listening to current rock way, but in that deliberate way that practitioners of noise rock perform. Yes, the noise was there, but so was the melody. Those of us native to Macon’s downtown scene have traditionally gotten our noise rock from Nomenclature and most recently Truffelina with Citizen Insane also dabbling. Rova Zoetella won’t be putting them out of business anytime soon. They are a little too practiced and not as experimental (on and off the stage) as the aforementioned groups.
The interesting thing about Rova Zoetella is that they are always on the verge of something. What I mean is they spent a majority of the show flirting with heavy metal riffs and hardcore screams. They walk the line between melodic and noise without being offensive to either side. They are taking this seriously because, though they are young, there is a lot of maturity in what they are trying to do.
I ran into Heather Kemp one night and she talked to me about how she was going to give up smoking because it was bad for her instrument, her voice. Tonight, the work she has done to keep her instrument tuned is very evident. Her voice was clear as a bell and the sacrifice she is making has only strengthened it. Also, the work she has done on the new songs has helped her transform her older songs. The music was beautiful and hearing new music was exciting. Now, if only she would become more comfortable and less awkward between the songs (though there is something a little endearing about that part of her, like the loud laugh, that just serves as a reminder that you’re dealing with the same old Heather Kemp), I think we would then have a dangerous musician on our hands.