- Stankin' up the place: Singer Doug Robb (right) and th' Hoobas
Hoobastank was a stumper. Somewhat irrelevant on my music radar, I at least knew that the lead singer, Doug Robb, had a propensity for static-cling hair and that the trio sounded a bit like a band careening between Incubus and ... uh ... Incubus.
But, really – what's up with that name? I would have assumed it a career-killer, akin to christening your band Santorum or Smegma (if you don't get the references, you're probably better off). Yet here they are, half a decade later, still crankin' out the tunes with their new 13-song disc Every Man for Himself, giving dudes fist-pumping karaoke fodder and making barely legal girls everywhere wet their panties.
Tired of press clips and PR flak drivel, I decided to head to the best information source: drunk people at a bar. Who better to weigh in on the California-born Hooba-phenom than people whose inhibitions are too low to be guarded against any sort of possible embarrassment?
Playing the intrepid reporter, I sidled up to the bar and asked its tender what his take was on the 'Stank. "Uh, I don't really remember anything they do," he said. Hmmm. The swarthy cook was making his way back to the kitchen, so I blurted, "Hoobastank, pro or con?" He hissed, "Con, very, very con."
But wait! The frat boy to my right would have the answers. "Oh! I met their tour manager once! He was really nice." He thought for a minute. "I think their name is some Mayan thing."
Perhaps I should have planted myself outside of the MTV Store in Times Square instead. –Shawnté Salabert
Hoobastank hit the Music Farm stage (32 Ann St.) with support from Halifax and Agent Sparks at 8 p.m. on Wed. Nov. 22. Tickets are $17 ($15 adv.). See www.hoobastank.com for more.