(photo: Chris Lael Larson)
Dear Nora is the surrogate mother of my 20s, giving me pop melodies that cradle my unstable emotions until they back are on their feet. A band that I would have never been able to get into or relate to or see live when they were originally active (1999-2008).
It’s only been in the past couple years that Dear Nora has become the band I always go back to when I need someone to lift me up or remind me to stop being sad and go hang out with my friends. I know I am not alone in this, because I’ve ranted about Dear Nora with friends and have found Dear Nora references in the work of musicians who also are in their 20s, or at least have a twee/anti-folk soft spot. All of me is a soft spot for Dear Nora. From The Yellow Dress, Girlpool, Pumpkin, SOAR, Diners, Tony Molina, and surely many others, there is an overall link in their love for Dear Nora.
Dear Nora began in Portland, stayed in San Francisco for a bit, and ended in Los Angeles. Though Dear Nora’s central musician Katy Davidson is back in Portland, all these places still are relevant in her life — which makes sense, because she’s hitting each of these West Coast cities and many in between and a step aside on the first Dear Nora tour since 2008. Dear Nora is bringing Oakland’s Stephen Steinbrink along for the ride, and playing both Oakland and San Francisco one week apart.
The tour is in support of the reissue of the 2004 LP, Mountain Rock, released by Orindal on January 13, 2017. Davidson wrote Mountain Rock during George W. Bush’s early presidency, the 9/11 attacks, and the beginning of the Iraq war. So at a time when many of us feel too anxious to look forward to the future, an album that reflects a similar anxiety is to be re-released.
Dear Nora, SOAR, Stephen Steinbrink
Makeout Room, SF
January 28, 2017
7pm, $8 (21+)