#SupportPGHMusic // Exclusively on HughShows Radio streaming at the bottom of the page, enjoy the entire December 13, 2014 concert of HughShows Live at Eide’s Finale featuring mini sets from acoustic and solo versions of my favorite Pittsburgh bands during the marathon 6 hour concert. //

Ladyfest Day One with Trash Bag, Action Camp, Dumplings, Murder for Girls, Brazilian Wax and Roulette Waves at The Shop on Friday, July 17, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PATrash Bag

Action Camp


Murder For Girls

Brazilian Wax

Roulette Waves

“Action Camp is a duo based in Pittsburgh, PA whose sound blends elements of doom pop, electro, surf, and art rock. Members Maura Jacob and Bengt Alexsander combine found sound, drum loops, synths, low-tuned guitars, and Jacob’s classically-trained vocals to create music that can alternate between eerily gentle to sweeping and ferocious. This layering of the organic with the synthetic “creates a distinct sound that takes the best of all these worlds and boils it down into one cohesive unit… goodness that’s silent, murky and ready to explode” (Dayton City Paper). They draw inspiration from folklore, religion, and historical events, with their next release, a full-length album titled PA, giving special attention to disasters in Pennsylvania’s history.”

Action Camp is a ‘doom-pop’ duo from Pittsburgh who kick-off a brief Midwest tour on Wednesday (2/11) with a very special one off acoustic performance featuring piano, vocals and two upright basses dubbed ‘Rearranged‘. I want to thank Bengt Alexsander (Guitar/Keys/Vocals) and Maura Jacobs (Vocals/Bass) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

Action Camp at The Wilderness Recording Studio presents HughShows Live @ Eide’s on Saturday, August 9th, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA.

I had the pleasure of photographing Maura and Bengt as they prepare and compose music based on the unbelievable murals of Maxo Vanka at St. Nicholas Church. As part of hopefully an ongoing series called Hi Rez, the idea is to place artists of different media and give them a theme to produce from. As the press release states, it is “a new nomadic, site-specific, hi-impact, artist residency program”. Sounds cool to me. The initial performance is this Sunday at 3pm. Well enough time to catch the show AND the Steeler game, so no excuses. More photos here.

Action Camp are a local duo who bring together a variety of influences and styles to produce what they themselves call ‘melodramatic popular song’. They headline tonight’s late show at Club Cafe with Chupacabra and Una De Luna. As for for the image above, they are participating in a cool and unique project that I will profile soon and you can read about here. In the meantime, Maura and Bengt were cool enough to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

Bengt: Probably Michael Jackson’s Dangerous on cassette, but my sister and I used to run around the living room blasting our parents’ LPs of Thriller and Black Sabbath’s Paranoid so I had a pretty polarized taste in music from a very young age.

Maura: I honestly probably didn’t buy music until high school; I recorded onto tape a ton of my dad’s collection and listened to my mom’s records. The first tapes I ever commandeered, though, were probably B-52’s Cosmic Thing and U2’s Achtung Baby.

Your last album bought?

Bengt: Elsinore – Yes Yes Yes. We did a mini-tour with them earlier this year and they are fantastic in so many ways.

Thanks guys. I am really excited about the upcoming Vanka project. Those murals are just so powerful. Can’t wait to hear what you come up with.