10 May 2007


"This Is Embarrassing" by Nuh Uh which clocks in at 10:31

So last night I'm at the bar, right, and I'm walking from the back room where the stage is to the front room where there's a bar with two televisions. As I'm entering the room I hear a familiar song. A song I've strangely been listening to a lot the past week. The room was full of lead guitar licks and sweeping synthesizers and Rush was just about to kick "Xanadu" into high gear. But this wasn't the version from A Farewell to Kings (which, by the way, has not left my record player in at least eight plus days), it was the live version from Exit...Stage Left. And it wasn't simply on the stereo in the bar, but rather playing on both TVs too. I stopped dead in my tracks and found myself involuntarily playing air bass. I looked up. Hot shit, there was Geddy Lee on TV playing a double neck guitar/bass Rickenbacker 4080. Obviously what was on TV was the recently rereleased DVD of Exit...Stage Left (that I've been meaning to purchase) and (obviously) it was unbelievably cool. Unbelievably cool in a nerdy prog rock kind of way, sure, but unbelievably cool no less.

Equally cool was the fact that I noticed Conrad (the drummer from both Takka Takka and Nuh Uh) there at the bar watching and jamming along with me (with what was on TV rather). Honestly I didn't see him right away, but when I snapped out of the initial nerd trance I'd entered upon hearing "Xanadu" I proceeded to chat him up about Rush. I told him about how I've been really digging A Farewell to Kings lately (I've been telling everyone this, in fact I think I've now told all of you twice within this very post) and he told me about plans he's got in mind for forming yet another side project band. I don't want to spoil anything by talking about it, but supposedly the band he has in mind relies quite heavily on Rush's music. Knowing that his band I was about to see (Nuh Uh) had released an album comprised of THREE 8+ songs it came as no surprise to me to find out that he, and his other two Nuh Uh mates who showed up to the viewing area a minute after I did, love Rush. We all sat and enjoyed some drinks and a good twelve minute long live version of "Xanadu". Geek heaven.

So there you have it. That's the warmup I got before seeing Nuh Uh live for the first time (actually Frauke was the band that played before them, but I'm trying to get across the point that I had Rush on the brain). When they started their three song set I was already thinking RUSH RUSH RUSH... Nuh Uh! I'm not even sure what I mean by that, but I was pretty excited to hear what Conrad, Damion, and Grady had in store for us, and once they started I knew immediately that I was a fan of their music. The songs they played ended up sounding less than completely prog-y, and I think that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of progitude that comes through in what Nuh Uh does but they balance this nerdiness with heaping amounts of that same indie-rock sensibility that makes Takka Takka so popular. However, while Takka Takka songs come out on the mellow side of indie-rock, Nuh Uh brings to the table a bit more bite. Similar in ways to Guided By Voices or some of Bob Mould's stuff.

The song posted here is a wonderful example of Nuh Uh's ability to craft songs longer than eight minutes that don't feel like extremely long songs. Theirs are songs that are mindful of the bands that have influenced them (notice the Rush-like synth bits in the middle of this song and the Lifeson inspired strumming throughout) without sounding as though they're ripping off someone else's music. Listening to "This Is Embarrassing" you're not going to find yourself bored to tears by six minutes of guitar noodling or drum soloing (not that those are necessarily bad things) but instead you'll find that the song moves in waves. Little indie-prog movements. Or shifts rather... like a hockey team.

Take off, eh?

Buy Nuh Uh HERE on Amp Camp.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
The Cure - "Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"
Aphex Twin - "Ziggomatic V17"
Agalloch - "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion"
Explosions In The Sky - "It's Natural To Be Afraid"
Guns N' Roses - "Locomotive"
Guns N' Roses - "Estranged"
Guns N' Roses - "Coma"
Guns N' Roses - "November Rain"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.