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Arts & Entertainment

Good Gig Close to Home

Pretty & Nice, a band with BU roots, headlines at T. T. the Bear’s tonight


Holden Lewis belongs to a band that’s Pretty & Nice — and although it’s the band’s name, it wouldn’t always pass for a description of the music. Playing peppy pop, Lewis (COM’07) and company have been upping the Boston music scene’s ante for a few years now, and have fulfilled many a musician’s dream — going national with a tour.

But Boston’s still home, and Pretty & Nice is showing up in Central Square at T. T. the Bear’s Place tonight, June 5.

The band’s roots go back to when Lewis, now 24, wanted to form a group in high school. Musicians shifted in and out until Lewis’ sophomore year of college, when he found Jeremy Mendicino, who he says was “born to do music.” They’ve been collaborating ever since.

Buzz around Pretty & Nice started when they played their first shows in Boston, where they developed a strong fan base. They then organized their own tours; national music blogs like Pitchfork and Paper Thin Walls latched onto their sound. Word continued to spread, and a year ago, Hardly Art, Sub Pop’s sister label, asked them to sign.

The band has also been invited to music festivals like South by Southwest and has been mentioned in music publications (including Spin). They have released two albums and an EP since 2006 and have toured around the country.

“If you have the drive to get on the road, you can get help by asking friends or other touring bands for advice,” says Lewis. “The key is being able to communicate with people. You have to keep in touch with a lot of folks to book your own tours and figure out what the scenes are like in each town. You also need to be in a band worth booking.”

Mendicino and Lewis mix jagged guitar parts with synthesizers, drums, and dual vocals. They pay attention to detail, with well-pitched harmonies and elaborate guitar riffs. Lyrics are crafty and imaginative, evoking a carefree feeling of escapism, which may be why their latest album is titled Get Young.

Catch Pretty & Nice live at T. T. the Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St., Central Square, Cambridge, tonight, along with Middle Distance Runner, Reports, and Big Big Bucks. The show starts at 9 p.m., but Pretty & Nice is the headliner, so don’t expect them to take the stage before midnight.

Listen to the band’s single “Tora Tora Tora.”

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