Go Listen To Striking Matches Pls.
Darlings, how’s your audio-based diet doing? Do you have enough headphone-delivered content to get through your week? Because with everything happening in Washington this week, I am definitely in the need of aural distraction.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the Nashville-based band Striking Matches perform at The Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to in my life, period. Striking Matches is musician/singer/songwriter duo Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis, who play original country/rock/blues with killer pop hooks and transcendent harmonies.
“But Amy,” you may be thinking, “why are you telling us about a country band in your tech/policy/politics newsletter?” First off, I can do whatever I want before I’ve had my second cup of coffee thankyouvermuch, but secondly, I was first exposed to them a couple of years ago when the magical Spotify algorithm included them in my daily recommendations playlist and I’ve been a huge fan ever since, so there’s your tech hook you ravenous newsletter-consuming monsters you. And while Striking Matches sell out much larger venues in the south, we had the awesome opportunity to stand 10 feet away from them and see them work up close.
It was AMAZING. The best moment of the night was when, in this bar half filled with Striking Matches fans next to an audibly grumpy group of Bottom of the Hill Regulars, they launched into one of their best known songs “When the Right One Comes Along,” a guitar and vocals-only ballad. As I twitched at the idea of anyone talking through this beautiful piece, my fears were assuaged with Zimmerman and Davis hit the first harmony: the room went silent. It was fucking magical.
Other than being an INSANELY good live show of the two of them jamming and laughing and dancing and dueling and getting the jaded hippie San Francisco crowd to sing - it’s no wonder that they’ve wowed Grand Ole Opry crowds - Zimmerman fucking SHREDS on lead guitar while dressed in, as my friend Selena pointed out, a catsuit and stilettos. And that’s important to me. Because when I was growing up listening to and (attempting to) play the very music Zimmerman and Davis cite as inspiration, I didn’t have many female guitarists to look up to. But hearing Zimmerman attack sounds as varied as more-traditional bluegrass riffs to what can only be described as Hendrix-like wails makes the little 16-year-old guitarist in me wish she’d thought that she too could have dreamed of playing like that. And to pair that sound with her and Davis’s crystal clear harmonies and pop hooks and omg are-they-together stage banter tension? It’s heaven.
Anyways, they’ve been on loop in my car ever since. And since I am not a music reviewer lol and this is not a music review newsletter, I’m going to end by saying THEY ARE SO FREAKING GOOD, GO AND LISTEN NOW ON YOUR FAVORITE AUDIO PLATFORM RIGHT AND BUY THEIR MERCH TO SUPPORT MUSICAL ARTISTS PLS KTHXBAI.
Back to your regular tech dystopia gnashing of teeth tomorrow.
Be kind to each other!