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The Beati goes on
Dan Watson – The Daily Iowan
Italian folklore claims the Beati Paoli was a mysterious sect of men that originated in Sicily to oppose the medieval feudalism of the time. Legend claims the Sicilian Mafia was formed from the ashes of the secretive sect. The Beati Paoli is to Italians what Robin Hood is to the English – heroes who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
Four men from Des Moines are trying to raise awareness of the Beati Paoli – not for its historical significance but rather the music the quartet plays under the same name. Their band, Beati Paoli (pronounced BEE-ah-TEE POW-lee, more or less), will play at 9 p.m. at the Industry, 211 Iowa Ave., today to support the release of its first full-length album, A Sense of Urgency.
“We have no Italian heritage, far from it,” vocalist Greg Goode said. “We just thought the story behind the Beati Paoli was cool and interesting. Then we realized no one could pronounce it, but it was too late to change our name by then.” Along with Goode, the four-piece band comprises Cecil Skrdlant on guitars, Ryan Meier on bass, and Scott O’Gara on drums.
Trying to attach Beati Paoli to a certain musical genre is as difficult as pronouncing its name without phonetics. The band pulls its sound together from a wide spectrum of genres, including pop rock, acid rock, indie rock, and punk rock. Together all those rocks form an elaborate boulder with a layered and complexly woven sound, and to top it off, the band often adds catchy and metrical lyrics.
Over the past few years, Beati Paoli has been writing and recording its début album and touring extensively throughout the county. The band is fresh off its most recent three-week East Coast tour, and it was the first time it did all the booking and scheduling alone.
“We loved playing house shows and smaller venues, because it has a better atmosphere,” Skrdlant said. “You know the people there are actually there to listen to you.”
A Sense of Urgency was recorded and produced under the band’s own label, the Noising Machine, in O’Gara’s personal studio at his house. This made it possible for the band to use the experimental sounds and techniques scattered throughout the album.
“We could record in our pajamas and underwear if we wanted to, and we wouldn’t be charged a dime for studio time,” Goode said. “It really allowed us to try new things.”
And although the foundation of the band is not as mysterious as the original Beati Paoli, it wants its legacy to be around just as long.