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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
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 .
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!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
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. "
Saturday, November 14, 2009
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
* Gus Van Sant Recommends the music of The Hugs in this recent interview for BBC promoting his new movie "Milk"