There are few lovers of arts and antiques in North Adams who don’t know and love Jane and Jeff Hudson (seen in photo above) from their innovative retail emporiums, first on Main Street, and after a vacancy opened up, smack dab in the middle of Mass MoCA. That’s a good thing, since they have what can only be described as an enormous circle of friends and colleagues both locally and from around the country. When they travel to the Berkshires, the Hudson’s are at the top of their “must-see” list. In fact, keeping up with the Hudsons is fun, since the duo is always experimenting, trying new things, and more than happy to talk about all things creative. And with Jane you never know where she has been pointing her camera lately. Her images are as popular as his fun ephemera finds.
Bringing back their ever popular “Flesh”
Even with this following, what many who know them might not realize is that Jeff and Jane had a long history as musicians before settling down in North Adams. Influenced by the growing wave scene that was permeating record stores and airwaves in the 1980s they built their musical career on the new stream of technology-entering music. Celebrating the re-release of their album Flesh, they perform at MASS MoCA in Club B-10 on Saturday, January 14, 2012, at 8 PM.
Called “the synth wave couple of the U.S.” Jeff and Jane Hudson jump across styles and sounds. Their album Flesh featured industrial echoes and absorbing vocals but also had electro pop energy combining traditional sounds of post-punk alongside the gleaming new ideas of factory music. Jane’s sultry vocals mix beautifully with cold mechanical sounds. Othermusic.com said, “Jeff and Jane Hudson in their early sounds take cues from traditional sounds, with elements of rock and folk coming through. Yet, soon it is the synthesizer and drum machine that are at the core of their sound. Melding analog drum machines, dreary synth lines, detached vocal delivery from both Jeff and Jane, a killer DIY ethos, and tight, artful sonic arrangements, the duo successfully blurred the line between pure synth pop and more guitar-driven post-punk, while retaining a playfulness seldom seen in the realm of arty, dark synth music.”
But wait, there’s more!
Jeff and Jane Hudson will be joined by Aurora Halal, a young video artist from New York specializing in retro late- night dance video extravaganzas, and Irish singer/songwriter/guitarist and local hero Karl Mullen who has formed a band with Jeff called Space Bar. Space Bar will perform an electronic laptop music performance. A talented painter in addition to being a musician, Williamstown resident Mullen has released many albums, and is an accomplished guitarist.
Originally from Boston and former members of the late-’70s new wave group the Rentals, visual artists Jeff and Jane Hudson moved to NYC at the beginning of the ’80s, opened for Suicide, the Clash, PIL and Duran Duran among others, and released a single and the World Trade EP on famed label Lust/Unlust Music, home to downtown no wave luminaries DNA, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, impLOG, and others. They relocated full-time to the Berkshires in 2005.
The performance is part of MASS MoCA’s Alt Cabaret series which presents emerging and established artists in different disciplines in the club-like B-10 with drinks from the MASS MoCA Bar and dinner from Lickety Split available before and during the show. The next live event in the series is Darrah Carr Dance on January 21, 2012.
Tickets for The Hudsons are $12 in advance, $16 the day of the performance, and $10 for students. Members are eligible for a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11AM to 5PM every day but Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org at any time.
About Mass MoCA
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA is an independent 501c(3) whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy. Except for an initial construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of annual operating revenues are from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants.