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Mercury Lounge Showcases Three Great Local Bands

August 3rd, 2009

Plushgun/Brian Bonz and the Dot Hongs/Nightmare of You – Mercury Lounge – July 31, 2009

Plushgun - Mercury Lounge - July 31, 2009
Plushgun had the room packed and dancing from their first note. The trio—singer-synthesizer player Dan Ingala, guitarist Taylor Armstrong and drummer Matt Bogdanow—play infectiously quirky, synth-pop tunes with titles like “A Crush to Pass the Time,” “Let Me Kiss You Now (And I’ll Fade Away)” and “Union Pool” (an homage to/mockery of the girls who frequent the Brooklyn hot spot). Their songs are part woe is me, part oh, look at you—and totally tooth-decayingly sweet in delivery. Although the band looked a little mismatched on stage: Ingala slightly resembles a much-more-attractive Seth Rogen, Armstrong looks like he walked off the set of a screamo band’s photoshoot, and Bogdanow channels sort of, I dunno, Johnny Knoxville in his supersize aviators. All that awkwardness was greatly endearing as they played out their heartaches and cool-kid snubs to a room full of dancing fans.

Up next, Brian Bonz, with the help of his backing band, the Dot Hongs, played similarly quirky pop ditties. In an early moment of guitar-strap failure, Bonz kept the air light by cracking a joke about his resemblance to Carrot Top and Louie Anderson and pretty much kept similar remarks coming all night.

Headliners and scene faves Nightmare of You celebrated the release of their new album, Infomaniac. Appearing as the elder statesmen of the night, dressed in monochromatic T-shirts and jeans, and looking more frightened than amused by the boisterous fans up front, the quartet solemnly rocked out a bunch of songs just as quirky as the night’s openers (like “I Want to Be Buried in Your Backyard” and the new single “I Think I’m Getting Older”) but with a much more stoic presence. —Kirsten Housel

Photos courtesy of Kirsten Housel