#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. //

The band released my favorite local music this year in two fantastic EPs, Gets Me Low and Sink or Swim. Either of the two release gigs in January and October could have made this list. I am choosing the earlier show not because it was better, but as I was standing amongst the sold out crowd, I realized that everything I ever want out of going to a concert was happening at that moment. The band sounded so ‘on’, strangely ‘on’. Their playing was so energetic and tight it took me aback. I think the fact that the crowd was so into it was a major factor as well. That weird synergy between musician and audience was obviously apparent that even in January, I knew I would be recalling the night 11 months later. Just a perfect show. It seems Big Hurry’s future is up in the air as we head into a new year but I am thrilled that I finally corralled my buds in the band to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?

Kelly Tobias: I had The Beatles Anthology, but ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ was another early buy.

Lenny Flatley: That is a good question. I grew up in the era of ‘home taping is killing music,’ so I already had quite a few albums under my belt before I actually had to spend money on anything. Indeed, now that I can buy music from home (via eMusic or iTunes) I buy a lot more music than I ever did. My first record was ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ by Taco. The first ull-length I ever purchased might have been ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ by The Smiths or ‘Bossanova’ by the Pixies. I used to hang out at the Record Den in the Millcreek Mall all the time, as if it were a coffee shop (we all did in Erie, PA — until someone actually opened a coffee shop). Once Cory Brown bought an album buy an unknown band called “Satana” because he thought they must be awesome if they had Satan in the name! You can imagine the let-down when he put the tape in the car and realized he actually bought the latest by Carlos Santana.

Dani Buncher: The first cassette I ever bought was George Michael “Faith.” My brother and I shared 2 copies of it and listened straight through, both sides, daily. When my brother was in the 5th grade, he made and starred in a music video for “Monkey” for a school project. He was so cool. The first CD I bought was a BMG Music Club accident. It was the Breeders “Last Splash.” It was mailed to my house and I forgot to send it back so they charged me like $800 for it. Remember that crap? Anyways, it was one of the best music mistakes I’ve made. That band has definitely influenced my music tastes and playing to this day. Andy Wilkosz: Oh man, I think it was REM – ‘Monster’ or Live – ‘Throwing Copper’… but the first album I really remember burning through was the cassette someone made for me with Pearl Jam – ‘Ten’ and that Blind Melon album… Andy Wilkosz mowed soo many lawns to that tape.

Your last album bought?

Kelly: The newest Ryan Adams.

Lenny: ‘IRM’ by Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Dani: Yellow Ostrich ‘The Mistress’.

Andy: TV Torso – Status Quo Vadis (they are a local Austin band… totally addicted to it)

Favorite album of all time?

Kelly: There are so many, but I could listen to Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’ over and over an over. And The Long Winters hold a really special sentimental place in my heart.

Lenny: If I had to pick one, it would probably be ‘Combat Rock’ by The Clash. Not that I think it’s *the best* but as an album I find it fascinating. Besides, it has my favorite song on it, ‘Sean Flynn’.

Dani: Um, George Michael ‘Faith’.

Andy: Modest Mouse – ‘The Lonesome Crowded West’ is closest to the isle but so many others friends are sitting in that pew with them.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

Kelly: I love you, but Prince ‘Musicology’ was rough. You can’t be a sexy dirty Jehovah’s witness.

Lenny: I hated ‘Achtung Baby’ by U2 when it came out — I thought it was a sprawling, experimental mess. I worshipped ‘Rattle and Hum’ and wanted ‘Rattle and Hum Part II’. Now I hate ‘Achtung’ because it’s kind of boring and not sprawling or experimental enough. Except for ‘One’ — that’s a pretty good song. The rest of it gets sort of samey.

Dani: Ok, so I bought Alicia Keys ‘As I Am’ and I know it’s not cool of me to admit that, but whatever. It was so disappointing. I talked myself into liking it for days… Nope.

Andy: (no comment).

First concert attended?

Kelly: I have great memories of watching high school buddies in ‘Jeff Says No’ and ‘The Wacos’ put on a great show

Lenny: Arlo Guthrie. My mom took me because she had tickets and my dad didn’t want to go. The first concert of my choosing? When I was 15 my dad took me and my brother to Metropol to see The Ramones — and we ran into Marky and Joey at McDonalds before the show!

Dani: 5th grade. New Kids On The Block – Step By Step Tour. SO WHAT?! Later in life, you know when I hit my 20’s, I spoke to Joey McIntyre on the phone and I couldn’t believe how anti-climatic it was. If “10 year old Dani” knew that “22 year old Dani” had talked to the 2nd cutest NKOTB (I liked John the best) things would have been a lot different in 5th grade.

Andy: Metallica.

Last concert?

Kelly: Beirut at the Altar Bar. Just awesome.

Lenny: Big Audio Dynamite (Man, was it awesome).

Dani: Sondre Lerche at Club Café.

Andy: Modest Mouse.

Favorite concert ever?

Kelly: The Wrens in Philly, Built to spill is always awesome and Aimee Mann ( Thank you Hugh for making me your plus one)! Prince! Oh my god and Bruce Springsteen! I always liked seeing Grand Buffet, and any of my local favs. I can’t choose.

Lenny: Primal Scream at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.

The way they combine punk rock, drum machines, dub, and krautrock and have it coming out sounding like “Primal Scream music” is jaw-dropping, inspiring, and all sorts of other adjectives.

Dani: This is a tie. I was at a U2 “secret” concert in Dumbo (Brooklyn) a few years back. I was so close to Bono and the Edge – it was mind blowing and inspiring. Cliché, I know. Lionel Richie did somewhat of an intimate performance for the company I worked for and I have never seen more people (men and women) swoon so hard and fast, in my life. I danced my butt off. “Woooooah-oooooh-ooooh… Yeah!”

Andy: Head Automatica – Rex Theater. Daryl, I miss you.

Least favorite concert?

Kelly: There is always something good.

Lenny: Morrissey at the Carnegie Music Hall in 2009. It was one of my favorites, until I got arrested after like four songs (it was St. Patrick’s Day).

Dani: Actually, there’s been a lot. I’m not naming any. Sorry.

Andy: You always walk away with something!

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

Kelly: Love it! Go Pittsburgh!

Lenny: Pittsburgh’s all right! I would like to see more all ages venues in the city and less of an emphasis on going to bars to see bands. And more bike lanes!

Dani: I lived in NYC for several years before I returned to Pittsburgh and I have never been part of a music scene like this. The Pittsburgh scene is so inviting and supportive to musicians and listeners. The genres range from all over the place and there is a good band that represents whatever kind of music you’re into. I love it here.

Andy: The last show I played with Big Hurry was one of the best experiences I had in Pittsburgh, I really felt like I was home, the silly string still makes me smile whenever I think about it. I have a ball of it on my nightstand, and its still all over my amp. The next morning I was in a Civic headed to Austin. So Pittsburgh, we ended on good terms. I miss your pierogies, Brillobox, amazing beer selection, and all my friends there.

Thanks so much guys. Thanks for the music, the awesome shows and most importantly to me, the friendship you all have given me.

It seems that this show was an EP release gig is secondary to the fact that it was also the last time the band would be playing with Andy on guitar. The future is uncertain for the remaining trio and plans vary depending on which one of them you talk to. I have hope that the band carries on in some form and nothing can take away the memories they as a group (and more importantly, as friends) have given me personally. More photos from the night here.

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When the band invited me to shoot their last rehearsal with Andy before he leaves Pittsburgh to pursue new adventures in Texas, it took me about two seconds to say yes. I have grown extremely fond of these people and it was bittersweet to say the least to hear the band run through their set that they will perform tonight for a probable sold out “sink or swim EP” release show at Brillobox, the last time Andy will be playing with Big Hurry.


Photo courtesy Dani Buncher

Before I get too melancholy here, I would like to point out the space where the rehearsal took place. As well as being the band’s kick-ass singer, Kelly works at the Union Project which is a restored church that was abandoned and is now a non-profit space dedicated to the arts in the community, something near and dear to my heart as well as all involved there. Check out more information here.

What more can I say? I really dig these guys. Getting a shout out from the stage? Bonus! Thanks Kelly.

I have never seen this band more “ON” than I did this night. They were tight as can be, the mix was perfect (Justin’s the man!) and the sold out crowd was definitely throwing some major love vibes toward that stage. The band had several family members in attendance and it was a pleasure to be able to meet most of them. We even got one of my friends in low places to guest on banjo. It will be hard pressed to see a more fun show this year…and it was only still January! If you missed it, don’t fret, you can catch the band tomorrow night at Lava Lounge.

Big Hurry-Gets Me Low

I am going to attempt to begin the new year by hopefully exposing the readers of this blog to new music released within the last 30 or so days that might have slipped under your radar. Yeah, The Decemberists and Iron & Wine came out with their highly anticipated new music but these little artists’ that could deserve as much attention, therefore my new segment…Artist of the Month!

Now, you know I love this band. Even if they weren’t friends of mine, I would still be highlighting this EP just for the fact that it is just so damn good, period. I listened to this relentlessly, almost to the point of getting sick of it…almost. The show they put on the other night was amazing, the best I have ever seen them play and I will have coverage of that soon. In the meantime people, if you haven’t already, get these tunes! The band has grown musically by leaps and bounds and we the listener are all the luckier for it.

Other artists of note:

Apex Manor-The Year of Magically Drinking

One of my favorite bands, The Broken West, broke up. Bandleader Ross Flournoy starts another band and picks up right where the old one left off! I will have more on his band soon.

Fergus & Geronimo-Unlearn

Imagine if Beck and The Brian Jonestown Massacre had twins and Devendra Banhart raised them? That makes no sense at all. Either should these guys but they are cool as hell. Awesome freak folk from Denton, TX! Check them out.

Big Indian, New York-Slow To Visit Sticker Boy

This is such a weird little band. The music is odd, the running times are even odder. It’s great!

Ringside-Lost Days

Catchy pop rock from Hollywood. Key word: catchy (as hell)!

Jenn Grant-Honeymoon Punch

It doesn’t take long to appreciate this Canadian gal’s sound. Like, maybe instantly?

Abigail Washburn-City of Refuge

Abigail plays clawhammer banjo. She takes ‘Appalachian folk’ music to the poppy side.

Twilight Hotel-When The Wolves Go Blind

This duo from Texas blend all kinds of genres such as rockabilly, lounge, and folk using lush harmonies.

Old Man Markley-Guts N’ Teeth

An L.A. outfit that blends punk and bluegrass…what’s not to like?

Anna Calvi-Anna Calvi

Retro cabaret music that’s actually accessible.

Slowwave-Drag Lake Skin

Lo-fi electronic rock from out West.

In case it isn’t obvious by now, I am kind of enamored with this band. I woefully haven’t seen them play enough this year and would like to remedy that in the next. I am constantly listening to their debut EP and am so looking forward to January 28 when they have their CD release show at Brillobox.

I was fortunate enough to catch the band play two sets in as many weeks. There’s something about their music that makes me coming out of the show feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. They are playing new tunes which will be part of the upcoming album. They sound really, really good. Love these guys!

I actually don’t recall who contacted who but the band and I decided to do some promo shots together and it really couldn’t have gone any smoother. Being relatively new to the experience, they informed me that doing publicity ‘poses’ is usually a drag, at least for them. Couldn’t tell from the time we spent together. These people are awesome. I can say for myself that I was having a blast. We were loose, laughing and open to any ideas that came up. It just solidified my feelings that Pittsburgh musicians are some of the coolest people. The final image also had a photo by Kristi Hoover and was completed by David Klug. I think it rocks!

I was so happy to finally see BH play. They sounded great live and I am very surprised how much I enjoy the CD. It’s really hard for me to describe their stuff. Do yourself a favor and hit the links to sample some of their tunes. Here’s my man Matthew’s report from a YEP set which you can listen to here. Some CP love here.