Wednesday, July 23, 2014

HughShows T-Shirts are HERE


To commemorate a decade of SUPPORTING PITTSBURGH MUSIC, these shirts will be available for a limited time only. Utilizing the amazing artwork designed by Pittsburgh legend Budai exclusively produced for the occasion, these particular shirts will never be offered after this run. Show your pride for the local music scene.

Order now at the links below before it's too late!




First/Last-Jeremy Caywood


"Pittsburgh based Singer/Songwriter expanding abilities. Growing in knowledge of music and understanding of writing. It is something we all do in our own ways. Progress.
A passionate performance of original interpretation. Music is something that is to bring us peace.
Collaborating is a unifying piece to existence."


Jeremy Caywood is in the last days of his Kickstarter campaign to produce his first solo record, "Last Ticket to Heaven". Throw him a few bucks by this Friday to pre-order the record and help 'Support Pittsburgh Music'! I want to thank him for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
"Take Off Your Pants and Jacket" Blink-182. My parents were so proud.

Your last album bought?
"The Peoples Key" Bright Eyes. Released a few years back but haven't purchased a disc in a while.

Favorite album of all time?
"I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" Bright Eyes. Gave me the inspiration to follow my own songwriting path.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
A difficult choice... because I truly do enjoy most music I listen to, however the performer, The Tallest Man on Earth who has released a few records had one in his mix that disappointed me. Titled "Shallow Grave", the album offers more technical guitar performance but the vocal was lost for me. Taught me a lesson: don't smoke cigarettes kids!

First concert attended?
First concert I ever attended was I believe an *NSYNC concert back in elementary school... so for the sake of it, I'll reference the Blink-182 final tour before their official break up. Right after their self-titled album and Travis Barker popped up out of the ground to give a 20 minute drum solo… after which I caught a drumstick he threw into the crowd.

Last concert?
Last concert I went to was the Conor Oberst with Dawes show at the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead. He taught me so much about music and life and performance and existence, seeing him live for the second time topped the first and truly showed a growth of an individual.

Favorite concert ever?
Favorite concert... just one?! Conor Oberst with Dawes at the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead, Bruce Springsteen at the Civic Arena, and Simon and Garfunkel Reunion tour 1 back in the early 00's, if I remember correctly. They played at the Civic Arena and I knew my calling.

Least favorite concert?
This is a hard one. I can only say this because the next time I saw them they were 100 times better, Coheed and Cambria with Avenged Sevenfold back in 2010? At the Chevy Amphitheater, they had no life in comparison to their recordings. The other time I caught them in Chicago, incredible!


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
My favorite thoughts about Pittsburgh are often location based, Mt. Washington view, the ever growing arts and food services, knowing I grew up here. Favorite experiences… more are always occurring. The first and second annual 3 Hour Rock tour on the Gateway Clipper hosted by Round Black Ghosts and Chet Vincent and the Big Bend, The Pittsburgh Arts Fest has always stuck out in my mind, as well as the community I am privileged to share and be a part of here in Pittsburgh. A growing songwriter community. Stellar friends who are all around me. A good family. Pittsburgh is home.

Thanks, Jeremy. Would really love to see you reach the goal, man.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First/Last-Nathan Marshall


"From the musician who won the 2012 48 Hour Music Video Project award for Best Music Video and the Audience Choice Award for best song, comes indie folk rock singer/songwriter Nathan Marshall's first ever EP album entitled What Ships Are For.  Set for a worldwide release on Tuesday, July 22nd, What Ships Are For takes us into the eccentric and inventive mind of a man who found his soul in the mountains of Tibet, found his humor on the stand-up comedy stages of New York City, found confidence from his time on movie and television sets, found wisdom from his years as a public educator, found humility from his belief in God, and found his music in the world surrounding us all."

Nathan Marshall's debut EP " What Ships Are For" drops today and you can pick it up here. There are contributions from Jim Avett and R.J. and Karen Dietrich of Essential Machine on the music and I want to thank Nathan for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
I was eleven and I won a candy bar sale contest in school. Therefore, I won a CD player. Went to the local Hills department store (now bankrupt…), and I bought a spin-off album of the movie ‘Lion King’ called “Lion King Rhythm in the Pride Lands”, and my mother got me a “Herman’s Hermits Greatest Hits” album. Looking back, spending my days jamming out to “I’m Henry the VIII, I am. I got married to the widow next door, and she has been married seven times before...” and waking up to “The Circle of Life” every day during my fifth grade year might seem like a strange introduction to music to some (more like the musical background of a guy like ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic instead of my musical style). However, it was my introduction to music, and I have loved it ever since. So, I guess it turned out alright.

Your last album bought?
Panic at the Disco “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!” I really was excited about this album, so much so that I even went as far as to not even previewing the album on iTunes. I just picked up the CD, put it in my car, and was extremely saddened to hear all the audio filters they put on Brendon Urie’s unique and amazing voice… It was a choice that really makes me sad that this was the last album I bought. It now has a permanent home in the CD archives of my house. I literally didn’t even put it on my computer. That is how disappointed I was in it.

Favorite album of all time?
As with every album, even some of the greats like Johnny Cash, not every song on the album can be as strong as some of the other songs. Even albums like greatest hit albums often lead to the listener to hit the skip button once in a while. There are literally two albums that I can tell you right now that I don’t skip any song when they come on, and that is The Avett Brother’s album “I and Love and You” and Fun.’s album “Some Nights”. These two works are not only amazing works, but I have also been fortunate enough to see them play these songs live, and that even adds a new element of enjoyment to these already great albums.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Currently, the Panic at the Disco one I mentioned before. I know the band has had creative differences and have been on again and off again and members going one way or another, but the Panic at the Disco that appeared in their album “Pretty Odd” was my favorite. They were inventive and unique and they were making music that was not like all the other stuff out there. Their lyrics were also super great and memorable in that album. As you can tell, I’m disappointed… Hahaha!

First concert attended?
Barenaked Ladies. I would say the country musician Sawyer Brown, when I was in second grade, but I fell asleep during it. Evidently, I was not that impressed, ha-ha! I just remember lots of lights, a fog machine, homemade signs asking for Sawyer Brown to marry them, extremely tight jeans (literally, they are the reason country musicians in the 90’s just moved side-to-side when they danced on stage, because they really couldn’t even bend over…), cowboy hats, and the back of my eyelids.
Anyways, we will go with Barenaked Ladies. My great friend Bobby Greiner got tickets (he might have won the tickets from the radio). I wasn’t a super huge fan at the time (remember, I was a junior in high school and I grew-up listening to Herman’s Hermits and “Lion King Rhythm in the Pride Lands”, ha-ha), and my mother was leery to let me go because the band’s name. Anyhow, I went and had one of the greatest nights of my young life. We had ‘freedom”, we got the autographs of a side stage band called the Candy Butchers (who we swore would be “bigger than The Beatles”. Of course, that never happened…), and I got the phone number of the high school girl of my dreams. I guess the music was alright that night too, but I was in high school, I was more worried about the social aspects of the concert going experience at the time.

Last concert?
The Avett boys. I have come a long way in my music going experience since Barenaked Ladies, ha-ha! To this day, I believe there is no more fun, unique, exciting concert going experience than listening to Jim’s boys. They are consummate entertainers, and they bring it each and every single night. There literally is not a harder working band or a more entertaining one on the road today. This and the constant attention to detail that the boys put forth is extremely impressive. They are putting on a clinic as to what it means to have a successful band.

Favorite concert ever?
The Avett Brothers show at Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, WV. What that venue lacks up in the confines of theatre type seating, it makes up for in history, ambiance, and just a great place to have a rock concert. We walked out of the show that night with our mouths open in amazement at the show we had just seen. I would argue that anyone who was there that night would list this concert as their favorite as well.

Least favorite concert?
Obviously, Sawyer Brown, hahaha! However, I do remember sleeping like a baby, so maybe it wasn’t as tiresome as I remember.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh? Wow. I love everything about this city. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son… Wait, sorry, that’s Lebron James letter announcing his return to the Cleveland Caviliers… I thought that sounded familiar, ha-ha! All joking aside though, I have been fortunate enough in my life to go to many, many cities from Venice to Beijing to London to Hollywood to New York City, and I can tell you honestly, there is no greater city than Pittsburgh, PA! I learned here, I grew up here, I became the person I am today here.
As an artist, I sometimes feel like a fish out of water here, because I feel there is only so far you can make it here before you have to move somewhere else to get to that next level, but what it lacks in big artistic opportunities it makes up for in family, great friends, and a million other things that are more important than fame. Often times, as an artist, you are humbled by the realities and current limitations of this city, but humility isn’t a bad thing. We all need a little more humility in this world.

Other than that, favorite experiences?
1) Pittsburgh Pirates games - Most notably, being at the Wild Card playoff victory last year. An amazing day to be a Pittsburgher.
2) Coming through Fort Pitt tunnel and seeing all the adventure and beauty that awaits you in the labyrinth that is our city.
3) The South Side! As a young man, this was a little slice of paradise. All the shops, the live music, the art that is so alive there, and the youth that this area promotes, makes you glad to have spent a majority of your life here.
4) Acting - I ever dreamed as a young man that I would have ever been on TV. Pittsburgh afforded me more times to be on that box than I ever imagined was possible. Through commercials, news stories, and even movies, I became a Screen Actor’s Guild member, and I have lived out my wildest dreams, created new wildest dreams, and then lived them out too. It has been a great cycle.
5) The fact that there is always something interesting and very much alive happening in the city. I have no clue how anyone could ever say they are bored in our city. Some of the best memories I have are stumbling into some unexpected event and staying for hours. The city does a great job of keeping things lively.
6) Getting my stand-up comedy start at the Funny Bone when it was at Station Square. This start took me to perform on professional stages all over (from New York City to Hollywood) with the likes of Chris Rock, Judah Friedlander, Harland Williams, Jim Breuer, Dave Attell, Jay Mohr, etc. Again, without the opportunities in Pittsburgh or the support of Pittsburgh, this never would have been possible.

Thanks, Nathan. I have really been enjoying this EP. You sure do have some really talented folks helping you out for sure!


Monday, July 21, 2014

First/Last-The Singles


"With hints of garage rock, power pop, glam, blues, and punk all find their way into the music. Both originally from Detroit, the two joined forces in LA in 2012 to restart The Singles—a moniker that Vince had used in the past to release his songs with different incarnations of the band.
With the help of friends on bass, the band began playing locally bringing stripped down rock n’ roll to the LA music scene. Things got serious once they met producer Rick Parker. Rick was brought on to mix their single “(She’s Got) A Heart Of Stone” in early 2013. His chill vibe, part surfer, part jedi studio master, was the perfect counterpoint to the off-kilter energy of the band."

The Singles hit the always fun Arsenal Lanes in Lawrenceville on Wednesday and I want to thank Vincent Frederick (Guitar/Lead Vocals) and Nicky Veltman (Drums/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Vince Frederick: Wham “Make it Big”.
Nicky Veltman: Probably something by Aerosmith. Maybe “Permanent Vacation”?

Your last album bought?
Vince: Arctic Monkeys “AM”.
Nicky: The Kinks “Lola vs. The Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.” Finally found an awesome copy on vinyl.

Favorite album of all time?
Vince: Don't really have one. But I'll say Bob Dylan "Nashville Skyline" at the moment.
Nicky: Changes all the time, based on my mood and what I’m currently fired up about. So I’ll just give a fave: The Rolling Stones “Let It Bleed”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Vince: Guns N Roses "Spaghetti Incident". I was a huge fan and that record was disappointing. Only liked one or two songs.
Nicky: Not really sure. Maybe The Strokes “Angles”? I have a lot of love for them and didn’t really get into that record at all. Maybe a song or two.

First concert attended?
Vince: Sesame Street Live.
Nicky: Joan Jett at Freedom Hill. Went with the parents.

Last concert?
Vince: The Singles and Brody Dalle at the Troubadour.
Nicky: Flaming Lips/Tame Impala at the Greek Theater was my last big show.

Favorite concert ever?
Vince: Oasis at the State Theater Detroit.
Nicky: I’m going to see Macca in August at Dodger Stadium. 7th row. I think that one’s gonna go to straight to the top of the list.

Least favorite concert?
Vince: Hordefest.
Nicky: Steve Miller.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Vince: Terry Bradshaw!
Nicky: Roberto Clemente!

Thanks, Vince and Nicky. Wednesday should be fun. That is actually a cool place to play and enjoy a band.


Friday, July 18, 2014

First/Last-Trevor Howarth

Trevor Howarth is a songwriter from Pittsburgh. I am honored to have him help me celebrate ten years of HughShows today and thank him for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Celine Dion's "Let's Talk About Love" when I was seven years old. It featured that song ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from the Titanic soundtrack and as a child I was obsessed with that movie.

Your last album bought?
Frankie Rose's "Interstellar".

Favorite album of all time?
A tie between a few. Elliott Smith's "Either/Or", Joni Mitchell's "Blue", or Pavement's "Wowee Zowee".

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Animal Collective's "Centipede Hz". I was a big fan of that group from “Sung Tongs” all the way up until “Merriweather Post Pavilion”. And even though MPP wasn't the greatest in my opinion, I saw the value in it. When “Centipede” came out I just lost hope in any kind of return to a more organic and natural sound from the group. Who knows though? They always tend to surprise everyone.

First concert attended?
Good Charlotte with openers New Found Glory and Less than Jake when I was 12 years old.

Last concert?
Mac Demarco at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. I got to meet him beforehand and it was an amazing and incredibly energetic show. Practically his entire band crowdsurfed at some point.

Favorite concert ever?
Either the Mac Demarco show or another one I saw at Beachland Ballroom 2 years ago, Deerhunter with opener Real Estate. Deerhunter was touring for “Halcyon Digest” and Real Estate was just releasing “Days”. Both bands were blissful live and Deerhunter was getting better and better (I had already seen them twice).

Least favorite concert?
The second time I saw Minus The Bear. They were drunk and awful. Kind of dicks too.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I've lived in Pittsburgh my whole life and some thoughts I have on it are that it's a great place to be but not a great place to stay. My personal experiences here have, in part, been some of the most memorable and warm times, but also, in part, led me to start planning my move out to Oregon next August.

Thanks, Trevor. I have never heard of a successful show when the players are drunk. That's is a shame.