Remember HUGO LARGO?

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Does anyone remember HUGO LARGO? and are there any outfits doing similar non-rock things.

Skinny boy, Friday, 12 December 2003 12:47 (seventeen years ago) link

I unearthed and played my copy of Drum only last week. Most of it still worked for me.

Jeff W (zebedee), Friday, 12 December 2003 12:51 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah, i remember that record quite fondly. i recently played the mimi cd and it wasn't as good as i remembered it though.

gaz (gaz), Friday, 12 December 2003 12:53 (seventeen years ago) link

I saw them open for the Feelies once at the old Ritz in NYC. Live they were fun, as the bass was really intense. After every song, Mimi took off her black 'n' white striped shirt to reveal another shirt. She had more shirts than songs. I didn't like their records as much.

dlp9001, Friday, 12 December 2003 12:54 (seventeen years ago) link

A terrific live act. I know 'cause I was one of the 5 people to see it in Washington at the 930 Club.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Friday, 12 December 2003 13:08 (seventeen years ago) link

Wasn't one of the members an MTV VJ for a while (Tim?) he had long curly hair.

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 12 December 2003 16:40 (seventeen years ago) link

I know nothing about Hugo Largo, other than Sommer was a terrible critic with Kenny G hair.

"There are in fact a whole new bunch of punks out there, and we'll be hearing from them (though I can't say I find much demographic significance in Tim Sommer's fierce prediction that 'within weeks' the fans of Heart Attack, a moderately nifty Great Neck hardcore band, will 'far outnumber' the critics supporting Grandmaster Flash and Prince, who got 44 and 30 mentions respectively)." -- Robert Christgau, P&J comments '81

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 12 December 2003 16:52 (seventeen years ago) link

He was also an A&R man behind a lot of the early major label siging in the late 80s - early 90s alterna-boom.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Friday, 12 December 2003 17:04 (seventeen years ago) link

Hootie was one of his signings.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 12 December 2003 17:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I thought Mettle was somewhat better than Drum, if only because the songs seemed more free-floating...and, in the case of Hugo Largo, that's sort of the desired result.

I actually liked Mimi Goese's record better than either of them, though.

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Friday, 12 December 2003 17:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Hootie was one of his signings.

bling bling!

Who else did he sign?

Matt Helgeson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 12 December 2003 18:18 (seventeen years ago) link

sommer's been producing some mediocre (meaning completely forgettable) stuff out of new orleans lately. i know he works with one of the guitarists for cowboy mouth from time to time. last i heard he was working on a project involving traditional cajun songs rearranged to sound space-rock, what i heard of it sounded a lot less interesting than it looks on paper.

Felcher (Felcher), Friday, 12 December 2003 18:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Mimi Goese sang with Moby too didn't she? And Hahn Rowe (the violinist) did the soundtrack to Clean Shaven and played with Swans, Foetus etc. The couple of times I saw Hugo Largo Mimi was doing some performance art things with knives, running them over her eyelids as I recall - aargh! They had a lovely way of intertwining the basses so it sounded like one incredibly complex bass, although in retrospect maybe some of the lyrics were a bit New York downtown experimentalist nonsense. Turtle Song still sounds amazing though.

Rothko are the only band I know doing something similar with multiple basses, are there more?

udu wudu (udu wudu), Friday, 12 December 2003 18:56 (seventeen years ago) link

dos are in the same ballpark. What always impressed me about Hugo Largo is that they had the only bass player in the world who could play a Hagström 8-string and make it actually sound like an in-tune-musical instrument.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Friday, 12 December 2003 18:58 (seventeen years ago) link

I bought Drum because I remember hearing it was one of Eno's favorite albums and it really didn't do anything for me. He seemed to like a lot of things in the mid-late 80's that were somewhat dull.

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Friday, 12 December 2003 19:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I love both of their albums, particularly 'Mettle'. I wish I'd gotten to see them live.

The Mimi album had several decent songs, but those Hector Zazou production numbers... good lord, whatever happened to that guy? His early work is beautiful, but now he's a glossy menace.

(Jon L), Friday, 12 December 2003 19:17 (seventeen years ago) link

I loved Drum but didn't care much for Mettle, I thought it sounded like the not-good-enough-for-Drum outtakes. I saw them open for the Sugarcubes and I liked their performance a lot. (At one point Mimi mimed like she threw a knife into the audience right as she gave a loud shriek, which startled me more than anything I've seen at a show, I think.) I'll have to give Mettle another chance.

nickn (nickn), Friday, 12 December 2003 19:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Who else did he sign?

Stone Temple Pilots, I believe.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 12 December 2003 21:33 (seventeen years ago) link

i love 'drum', especially 'eskimo song'....i seem to remember a half hour live set by hugo largo being on british tv at the time, but it never got repeated, some sort of david bowie curated event? anyway all i remember is mimi kept on taking off her top & having another one on underneath. it was great! werent they supposed to hate each other, and just stayed together for the music mannnnnnnn?

zappi (joni), Friday, 12 December 2003 22:05 (seventeen years ago) link

I found some of that footage on an old tape recently! It's got the "taking the top off to reveal another top" bit, I think they do Turtle Song and Second Skin.

udu wudu (udu wudu), Friday, 12 December 2003 22:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I loved Mettle but haven't heard it for years.

The MTV show Summers hosted was called Post-Modern MTV, it was a half hour every night supplement to 120 minutes.

Robyn Hitchock hosted it once and was really weird.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 12 December 2003 23:40 (seventeen years ago) link

I was friends with Tim Sommer in college, I always got along great with him. He used to have a hardcore show called Noise the Show on WNYU--he was the first person I knew to take hardcore seriously (maybe too seriously, if that quote is anything to go by, ha). I was way too much of a Class of '77 snob to be into it at that point in my life. I hope he's doing well these days. I'm glad he cut his hair.

Arthur (Arthur), Saturday, 13 December 2003 04:24 (seventeen years ago) link

six months pass...

Just heard "Eskimo Song" drift by on WinAmp's random. I bought Drum when it came out cuz Michael Stipe produced/was on it. The lethargic double bass attack did nothing for the 17 year-old, but really works on the 32 year-old.

frankE (frankE), Monday, 21 June 2004 14:21 (sixteen years ago) link

An incredibally SPECIFIC band, to the point where I only want to hear them maybe once a year, but GREAT if that doesn't disallow them.

Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Monday, 21 June 2004 14:26 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm gonna get a cheap copy of Drum one of these days. I wasn't that fond of the album "back in the day."

Tim Ellison, Monday, 21 June 2004 15:02 (sixteen years ago) link


Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Monday, 21 June 2004 15:03 (sixteen years ago) link

i listened to drum again a week ago and it didn't do anything for me. i really can't stand mimi's overdramatic voice. i can't tell if i hate her lyrics or if she just doesn't know how to sing them. i'd much prefer that they were an instrumental band.

Felonious Drunk (Felcher), Monday, 21 June 2004 15:29 (sixteen years ago) link

this will be the second thread in a few weeks in which I mention the Charles Atlas documentary "Put the Blood in the Music", which introduced me to Arto Lindsay and Hugo Largo and cemented my love for Sonic Youth.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 21 June 2004 17:48 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Tim Sommer: At the time we were doing Hugo Largo, I personally was not that aware of German bands like Harmonia and Neu! and even Kraftwerk, and Roedelius and Cluster and Michael Rother. I've become almost obsessed with this German art rock of the 1970s and that was a heavy, heavy influence on Hi Fi Sky... The fact that we're both Abba fans and Neu! fans -- there's some kind of weird line between them and Glenn Branca and Cluster and Harmonia and Cajun music.

I didn't even wait to finish reading the interview after that line, I just went and bought one

I almost started a new thread but ILM's search engine just can't handle band names like 'Hi Fi Sky'

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 3 October 2005 18:24 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

revive, just for the hell of it.

sleeve, Saturday, 4 August 2007 06:49 (thirteen years ago) link

Lordy what is their later music like if they're talking about Can and Neu?

Trayce, Saturday, 4 August 2007 07:03 (thirteen years ago) link

I saw Huge Largo play at UMass in the mid-80s. The lead singer gave out candy. The music was intruiging at the time so I bought the albums.

I pulled them out recently for the first time in years and found they were no longer intruiging, just dull. To the sell pile.

Mr. Odd, Saturday, 4 August 2007 10:39 (thirteen years ago) link

Ah, I remember the candy from when I saw them. She said something like, "We're so happy to be here, and we want you to be happy, so we brought you treats!" and threw Jolly Ranchers (I think) into the audience.

dlp9001, Saturday, 4 August 2007 15:30 (thirteen years ago) link

I pulled them out recently for the first time in years and found they were no longer intruiging, just dull.

I know! I did the same thing. I'm not totally sure I really liked them a whole lot to begin with but it seems to me I did go through a bit of a phase back then. Then I decided to sell their CD's but keep them on tape. So I kept them on tape for years without listening to them at all and when I pulled out the tape recently I was like "hmm....why did I go to such trouble to keep that?"

Bimble, Saturday, 4 August 2007 16:21 (thirteen years ago) link

I still like them, but yeah they are kind of a period piece. does anybody know about any other bands who tried something like the double bass and cello lineup? even with their flaws, from this vantage point it seems like they were on to something that nobody else really followed up.

sleeve, Saturday, 4 August 2007 16:42 (thirteen years ago) link

i just picked up an lp of theirs at a thrift store a few days ago.

get bent, Saturday, 4 August 2007 17:13 (thirteen years ago) link

I think for Mimi's voice they're still very well worth it, and they've probably been more of a quiet influence on a lot of acts than might be guessed. (I could easily see them slotting alongside some Dead Can Dance in a lot of modern goth-metal bandmembers' early record collections.)

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 4 August 2007 17:22 (thirteen years ago) link

I never really listen to them anymore, but I still derive comfort from singing the phrase "coyote afterno-oo-oo-ooooon" in my head.

Got to see them at Walker Art Center in Mpls after Drum-- great show.

Jon Lewis, Saturday, 4 August 2007 17:41 (thirteen years ago) link

does she still do that thing with the scissors during that one song? pretty creepy.

scott seward, Saturday, 4 August 2007 18:03 (thirteen years ago) link

'Second Skin' is still a great song. Others too.

The Hi Fi Sky record is all right. Doesn't live up to the promise of Harmonia + ABBA and some of the textures are a little too synthy. If you like track 4, it's worth hitting amazon for it.

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 7 August 2007 23:23 (thirteen years ago) link

"Turtle Song" is still boss

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 9 August 2007 01:39 (thirteen years ago) link

two years pass...

This is one of the groups that I was always disheartened more people didn't appreciate. It still holds up extremely well. Mimi seems like she was pretty flaky back then, but the music really is special. I'll never grow tired of it.

Tsuga, Sunday, 9 May 2010 02:25 (ten years ago) link

I love them, in fact they were the first music I discovered for myself, rather than absorbed from friends and DJs.

There's a short live performance at YouTube, which was a revelation for me when I found it a year ago. I had only read tales of Mimi Goese's stage antics with butcher knives and the like.

Those who find Hugo Largo special should also seek out the 1989 album Swollen by Hetch Hetchy. Micheal Stipe's sister Linda plays Siouxsie, but the production (and from the sound of it, the band as well) is everyone but Mimi from Hugo Largo.


nori dusted (Sanpaku), Sunday, 9 May 2010 02:44 (ten years ago) link

Unrelated, but treading similar ground is Basque, a electric double bass and female vocal duo who put out three albums in 1998-2000. CDBaby has samples and sales.

nori dusted (Sanpaku), Sunday, 9 May 2010 02:59 (ten years ago) link

My ex found me a copy of Drum on vinyl at a 2ndhand store last week and it is in excellent nick, and sounds great on record. I still like it a lot.

Eyjafjallalalalalatrolololol (Trayce), Sunday, 9 May 2010 03:08 (ten years ago) link

Yeah I discovered Basque a while back, though I only have the one album around. IIRC there's a Scott Walker cover on one, I think...?

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 9 May 2010 03:14 (ten years ago) link

eight years pass...

listening to Mettle playlist on YouTube, this is a gorgeous album

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 13 August 2018 19:35 (two years ago) link

they probably don't get enough credit for laying some groundwork for post-rock's quieter parts like tortoise or the mellow explosions in the sky stuff (friday night lights)

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 13 August 2018 19:37 (two years ago) link

Mettle is so great

good call on the post-rock influence, as far as I could tell they were pretty widely known for a while, with good distribution?

sleeve, Monday, 13 August 2018 19:50 (two years ago) link

honestly i don't know that much about them, always heard them mentioned because of Tim Sommer from MTV looks like they were on Relativity (w/Stipe cosign) and Eno's Opal records so they must've gotten some press

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 13 August 2018 19:52 (two years ago) link

Mimi Goese's solo record/project Soak is brilliant too.

It has a version of a sweet song that Arthur Russell gave her (as sheet music apparently) they used it in the AR documentary right after he passed, over a long slo-mo shot of passing cornfields, so perfect.

MaresNest, Monday, 13 August 2018 19:56 (two years ago) link

thanks! being the the Arthur Russell orbit definitely fits this band's vibe

i should have listened to this years ago

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 13 August 2018 20:40 (two years ago) link

thankfully late 80s indie/modern rock stuff is criminally underrated right now so these records are probably peanuts on discogs

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 13 August 2018 20:41 (two years ago) link

I have about four copies of ‘drum’ that all cost about £2 each. It’s nice to see some appreciation here

I'd Rather Kecak (NickB), Monday, 13 August 2018 20:45 (two years ago) link

non-album song!

Milton Parker, Monday, 13 August 2018 21:11 (two years ago) link

I bought Mettle when i was 15, and it still holds a place in my heart.

calzino, Monday, 13 August 2018 21:14 (two years ago) link

Hugo Largo - live at Maxwell's 1987 on youtube

1. Halfway Knowing
2. Shaking Your Head
3. Eskimo Song
4. Sometimes It Snows in April
5. Blue Blanket
6. Turtle Song
7. Crawfish
8. Arms Akimbo
9. Wanted Dead or Alive
10. Jungle Jim
11, Fancy
12. Second Skin

2 more non-album songs, covers of Prince, Elvis, Bon Jovi, closing 'Second Skin' is cool, will always love this band

Milton Parker, Monday, 13 August 2018 21:28 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Not so much Hugo Largo chat nowadays, unsurprisingly I suppose because they split up three decades ago. Anyway it seems they made a promo for Turtle Song, which I never saw until now.

it's after the end of the world (Matt #2), Thursday, 6 February 2020 16:51 (one year ago) link

I owned Mettle back in the late 80s. I remember thinking it was a little too performance art-y for my taste. I'd probably like it now

Duke, Thursday, 6 February 2020 17:21 (one year ago) link

still love it

let's talk about gecs baby (sleeve), Thursday, 6 February 2020 17:21 (one year ago) link

This one track (Why Knock For You) on the Kelsey Lu album gave me strong Hugo Largo vibes:

ymo sumac (NickB), Thursday, 6 February 2020 17:28 (one year ago) link

THere wasa live set supporting David Byrne's Knee Plays or something that was broadcast on the BBC at the time.
May be around somewhere. THink it was at the iCA or the South Bank centre.

I saw them in the UK several times

Stevolende, Thursday, 6 February 2020 17:56 (one year ago) link

nine months pass...

The new(-ish) album that Mimi did with Ben Neill is quite lovely. Includes this version of Ocean Rain

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Tuesday, 17 November 2020 20:00 (five months ago) link

five months pass...

there... was nearly a third record? and a blog post in 2011 was hosting the soundboards for the 1991 knitting factory concerts where they played all the material?

does anyone have it?

tipped via this -

Milton Parker, Monday, 3 May 2021 20:03 (four days ago) link


"Gaspar? No way." (sleeve), Monday, 3 May 2021 20:37 (four days ago) link

18 May 1991 set

It's Unclear / Heads Or Tails / Simple / Hot Day / Waterfall / Heatwave / Lonely Fight / Reasons For The Beach / Turtle Song / Draw Me In

unlabeled songs on 12 April set

song 1 = Violets Violins Violence / song 2 = Heads Or Tails / song 4 = Hot Day

that original post still has a lot of stuff unaccounted for on either of these... Hahn shows up in the comments to confirm there were no studio recordings of this Tim-less lineup. these are definitely cassette audience recordings, for the hardcore only, but... of the new songs here, I like em

Milton Parker, Monday, 3 May 2021 21:01 (four days ago) link

and I never knew REM covered 'Harpers'. there's a version on youtube from 1987. crazy to hear a thousand people applaud at the end.

Milton Parker, Monday, 3 May 2021 21:02 (four days ago) link

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