Saturday, Aug 20 • 7:30 pm
Student Nurse and Red Dress were indicative of the diversity of the Seattle music scene in the early 1980s. Student Nurse leaned toward the new wave end of the spectrum, as the angular, edgy pop of their first single made clear (“Lies”/”Disco Dog”). They also threw in some political commentary (“Discover Your Feet” is about the importance of walking during an energy crisis—a sentiment still relevant today). Red Dress’ twisted and unhinged approach to R&B drew inevitable comparisons to Captain Beefheart, all taut rhythms and jagged edges with lead vocalist Gary Minkler wailing something crazy like “Bob is a robot!” or “I like to eat my mouses raw!” on top.
Both bands had also been defunct until recently, coming together again to promote their recent albums. Student Nurse’s Think for Yourself: Seattle Tour 1979-1984 is a career-spanning retrospective of mostly previously unreleased material; A Blue Begonia, by Red Dress, features new work, more tempered than the raucousness of the past, with the title track in particular having an insinuating charm. As both bands regularly shared stages back in the day, it’s natural they’d pair up once again, and who knows how long this revival will last (future shows are unconfirmed at present). Whiting Tennis rounds out the bill, a Seattle-based artist (paintings, sculpture) who also finds time to create introspective folk-rock.