Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ticket Giveaway - HughShows Secret Santapalooza V.2

This is easily going to be the holiday party of the year, folks! Your favorite Pittsburgh bands covering your other favorite Pittsburgh bands. We really want you to be there. So, in the spirit of the season, I am giving away a pair of tickets to the show for this week only. From now until Friday, December 4th when I will randomly draw a name from the entries good for two passes to the show, all you have to do to enter is follow me on twitter if you don't already and tweet the above image with 


I will pick a winner on Friday. You must be +21 to enter. Thanks and GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

First/Last - The Butterscotch Cathedral

"Plenty of great music has been the byproduct of a singular vision; that "man-alone" in the studio producing genius works; Brian Wilson, Curt Boettcher, Pete Townshend have all chained themselves to the mixing console (metaphorically speaking) for the sake of music as something "more". Tuscon, AZ's Matt Rendon know plenty about being the "man-alone" in the studio. Ever since he debuted The Resonars in the early Nineties - a project that started out as a band, dissolved & then just became the fictional "band" identity for Rendon alone - he's produced six albums of Sixties mod-inflected power pop all by himself in his home studio. The Butterscotch Cathedral is the latest album from Rendon & his first project outside of The Resonars since 2004."

The Butterscotch Cathedral is a 'crummy desert psychedelic' band from Tuscon, AR who's debut LP is available now from Trouble in Mind Records. Taking influences from The Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren, The Who and Tame Impala, the music hearkens back to sixties and seventies psych pop while still sounding fresh. I want to thank Matt Rendon (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The first albums I remember buying are The Rolling Stones cassettes on Abkco - Aftermath, Between The Buttons. They were odd in that they switched the A and B sides so when I got the LPs years later, it was a shock not to hear “Flight 505” and “All Sold Out” as lead off tracks.

Your last album bought?
Mono versions of All Summer Long and Shut Down Vol. 2 by the Beach Boys.

Favorite album of all time?
The Who - My Generation.

First concert attended?
Beatlemania at the Tucson Convention Center, 1977.

Last concert?
Saw of Montreal at a festival here in town. I had to cut out the last 15 minutes or so because a band I'm in, Lenguas Largas, was playing the next stage over.

Favorite concert ever?
Guided By Voices in Tempe, AZ on their Under The Bushes tour. At that time musicians were not allowed to drink onstage in Arizona and GBV played extremely loud and pissed off. Pollard almost got into it with a security guy – “Pimple Zoo” was particularly great.

Least favorite concert?
That's a tough question because most of the show I go to are in clubs, if you don't like a band you can get a beer. I probably wouldn't dish out the dough for a show that might disappoint me. I saw a not too great version of the Angry Samoans a few years ago.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I know that I love Iron City beer and that my former record label, Get Hip, is based there. I'm a big fan of Roberto Clemente and the 70s Steelers defense. I've only been there once and it was a flight layover. I was with my brother Rick and landed really late - a cabbie took us straight to a strip bar when we asked to go somewhere for a beer.

Thanks, Matt. Wow, I cannot imagine a 'sober' GBV playing a show. Now that's a rarity.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

First/Last - The Dovewires

"The band’s raw emotion and power spans ballads to heavy, modern rock. Blues and classic rock influence everything with a modern, indie, garage-band style."

The Dovewires is a rock band from Pittsburgh who will be joining me at James Street Gastropub Ballroom Upstairs this Sunday (11/22) at 3 pm as I host one of the PGH for Peace benefit concerts organized by Ziggy Sawdust Productions. With over 60 bands donating their time and talent in over 7 venues citywide, the Pittsburgh music community has come together to show that love and music is one response to the insanity of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut. Please consider joining us as I thank Todd Knepp (Guitar/Vocals), Oliver Dugas (Drums/Vocals), and Paul Bossung (Bass/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Paul Bossung: Michael Jackson Dangerous.
Todd Knepp: Weezer Blue Album.
Ollie Dugas: The Beatles White Album.

Your last album bought?
Paul: Weezer Everything Will Be Alright in the End.
Ollie: The Black Angels Directions to See a Ghost.
Todd: Strung Out An American Paradox.

Favorite album of all time?
Paul: Weezer Pinkerton.
Ollie: The Who Quadrophenia.
Todd: Metallica Black Album.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Ollie: Band of Horses Infinite Arms.
Todd: Justin Towns Earle Nothings Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now.
Paul: Stumped...

First concert attended?
Todd: Jonny Lang.
Paul: Aerosmith.
Ollie: The Monkees.

Last concert?
Paul: Tallest Man on Earth.
 Ollie: The Rolling Stones.
 Todd: of Montreal.

Favorite concert ever?
Todd: Metallica.
Paul: Weezer.
Ollie: Bonnaroo 2013.

Least favorite concert?
Paul & Todd: Incubus.
Ollie: Kayne West.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Two of us are born and raised in Pittsburgh (Paul & Todd). Oliver was born just outside of Philly. We all dig the music scene here, getting noticed is quite hard and every band seems to have that problem. People don't really get out and see live music like they used to. I mean don't get me wrong the dedicated fans always show up but most people seem to shrug their shoulders. That hurts the musicians that are really trying to make this a passion and lifestyle but who knows, "times they are a changing". We just want people to understand and like what we are putting out. We just want to get as much exposure to do so. We love music, it’s our outlet, our art, our understanding. It’s what we do.

Thanks, fellas. Looking forward to seeing you play Sunday. Let's try to have some fun.

First/Last - Nameless in August

"The band got their start when, lead singer, Zach Rock met banjoist, Jason Buzon at a Brookline, Pa coffee shop. The two made plans to meet later that week and they began writing music from the first session they had and have continued to do so since April of 2011. Later on in October of 2011, Patrick McGinley joined the duo that was playing out as Nameless in August. Patrick heard the two as they were hosting an open mic night at a South Side bar in Pittsburgh called The Blind Pig. A bar in which Patrick lived above. A friend that was with Patrick that night persuaded him walk up the stairs from the bar and grab his instrument and jam with the two just for the night, just for fun. But he is yet to leave."

Nameless in August is a folk rock band from Pittsburgh who will be joining me at James Street Gastropub Ballroom Upstairs this Sunday (11/22) at 1:40 pm as I host one of the PGH for Peace benefit concerts organized by Ziggy Sawdust Productions. With over 60 bands donating their time and talent in over 7 venues citywide, the Pittsburgh music community has come together to show that love and music is one response to the insanity of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut. Please consider joining us as I thank Zach Rock (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

PGH for Peace

The first album you ever bought?
It was either Sixteen Stone by Bush or Rock Spectacle by Bare Naked Ladies. I think my sister gave me the Bush album. So, first bought may have been the BNL live album which I still love and listen to today.

Your last album bought?
Technically, Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads. I'm still digesting it though. Before that Stirgull Simpson's Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Which is SOOO good. It's my most recent, newest love affair.

Favorite album of all time?
Toss up between Before These Crowded Streets by Dave Matthews Band and Emotionalism by The Avett Brothers. If I had to choose one, DMB.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Likely an album that I don't own. I'm sure I've been disappointed with releases of artists that I like but I don't really hold an album as my least favorite.

First concert attended?
Bush at Civic Arena. (First beer too. It was GROSS)

Last concert?
Hmmm, not going out to see them as much as I'd like. I feel there is a separation with me because just about every show we play another band is playing so I see/hear music a lot. But the word "concert" is different. So, we played with Glove this summer and I definitely stayed and listened to that show and it felt like a concert. Same scenario when DMB was at First Niagara this summer.

Favorite concert ever?
Joe Purdy at The Basement in Columbus.

Least favorite concert?
No such thing as bad sex and bad concerts. Gotta appreciate. Although, the next time I saw Joe Purdy after seeing the best show of my life, I was disappointed by it. Must have set the bar too high.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Lived here seven years... Met a great girl, Had a daughter, I get to play music and express myself constantly in a beautiful region with band mates that I truly love. It's a cultured city not far from a little bit of chew spit. I love it.

Thanks, Zach. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, although I wish it was under different circumstances.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

First/Last - Stutter Steps

"Fall will soon be upon us, and everywhere are the signs of impending death, but Stutter Steps is a beacon of warmth and light. It radiates youthful energy and hard-earned wisdom. It’s bookended by two different versions of the same song, just like Yo La Tengo used to do. It’s stunning and wonderful and broken and bliss. Just like you. Just like me. Just like all of us."

Stutter Steps is an indie pop band from songwriter Ben Harrison. Ben also happens to be the performance curator at the Andy Warhol Museum and is releasing his debut album this Saturday (11/21) at the Elks Lodge #339 on the Northside. Gathering various friends to record and now perform his songs, I want to thank Ben for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA.

Your last album bought?
Alvvays (self titled).

Favorite album of all time?
The Beatles Rubber Soul.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I don’t think I understood the Lou Reed/Metallica collaboration on Lulu. More confused than disappointed.

First concert attended?
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

Last concert?
Jonathan Richman.

Favorite concert ever?
The Wedding Present (on Watusi tour in Toronto 1994).

Least favorite concert?
Jesus & Mary Chain reunion – impossibly high expectations, I suppose.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
The geography.

Thanks, Ben. I've known you for years and never knew you had this in you! Lovely stuff, man.

Friday, November 13, 2015

First/Last - The Redlines

"When one looks at all the pieces that shape The Redlines it comes down to one thing: Rock & Roll. Hailing from just north of Pittsburgh, PA, the 4-piece band has taken personal influences and past experience to create a sound they call, American Rock & Roll, a unique blend that touches on classic rock, garage rock, alt-country, Americana, and blues. No strangers to the stage or studio, the band create songs with a classic feel but delivered with a fury."

The Redlines is a rock and roll band from Pittsburgh who have a couple of releases out, the latest being their 2014 self-titled full length. The band is always playing out and you can catch them tonight (11/13) at Wooly Bully's in New Brighton with Wine & Spirit and Trigger Happy. I want to thank Brian Seese (Guitar/Vocals), Jason Lizzi (Guitar/Vocals), Scott Klimcheck (Drums), and Tony Vinski (Bass) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
    Brian Seese: Either Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry or Ratt's Out of the Cellar. I cannot remember.
Jason Lizzi: Led Zeppelin 4.  
    Scott Klimcheck: Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Tony Vinski: Oh man, I actually think it was Fat Boys Crushin' on cassette. I might still have it too.

Your last album bought?
Brian: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Live Anthology Box Set (hasn't arrived yet as of me typing this).
Jason: Clutch Earth Rocker.
Scott: Best of Led Zeppelin.
Tony: Mostly local stuff or bands we've played with: The Sparrows, Walker & the Rebellion, The Hawkeyes, Hero Jr., Stolen Rhodes.

Favorite album of all time?
Brian: I honestly don't know if I could answer this! I will say The Gaslight Anthem's The '59 Sound. Only because it is the only album I've ever kept in my car CD player for 3 weeks straight.
Jason: This changes every few months. The Rolling Stones Exile On Main St.
Scott: Nirvana Nevermind.
Tony: Fountains of Wayne self-titled debut. Pure power-pop genius.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Brian: Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker's Southern Accents (however, I believe that and the next one had to happen in order for everything thereafter to be great).
Jason: K-Tel Top Hits '79, Andy Gibb is a very over rated singer (God rest his soul)   
    Scott: Metallica St. Anger.
Tony: Foo Fighters Sonic Highways. I can appreciate what they were trying to do but I just couldn't get into the songs.

First concert attended?
Brian: Cinderella, Winger, Bulletboys.
Jason: Monsters of Rock at Three Rivers Stadium.
Scott: NOFX.
Tony: Stone Temple Pilots, Butthole Surfers, and The Flaming Lips at the old IC Light Amphitheater.

Last concert?
Brian: Brandon Flowers.
Jason: Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden.
Scott: Dinosaur Jr.
Tony: Television in their 2nd ever Pittsburgh show.

Favorite concert ever?
Brian: Probably something in the 90’s when I was very young and jumped in the pit a lot.
Jason: Paul McCartney Consol Energy Center.
Scott: NOFX.
Tony: Hard to choose but Chris Shifflet and the Dead Peasants a few years back was cool. It was an awesome night out with my wife and we got to hang out with Chris afterwards.

Least favorite concert?
Brian: A Lenny Kravitz set at a H.O.R.D.E Festival in 1998 I believe, somewhere in California. He played about 6 songs but all were turned into approx.. 6-10 jams. Rusted Root played that show as well (side note).
Jason: American Idol live, this was a birthday gift to my now ex-wife (the relationship really went bad after sitting through this concert).
Scott: Dave Mathews Band.
Tony: The Black Keys at the Consol. Don't get me wrong, the music was great. But we were so far up that it felt like we were watching people watch a concert. Hard to get into it when you're so far away.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Brian: All the great people I've met through bands and have remained good friends with, case and point, fellow Redline, Tony Vinski.
Jason: Every time I drive through Fort Pitt Tunnel and the city opens up at the end of the tunnel, seeing that never gets old.
Scott: Football, Local Music/Beer Venues and Festivals, Polish Hill and Perogies.
Tony: I could easily fill a whole other blog on why I think Pittsburgh is awesome so I won't go into it here. But needless to say I really enjoy the local music scene here and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Thanks, guys. I might have to take umbrage with your Tom Petty Southern Accents pick, Brian. I just graduated high school when that album came out and it became the soundtrack to my first non-responsibility summer and I will forever have some fond memories of that album.