Brooklyn based dance/funk group Rubblebucket is bringing their high energy show to Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale, PA this Friday, 12/7. Once known as Rubblebucket Orchestra, the bands leaders, Alex Toth and Kalmia Traver used to play in the reggae band John Brown’s Body, but decided in 2009 to dedicate all of their time to Rubblebucket. The pair met at the University of Vermont where they were both music majors. Upon graduating in 2006, they both joined John Brown’s Body and toured the US. They met percussionist Craig Myers in June 2007 at an art opening in the old Hook milk plant in Burlington, VT, and in March 2008, self-released their debut album Roses Dream under the name Rubblebucket Orchestra. 2009 was a breakthrough year for the group, with three national tours, a feature in Relix Magazine’s “5 artists you should know”, and release of their second studio album, which was self titled. They also officially dropped the Orchestra from their name, calling themselves Rubblebucket, and won a Boston music award for Live Act of the Year.
Since then, the band has relocated to Brooklyn, NY, put out a few full length albums, and has toured extensively throughout the country, appearing at some of the top festivals this summer, including High Sierra, AllGood and Bonnaroo. They released their new EP, Oversaturated, which was released in September, and are now in the midst of a co-headlining tour with Reptar. They also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and are working on an Arthur Russell cover for the Red Hot Organization, and the horn section worked with The Infamous Stringdusters album. They are famous for high energy, groove heavy, dance happy performances with visuals treats such as a glitter paint, artists coming into the crowd, and neon scarfs.
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Athens, GA based band REPTAR will be joining Rubblebucket in this co-headliner show – Fairly new to the national music scene, Reptar released their first EP in 2011 entitled “Oblangle Fizz, Y’all” which got wide praise from critics. Spin Magazine named them a “must hear artist” at Lollapalooza and Rolling Stone Magazine gave the album good reviews – which led to their full length album Body Faucet in the spring of this year.
According to their bio, if Reptar had a superpower, it’d be the knack for warming up every space they inhabit. “Our music is very physical,” says bassist Ryan Engelberger “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. These shows began three years ago when they moved into a teetering, buttercup yellow abode together. “It was slanted at a 20-degree angle,” Ryan explains, “and we’d have shows in the front room.” Word spread, and soon they were popping up around at other houses, then clubs.
The band’s name comes from the Nickelodeon television show “Rugrats”, which hold the rights to the band’s namesake, and has brought up legal issues from the network, and some claim that their shows have a “childlike playfullness” about them. Some of this could come from the outfits worn on stage or the fact that they do look kind of young, but they are. And those who have seen them, young, and old, come away with hurting feet from dancing and sore cheeks from smiling, so these up and comers must be doing something right.
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