While Pete Townshend cries crocodile tears for a new generation’s cultish worship of the iPod, the kids are busy playing live music.
One local teenager raising hell when the lunch bell rings is Marcus Rubio. Most youngsters aspire to rock and/or twist knobs on turntables, but Rubio simply picks up a violin and whittles away at your intellect with lyrics referencing everything from the Beach Boys’ Smile to the questionable coffee at a hospital cafeteria. He recently played for more than two hours at an art opening at 1906 Gallery and listeners complained when he finally decided to take a break.
| Current Choice |
Sat, Jan 28
Lounge at Ave B
1033 Ave B
Rubio hovers in the Texas outsider tradition of Daniel Johnston, with his rudimentary drawings and humble ramblings of seemingly quotidian events. The apple-cheeked, one-man band takes loops of lovely violin sounds and layers them with punchy guitar chords and curious stories, as with the tale of “2 Robots (pretending to be 2 humans in love).” His first release, My Head Blew Up (and turned into the sky) primarily exhibited straightforward singer-songwriter guitar ditties, with expert support from Joe Reyes, Erik Sanden, and odie of Buttercup (Reyes aptly dubbed Rubio’s music “space folk.”). Rubio is currently working on his second album, which he says will feature a bigger sound, including a significant layering of strings.
The term “one-man band” often evokes images of a chimney sweep lackadaisically hitting a horn and clapping cymbals together with his knees. Rubio elevates the solitary craft of do-it-yourself to a different plane, conjuring delightful songs that are bright and unpredictably complicated. Pete Townshend’s concerns notwithstanding, the kids are all right if they’re percolating with inspired, eccentric talents such as Marcus Rubio. •