Day 4 with John Vanderslice and Nurse

Kelsey Bryant

noise pop

Following the trail of muffled music through the maze of hallways in
the Swedish American Hall, we walked into the main venue to find Nurses
nearing the end of its set.

Perched on a small, dimly lit
stage Nurses bounced through its freak-folk set list with Aaron
Chapman’s distinctive, childlike voice guiding its quirky sound.
Pulsing through “Lita” and the primal beats of “Technicolor,” the
face-painted and be-sparkled audience members drank up its spacey
brand of lighthearted pop. As the set wrapped, it meant it was time for
some exploring. Marking the 156th anniversary of Sønderkåsten (Sweden’s
independence from Danish rule, for those of you not in the know), the
evening was a Swedish celebration with an afterthought of Noise Pop.
The back room offered a Swedish sampling of gluttonous goodies that
included spiced popcorn that was to die for.

John Vanderslice’s
rare acoustic set was like a breath of fresh air betwixt a Noise Pop
line-up of synth-heavy, fuzzed out dance-rock. Stripped down to his
guitar and melodic voice, a quiet intimacy washed over the old world
venue. Lovers snuggled with each other in foldout chairs while the
younger crowd relaxed on the ground before the stage. Beautifully
strumming through “White Plains” and “Angela”, it was “White Dove”,
with the slow crescendo provided by Vanderslice’s bandmates,
that brought the music home.

“I’m completely inspired by the
bands that played tonight,” said Vanderslice into the microphone with a
smile. I’m sure that he has inspired San Francisco, as well.

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