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"A Local Band Flirts With The Big Time"

July 15, 2007
A Local Band Flirts With the Big Time
DELLACANE, a Bronxville-based rock band, made it into the final round of the Emergenza Music Festival, which bills itself as “the largest international contest for unsigned bands.” The group was one of 28 acts in the final competition, held July 6 and 7 at Webster Hall in New York City. The winner will fly to Germany and play at the Taubertal Festival next month alongside more established bands like Mando Diao and Shout Out Louds.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to win and go to Germany or tour in the U.S. coast to coast,” said Vincent Giangola, 25, the drummer, before the finals. “Hopefully, we’ll get signed, get a record deal, play lots of shows and make lots of money. That’s the plan.”

Dellacane (the name was created by the guitarist, Frank Dal Pra, 21, and is a hybrid of “psychedelic hurricane”) got through three other rounds this spring to make it to the finals, winning the battle of the bands at the Hook in Brooklyn, the Bitter End in Greenwich Village and Crash Mansion in the East Village. To sharpen their sound, they practiced every day at Mr. Giangola’s home in Mount Vernon.

“We joke that it is really the ‘battle of the crowds,’ ” said Ignacio Uriarte, 21, Dellacane’s lead singer and bassist. “At the end of the set they count hands to vote, so usually you have to get all your friends to come. A lot of the burden falls on the band to sell tickets, promote it and get people there.”

Walter Combi, the North American artistic director for Emergenza, concurs. “We do encourage every band to be shameless about promoting their own band,” he said.

Dellacane wasn’t the only Westchester band to make it to the finals. A Few Too Many, from Yorktown Heights and fronted by the Calamera sisters — Jessica, 17, and Samantha, 15 — performed on the first night of the competition, garnering praise from Mr. Combi as having “more talent than the whole Berklee School of Music put together.”

To compete, bands must have original songs, be unsigned, have at least three members and pay a $70 entry fee. Many are discovered by Emergenza through, where bands maintain Web pages and post songs. Bands also contact Emergenza directly through its Web site.

Dellacane took the stage and played six songs in 20 minutes, including the crowd favorites “Chinatown” and “When the Room Spins.”

At the end of the evening, Dellacane came in second. Fire Flies, a New York City band, took top honors. Instead of Germany, Dellacane will travel the United States as part of the “Best of Emergenza” tour.

A Few Too Many didn’t make it, but they don’t seem too disappointed.

“It wasn’t that heartbreaking,” said Peter Calamera, the girls’ father. “They have seven major record labels bidding for them.”

- The New York Times

"Emergenza Battle of the Bands"

In between Tribeca Film Festival screenings, I decided to ingest some entertainment of the aural variety, and stopped by the “Emergenza Battle of the Bands at bar The Bitter End on the lower east side. This was the quarterfinals of the competition, with the semifinals occurring at Crash Mansion on May 13tgh, and the finals taking place at Webster Hall on an undisclosed date. The prize, cash and a musical tour of Germany, Tonight, 9 bands competed for 4 openings into the semifinal round.

The room was oddly arranged with a bunch of wooden tables flanking the stage, and very little standing room. There was also a two-drink minimum per set, which was a recipe for disaster. The majority of the bands were terrible, but that was to be expected. I hate to shit all over an upstart and, but the award for most unintentionally funny performance definitely went to “The Rip Surfers.” This band was suffering a major identity crisis – the 50-year old bassist looked like Jacques Cousteau, donning a beret and a hideous turquoise shirt, which the keyboardist was dressed like a typical emo girl, and the lead singer donned a cowboy hat. Oh yeah, and their brand of Nickelback-esque shod-rock almost made me storm out in disgust.

Fortunately, I decided to stay and finish my Guinness, and see the next band, New York-natives Dellacane (pictured) – a three-piece that, nestled amongst a bunch of mind-numbing emo and metal acts, produced infectious, melodic Britpop. They attracted a large devoted followed to the bar, with fans requesting songs and singing along to the lyrics. Heck, they were the only band that incited dancing amongst the tightly-packed inebriated horde of indie music lover. The song highlights were “The Latest Craze” and “Chinatown” – two catchy numbers which combined spiky, Libertines-style guitars with galloping drums and harmonious vocals, as well as “Fighting Frenzy”, which sounds like the spawn of The Beach Boys and We Are Scientists. They were the only band to switch tempos, playing songs both slow and bracingly fast; they were also the only band to elicit dancing, and the dark environs of The Bitter End erupted in applause following each and every ditty. The single most effective thing I can point out is the tempo transition during “The Latest Craze,” as the song shifts gears into a foot-stomping chorus.

Unsurprisingly, Dellacane was awarded 1st place in a landslide victory

If you happen to be in the NY area, be sure to check out the next round of Battle of the Bands at Crash Mansion on May 13th, and keep supporting your local music scene!

You can read more about Dellacane and check out some of their catchy tunes at their Myspace.

- Marlow Stern


The Latest Craze

Streaming songs at -- Windowpane, Broken and Battered Blues, Chinatown, When The Room Spins.



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