Rubblebucket

Rubblebucket

Rub-ble- buck-et [ru-bul-buck-it]Noun 1. A vessel in which workers collect waste

materials on a construction site; We need a rubblebucket for all this rubble. 2. A wild art-

pop band from Brooklyn, NY; I'm jonesing for the new Rubblebucket album ‘Survival

Sounds’. 3. The condition of having hard nipples, or riding a mean yes wave; He has

great Rubblebucket. Verb 4. The act of uncrossing one’s arms and letting loose, while

strange, new feelings and sounds flood mind and body, leading to uncontrollable dancing,

possible injury and definite sweat; Man, we really put the rubble in the bucket last night.

My experience with Rubblebucket goes way back – to the summer of 1987, when I was

born and first met lead singer and baritone saxist Kalmia Traver, then four. Kalmia was

already well on her way to being a multi-instrument prodigy (penny whistle, recorder,

alphabet burping), and I was already drowning in the ginormous shadow that she cast just

by breathing. When she put our brother in a dress, blonde wig and heels, let me put on his

lipstick, then forced his elastic micro-limbs into a diva pose, I knew she was a natural

performer.Kalmia met Alex Toth (band leader, trumpeter, guy, brother-from- another-

mother, Jersey) in a latin jazz combo in Burlington, VT. I’m assuming she also dressed

him in drag, because he liked her and they became friends, painting the town with their

loud horn playing. In 2006, they moved to Boston, where they did respectable things for

money. Kalmia nude modeled for art classes, and Alex was hustling marching band gigs

at $50 a pop, for which he was required to wear a black shirt and march around for six

hours at a time OR NO PAY NO WATER NO DINNER. It was like that scene in Oliver

Twist. Naturally, out of this hot, tarry, magical, broke-ass time, Rubblebucket emerged

like a huge, slippery, post-afrobeat baby. Alex had met trombonist Adam Dotson at one

of these marching gigs, and the three began composing and playing the first songs in

Rubblebucket’s repertoire. Soon, they were joined by three more friends – guitarist Ian

Hersey, drummer Dave Cole, and 15-seater van Puppy – and started taking the

Rubblebucket show on the road. The first time I heard Rubblebucket perform live, two

things happened: I realized this was the coolest thing on earth, like the lovechild of a

unicorn and the Tom Tom Club, and I asked them if I could sell their merchandise at

shows. You know what they say – those who can't do, sell merch. Night after night,

standing behind that table of CDs, thongs and beer cozies, while Rubblebucket

transformed the crowd from a skeptical wall of people into one big, happy, silly, jiving,

open-hearted mass was an unforgettable experience. Their music does that – it just does.

You can’t know it until you see it. And everyone who sees it, knows it. Like Paste, who

said it best: “music that will make anyone with a pulse dance.” (I’ll annotate this by

extending it to you pulse-less readers. You, zombie. I know you’re out there.) The

Rubblebucket condition has spread, melting cares in its way. It barges in like an escaped

rhino and triggers everyone, everywhere, to let loose and feel. Arm-crossing be

damned!I’ve been to many Rubblebucket shows. But it wasn’t until I was mid-crowd in

NYC’s Bowery Ballroom and heard a guy in front of me say to his friend “the singer

looks so hot tonight” (but? Gross? That’s my sister?) that I knew Rubblebucket had made

it. The experts will tell you that, actually, this was when they released their 2011 album

Omega La La, with its headlining tracks “Came Out of Lady” and “Silly Fathers,” and

reached a whole new, larger audience. Or, when they flew out to LA to play on Jimmy

Kimmel Live, and got free pizza and Alex almost puked backstage. Or, when their song

“Came out of a Lady” appeared in the movie Drinking Buddies, and I was suddenly one

giant leap closer to meeting Anna Kendrick (that’s when I knew I had made it). Or, when

their green rooms started stocking guacamole. Or, when their 2012 and 2013 EPs

Oversaturated and Save Charlie introduced fans to the next and the next evolution of

Rubblebucket, and more and more people fell in love. Now, much to my drool and dire

impatience, the band is hovering on the knife’s edge of their next highly anticipated

album release, Survival Sounds (Communion Records, Aug. 2014). Prepare yourself,

universe.

Rubblebucket is many things and nothing at all; it’s a mindset, a legend, a feeling, a

mystery; a mischievous, playful, boundary-smashing blast of sound that you can sit still

and wonder at, or turn off your mind and move wildly to. Or both at the same time. As

Kalmia said, when she handed me one of her now-famous peanut butter, cheddar cheese,

cabbage, honey tacos, “This is the weirdest, most delicious thing you will ever taste.”

And if you won’t take it on my authority, take it on the authority of a small, but reputable

publication called Rolling Stone, reporting from Bonnaroo: “Rubblebucket revved up like

an indie-rock Miami Sound Machine, dancers, horns and all.” And if you won’t take it on

Rolling Stone’s authority, cleave to the words of guitarist Ian: “Our music is like being at

a raging party, but in the center of it, there’s this beautiful painting that you’re staring at,

trying to wrap your mind around.” Or the words of our dad, Tim Traver: “Kids these

days.”

- Mollie Traver

And The Kids

"Recently called one of “the Western Mass. indie scene’s brightest creative lights” by Pitchfork, Northampton, Massachusetts’ And The Kids recently released their debut full-length album, Turn to Each Other (Signature Sounds). Turn to Each Other is more than an album title: it’s a statement of fact for the band, whose bond — as musicians, friends and creative foils — is as tight as they come. The album features 11 tracks full of ringing guitars from Hannah Mohan, knotty rhythms from drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro and bold accents from synthesizers and percussion by Megan Miller. Together, they create “apocaplyptic pop”, a dizzying stop-start ride with lush, intricate soundscapes that frame Mohan’s lively lead vocals. NPR Music recently raved, “Guitarist Hannah Mohan’s striking vocals rival the vibrato and boldness of Siouxsie Sioux… [And The Kids] make music that’s both fearless and entertaining.” An ongoing struggle with border issues for Miller, a Canadian citizen, initiated the addition of bassist Taliana Katz to the touring ensemble. Katz made her debut as part of the band at their NPR Tiny Desk Concert and continues to carry the energy of the album to the stage. "

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