Monday, May 9, 2011

30 Songs, 30 Days (2010 Edition), Day Seven: Mudsmilin' by Hugo

This is an interesting case. A while back I had made an allusion to my love of Ben Folds somewhere. A few days later, I found a message in my Facebook mailbox from this gentleman. He told me that he was a musician with a style I might find similar to Mr. Folds, and would I like to listen to some of his work? Never being one to turn down stuff for free, I said yes...and that brings us here.

And you know what? It's not bad. I don't know if I would make the Folds connection with him, though--this song, like the others I've listened to, owes a lot more to ragtime and old-school jazz than Folds' overriding affection for Bacharach pop, and his lyrics and vocals owe a lot more to the late, lamented Harry Nilsson. Hell, the similarity at times in this song about how he's having a tough time (as if 'mud's smiling' on him) to Nilsson's phrasing is absolutely eriee. And as one who thinks the world needs more people who are inspired by brilliant eccentrics like Nilsson, I can only approve wholeheartedly. And given that he looks quite a bit like Albert Brooks, it makes me like him even more.

Sadly, there is no video for "Mudsmilin'," which appeared on his most recent album, Uncommon Courtesy. The album, and others, are available on his website. But here's a video for his most recent track, "Make Out With Me," you might like. I happen to like its consciously stagey ambience, myself.

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