When you're in a young band starting out, trying to get people to buy your debut album and tickets to your shows, this is how it goes: You're doing an interview with a writer in one of the next tour stops, and the cell phone you're using won't cooperate. The signal dies in the middle of one of your answers, so you call back, and it happens again. You go outside, and the phone is working fine, but now you're a target for a nest of angry bees, which is a problem, because you still have a scar from a bee sting that happened when you were, like, 10 years old, and bees naturally freak you out. So you go back inside and try to finish the interview on the phone inside, except it has the clarity and range of a couple of tin cans and some string. The interview is over before it really begins.
Such was the case for Arlo's Nate Greeley a couple of weeks ago. After a 30-minute interview, or at least a 30-minute attempt at an interview, this was all that faulty phones and dive-bombing bees didn't obscure, which is a good enough introduction to Arlo, which is essentially singer-guitarists Sean Spillane and Greeley: "Me and Sean are actually from Texas. We didn't know each other in Texas; I'm from San Antonio, and he's from Houston. We both went to USC and ended up living on the same floor. We started hanging out and playing guitar. He'd played in bands in high school, and I'd played bass in bands in high school. So we got together, started a band--just jamming, playing cover songs--and just kept going with it." OK, maybe that could be the story of just about any band. But two hours of forensics-level transcription deserves something.
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Arlo deserves even more than that. On its last trip to Texas, the band wowed the dedicated few who showed up for its early-evening gig at Emo's during South by Southwest, turning the lo-fi pop of Up High in the Night (its debut for Sub Pop) into hi-fi rock anthems. Expect the same to happen Friday at Curtain Club.