The Rubinoos

Exactly forty years after The Rubinoos capped their original and unlikely rise to fame with the Beserkley Records classic Back To The Drawing Board!, the definitive line-up featuring Jon Rubin, Tommy Dunbar, Donn Spindt and Al Chan are back in action on new album From Home, out August 23 on Yep Roc Records. After forming in 1970 when no one in the band was old enough to drive a car, the Bay Area rockers earned hero status in the late 1970s over an incredible three-year stretch (1977-1980) which saw them release two albums, chart on the Billboard Hot 100, perform on American Bandstand and Old Grey Whistle Test, back Jonathan Richman, grace the pages of Tiger Beat, and tour with Elvis Costello. The Rubinoos have toured and recorded in different incarnations in the intervening decades, but From Home represents a true return to the original spirit of the group.

This new album is thanks in part to fellow SF artist Chuck Prophet, a self-avowed superfan who saw the Rubinoos dozens of times as a teenager. From Home sees this magnificently unconventional four-piece return with all of the “Beach Boys backed by a garage band” intensity and impeccability of their 70s breakout.

Kelley Stoltz

Extra fine songwriter and longtime bedroom-pop auteur Kelley Stoltz delivers on the promise so many of his records slyly hint at. Que Aura is the platonic ideal of a Kelley Stoltz record, which is a very exciting thing indeed. Stoltz embraces his best synth-pop tendencies, with this incredibly self-assured set of tender tunes, combining in his own hangdog fashion both a disco-lit abandon and the attendant post-party sighs of dread and remorse.

Great songs come out of Stoltz at an alarming rate on any given day but this particular collection is some of his most effortlessly catchy stuff yet. Ennui under the disco lights suits him very well—there’s a hearty sip of Pulp-ian white Brit shimmy with a wink, a dash of Fleetwood Mac’s cynically professional late ’70s sheen, and even a spritz or two of Echo and The Bunnymen, which should surprise no one who’s noticed Stoltz has been playing guitar with McCulloch and Company for the past year or so. This record cements Stoltz’s place in the power-pop pantheon where he belongs, right between Dwight Twilley and Martin Newell. Let the Hall of Fame know!

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