Bartees Strange Preview

Looking for a smashing Saturday evening? Well get ready, on November 19th the English-born- American alternative musician, Bartees Strange will seize the stage of the 9:30 Club at 7:00 pm. Unlike the usual alternative artist, Strange was trained in opera as a child, perhaps due to the career of his mother. Growing up in Oklahoma Strange felt constricted by his identity, however, his mother had another plan. Strange and his siblings stepped up to the stage and began touring with the Oklahoma City Circuit Opera Company, performing at church services, festivals, and school events.

Now, the artist carves his path, mixed with memories of hard rock, country, and pop. As he worked to find himself Strange ditched the Oklahoma emo scene and made his move to first, Brooklyn and later Washington DC. His moment would not come from his attempts to collaborate with every possible musician on the East coast but from attending a D.C. concert by the National. Strange, reminded of his childhood, noted he was one of the singular persons of color in attendance, and what resulted was his first EP, Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy. The EP was not simply a collection of songs, but of statements; the collection of known material paired with Strange’s unique sound put him on the map and made his story known. Soon he would collect fans such as Ryan Reynolds and Hayley Williams. Building upon his success, on October 2, 2020, he released his first full-length album titled Live Forever. Landing him a contract with 4AD, Live Forever, through its roars for freedom, broke the border between rap and rock.

As if things couldn't get better, this past June of 2022 Strange released his second studio album Farm to Table. Packed with prediction the album does not disappoint. Although similar in story to Live Forever the new album uses chest, heart, and a heavy wide foot stance to ground itself. Farm to Table showcases Strange’s songwriting and performing capacity. Strange's voice acts as an anchor to tell the tale of a Black thirtysomething musician who struggled to make the scene. Opposite of linear, the album takes a new direction and connects old scars to new findings. Although pleasing to the ears the album contains more power than one might assume. The track “Hold The Line” is a homage, written following Strange’s viewing of the 2020 murder of George Floyd. The album is not only exceptional but an experience that demands various viewings in an attempt to separate the past from the present.

Accompanying Bartees Strange this Saturday is the Pom Pom Squad and Spring Silver. The Brooklyn-formed, pioneering girl band, Pom Pom Squad are known for their indie rock explorations of love, anger, and transformation. Frontwoman, Mia Berrin, took the lead in making their latest album Death of a Cheerleader, produced as an evaluation of her own queerness and multiracial identity. Influenced by Berrin’s adolescent memories the album is a metaphorical rebellion against society's standard of the woman image. Making the event even more worthwhile is Spring Silver, the group was first formed by Maryland-born songwriter K Nkanza. Nkanza revolts against the recognized in creating their own genre, one which they have referred to as “queer metal.” Noting that the creation of culture and the search for one's self cannot be separate, Nkanza makes new sounds by minting a new brand of guitar music.

Still interested in that smashing evening? Bartees Strange, Pom Pom Squad, and Spring Silver are guaranteed to deliver. Find tickets here and more information visit Bartees Strange’s website at www.barteesstrange.com.