We Ragazzi

We Ragazzi formed in Chicago 1997 of Tony Rolando, Colleen Burke and Alianna Kalaba.

We made a record in 1998. It was supposedly earmarked by near obsessive use of Farfisa Combo Organ. It was called a fuzzy little gem. It was called garage, new wave, no wave, goth (because I wore eye-liner on stage at times?), and even bluesy, but nobody had come up with the word dance punk so it was not called that, ever. There were no blogs so it was not blogged about and pitchforkmedia.com was not around to dis it.

Our live show developed into what was said to be a combination of point blank darkness and true underground energy. A passionate, messy affair that was sure to thrill, because who doesn’t like to watch somebody get all bent out of shape.

The group broke-up 20 something dates into our first tour of the USA after a crummy show at some empty club in Memphis in 1999. I remember there were large cockroaches crawling on my amplifier while we were playing that show. It was a bad break up, with myself taking a night train from Memphis to Chicago while the girls traveled homeward in the van.

Somehow we got back together in 2000, but with a different (and male) drummer. The farfisa organ, was sold: out of boredom, for rent money, for closure. In its place was quite simply a piano. We made a second album. This record we recorded ourselves no thanks to the computer revolution. That record took forever, and we wasted some 250 cdrs in the making.
We toured some more and then the guy on drums decided to leave the group to pursue rebel clowning.

ODG (aka original drummer girl, Ali) came up to me after our last show with the rebel clown and said she wanted to play drums with the group again. That suited me fine, but if the band broke up again, it was going to be final, I thought to myself.
Near the end of 2003, with little warning, the group moved to NYC (actually we just stayed there after CMJ, having lost our apartments and rehearsal space in Chicago). Having few friends in NYC, and even fewer jobs, the group was able to find the time to write and record a third record. “Wolves with Pretty Lips,” (2004, Suicide Squeeze). Unfortunately, that record failed to quell the financial woes of living in NYC and so the group broke up again to pursue other pyramid schemes.

We Ragazzi also played at...