Spearheaded by filmmaker and Animal Tropical/PLAINS drummer Jorge Rubiera, Can’t Stop is playing alongside Sumsun, The State Of, and Honey Train in our tri-county showcase at the Electric Pickle on Saturday night (RSVP on Facebook). Rubiera released the excellent debut Can’t Stop LP, Neighborhood, at the beginning of 2011, and is now working on an EP called Free Tom Petty that will be packaged, naturally, with a Tom Petty mask and feature a remix by ANR singer-guitarist John Hancock. Recorded by Rubiera in his home studio and mixed and mastered by PLAINS frontman Michael McGinnis, “Feel Strange” is “a naive realization that human relationships are complex,” Rubiera says. It’s also a funky, falsetto-fueled hint that Free Tom Petty and the full-length album Rubiera is also working on will both be damn good. Here’s the track.
On Saturday, Feb. 25, Beached Miami is presenting a tri-county showcase on the Electric Pickle’s soothing back patio with Sumsun from West Palm Beach, Can’t Stop and The State Of from Miami, and Honey Train from Fort Lauderdale. DJs Rich Medina, Tim Green, Brad Strickland, and William Renuart will also be on hand to man the decks indoors. For full details on the show, visit the Facebook event page. Here are a few words about each of the bands.
Sumsun: Spearheaded by West Palm Beach native Judson Rodgers, Sumsun creates electronic soundscapes with a chillwave palette that transport listeners to a land where the rain is warm and everyone dances. In 2011, Sumsun opened for Neon Indian and Sleigh Bells.
Can’t Stop, Animal Tropical drummer Jorge Rubiera’s new project, played their second show on Saturday night at Sweat Records to celebrate the release of the 12-song LP Neighborhood. “Their” might be the wrong pronoun as Can’t Stop’s only official member is Rubiera, who played every instrument except sax and flute on Neighborhood. But in both shows Rubiera played with a full band, including Animal Tropical mate Jarrett Hann on bass and Plains’ Michael McGinnis on drums at the Sweat show.
Having caught both Can’t Stop shows and listened to Neighborhood several times through, I’ve formed a preference for the live version of the songs. On the record, Rubiera indulges a confessed childhood love of ambient noise with scratches (“Thanks To JV”, #11 on our Top 15 SoFla Songs of 2010), sirens (“We’re Still Frenulums”), and static (“R-Complex”). But I’m not sure the noise adds much but noise to the songs, and part of me feels I’d like them more without the interference, which is how Rubiera plays them live.
Another reason I prefer live Can’t Stop to recorded Can’t Stop: the latter doesn’t do justice to Rubiera’s strong and instantly likable voice. This is most apparent with Neighborhood opener “Amygdala”. On the record, you might take the refrain “Get up, get going, get in a trance” as a sober request. Live it’s a freaking demand, albeit an unnecessary one, since the old-school backbeat and sax riff that drive the song out the gate will have most able-bodied listeners up and going before Rubiera sings his first syllable. The recorded version of “Amygdala” gets noisy midway through with some sustained guitar yawping, and again I’d prefer it didn’t, if only because it cuts into the tune’s killer groove (reminiscent of The Doors’ “Land Ho!”).