Rubblebucket and Reptar with Special Guests Stepdad Nov-13-2012 7:30PM
*All Ages Event, anyone under 16 Must be accompanied by an adult*
Led by the musical couple of front woman Kalmia Traver and bandleader/trumpeter Alex Toth, Rubblebucket has spent the last four years building a reputation as a band that blurs the lines between psychedelic indie rock, upbeat dance, and radiant, left-field arrangements. The Brooklyn, NY by way of Boston and Vermont band has evolved into something that is "utterly post-genre—horns, synth, guitars, harmonies—a smile-inducing point on the tangent that connects Björk and Broken Social Scene", which is to say that you never know what you'll see or hear next.
2012 has been a banner year for Rubblebucket, seeing the outfit grace the stages of Bonnaroo (with a surprise guest appearance with Foster the People) among countless other festivals, collaborate with heroes tUnE-yArDs and ?love for a Fela Kuti compilation, bring their raucous live show, along with giant robot puppets and love-tunnels, to larger and larger crowds across the US and receive love and affection from Paste, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Wall Street Journal, Daytrotter and so many more. Now, on July 18th, the band will make their debut late night TV appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The band will release a new EP in September 11, 2012, recorded at Bear Creek Studios in Seattle, WA (home to Fleet Foxes' two gorgeous albums) with producer Ryan Hadlock (Ra Ra Riot, The Gossip, Blonde Redhead). This EP takes Brooklyn's freshest octet to a new level; between Kalmia Traver's unmistakable voice and the band's hip shaking, off-kilter arrangements, this EP highlights everything that makes Rubblebucket so special.
The band's 2011 album Omega La La marked a milestone for Rubblebucket. Recorded last year at Plantain/DFA Studios with Producer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy, Hercules and Love Affair) at the helm, the record was their most ambitious yet, with the band dipping into everything from dancey indie-pop arrangements to Fela-Kuti inspired afro-beat stomps. The record has earned a wealth of praise, with Stereogum hailing the record’s “tricky arrangements, whistle solos, and disco guitar leads” and Paste Magazine calling the album “instrumentally rich but catchy enough to ass-kick Katy Perry off the pop charts (in a just world)—mega-melodic without sacrificing an ounce of atmosphere or creativity.”
There are four boys who make up Reptar. They have offered twice as many (if not more) explanations for why they chose to name their band after a Rugrats character. Â But these days, the Athens, GA based group is sticking to this one: "I first tried to name the band Invisible Boyfriend," giggles singer-guitarist Graham Ulicny. "And everybody goes, 'that is the stupidest name I have ever heard in my life." So why Reptar? "It is the second stupidest band name we have ever heard."
Indeed, there is no pretense behind Reptar, which also includes Andrew McFarland (drums), Ryan Engelberger (Bass), and William Kennedy (analog keyboards). Â Still, the ability to amuse and arouse their fans is just as important to them as indulging their musical curiosities. Â This sonic wanderlust extends from African Music to post-punk to psych-pop and converges joyously in songs such as "Blastoff" and "Rainbounce," and it's won them high fives from NPR and NMEalike.
Their aesthetic percolates even more vibrantly through their debut LP, Body Faucet, out May 1, 2012 on Vagrant Records. Â A set of shimmering sing-along anthems produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Washed Out), Body Faucet is propelled by jerky guitars and persistent beats. Â "The record feels like a big dream with different chapters," says Ryan. "Ghost Bike" captures the space between witnessing a friend's death and surviving it. In "Sebastian" (named after a saint who became a gay icon), it's experiencing, then remembering, a sexual awakening with a close friend. Â Lyrics and music flow in a liquid form from real places, each song oozing with a different color and substance. Â "We wanted to capture the thoughts we project on our surroundings and the ideas that flow in and out of us each day," says Graham. Â Indeed, much of the record deals with exploring and interacting with one's surroundings in new, occasionally frustrating, ways. Â The album builds with songs such as "New House," expressing a future of possibilities. Â A centerpiece of sorts, notes Andrew, "it's the most driving song on the record, and it's really empowering live."
If Reptar had a superpower, it'd be the knack for warming up every space they inhabit. Â "Our music is very physical," says Ryan. Â "We always try to get people moving." This is wired into the DNA of the band, which honed its chops on house shows and continues to keep them a central part of its life. Â These shows began three years ago when they moved into a teetering, buttercup yellow abode together. Â "It was slanted at a 20-degree angle," Ryan explains, "and we'd have shows in the front room." Â Word spread, and soon they were popping up around at other houses, then clubs.
Reptar even rounded out their stint at last year's SXSW by playing in a friend's backyard. Â Impressed by this commitment to connect, NME later rhapsodized about that bouncy set performed on a flatbed truck, anointing Reptar one of the "biggest buzzes" at the festival. Â "Little kids were running around selling cupcakes to drunk people for exorbitant amounts of money," marvels Graham. Â Reptar, of course, played for free.