Summer Single: “is it u/the drugs in me”

is it u singleI’d said something not too long ago about releasing a summer e.p. under my name.  Well, summer is getting closer to being done and I’m not any closer to releasing something that could justifiably be called an e.p.  So, I’m compromising a bit and releasing my very first digital single.

Imagine it’s 1973 and you’re heading to the downtown department store(let’s call it, Percys…or Biggs for continuity’s sake).  You head to the 45s, located near the Hi-Fi stereos and across the aisle from the washers and dryers.  There, in all its glory, is the new single by J Hubner.  Side a is the melancholy but still upbeat new single “is it u”, and the b-side is the non-album track “the drugs in me”.  It’s a fun little rocker with some great drums, roughed-up vocals and some swanky guitar playing.  A little too noisy for the AM radio dial(maybe some stoned FM DJ might play it at 2am).  You get home and throw it on your mom and dad’s Zenith Quadraphonic stereo system and crank the volume.  Pretty soon all four speakers are humming, your mom’s Heinz 57 terrier “Paprika” is hiding behind the love seat and at any moment Ms. Kretsky from next door will be banging on the front door because “that racket is bothering the cats!”

Well, you may not have the department store, the 45 single, the Quadraphonic, “Paprika”(R.I.P.), Ms. Kretsky(R.I.P.), or that lime green love seat to sit in.  But if you have some headphones and some memories of childhood and can get nostalgic for the “old days”, then that’s all you need to enjoy these songs.  If you could snag a beanbag chair and maybe a beer, that would be tops, cat.  Tops.

8 Replies to “Summer Single: “is it u/the drugs in me””

  1. As I’ve always said (or thought), pop should have some ‘ugliness’ too. I love how the simple popness of this song includes chords that aren’t just sweet major/minor. I swear one of those is D minor-ugly with a little one string detuning. Seriously, those features add interest and help me listen. Cool stuff!


    1. It’s drop-D tuning. Over the last few years I’ve tried to take apart the pop song chord structure and put it back together like a Frankenstein’s monster. This is an example of that. I won’t divulge my secrets, but if you can figure it out by ear I’ll owe you a Coke.

      The drop-D tuning was pretty much raped and pillaged by all of Seattle back in the 90s. Then crap nu-metal attempted to shat upon it yet again and pretty much ruin it for the rest of us. I’m here to say there’s fertile soil in those drop tuning fields. The song is still a (pretty) basic pop chord configuration, just played in a different way. It gives it a little bit of edge, and darkness. I like that.

      And thanks for the kind words!


      1. I know where else I’ve heard something similar to that guitar feature: Polvo. Also, I suspect that Kevin Shields right hand (pinkie?) technique has something to do with it. Whatever it is, it’s the oddness that gets to me.


  2. Mr. Hubner, you’re on a roll! You can do your own compilation sampler with that crazy amount of stuff you’ve been releasing of late. Love this, the sound of the sunshiny 90s is so underrated but it was the best and this song proves why.


    1. You’re too kind!

      I like this single stuff. I can put more out that way. I don’t have to wait till I have an album’s worth of songs to release these tunes into the world.

      The 90s sunshiny pop is indeed underrated.


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