I was already off work this week, attempting to help the wife keep our almost 3-week-old daughter from sabotaging sanity and sleep alike, but it was Rubblebucket that really made my week. It’s one thing to take perverse joy in the knowledge that your coworkers are handling all the “TPS reports” without you, and another to get a private serenade from an exotic octet from Brooklyn.
On Wednesday, Rubblebucket headlined at the Bottleneck, but Becki, Evie, and I met them at 5:00 p.m., hours before they were scheduled to perform. Why? Well, with the band’s enthusiastic approval, I am writing a piece about them that relates to my wife and child, and we hope to publish it nationally. I am over 1,000 words deep into the piece, and I have been taming it even as I have also been lassoing so many untamed diapers in Babyland.
I had the honor of interviewing frontwoman Kalmia “Kal” Traver, and she chatted with my wife and me for nearly half an hour. We had expected to sit in the dull afternoon dark at the bar, waiting for the band to set up while attempting to calm Evie, but she slept the entire time we were there, and Kal was a most gracious hostess. Even though Rubblebucket is not exactly a household name (yet), I must admit I was more than a little starstruck by her charismatic presence and cheetah-print pants.
I also got to interview band leader Alex Toth and drummer Dave Cole, who directed the video for the band’s single, “Came Out of a Lady.” Like Kal, both of them were incredibly kind and eager to answer my questions. Plus, Alex plays a scuffed-up silver trumpet that reminded me of my glory days in marching band, when I would use my horn to belch and blat and hijack the band’s sound during early morning rehearsals. It made me like the man right away.
After Alex and I assailed University of Kansas radio station KJHK with tweets and emails that day, someone from the station’s staff called Alex just after the band arrived at the Bottleneck. In the end, he got to commandeer the airwaves, personally addressing KJHK’s listening audience before the DJ played a few Rubblebucket songs and gave away free tickets to their show at the Bottleneck. Apparently, when the DJ asked callers to phone in for the tickets, the station lines lit up like Chevy Chase’s house in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
The band ended up playing an acoustic version of their single, “Came Out of a Lady” just for Becki, Evie, and myself. No one else was in the bar aside from a few afternoon drinkers, and I half expected them to request “Came Out of a Hangover,” but they kept to themselves. Below are some pretty pictures, and a YouTube video of Rubblebucket’s performance for us. Enjoy, and please buy their new album, Omega La La. It’s excellent. My review of it can be found here.
Photographed above is Rubblebucket’s frontwoman, Kalmia “Kal” Traver, Baby Evie, and my wife Becki.
Photographed above is Rubblebucket with the Johnston Family. I think the band should induct us into their unit. Becki is an excellent hand-clapper.
Kal gave me a copy of their 2009 self-titled album, which I did not have. She and Alex were kind enough to autograph it.