Cuba can be one of two things. The first is a country with missiles and cigars. The second, which is the topic of this post, is a great indie band that take influence from a very wide variety of sources ranging from Johnny Cash to Bright Eyes. And Wes Anderson movies.
Cuba is March’s Indie Band of the Month and they deserve it. Unlike featured bands of the past, Cuba can’t be put into any single genre. They do everything from funk to rock to folk, if it is an established genre then chances are these boys have played around with it, and that is exactly what makes them the perfect choice for the Everyview Indie Band of the Month Award.
Cuba is composed of lead singer Jon Dacosta who also supports with keys and guitar, guitarists John Murray and Jimmy Rinhart, bassist Matt Hulett, and drummer Michael Coffey. All members support Dacosta with stellar backup vocals which really bring songs together in a harmonious and satisfying way. And while these five boys are the “official roster,” Cuba often invites friends from other bands to play along with them on-stage, keeping most shows fresh and surprising.
Lots of people probably wonder why the band chose to name themselves Cuba. Is there a deep meaning behind it? Well the band likes to think of it as a politically centered idea which refers to the Bay of Pigs cover up. But in all honesty the name was inspired by Jon Dacosta’s grandfather, who hails from Cuba. So if the fact that one of Terre Haute’s best bands was named after the lead vocalist grandpa’s homeland doesn’t seem rock-and-roll enough for you, just connect it with politically corrupt occurances and you are good to go!
While The Haute (as I like to call it) is Cuba’s home stomping ground, they spend most of their time playing in other midwest cities as opposed to hiding themselves under the Hautian rock. If you live anywhere near cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinatti, Indianapolis, or Louisville then the odds are you have already or will have the opportunity to see Cuba live. And trust me, it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
Remember how I cited their wide range of inspirations? Well Cuba actually started out a folk band, way back when there were only two members. But now the play just about everything. Alternative country, reggae, even Latin, Cuba has experimented with and mastered more genres in their time as a band than the average Cuban smokes in his lifetime. Which is impressive.
Even so, their folk roots are very distinct when listening to and dissecting their music. Jon Dacosta’s vocals are very reminiscent of Bright Eyes, and the intstrumental performances always have that folk rock flavor, even if it’s a funky tune. It really is amazing how they are able to play so many genres and keep the roots of what made them who they are today, and it produces sound that is equally as impressive.
This year the boys have a simple goal. They just want to play shows. No real set number, just enough to feel they meet and surpass their personal goals as well as get their name even more well-known than it already is throughout the midwest. I’m sure if the band stays well-behaved Santa will make sure they get exactly what they want by year’s end.
Check out Cuba’s MySpace and listen to some of their tunes yourself. They have a plethora of interesting banners you can add to your own page to let all your friends know about their amazing music. Make sure you add them as a friend and watch their gig schedule closely to see when they’ll be coming somewhere near you!