The Excitingly Weird World of Nathan Ventura
Reviewing Nathan Ventura's (Pucker Up, RECITAL) recent self-published poetry book and one of his DIY solo tapes.
Once upon a time, maybe about two years ago, I was on the lookout for some rad and underrated two-piece bands (a certain quirk of mine). One way or another, I came upon Pucker Up, Virginia based no-wave/noise rock band that definitely caught my ear. Nathan (guitar/vocals) and Lee (drums) have definitely nailed a signature tone and very cool DIY approach to songwriting based around unorthodox guitar tunings and explosive drumming.
One can tell they’ve given some essential NYC no-wave records a spin or two. Great band and awesome tunes, you should definitely check them out. Now they are no longer active, but Nathan has a new band in the same vein, called RECITAL, which is quite promising.
Besides playing with Pucker Up, Nathan has a bunch of solo records that are as weird and cool as the band’s material, although he takes an even farther experimental approach. Think of spoken word, improvisational stuff, found objects used as instruments, or at least that’s my impression of the whole thing. He is also an avid long-distance hiker, has worked as a backcountry ranger in Maine and has a background in trail construction. You can take a peek at his personal blog, where he writes about his outdoor experience!
Recently, Nathan had his poetry book “I’m Sorry, You Can Go Home Now” self-released so I took the chance and ordered a copy. He was kind enough to drop a tape of one of his solo albums as well. Unfortunately, I believe most Pucker Up releases have been already sold out.
The book consists of 25 poems written during Nathan’s various pilgrimages around the US wilderness and McDonald’s restaurants. It’s hard for me to review poetry since this is highly personal, but I have to say these remind me of some of the best Beatnik sh*t I’ve grown up with, as well as some great post-2000’s Sonic Youth lyrics. The book looks and feels like a zine, simple yet charming. One can say that these pieces reflect very intimate experiences.
My first impression of the poems was highly influenced by the “Coming Home in a Nutcase” tape I got as well, I just slammed it in my stereo before I went through the book for the first time.
The tape comes in a handmade cardboard cover and every copy seems to have a unique piece of artwork. Weird experimental music, likely recorded in a bedroom or something. Indeed a lovely artifact of someone else’s private universe, I totally love this!
Check more of Nathan’s work at his Bandcamp listed above and maybe reach out to him—[email protected]—if you want to get a copy of his book!