One of the banes of my pale-skinned existence.

I have very dark hair and very pale skin.. Possibly I just need more sun, who's to say? Anyhow, I was cursed with incredibly fast-growing facial hair.

What all this means is that I effectively have a permanent five o'clock shadow.

Very much like that Simpsons episode where Homer shaves and within seconds his five o'clock shadow re-appears with a 'pop!'.

I have contemplated a facial wax on more than one occasion.

This is the third summer my friend Anna & I have been friends. And ever since the first day I met her she has been majorly obsessed with a band called Five O'Clock Shadow (Known by their fans simply as FOCS). I am very open to all new music. If you like it, I will give it a chance, no questions asked. So I asked her to tell me about FOCS, and the first thing she told me sort of turned me off.

"They're an a cappella band."

Eh. Okay. I think some a cappella can sound BEAUTIFUL... But for some reason, I decided to NOT give them a chance. My loss, though. Eventually I caved in to Anna and heard some of their music. When I heard them I laughed A LOT because clearly Anna didn't know what "a cappella" meant.

a cap·pel·la (ä k -p l ) adv. Music Without instrumental accompaniment.

And clearly FOCS used instruments. I pointed this out to her and she laughed at me because they weren't using instruments. They were using their voices to mimic instruments. And they did a damn good job. You'll think you are hearing electric guitars, keyboards, drums and electric bass - but the only thing you are hearing are their voices. One member performs vocal bass WHILE he is performing vocal drums. And they do it LIVE for thousands of concertgoers every year.

FOCS consists of five members - most with unique names - Roo, Oren, Stack, Paul & Bill. They originate from Massachussetts but perform all over the East Coast and the rest of the United States. They've toured Japan, and will be touring Germany in the fall. But strangely many people have never heard of them. Their website,, has sound clips and you can download their Mp3s off of most file sharing programs and

They have released three albums: "Misfit Toys", "So There", and "Wonders of the World".

If you are open to new music, you should definately give FOCS a try. They're not your typical a cappella band.

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