Nico Vega returns to rock the Miners Foundry on Thursday, May 31, 2012, with special guests Mount Whateverest. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $12.00 in Advance and $15.00 at the Door, and are available online, in person at Briar Patch Co-Op, and in person or by phone at the Nevada City Box Office, (530) 265-5462.
After playing the Foundry last fall, Nico Vega spent several months as the opening band on Blondie’s most recent tour. Reviewer Eli Watson said of their performance: “Nico Vega demands your attention. A strange combination of Rage Against the Machine-esque guitar riffs, tasteful and intricate drumming and captivating lyrical content makes this three piece a band worth knowing about. Front lady Aja Volkman, charming one second, instantly turned into a charismatic, otherworldly being as the group went through songs “Wooden Dollls,” “Gravity” and “Beast.” Throbbing drums from Dan Epand provide a powerful base for guitarist Rich Koehler’s bluesy guitar and Volkman’s intimidating vocal delivery. Behind militaristic shouts of “stand tall” was a voice full of conviction as Volkman crooned over distorted, droning guitars, channeling her inner Janis Joplin for support.
With a peak at 29,000 feet above sea level, Mount Everest in Nepal is one of the world’s tallest mountains. The musicians who comprise the Nevada City rock band Mount Whateverest have been to similar altitudes. Singer and guitarist Chris Streng (ex-Stratford 4) plays the role of Edmund Hilary, the first westerner to scale such heights while the rhythm section of Jacob Bradford (Ghost Pines) and Jonah Wells (ex-Pisces Knife/Jeepster) combine to embody Tenzing Norgay, the patient Sherpa who led the way while Hilary reaped the glory. Aided by Steve Melendez (ex-Psychic Zoo) on keyboards and Sasha Soukup (ex-Sasha & the Shamrocks) on backing vocals, they form a musical unit capable of reaching staggering heights. Their music is a noisy, throbbing collision of post-punk rhythms, space-jazz interludes and giant, classic rock riffs. Chanted school yard choruses and unpredictable song structures combine with funky dance rhythms to create a kind of Latin Grunge music. Armed with distortion boxes, tape-echo delays and lots of extra oxygen, Mount Whateverest are so high, they’re breaking through into the bottom of something else entirely.