You know that hipster trope that goes something like “oh yeah, well I heard that band before they got big”? Well, back in 1991, I may have been as close to a hipster as one could be in a rural suburb in the Midwest. Working in an independent record store gave me inside access, and living down the street from a bar that brought in national acts along with local favorites immersed me in the oeuvre.
One of the bands I encountered early on was Hum. Being from Champaign, they had lots of connections with friends in DeKalb, so they played Chicago a lot, but made a stop or two in our little hamlet as well. I was at one of those shows at Otto’s, and was blown away by their wall of sound, but also transfixed by their drummer. He hit hard, played odd times like they were straight, and had a limitless store of energy that just kept coming.
A few years (and national tours) later, my little band got a chance to open for them at a smaller outdoor festival (that also included Shiner). I got to stand at the side of the stage with Bryan (Hum drummer) and marvel at Shiner’s drummer at the time. We chatted a bunch until he had to take the stage, and he was just as true to form as the earlier Otto’s gig.
In 2020, Hum put out a new record after a long hiatus, and there were hints of a tour to come – a few shows actually happened (missed those) and then the horrible news of Bryan St. Pere passing hit. I didn’t know him personally, but his contribution to his band had an impact on me. In our brief interactions, I could tell he was a good dude, too.
Anyhow, Hum was a favorite of mine from before they were big. Call me what you will. The sad part is that they clearly could have kept it rolling, if that last album from 2020 is any indication: https://humband.bandcamp.com/album/inlet
Here’s a track off that record:
And one that’s maybe more familiar: