Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Wood Shoppe … Free Music!

Posted by xneverwherex on November 8, 2013

Strange Talk
Battleme
Aan
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
November 5, 2013

Wood Shoppe is a free night of music that’s held monthly at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall. I had wanted to go another night, but of course, I had a show that night and as it turned out the band I had wanted to see had to cancel. But I will be returning as it was awesome – and they had a really great line-up.

Strange Talk

The headliner, Strange Talk from Australia, was a band that I had been wanting to see for ages. And one, that I would have gladly paid money to see. I somehow kept missing them at CMJ. The band did not disappoint. They came out, introduced themselves by mentioning their Aussie accents (hence the band name) and then quickly proceeded into the ever-catchy ‘Cast Away’. The crowd quickly got into their music and soon there was lots of dancing.

The band which mostly uses keyboards/synths, did use guitar on some of their songs. Their music is very similar to fellow Aussies The Presets/Cut Copy with even more dance-y electro pop songs and their ultra-bright sneakers. As the night progressed, their music started to have more of an edge as more guitars came out and they started sounding like they could be the new version of Innerpartysystem. The lead singer sounded really great and has a smooth sound to his voice.

As they ended the set there was a pretty decent sized dance pit for this small club. The crowd really got worked up during ‘Falling in Love’ and ‘Sexual Lifestyle’ which also included a couple getting a little too into it. They ended their set with their first single ‘Another Day’ and even had a crowd sing-along. It was fun indeed and I’m sure in no time they will be playing the larger venues. Definitely a band worth seeing if you enjoy their music.

My favorite band of the night was Battleme from Portland. I had listened to a few songs and they tended to have more of an acoustic folk sound on some of their songs, but live —- its a whole different story. They killed the set with tight, hard-fast rock-n-roll with a bluesy/psych rock sound. The band, which primarily uses guitars, looks like 2 bands in one. The drummer and keyboardist, who were more clean-cut, looked like members of Strange Talk while the other guys (the guitarists) had tattoo sleeves and long hair. It didn’t matter – they sounded like one tight kick-ass band.

Battleme

Lead singer, Matt Drenik, has amazing vocals with a sultriness to his voice. The band really reminded me of the 90s bands like The Replacements, yet also had the melodies of the power-pop bands (Fountains of Wayne/Matthew Sweet). ‘Just Weight’, the single off the new album, is my favorite song with a very catchy sound and when the gritty guitars sink it, its just the perfect blend.

The band really got into songs with Matt really working every inch of the small stage. While their songs can be loud, thrashy and heavy they were also quite melodic. Their music really had the crowd rocking out. They ended the set way too early (or so it seemed) and had the crowd wanting more and calling for an encore. They finished out their last song asking the crowd if they’d want a slow or fast song … we went with fast and it was fast, loud and powerful and was one hell of a way to end their set. Definitely a band that needs to be seen again!

Aan, another Portland band, started out the night. Their sound tended to be a bit here and there with some songs sounding very emo and some being more pop. It was kind of all over the place and its hard to pin-point them with their musical style.

While some of their songs were catchy and fun, a lot just didnt seem to fit in with the others. At least the band seemed to be having a great time on stage and they were pretty decent (just hard to live up to the other 2 bands). And their name as they said is ‘on – spelled aan’.

Set List – Strange Talk:
Cast Away
Take Me As I Am
Is It Real
Wanted
Eskimo Boy
Cosmic
Sexual Lifestyle
We can pretend
Falling in Love
Climbing Walls
Another Day

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