(WILLIAMTOWN, Mass.) – Jeff and Jane Hudson, who helped define the Boston art punk sound as founding members of late-1970s new wave group the Rentals, celebrate the release of their terrific new duo CD, “The Middle,” with a “New Wave Party” in the Ballroom of the Williams Inn on Saturday, November 19, at 8pm. The husband-and-wife team will be joined by regional musicians including Michael Williams, Josh Kleederman, Steve Klass, and Karl Mullen.
“The Middle” is a glorious throwback to the postpunk era of proto-electronic bands such as the B-52s, Human Sexual Response, and Devo, with rhythms and guitars and vocals that recall the proto-punk of Iggy Pop and even the Velvet Underground. “The Middle” includes mostly new songs, with newly recorded arrangements of old favorites including “Gertrude Stein” and “Los Alamos”
The group has issued a beautiful new video for the title track of “The Middle”:
Visual artists Jeff and Jane Hudson moved to New York City at the beginning of the 1980s after attracting rave notices in the Boston press for their concert appearances. They opened for cutting-edge and popular bands of the era, including Suicide, the Clash, 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 were also signed to influential record label Beggars Banquet, which released their cult hit, “I Got a Crush On You,” which charted in New Music Express in London in 1980.
After the Rentals (not to be confused with former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp’s group of the same name, which, even more confusingly, features synth-drive melodies and male and female lead vocals) split up in late 1980, the Hudsons made a go of it as the Manhattan Project, and then as Jeff and Jane. As Jeff and Jane, they recorded a gauzy, spacey version of “The Girl from Ipanema”:
By 1985, the Hudsons were pretty much done with music, and moved back to Boston to pursue their careers in visual arts. After decades teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where they founded and ran the video-art program, the Hudsons relocated full-time to the Berkshires in 2005.
In addition to the performance by Jeff and Jane, DJ Electro will spin new wave tunes and classic new wave videos at the event. Tickets are $10 at the door, or click here to purchase advance tickets.