Song Of The Day 9/29/2014: Hose - "Mobo"

Before They Were Famous - Producers Edition: Everything anybody attempts in the mainstream music business must first be cleared with Rick Rubin. You have to get documents notarized, copied in triplicate, and then Fed Ex'd over to Rick Rubin. If he approves then he'll respond via telepathy. Don't worry if you don't get the message, one of your people will. If he decides to help you with your project, as he's done with about 450% of the music that's released these days, he won't call or try to make arrangements. He'll just show up in your kitchen one late evening scouring your refrigerator for smoked tofu. From that point forward the unfolding of events is unpredictable.

Back before all this omnipresence Rubin was just another misfit with what could only be called rudimentary guitar skills and a four-track cassette recorder. Under heavy influence from San Francisco punk band Flipper, Rubin started an artpunk band called Hose who frequently played what's now the Upstein Food Court on the grounds of New York University. Hose only released a couple of records, including the 7-inch "Mobo" and a self-titled EP that contains a couple self-consciously ironic covers of "Super Freak" and "You Sexy Thing."

The "Mobo" single, which lead singer Michael Espindle identifies as "a cover of an obscure French disco song," is notable for being the first thing ever released under the Def Jam label. I say "under" the Def Jam label and not "with" because the single itself didn't have a label on it. Additionally, "Mobo" was released to customers in a brown paper bag, just like In Through The Out Door, but with less acclaim.

One thing that's ironclad about Hose is the respect and adulation they received from Rubin's close associates. "They were pretty awful," said classmate Eric Hoffert. King Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys was even more diplomatic: "They sucked." Personally I think this record has its grizzly charm, but nobody asked me.
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