Before I even showed up to the studio, The Mugs' members were not only ready for the session, but also laying down extra tracks. Their eagerness is one of many things that set them apart from the scene in Brooklyn. They're totally independent, with a sound that's hard to tie down, and they're a pleasure to work with in a live setting. They mix together pop, R&B, ska and even a little hip-hop, while incorporating horns and layered vocals.
When I asked what had changed about their sound and mission as a band, they said they'd decided to do a couple of things: One, they all had to learn to sing, and two, they had to run things themselves out of their own studio, which they also book for other acts and house parties. Live at Radio New York, 91.5 FM — our partner in KEXP's part-time simulcast from New York City — The Mugs played and acted like a band should: excited to be there and fully immersed in its songs. When vocalist Jeremy Gough shuts his eyes as he sings, waving his hands in the air while fully enveloped in his music, it's easy to find yourself right there with him.
Originally recorded Jan. 29, 2009. Engineered by Andrea Monorchio.
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