Nicole Yun / Gary’s Dream

Saturday, Mar. 9, 8-10pm

The Avalon Lounge
29 Church St
Catskill, NY

The woman covered her nose and mouth with a manila folder as she ushered the people behind to go ahead of her in the line.  “I don’t want to be after her.”  September of 2021 – six months after the unconscionable shootings of the Asian massage parlor workers in Atlanta, as well as the countless other violent and deadly crimes against the AAPI community, Nicole Yun got the confirmation she needed.  The small city in Appalachian Virginia where she had called home for the past fifteen years had received the memo: Asians were to blame for the pandemic.

In the months after the Atlanta shootings, Nicole struggled to know how to respond.  A Korean American songwriter best known as the lead singer of indie band Eternal Summers, her role growing up had always been as the sole Asian representative in her classes, and even in the indie rock scenes of her young adulthood.  Nicole’s upbringing by immigrant parents emphasized self-control and not making a scene – but how could she stand by silently when Asian women and elderly were being brutally beaten in the streets, when pervasive xenophobia and racism made her feel like she was in physical danger every day?

Recorded over a number of sessions in Brooklyn and Roanoke, Virginia, Matter is the deft, brutally honest record we have been waiting for Nicole to make.  Flanked by collaborators Joe Boyer (Cloud Nothings), Jacob Sloan (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), Tom Barrett (Overlake) and Duncan Lloyd (Maximo Park), the fuzzed-out textures and muscular drum beats harken back to nineties guitar rock such as Guided by VoicesSonic Youth and Belly, while speaking to societal injustices with frankness reminiscent of Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney.  “Where are you from, dear?  Does your origin match your skin?  Can we box you in?  Why are you still here? Please disappear, you’ve become that which we most fear,” Nicole belts in “Like Never Before”, as she takes on the voice of an ignorant racist. 


Mar 09 2024


8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Become a CREATE member today! Your support allows us to provide rich programming, curate exciting gallery shows and be your community arts council