Diane Coffee at Brick & Mortar Music Hall, by Jon Bauer
Diane Coffee (photo: Jon Bauer)

There was nothing un-charismatic about the lineup for this Noise Pop show on Febuary 23, 2016 at Brick & Mortar. Every single band had a different type of charisma that engaged the crowd. Dick Stusso had the charisma of a suave and slightly intoxicated cowboy. Be Calm Honcho had the charisma of a young Dolly Parton who knew how to successfully use Twitter. Hazel English had the charisma of your grade-school crush and best friend who never seemed to give up on you. Diane Coffee had the charisma of a cult leader and motivational speaker who preached the lyrics of David Bowie and uncontrollable positivity.

Dick Stusso confused me a bit with his beautifully knit Virgen de Guadalupe poncho, but ended up winning me over. Especially with their final song which, was a cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” — let’s just say it made me happy. They are a type of folk-garage-country-rock-blues that I’d never expect to come out of Oakland, but at the same time it just feels so right.

I was blown away by Be Calm Honcho. Shannon Harney’s voice is one of the most soulful I’ve heard in a while. Adding that upon their songs, which are empowering twists on heartbreak that also have an unstoppable groove to them. Everyone around me was dancing, and even those that attempted to not dance could not keep their bitter feet from tapping.

Hazel English made me and everyone in that venue fall in love with not only their presence but their revealing lyrics that many could relate to. They are the well-kept secret you want cradle forever, but you know that deserves to be known.

After tonight, it makes sense that Diane Coffee had opened for of Montreal, because that means you have to be strange, you have to be talented, and you have to know how to control that stage. Diane Coffee was every single one of those and more. Not only do I believe that I might have been tricked into a new cult, but most of me is totally fine with that. Diane Coffee has everything it would’ve taken to be a pop star in the 1970s and in every decade, with a stage presence that calls for the crowd. No one left that venue without being sold that they had just witnessed a musician that will one day rule us all.