Saturday, September 24, 2011

Strength returns after a triumphant Squeak and Squawk show to get Tacoma dancing again


Strength returns after a triumphant Squeak and Squawk show to get Tacoma dancing again

Strength/photo courtesy of Eva Schifter/MySpace
Oh, nothing feels better to me than those rare instances when I get to act like a DJ. It happened recently at a friend of a friend's birthday party. Plugging my iPod into the speakers, carefully choosing what song to play next, my heart racing as the end of the song comes closer and I still haven't decided what my next move will be. And when you figure out just the right song that pushes everyone's button and gets them on the dance floor - it's so goddamn gratifying.
This feeling of DJ envy is not unfamiliar to Portland's Strength.
"I was listening to a lot of dance records, like Madonna and the Bee Gees - stuff that people were spinning at parties," says Strength vocalist Bailey Winters. "We were going to a lot of parties at our school. Bands would perform, like a rock band would perform. But then around 11 o'clock a DJ would take over. And it seemed like the party always started once the dance music started. I just got the idea that we should be like the DJ. We should be playing dance music. We should be the party."
At the time, Strength was just a rock band, but soon they would transform into a quintessential party band: part disco, part R&B, part electronica, part funk. Their ability to transform a room into a pulsating party machine was on full display in their last appearance in Tacoma, at the Squeak and Squawk. That night, they managed to pry even the generally reserved Tacoma folk out of their shells and get the dance floor jumping.
"I think we take Strength way more seriously than people might think," says Winters. "We spend a lot of time on it, but it is very tongue-in-cheek. We're very aware of what we're doing, and we're very aware that we're three skinny white dudes playing R&B."
Skinny white dudes, sure, but their hooks are serious business. Their show on Friday will reunite them with Reporter, who were the other half of that awesome Squeak and Squawk bill.
Can lightning strike twice? Not likely. But I bet Tacoma can dance again.


No comments:

Post a Comment