Dominant Legs, Nurses

Early Show

Dominant Legs


Fri, October 14, 2011

Doors: 7:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$10 advance / $12 day of show

This event is 21 and over

Dominant Legs - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Dominant Legs
"Dominant Legs are a boy/girl duo from San Francisco who make hazy, wistful pop music that’s also hummable and upbeat. Hannah Hunt’s beautiful but fragile vocals form the backdrop for Ryan Lynch’ s warbly croon (think part David Bowie, part Stuart Murdoch). The guitars jangle and the vocals are washed in reverb, the perfect accompaniment for both regretful longing and positive forward thinking—a confusing juxtaposition, I know. Look for their first EP, Young at Love and Life, that came out late last year on Lefse Records." --Noise Pop
Nurses - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Nurses return with Dracula, the follow-up to their 2009 homemade psych gem Apple's Acre. Dracula is steeped in the strange pop brew that bore Apple's Acre, with the band's unmistakable elastic melodies, heady pop hooks and unconventional knack for catchy songwriting that gets under your skin. But where Apple's Acre was an insular album, recorded primarily in an attic in Idaho using just an internal Macbook microphone and primitive recording software, Dracula is bursting. It's bolder, heavier, with deep grooves, dubby basslines and a focus on rhythm. It's an album with pure physical qualities. Apple's Acre was an album made for headphones; Dracula needs a sound system. What has not changed is the undeniable constant in Nurses' body of work: their immediate and catchy pop songs. The band embraces hooks and melodies--yes, they turn them upside down and inside out--but at their core, the band (and Dracula) are defined by pop songwriting.

Nurses retreated to the Oregon coast to record the album, spending winter months in a cabin together, where they set up a recording studio away from the distraction of their hometown of Portland, OR. They were completely immersed in the process, the three members of the band (Aaron Chapman, James Mitchell, John Bowers) deep in collaboration. They did not embrace typical roles--no guitarist, no keyboardist--instead collaborating as a trio of producers, adding one idea on top of another until the sounds became songs. This isolation, the early winter darkness, the misty, moody walks on rocky beaches all creep into Dracula. The band avoided society and focused on making the record, and managing to shut out most outside influences. Except for Prince. Like almost any music fan, you have a moment with Prince, the moment that you realize his mastery of song and soul and discover the true depth of his genius. Luckily for us, this moment for Nurses happened during the making of Dracula.

Following the tracking of the album on the Oregon coast, the band took the audio to Scott Colburn's Gravelvoice Studios in Seattle, enlisting Colburn and Julian Martlew to mix Dracula. Colburn's masterful touch (his production credits include Arcade Fire's Funeral, Animal Collective's Feels, and the bulk of the Sun City Girls catalog) brought the sounds to life, allowing Dracula to become a three dimensional being, solidifying the band's evolution from a bedroom recording experiment to a dynamic ensemble.

Come last Friday night when we arrived, around 9.30ish, other than the bands themselves, only the residents of the house were present. Nothing had even started yet. Even though we thought we were an hour and a half late we were actually an hour early. Oops. After a beer run and a few more had gathered, in a dimly lit living room, one man band Groves, and then one woman band Violets played short sets.

Sensing the lateness of the hour once their showtime came around, the Nurses trio promptly took to their already pieced together setup of drums, a topless Rhodes, and a multi-device synth and sampling station in the dining room, and without pomp began their set for a crowd of about fifteen. From the first instant all I could think was how much these guys embody the playful and unconventional spirit of the PDX pop and house show scene, from their use of “oooh, oooh, oooh” and whistling as rhythmic device to the very personal clothing styles they’ve embraced.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002