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SO LONG CAMEO GALLERY
November 13, 2015 3:49 pm

With the impending close of its doors, Williamsburg’s hidden destination Cameo Gallery hosted an evening of music sure to leave a mark on the scene. Tuesday night’s show featured a stacked roster of up-and-comers including: Stranger Cat, Salt Cathedral, and Night Moves. While all three artists could be considered “under the radar,” their live performances showcased the best of the Brooklyn indie scene.

Stranger Cat opened the night with a set of electronic slow jams. Sexy, soulful, and filled with energy, songwriter Cat Martino (joined by drummer Alec Beckman) filled the small space with their larger than life sound. As they banged out syncopated beats on a full drum kit, Martino layered on electronic beats, synths, and effects to create a lush wall-of-sound experience that left the audience’s hearts pounding. A serious highlight had to be the slowed-down cover of Sia’s fantastic hit “Chandelier,” which the duo stripped to its most basic elements transforming the song from a pop anthem to an emotional outcry.

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Photo by ALEJANDRO JARAMILLO

Next, Salt Cathedral pivoted slightly shifting the energy from a slow and heavy experience to an upbeat and light array of dance-inspiring experimental pop. Salt Cathedral, also a duo (vocalist Juliana Ronderos and instrumentalist Nicolas Losada) showcased some of the cleanest and most professional sets out there today. Their high-energy beats and tasteful vocals gave indie darlings Sylvan Esso a run for their money in the production quality department. Each song was perfectly executed which allowed their hit single “Move Along” to function as a pleasant finale to an overall great performance rather than the thing you’ve all been waiting for. Their electronic rendition Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” was also a welcomed throwback amidst an otherwise original set.

Finally, Night Moves took us home with some much-needed good ole fashioned indie rock. Normally a three-piece (guitarist and vocalist John Pelant, bassist Micky Alfano, and multi-instrumentalist Mark Ritsema), the band was joined by a rhythm guitar and drummer. With a five-piece band in tow, Pelant’s voice had a full body behind it allowing him to fill the room with his clean and tight melodies. After two futuristic female electronic artists, the all-boy outfit was able to turn the dial with songs that gave a nod to good old-fashioned Blues and Americana with a touch of Indie-rock flavor.

The evening was one for the books and – with Cameo on its way to the graveyard – it served as a great capstone to Williamsburg’s musical moment. Be sure to check out Stranger Cat, Salt Cathedral, and Night Moves when they come to a town near you and try to catch a show at Cameo Gallery – before it’s too late.

 

Sol Cat Keepin’ it Trippy
July 18, 2015 9:00 am

If somebody’s going to name their band Sol Cat you’d think that they’d be a groovy, old school jazz orchestra…or at least have a liking for cats. “I’m super allergic to cats and I don’t like dogs either. I’m actually not an animal person for the record. Except fish, I love fish” lead singer Brett Myers tells me. Apparently the name was given by some “‘bohemian roulette dealer” that he came across while taking a vacation in the bahamas. “I could be hallucinating still, I still can’t figure out if it happened or not.”

This five piece band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee played a trippy show at Pianos and seemed to attract a wide range of fans from young hipsters to middle aged men in suits. They stay true to their dance-y psychedelic tunes and it’s clear that they’ve pulled influences from classic rock. Brett’s deep vocals echo through the room sending good vibes to everyone in the room who start swaying their body to the music. There’s something nostalgic about their sound that no other band has achieved so far, instantly bringing you back to the 90’s music scene.

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These kool kats met in college while Tom Myers (drummer) was schooling at a different location and eventually connected through mutual friends. “We were most like acquaintances in similar groups that kind of overlapped, so the band didn’t click until pretty much my last semester of college.” They originally envisioned Sol Cat as a World Music genre with “crazy, eclectic, Latin, African percussive influences with more contemporary pop American sort of things. So the original demos are very hilarious.” As much as we’d like to hear Sol Cat jam on congos and bongos, sadly, they are no where to be found on the interwebs.

They’ll be touring pretty much non-stop this month which means they’ll be spending most of their time in a van, sleeping and talking about “weird stuff.” “Jaan threw up a caesar salad on the way to New York [laughs]. We left really early and I don’t know why we had to be up here so early. That’s the most interesting thing that’s happened in the van so far.” Living their life in a van for a month seems pretty adventurous and fun, but Tom mentions the downside of it – “I miss my fiance. I should also plug in my dog, I miss my dog. I miss consistency, being home, and sleeping in my bed.” On the other hand, Brett seems to prefer the tour life. “I enjoy being on the road for the most part. I would say I miss being able to not have a schedule. I just miss waking up whenever I want to and work on music, be productive and just lay low.”

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Unlike every other band that writes music on the road, Brett prefers to write in the comfort of his home. “I don’t really do writing on the road thing. I hardly ever write anything when I’m on tour. My theory is that if I don’t write anything while we’re gone for two weeks, by the time we get home just by the nature of life, I have things that I need to get out after that. So it’s almost like – you’ll fill the glass up for two weeks, and then when you get home you just spill it. I find it really hard to sit in the van or venue and try to write. I think it’s awesome when dudes can go sit in the corner of bar and bring a notepad and channel it, but I can’t do that.”

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Being able to work as full time musicians now, he talks about another great job he’s had in the past working at a zipline when he was a teenager…Which turned out to be sort of a life lesson. “I loved pushing kids off that zipline! Think about it, this kids crying and you’re 40/50 ft up in the air and have a 100 yard zipline rolling down that makes them nervous, but guarantee every time they got to the bottom they came back and wanted to do it again. And that’s life. You just gotta push people ’til they fucking feel so uncomfortable they have nothing to do but have a good time and they come back for more.” So deep.

They released their EP “UNO” a few weeks ago and have another called “DOS” that should be out “August-ish.” They also have an appearance at Austin City Limits at the end of the summer, so don’t forget to give them some love if you come across them!

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