Band of the Day

2012.04.01

Hunx

A part-time hairdresser mixes garage rock and bubblegum pop, instead of hair dye
When you're gone, I keep on hoping that you'll come along. I still believe, I still believe, I wanna believe that you are here and you're with me.
lyrics from When You're Gone

Hunx is the solo project of Seth Bogart, frontman for garage rock band Hunx and His Punx. After years of dancing in the queer-themed electro group Gravy Train!!!, Bogart started Hunx and His Punx in 2008. Based out of Oakland, California, the group mixes garage rock, early power pop, and 1960s girl group influences. In January 2010, Bogart began touring with an all-girl backing band as Hunx and His Punkettes. Later that year, Hunx and His Punx was signed to Hardly Art records, which released the album Too Young To Be In Love in 2011. Alongside performing as Hunx, Bogart is also the co-owner of the Down At Lulu's hair salon/vintage clothing boutique in Oakland (the other owner is his bandmate Tina Lucchesi). In 2012, Bogart released his debut album as Hunx, entitled Hairdresser Blues.

On Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, California, is Down At Lulu's, a vintage boutique-meets-hair salon. A bubblegum pink exterior stands out against the grey facades of neighboring businesses. Walk through the hot pink door, and you'll find framed cat paintings hung on one wall, next to a rack of well-worn t-shirts. Rows of bright red, old fashioned hair styling chairs are in the salon area. Listen carefully to the salon's soundtrack, and you just might hear the bubblegum pop-meets-garage punk music of the salon's co-owner, Seth Bogart. When he's not deep in the world of shampoo and scissors, Bogart performs as the frontman for Hunx and His Punx (which also counts Down At Lulu's other owner, Tina Lucchesi, as one of its members). Following the 2011 release of their sophomore album Too Young To Be In Love, Bogart has released a solo album just under the name Hunx—aptly entitled Hairdresser Blues. In true solo fashion, Bogart wrote and arranged all of the album's songs, and handled all of the instrumentation except for the drums (which were provided by Daniel Pitout of noise-punk band Nü Sensae). As overtly kitschy as Bogart keeps his image—he's been known to strut around in leopard print leggings and sequined vests—as Hunx, he shows off a more intimately honest side. Songs on Hairdresser Blues deal with everything from bad breakups to the death of Bogart's friend/garage punk contemporary Jay Reatard. On “When You're Gone,” for instance, Bogart sings, “When you're gone, I keep on hoping that you'll come along/I still believe, I still believe, I wanna believe that you are here and you're with me.” Stripped-down instrumentation, a simple guitar riff and mellow drum beat, provides just enough of a musical backdrop to enhance, and not overtake, Bogart's lyrics. Picking up the pace is “Always Forever,” the lead single off of the album, a garage rock gem with catchy guitar riffs and cymbal crashing galore. Paying homage to Bogart's non-rockstar life is the album's title track. “I don't wanna cut your hair, and I don't wanna go back to school/'cause dropping out feels nice/and I don't wanna be a fool,” sings Bogart. Playing with tempo shifts, the song ramps up on lines like, “'cause I've got the magical potion/I'll mess it right up again and cause a commotion!” Bogart proves he's a true stylist, with both hair and music.