Ann Enzminger spent her early years in Texas singing on Austin street corners and with many ill-fated traveling bands and revues. She finally settled in New York City in the early part of this century and through a series of seemingly unrelated events and a small stint in Drama school she met Nick Nace. Nick had come in to town, not long after Ann, on a slow train from Canada's northlands. It was a crisp October afternoon when he first laid eyes upon his new home, the sun was shining, the sky was happy and the golden leaves and yellow taxicab's spun together in autumnal glory. After some shaky first steps, a brief incarceration and an illness I wont bother to talk about Nick found a bed bug ridden room at The Hotel Belleclaire, a sleazy S.R.O. on Manhattans Upper West Side. It was a dismal place. Yet such beautiful flowers can rise from the darkest of corners.
Besides two random meetings in the Hotels small elevator Nick & Ann spent years mostly unaware of the others existence. Then one day after the greatest calamity this fair city had ever seen, Nick was walking down the Bowery in a fog of despondency, wondering what to do with his life, when he heard a voice singing as if from the heavens. There was the petite frame of Ann Enzminger belting out a melancholy tune so powerful and violent yet so delicate and feminine Nick was dumbfounded. He watched for several minutes in a trance like state. Then it hit him. He knew what he had to do. He tore home, got his hands on an old blue guitar and resolved to start a musical collaboration with Ann by years end.
Over the next six months he practiced day and night. One day as he was sitting in the hallway plucking a Hank Williams tune he looked up to see Ann staring down at him. "I've been listening to you practice for months now, you're finally getting somewhere, you're almost even good" she said. "I am playing down at The Dililla in two days maybe we can work out a few numbers."
Perhaps it was fate, perhaps not, but from that day forward whenever I take the train home and it goes above ground between 125 St. and 137 St. I look to the west and between the buildings and behind the highway, right before we disappear underground once more, I see A Brief View of the Hudson.
Nicholas & Anns most recent projects include the musical score for TELL YOUR FRIENDS: The Concert Film (2010) featuring comedians Liam McEneaney, Kristen Schall, and Reggie Watts and the Art Star Sounds Compilation featuring Andy Warhol superstar Taylor Mead, and antifolk heroes Kimya Dawson and Langhorn Slim.
They have also started a new open mic and podcast called Radio Amateur (www.radioamateurnyc.com) that features music and interviews from some of there favorite musicians. Nicholas Nace has a knack for cultivating community and documenting the underground art scene in a way that is both ethnographic and entertaining. As one fan put it, Nace’s events create “an almost unbearable concentration of twisted words and sounds that seep into peripheral awareness. Proudly exalting a voice of dissent, a call to arms, a blatant exploitation of deviant culture refusing soul-surrender to the limits of expression.”