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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Groupee Recorded @ Jackpot
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Hugs & Merry Christmas!
WW's Casey Jarman On The Hugs!!
The Hugs "Again & Again"
[TWISTY U.S.-BRIT POP] When you’re young and talented like Danny Delegato and his group the Hugs, everything comes easy at first: praise, opportunities and the boundless energy to keep it all going. As such, the summery teen-pop quartet was the talk of Portland a year ago, landing opening stints for national acts and a label deal with James Endeacott, the guy who discovered the Strokes.
It’s a bit early to pen the Hugs’ Behind the Music story, but things have changed. The deal with Endeacott’s 1965 Records imprint has, for whatever reason, fallen through; the gigs are modest; the hype has died down. It’s in the midst of all this that the Hugs self-release their second disc, Again & Again.
That disc lives at the intersection of bratty and savvy, showcasing both the melodic intuition that garnered the band attention in the first place and the snotty immediacy that may have lost it the keys to the kingdom.
Opener “Dreams,” with its early-Beatles guitar leads and pharma-tropical breakdowns, feels like three melodic ideas slapped together, and it’s a rough start. But the hooks are here: In the Strokes-funk “Egos,” Delegato’s voice shifts from singing to barking, matching his raw, plainspoken lyrical insecurities. “In Love” showcases enough tribal drumming and vocal interplay to obscure its pop-filler lyrics.
But for all the Hugs’ natural talent—which shines through often on Again & Again—one gets the impression that too much of their energy is going into being a rock band, not into making great songs. It’s hard not to notice, for instance, all the references to getting high. Sometimes they’re youthful and refreshing, as on the downright cute “She Was High,” and sometimes it’s worrying. “Sometimes I feel like I could just lay down and die,” Delegato sings on “Come Close.” “But then all I do is save up money, and then I get high. Woo-hoo!” The Hugs have everything they need to make it big on their own, but being young isn’t enough —it’s still going to take some work to make this a well-rounded band .
Movie Review: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Christmas Vacation is a must see around this time of year. I like the real-factor of this movie. They have some troubles at first and the cat gets fired up under the nice old chair and he has a few bulb issues on the roof but for the most part this movie is very tender. His family is a one of a kind, and the great pool idea using the 'bonus' money from work is a sure thing now. It's a good one. Go watch it!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
She Was High
Sunday, December 6, 2009
All Over Town
All of my Life Trying To Understand
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Album Release Party
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Old Gig Review (2007)
Review of The Hugs from June, 2007 @ the PDX POP NOW CD COMP Release Party- Hawthorne Theatre...Thought this was funny and should share.
I'm tempted to describe them as White Stripes meets the Beach Boys. The tracks started to sound the same after a while, but when they paused between choruses for gentler, almost Californian jazz melodies, I wanted more. The lead singer and guitarist leapt about the stage with such fervor that I was, at times, in stitches laughing. At various recurring points he had knocked over the microphone stand, got the cord tangled around his neck, unplugged his amplifier and smashed into the drumset. Just the same, the fervor carried throughout the audience. It was refreshing to see young people so in love with what they were doing. "
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
A Work Of Futuristic Art
this emergent view now touches all of us to the extent we are the participatory guardians of precious planetary life and this consciousness may well point us towards spreading life throughout the solar system and beyond... None of this will be possible without respect and reverence for mother earth, life and science.
I chose to symbolically configure mankind evolving with awe, science and space from an initial cosmic birth with the possibility we were seeded by interstellar organic molecules---perhaps carried in the flight of a comets tail or from the luminous dust of a supernova. This painting suggests that mankind is now poised to take adventure, science, hope and discovery into the greater universe.
This digital painting is a living work in progress that had its origins 5 years ago. It is now being released at version 2.0 and the work will continue into the foreseeable future. Why such a work of scale? the answer lies in that we are at a momentous juncture in human history. We are at the dawn of staggering change driven by new physics, astronomy, biology and neuroscience. Artists today cannot ignore the incredible cosmic view that is now being revealed. We are at the dawn of an unprecedented period in human history where the velocity of change is exponential and we must take seriously that we are evolving as a species. "
April 4 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Photo Blog Of The Past. . .
George Falls and Ringo Goes With...
Director Gus Van Sant Approves The Hugs
* Gus Van Sant Recommends the music of The Hugs in this recent interview for BBC promoting his new movie "Milk"
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Remaining London Dates (The Hugs)
Monday, November 9, 2009
Joni Kabana (Press Shots)
Major Label What?
By BRAD STONE
There was a time when most aspiring musicians had the same dream: to sign a deal with a major record label.
Now, with the structure of the music business shifting radically, some industry iconoclasts are sidestepping the music giants and inventing new ways for artists to make and market their music - without ever signing a traditional recording contract.
The latest effort comes from Brian Message, manager of the alternative band Radiohead, which gave away its last album, "In Rainbows," on the Internet. His venture, called Polyphonic, which was announced this month, will look to invest a few hundred thousand dollars in new and rising artists who are not signed to record deals and then help them create their own direct links to audiences over the Internet.
"Artists are at the point where they realize going back to the old model doesn't make any sense," Mr. Message said. "There is a hunger for a new way of doing things."
Polyphonic and similar new ventures are symptomatic of deep shifts in the music business. The major labels - Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music - no longer have such a firm grip on creating and selling professional music and minting hits with prime placement on the radio.
Much of that has to do with the rise of the Internet as a means of promoting and distributing music. Physical album sales fell 20 percent, to 362.6 million last year, according to Nielsen, while sales of individual digital tracks rose 27 percent, to 1.07 billion, failing to compensate for the drop. Mindful of these changes, in the last few years marquee musicians like Trent Reznor, the Beastie Boys and Barenaked Ladies have created their own artist-run labels and reaped significant rewards by keeping a larger share of their revenue.
Under the Polyphonic model, bands that receive investments from the firm will operate like start-up companies, recording their own music and choosing outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring.
Instead of receiving an advance and then possibly reaping royalties later if they have a hit, musicians will share in all the profits from their music and touring. In another departure from tradition in the music business, they will also maintain ownership of their own copyrights and master recordings - meaning they and their heirs can keep earning money from their music.
"We are all witnessing major labels starting to shed artists that are hitting only 80,000 or 100,000 unit sales," said Adam Driscoll, another Polyphonic founder and chief executive of the British media company MAMA Group. "Do a quick calculation on those sales, with an artist who can tour in multiple cities, and that is a good business. You can take that as a foundation and build on it."
The third Polyphonic principal is Terry McBride, founder of the Vancouver-based management firm Nettwerk Music Group and manager of Barenaked Ladies.
The Polyphonic founders, who have provided the company with $20 million in seed financing, say they plan to invest around $300,000 in each band. The company will then guide musicians and their business managers - who will function a little like the band's chief executive - to services like Topspin, which helps manage a band's online presence, and TuneCore, a company that distributes music to online services like iTunes, Amazon and Napster.
The partners say they have been thinking about such a venture for several years. They recently tried to raise money for the company from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, but met with initial skepticism.
"Returns on entertainment products when portfolios are small are typically very erratic," said David Pakman, a partner at venture capital firm Venrock, which passed on the deal. Mr. Pakman doubted that Polyphonic and similar firms could produce the kind of returns on investment that venture firms typically look for.
Polyphonic, which will be based in London and in Nettwerk's offices in New York and Los Angeles, says it plans to approach private investors again after it has proved its model works.
The new company will have plenty of company in exploring new ways for artists to maintain control over their creations.
Marc Geiger, an agent at William Morris Endeavor, who tried a similar venture in the late 1990s called ArtistDirect, is now developing a program for musicians at his agency that will be called Self Serve. Mr. Geiger said he was not ready to divulge the details yet, but said that Self Serve would provide tools and financing for artists to create businesses independent of major recording labels.
Even the major labels themselves are demonstrating new flexibility for musicians who do not want to sign the immersive partnerships known as 360 deals, in which the label manages and profits from every part of the artist's business.
In late November, for example, EMI took the unusual step of creating a music services division to provide an array of services - like touring and merchandise support - to musicians who were not signed to the label.
"We all know the role that the record label has traditionally played needs to change," said Ronn Werre, president of EMI's new division. "There are artists that want to have more creative control and long-term ownership of their masters, and they may want to take on more of the financial risk. To be successful we need to have a great deal of flexibility in how we work with artists."
Artists who have produced their own music and contracted with EMI to run parts of their business include the R&B singer Bobby Valentino and Raekwon, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Mr. Message said that "there are many artists who still want to go with labels, which do still have abilities to really ram home hit singles."
Bands who take the Polyphonic route, he said, will need to have considerable entrepreneurial energy. For example, they might stay after concerts to "go to the merchandise store and sign their shirts and talk to fans, because they know they are right at the heart of their own business," he said.
Bands that have taken this approach say it can be arduous. In 2007, after releasing three records with independent labels, Metric, an alternative band from Toronto, finally got several offers from the big record companies. But the band declined to sign after concluding that the labels were asking for too many rights and not offering enough in return.
With help from a grant from the Canadian government, the band cut its own album in April, "Fantasies," and started selling it directly to fans on services like iTunes, where it has scaled the popularity charts.
"It certainly has not been easy," said Matt Drouin, Metric's manager. "When I get up at 6 a.m. the British are e-mailing me. When I go to bed at 2 in the morning the Australians are e-mailing me. It's an extremely empowering position, but one hell of an undertaking."
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Proud Galleries (London)
Write Up About "Again & Again"
Producer Shay S. Scott
"Again & Again" proves The Hugs development has much improved into being a more mature and commercially-radio ready band.
Fuzz blasted jangly guitars, arranged within heavy chorus hooks, the bands knack to craft bouncy pop songs has created a very marketable situation for The Hugs. The new album 'Again & Again' is an album to keep your heart pumping fast and your foot thumping with it.
With already two full albums chock full of loud, catchy, infectious pop anthems under their belts and still yet to turn 21 years of age, The Hugs are a visceral and honest young band now on the rise. Stomping up stages currently in the UK with showcases in London for the rest of 2009.'
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Julian Strokes Goes Solo