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SVSX Preview: Careless Hearts, Doctor Nurse, and Dirty Pillows

In Music
careless hearts

San Pedro Square Market and hosts an all-ages show for SVSX with Careless Hearts, Doctor Nurse, and Dirty Pillows.

Careless Hearts
9pm San Pedro Square Market
Careless Hearts began as pure San Jose alt-country. After building up a following in the South Bay and elsewhere since 2005, their career took an unexpected left turn in 2009 when they found themselves backing Iggy & the Stooges guitarist James Williamson at the Blank Club, Williamson’s first performance in 35 years and a warm-up for his return to touring with Iggy Pop. (The Blank Club performance was released as the 2010 album James Williamson and the Careless Hearts.) The event was a turning point in the Careless Hearts’ career; afterward, they released a three-song EP that found their finely crafted roots thunderstruck with Iggy’s (and Williamson’s) fiery “rawk” influence. It remains to be seen what direction the Careless Hearts take next, but with the band’s proven talent and new adventurousness, their next record is sure to be a welcome surprise no matter what.

Doctor Nurse
8pm San Pedro Square Market
Doctor Nurse’s approach to songwriting is similar to that of indie-rock legends Guided by Voices. Both groups pluck the best elements of psychedelic rock, prog-rock, lo-fi indie and power-pop and blend them into an amalgam of gorgeous, offbeat, well written rock & roll.

The similarities stop there; while Guided by Voices churns out partially complete lo-fi gems as quickly as the ideas pop in their heads, Doctor Nurse works slowly and methodically. The band, for instance, spent years working on Calm Seas, Phantom Lights. The album is not only full of intelligent, grandiose psychedelic indie-folk, clearly written by educated music lovers, its production is masterfully nuanced with glistening layers of keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocal harmonies. It is the kind of album worth listening to on headphones to pick out every subtle detail with each listen—or live in concert, where the waves of sound and vibrations overtake you.

Dirty Pillows
7pm, San Pedro Square Market
Formed in 2008 by guitarist/vocalist Alejandro Villanueva (who goes by his nickname “Millhows”) and drummer Jeff Evans, Dirty Pillows plays music that celebrates the pair’s shared influences—Modern Lovers, the Damned, Talking Heads—but also captures the raw, rushing sound of the earliest days of punk.

The South Bay duo’s visibility has been patchy at times, but they’re making a big push right now. Their recent song “Love Happening” sounds like something the Brian Jonestown Massacre might have released. As Evans describes it, “That song is the one that everybody has their own interpretation for.”

Evans and Millhows manage to create psychedelic, pop and garage tones with only two band members. Jeff is not afraid to hit his drum kit, and somehow Millhows makes sense of the army of loop machines and effects in front of him. “I sort of seem to channel this very post-punk, choppy, very angular guitar spirit,” Millhows says of his guitar playing.

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