One year ago today, Dirty Impound arrived on the series of tubes we call the internet. Since then we’ve published over 300 posts and evolved ever-so-slowly. It is, as on day one, a big, unguarded open love letter to rock ‘n’ roll (with occasional nods to other flavors). What we present here is what we honestly dig and think you might, too. Sometimes it’s about what’s poppin’ right now, and sometimes it’s focused on wig-flippers from times past. It matters little to us as long as it’s the good stuff we’re ruminating on. We’re painfully sincere at times, and irreverent as hell at others, but more than anything we’re excited about music and its power to inform people’s lives and delight them in ways they never could predict. Music is the key we’ve found for unlocking the world, and we hope what we do here helps open a few doors of perception of your own. Massive thanks to all who’ve spent time at the Impound. Please come back. Bring your friends. We’re only just getting rolling.
Scott Dudelson braved the spandex ‘n’ leather jungle of Rock On The Range 2011, which drew a reported 70,000 people to Columbus, Ohio. Being honest, our inner hesher was bummed we weren’t right by Scott’s side, throwing the horns and downing cold beer. At least we have his snaps to tide us over. And there’s lots more from Scott’s lens at his new website dudelsonconcertphotography.com/.
The red lights stare and the curtain rises at the Boom Boom Room, an SF haunt that’s been the early crucible for a lot of terrific modern bands, and Rubblebucket leaps out, ready to join that list of greats-in-the-making with a group grope so sensual that it takes under a minute for bodies to press in even tighter, nostrils flaring, sweat beginning to drip but soon to pour, pooling in the hollows of backs and matting hair beautifully. Few young bands feed off a crowd’s energy like these Brooklyn-by-way-of-Vermont kids, and given the salivating reception they are receiving, Rubblebucket hits a hard charge early of the gate. They are a true original in a time when so much music seems like merely recombinant derivatives. Theirs is a very up-to-date, contemporary sound grounded in much, much older soil; the rhythms of reggae and Africa mingling with New York No-Wave, bubbling New Wave pop and a non-specific spiritual feel that’s intoxicating like private reserve communion wine with all the church-i-ness removed. Within two songs, I feel my own body temperature rise and grip the edge of the side stage, grinding semi-consciously, taken with full permission by the music and the charming band making it.
Eight strong onstage, Rubblebucket exhibits so much joy in what they do that one would have to be a big ol’ meanie to not brighten in their presence. If one is already of a positive mindset, well, they’ll send ya into orbit, as they did with many at the Boom Boom. At any given moment any number of elements might be the catalyst for launch – the keyboardist making the very most of the house Hammond organ, the undulating horns dancing in the air, or perhaps the pure aphrodisiac pow of lead singer Kalmia Traver. They also happen to write some kickass hooks, as witnessed by the hand dancing and sing-alongs during “Silly Fathers” and new standout “Came Out Of A Lady.” Even those unfamiliar with these gems from Rubblebucket’s new album Omega La La (still available for free download here) lift their arms to the sky and by song’s end, chanting the chorus along with the faithful.
Towards the end of the first set an idea jumps to the front of my skull: This vibrant, engaging and engaged music is what a whole world of music sounds like when properly masticated. In the 21st century we can access the flavors of every country and time period within the frozen grip of recorded music. It can be downright dismaying to face all of the options, sinkholes to swallow one everywhere, a lifetime spent only in the jazz aisle or carefully studying Brazil’s insanely rich musical history. But, there’s another option embodied by Rubblebucket, who run their hungry fingers through the soundwaves and pull together an elegant, borderless tapestry. Tribal chant, discoball fervor, classic soul, Radiohead-y rock and dub thunder all jostle inside their muse, often finding representation in a single piece, even though the notion defies logic. Great ideas often do thumb their noses at rationality. But the path less traveled isn’t found by the guy with a compass, and Rubblebucket are surely blazing their own trail. (Dennis Cook)
This hard touring group will performing extensively throughout the summer. Find their full tour schedule here. And check out the brand spankin’ new video for “Silly Fathers” below.
Once again, Dirty Impound is pleased to share John Margaretten’s pics for this show.
The Barr Brothers are some mighty talented motherfuckers. Andrew (drums) and Brad Barr (guitar, vocals) seem to possess endless subterranean reservoirs of talent combined with a hard nosed dedication to constantly bettering their craftsmanship. The results, particularly live and in the moment, are often staggering, music that affects the whole of a person, if they let it. The boys congregate with like-minded, often equally talented players who tend to tap into their own best resources in the Barr Brothers’ company. To wit, this fab take on Blind Willie Johnson’s blues supplication. If you want to see what a musician really going after “it” look like – that deliciously unattainable, just barely out of reach thing that keeps one keeping on – peep Brad’s face around the 3:00 minute mark. Thanks to our bud Reed Mathis for turning us onto this clip.
For the next month our weekly mix will be delving elbow deep into the “Box of Intrigue” to offer 50-percent or higher fresh artists mingled with tracks from bands we’re currently covering on the Impound. Happy to explore and bring back shiny things to lay at your feet…
If you experience playback problems, pop over to the 8tracks mix page and it should play fine.
Hands down, one of the Impound’s favorite rock bands is Centro-matic. Everything from Will Johnson’s stellar, wonderfully elusive yet embracing songwriting to the arrangements and sheer body of the music just makes our toes curl, and the band has a boss new album, Candidate Waltz, arriving on June 21. Here’s the first video from it and we’ll be speaking to Will Johnson before too long about the group’s latest endeavors. Oh, Centro-matic is also offering a free download of this track here, and while you’re at it, download the free 24-track intro to Centro-matic and sister band South San Gabriel here!
Join the Impound for a night of amazing music in San Francisco with our pals The Staxx Brothers and The New Up. Tickets for this gathering of sound and fury signifying something are available here. The Staxx kids will also be at the Boom Boom Room on Friday, June 3, to celebrate the release of their third album, Jungle Cat, which includes liner notes from DI’s Dennis Cook.