While most musical careers progress in something of a straight line, the Hugs' rise to prominence has developed like a Rorschach test committed to paper by a Parkinson's victim during a sneezing fit.
The Hugs' four members had scarcely graduated from Cleveland High School when they were plucked by globe spanning tastemaker James Endecott (mastermind of such ne'er do wells as the Strokes and the Libertines) to help headline the roster of his emerging 1969 Records.
Since that bit of good fortune, the band has split its time between a beat-up Northwest house here in the states and the near-legendary Toe-Rag studios over in England. Having just completed work on a European debut LP with producer Liam Watson (the White Stripes, etc.) the band is looking to assault the Continent later this spring with an extensive tour.
However, prior to that instance of globe hopping, the Hugs are returning to their place of origin to play a string of hometown shows while they gather steam for another attempt at world domination, this time spearheaded by a second LP set to be recorded next fall in Los Angeles (“the big one” according to front man Danny Delegato).
I don't really know if the Hugs can even be counted as a “Portland” band at this point, but this fair city is at the very least an important dot on the complicated map of early success. So catch the band this weekend as they pay homage to their roots with a homecoming show at the Doug Fir.
Just catch them while you can because, if the past is any indication, they won't be staying in this—or any one place—for very long.
The Hugs, Deepest Darkest, and the Upsidedown play Doug Fir on Saturday, Dec. 20. 9 pm. $8. 21+.
Photo by Dan Kendall