Giveaway + Interview: Dustin Brown of NTNT on Portland Music Scene, Yeasayer and Being a SF Tourist


Saturday December 13th, Portland-based NTNT will bring a little bit of the Pacific Northwest and a lot of synthed up indie pop to Neck of the Woods. They are sharing the stage with local act Scissors for Lefty and Dangermaker in what is bound to be a high energy, dance heavy billing.

The only thing that could make your Saturday night better is getting into the show for free, and we have you covered there. Enter below (it takes maybe a minute) and you will be entered to win a pair of tickets.

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If you haven’t heard NTNT they play music that makes you want to move. It kind of reminds me of a MJ style “Beat It” knife fight between Duran Duran and Cut Copy. The vocal aesthetics of new wave with the pounding dance synth stylings which have been growing over the past decade, they describe it as “slutty synth.”

They recently dropped some new tracks on the EP And then the Moon. Check out “Getchya so Good”

We got to ask singer Dustin Brown some questions in advance of the show about their sound, Oregon music scene and visiting SF.

SFCritic: So I have to ask what is the significance of the name? I am intrigued.

Dustin Brown: That’s a good question. (apparently they like to be mysterious, I looked into it and it might mean “no text”)

SFC: Indie / synth pop has become a more and more diverse genre over the past few years, how do you describe your sound to people who haven’t listened?

DB: It’s always tricky describing a band in the context of a genre. My favorite answer to that question came from a girl who had just seen us for the first time. She rushed up to me after our set and told me we sound like Amuse just punched David Bowie in the face, which seems pretty on-point to me – plus synthesizers. 😉

SFC: I saw that one of the influences you cite is Yeasayer, one of the best live shows out there in my opinion. What attracts you to their music, any favorite tracks?

DB: Yeasayer is one of my favorite studio bands ever, I have yet to see them live. I love that they make pop music without committing to pop structure, and their production ideas are so creative and interesting.The kalimba-esque synth hook in “Longevity” from their last record is so deep in the pocket. I literally yelled “fuck yes” the first time I heard that song. (Agreed, fuck yes)

SFC: I have been listening to your new songs on And Then the Moon, how (if at all) has your creative process changed since 2012’s I’ll Find You in the Colors?

DB: I don’t think our process has changed so much as we’ve finally locked into what our process is. I think a lot of bands’ first releases are 90% learning how to write and function in a studio and 10% creativity. As you become more comfortable and competent in the studio, you have more head-space to zero in on molding the songs into what you envision them being.

SFC: What is your favorite part of the Pacific Northwest music scene and Portland in general? What are some acts that we should be following down here in SF?

DB: There’s an excellent music community in Portland that we’ve been so fortunate to get to grow in. You’ve got to check out Hustle and Drone, Purse Candy and Rare Monk.

SFC: Do you have a favorite place to visit or activity here in SF?

DB: Last time we were in SF we took a beautiful bike-ride across the Golden Bridge (touristy, I know). This time (upon the recommendation of some friends) we’re going to hit up El Farolito on 24th street and Philz Coffee.

Photo by Anna Larina