Annakalmia (Kalmia) Traver (vocals, saxophone) and Alex Toth (trumpet, band leader) first met as fellow music majors at the University of Vermont. Toth had been developing a dance band that fused psychedelic indie rock, upbeat dance rhythms and odd musical arrangements. Upon graduating in 2006, they moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where Kalmia modeled nude for art classes and Toth worked with marching bands. There they formed Rubblebucket, were joined by Adam Dotson (trombone, euphonium, vocals), David Cole (Drums) and Ian Hersey (guitar) and released a debut album in 2008 under the name Rubblebucket Orchestra. The band later relocated to Brooklyn, New York, and is filled out by Darby Wolf on keyboards and synthesizers and Jordan Brooks on bass. Rubblebucket's fourth album, Survival Sounds, was released today.
Rubblebucket brought its quirky music to the Mercury Lounge tonight, turning the venue into a party room. Traver often sang light pop songs that unexpectedly twisted into Baroque-sounding poly-rhythmic jamborees. Similarly, New Orleans-style brass section introduction led to art-rock with syncopated horns. Traver's vocals were soft and talky, but then she blew deep into a baritone sax or made electronic noises on a small synthesizer, giving the songs a more wiry sound. All along, the band kept the audience bouncing to the steady grooves and rhythms. This music may be too bizarre for the general public, but it already has drawn a fair number of believers.
Visit Rubblebucket at www.rubblebucket.com.