Nebraska native David Nance proves that ‘jamming’ isn’t a dirty word | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Nebraska native David Nance proves that ‘jamming’ isn’t a dirty word


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I can almost remember the days when “jam” and “band” weren’t poison together. Back then, the term “jam band” was so vague that it was equally likely to be used to describe a hippie drum circle, a funk outfit, or even a noisy experimental act such as Sonic Youth. Somewhere down the line it began referring to a “genre” led by snoozy lite rockers such as Dave Matthews Band, few of whom get truly expansive with their song structures. But I’m happy to say that it seems “jams” are coming back around—to name just two, Garcia Peoples are channeling the heavier side of the Dead, while Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band are heavily amplifying the dual-guitar excursions of Television. Another excellent example is Nebraska native David Nance, who started off as a singer-songwriter peddling lo-fi cassettes around Omaha. In 2013 he headed for Los Angeles, where he cut his first album (Actor’s Diary, for Grapefruit Record Club) and began attracting attention by recording covers of whole classic LPs, including Beatles for Sale, Lou Reed’s Berlin, and the Stones’ Goats Head Soup (with Simon Joyner). Nance then jumped to Ba Da Bing, where he released More Than Enough and Negative Boogie before signing to Chicago’s Trouble in Mind. Last year he put out the gloriously overdriven Peaced and Slightly Pulverized with the David Nance Group, aka his live band: guitarist Jim Schroeder, bassist Tom May, and drummer Kevin Donahue. Most recently, the DNG dropped the seven-inch “Meanwhile” b/w “Credit Line” on Jack White’s Third Man label, and its uncharacteristically short tunes touch on the dual-lead guitargasms of the Allman Brothers as well as phased lo-fi art damage a la Chrome or Pere Ubu. But no matter how many releases he has under his belt, Nance’s music is arguably best experienced live, as demonstrated by the digital-only DNG album Catharsis Lottery: Live 2018-2019. Backed by a rotating group of musicians, Nance gets loose on tracks that often come across like the best Velvet Underground songs you’ve never heard. Surely some of Nance’s spontaneous extended explorations at this Hideout show will renew our faith in jammin’—no devil sticks required.   v

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