More more, please please

The heat and the band, turned up to 11

The heat and the band, turned up to 11

Rumor has it that local band, Nice Nice, underwent one of two career trajectories. Supposedly about five years ago, Nice Nice was Portland, OR’s unsigned band du jour. The two-man team had enough buzz surrounding their sound to attract the attention of a major label (not sure of the label – bear in mind that this story was taken almost verbatim from the rumor mill). But once that boon had been landed, speculation takes two disparate turns:

1) One story claims that Nice Nice couldn’t work with the big label backing. The pressure to produce an LP stymied the band’s efforts, and the album never reached final draft status. Or …

2) Nice Nice made a painstakingly produced debut album that would have easily garnered critical approval as well as the attention of any fan who enjoys the louder, unpredictable moments from Tortoise and the dance-worthy beats of Ratatat. But the band tragically lost the whole work when their computer crashed, and like so many brilliant and unrealized term papers, no backup could be found.

Whichever path the band unwittingly traveled (or even if the men forged a completely unheard-of scenario for themselves), the outcome consisted of Nice Nice’s disappearance from the indie music scene of Portland. Although EPs were made and posted on the band’s MySpace, there were no live shows and no substantiated news on the band’s next move. If my rumor mill spins its stories with any degree of accuracy, Nice Nice’s set at last weekend’s PDX Pop Now! marked their first show in at least three years.

But I certainly wouldn’t have known it. The recorded version might make it hard to appreciate, but watching the two guys hit their pedals, beat the drums, and carry on with their brand of hypnotic noise made it more than essential that Nice Nice play more shows. To add another perspective: I ended up standing next to a very young and very sauced couple during Nice Nice’s performance. Aren’t all-ages shows a fail-proof way to make an old girl feel even older? Anyway, I’m used to drunk concert-goers. Usually, they shout incoherently to their friends, text obsessively, and mimic the applause of the people around them because they don’t want to be outed as drunk fools. Or they do it because clapping is fun, wooooo yeah! But the surely underage couple who watched Nice Nice demonstrated the opposite kind of drunk. They could not stop dancing. Every added loop of sound meant a different dance. It was actually a treat to watch, when I wasn’t watching the band. The couple even applauded with considerable relish in between songs, at least until they dashed away to take dance pose pictures, which is another reason to shake my head indulgently at all-ages shows. Drunk minors or not, Nice Nice has to play another show soon. In the meantime, I will do one of two actions to recreate that noteworthy show:

1) Hang out in the godforsaken 108 degree heat. Bear in mind, this is the same Pacific Northwest one usually associates with death by heroin or being hit by a hybrid vehicle in the rain, not heatstroke. And …

2) Sway, bob, and weave.

  • Nice Nice ~ Yesss! ~ Audraglint

Uh-Oh

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