Good luck trying to get a handle on Angie Aparo. Take one look at the Atlanta-based musician’s website and you’ll observe a display that only a chaos theorist could appreciate. There are blogs filled with poetry, prefaced by the handwritten statement “These stories are my way of dealing.” There are podcasts. There’s a cartoon of Jesus delivering a stand up routine. And, oh yeah, there’s music too.
It just all seems so random, with Aparo as the one, to put it mildy, eclectic thread stringing it all together.
“It’s just different types of artistic reactions to life,” Aparo says.
It seems as though you can see pretty much every reaction Aparo’s ever had on the website. One cartoon, titled “Live at the Sylvia Theatre, S.C.” recounts a comical rant on cloning and why such a vessel provides Aparo’s preferred method of organ harvesting: “Call me old fashioned, I’ll take the clone. That’s just what you do now adays. There are people that are just like ‘I want to build a robotic wiener.’ No, no, no. ‘I want to have a new liver made of plastic out of a pig’s anus.’ No, no. NO! Exactly, ew. You know what, you just coined the slogan for the future. It’s ‘Ew.’”
It’s all out there — all raw, largely unpolished. (“It’s probably a detriment if I cared at all about building a career,” he says.) There are live tracks from radio shows. There are demos from later-recorded tunes. Aparo on display for all.
“25 years ago, I loved the mystery of music. It wasn’t because I wanted that mystery, it was because that was all it could be. You couldn’t see all of the parts of the artist,” Aparo says. “I’ve spent the last five years of my life worrying about things being polished. Reality TV gives you the illusion of ‘real.’ I wanted to do something really real and I looked at the internet as my way to do that.”
For the amount of self-exposure packed into the website, however, Aparo is still a tough cat to grasp. It’s only when he begins speaking of his approach to his art that you start to understand he’s a mouthpiece really. Constantly observing, he channels the sights that he sees into art of all kinds. The internet is his canvas for that.
“[The internet] has made the whole world a stage,” he says. “I’ve created this voyeur community where you walk through a park and you see how all of these things can be used artistically. Also, it’s your whole life on display … my whole art is woven into my daily existance.”
In this way, Aparo’s music has a uniquely unfiltered quality and provides the only label capable of encompassing the breadth of his work. Aparo’s sound is organic. Not in a rootsy, willows and waves sort of way. Instead it vibrates with the pulse of everyday life, as Aparo artistically, if chaotically, chronicles the varied vistas that greet his eyes every day. He sees a pair of lovers on the sidewalk and it becomes a song. He spots a dead spider beneath his shoe — there’s track two.
Like the rest of his art, the feel of his albums fluctuate massively from one another.
Accordingly, listening to Aparo’s music is like walking into the Hearst Castle and its maze of wildly divergent decor. In one room, there’s Angie, acoustic guitar in his lap, as he slowly teeters back in forth on a rocking chair, belting out ballads to a wood-paneled room. Through the next door, Angsty Angie is decked out in leather, leaping about on a steel stage and screaming over the blaze of distortion — as he does on “Child You’re the Revolution.” On one hand, there’s the stripped down, acoustic “Third Time Around.” On the other, the uber-produced “Hush,” with its electronic effects and boy band-esque harmonies.
“I’m a young freak,” Aparo says. “You do what you feel.”
Nothing could be more true for Aparo. Getting to the heart, the feeling of things, is what he does with each track, regardless of genre or production quality. It might not be polished to perfection, but how like life, no?
And that’s the unifying factor. As he begins this tour, which stops at Jammin’ Java Aug. 19, he’ll do so with just his drummer in support. Never mind the fact they’re touring in support of a full-on rock EP titled “El Primero de Tres,” the first of a trilogy of releases that culminates next spring.
“We’ll play ‘Child You’re the Revolution’ and people will come up to us afterwards and tell us that we sound just like the record,” Aparo says. “But we’ve just got a drum kit and an acoustic guitar. What they mean is that we have the spirit of the song.”
If you can understand spirit, if you can understand feeling, you can start to understand Aparo. Then you might be able to value him like his MySpace ‘friends’ Coldplay, Matt Pinfield, Sevendust and Rob Thomas. At the very least, you’ll be able to appreciate one of the most diacritical and immensely talented artists around.