Album Review: The Hugs’ “Love You To Death”

This week’s post comes to you from KWVA DJ Evan Lawrence, AKA DJ Extrathicc. Evan is a musician, student, chef, artist, and amateur music critic. Playing music since the age of 11, he’s learned from master musicians all over his native Eugene. Evan is an invariable source of knowledge of all genres of music of all time periods, and is currently set to graduate from the University of Oregon in the Winter 2019 term. Evan makes work for himself in every arena of music from writing reviews to building equipment. Here’s his exclusive review of The Hugs’ unreleased, upcoming record.

The Hugs: Love You To Death

Portland power pop trio The Hugs, formed by Danny Delegato in 2007, are set to release their new album, Love You To Death this spring. The record was recorded in The Dandy Warhols recording studio in Portland, and was mixed partly by Sonny DiPerri, who has worked with Trent Reznor, Animal Collective, Portugal. The Man, and many other contemporary musicians

The album begins with the upbeat, high-energy “Mile High Lady,” an alternative power pop party-starter with an infectious hook. The featured single, “Fool,” is the third song on the album, nestled between “Love You To Death” and Starcrossed,” two low-energy songs that show the band’s “softer” side. “Fool” tells the classic story of being a “fool for you;” desperately in love with a partner who has moved on. “She runs away faster than I can chase her.” Maybe you should let her go, bud. “Starcrossed” is my personal favorite on this album, taking me back to the nostalgic days of listening to similar-sounding songs by The Strokes, The Killers, or Modest Mouse. The rest of the album rides a shallow slope into the final song. The relatively mellow “Open Sea” finishes the album with a driving acoustic guitar leading up to a happy-go-lucky ending.

Overall, the album is well done, it flows, and all the songs fit together well, giving a solid story arc to the sound. This album sounds like 2007, as weird as that sounds. It reminds me of being 13 and nervously asking a girl to borrow a pencil in class, laughing with friends over silly jokes, and long summer days that ended reluctantly.

DJ Extrathicc

DJ Spotlight: Bobby Schenk (Reggae Rob)

DJ spotlights are a great way for you to meet the awesome students and community members behind the voices you hear on KWVA each day. Stay tuned for a DJ Spotlight every few weeks, and if you’re a DJ who’d like to be featured, email Sophie.

This week’s DJ Spotlight highlights someone we all know and love at KWVA, Bobby!

Bobby Schenk, a senior graduating this year, is studying Journalism and Cinema Studies with a minor in Music Technology. Bobby started DJing when he was 15, working at KRCC 91.5 in his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He got involved with KWVA the first week of his freshman year at UO, and has been working there ever since.

Schenk became the Assistant Programming Director in January 2016, eventually becoming the Programming Director for the station. He is one of the co-founders of the Music Industry Collective, a group designed to help students gain opportunities within the music industry, and is the current President of the group. Schenk has also been published in Oregon Music News, does digital marketing for In2une Music, and helps organize house shows around Eugene. In his free time, you’ll find him riding his bike or reading a book.

You can hear Bobby, AKA “Reggae Rob,” on the air every Thursday from 8-10 am on KWVA. His show is called ‘the hooDoo vooDoo bEats sHow,’ where he plays all the beats to get you out of your seat and moving your feet. He also hosts Basement Sessions: Sounds from the Underground, KWVA’s live music broadcast on Sundays from 4-6 PM!

KWVA Music Blog: How did you come up with your DJ/show name?

Reggae Rob: My DJ name has a fun story attached to it: when I was 16, I was getting ready to host my first ever live radio broadcast. I spent hours preparing my music, tracklist, and even scripting what I was going to say on the air. I arrived at the station early, pulled up all my music, did all the right things… but I didn’t have a DJ name! The hosts of the show before mine, Steve and Michelle, saw me panicking and started throwing out names for me. There was “Reggae Bob,” “DJ Rob,” “Rasta Bob,” but when I heard “Reggae Rob” I knew that was the name for me.

KWVA: Do you have an on-air catch phrase?

RR: I don’t have a specific catchphrase, but I make a lot of record scratching noises on my show. It’s pretty silly, but I always seem to do it.

KWVA: Favorite KWVA memory?

RR: I’ve spent so much time at the station, so I have so many memories… I think my favorite was KWVA’s 22nd Birthday Bash. We collaborated with Moonlight Mash to do a live radio broadcast on a trailer pulled by a bike, and I got to follow Oliver Neill and Ryder Sherwood, our former Programming Directors, around the city as they called the ride. It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.

KWVA: What word would you use to to describe the DJs on KWVA?

RR: Honest. KWVA’s DJs always play the music they want, no ifs ands, or buts.

KWVA: Best advice you have for new DJs?

RR: New DJs should listen to their hearts! That’s such a cheesy saying, but I really think that people who are just starting out should find the music that speaks to them, and then try and go a little deeper with that and expand their knowledge. There’s always room to grow.

KWVA: If you were allowed to eat or drink one thing in the studio throughout the duration of your show, what would it be?

RR: Koolade and yakitori. It’s a weird combination, but delicious.

KWVA: What do you hope to do after you graduate?

RRI’m really hoping to continue working within the music industry after I graduate, either in radio or with a music label. I want to devote my life to music, and I plan on DJing for the rest of my life. I really want to continue sharing that passion with other people in any way possible!

Thanks, Bobby!

Photos taken by Allison Del Fium, Kelly Tanguay, Sky Guasco and Bryce Hughes.