Monday, September 14, 2009

Live Review: The Brunettes, Throw Me The Statue, Nurses @ The Drunken Unicorn 9/7/09

For Atlanta Music Guide:

Live Review: The Brunettes, Throw Me The Statue, Nurses @ The Drunken Unicorn, September 7

I’ve come to really dig the homemade decorations bands have taken to draping across their equipment for the sake of... what, beauty? Hipster kitsch? Either way, it’s pretty charming. (I mean, have you ever seen These Are Powers live?) For Portland,Ore.’s Nurses (pictured above), the knitted doilies tied to their tables and tables of sampling boards and other electronic gadgetry might be more geared toward aesthetic continuity, as many of their press photos have to do with yarn and paper cut-out triangles.

But that’s not the point. The point is that Nurses treated the Unicorn to a dynamic live show on Labor Day, replete with faithful re-imaginings of songs from their August Dead Oceans debut, Apple’s Acre. They led with “Technicolor,” the album’s first track, frontmen Aaron Chapman and John Bowers bouncing the band’s characteristically nasal vocals off each other as they twiddled their multitude of knobs and strummed guitar strings. But James Mitchell, the band’s percussionist, played perhaps even more pivotal of a role, providing the almost tribal beats that set the band apart (or group them into the same sonic category as, say, Animal Collective), all mallet work, bass and rim tapping.

When Seattle’s Throw Me The Statue followed, the show became a very different beast. Instead of three cutoff-sporting beardy fellows, TMTS had four fresh-faced people on stage, led by the band’s brains Scott Reitherman. They spliced together songs from their sophomore LP Creaturesque, released in August via Secretly Canadian, and from their early 2008 debut Moonbeams. Just as Creaturesque was recorded with a full band instead of Reitherman solo like Moonbeams, the group’s sound has grown, too. Since the last time I saw them live, they’ve evolved to play louder, faster, and with more energy, without forsaking the melodic skill, glockenspiel (!) and drum machine vs. actual drums interplay that works so well for them. Standouts from Moonbeams like “Lolita” and “About To Walk” rose to the level of more raucous numbers from Creaturesque like “Ancestors” and “Hi-Fi Goon.”...[Read more]

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