Xenia Rubinos, Maria Blues, DJ Miss Cedeño, Hannah Frank, Amateur Hour | Multikulti | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Xenia Rubinos, Maria Blues, DJ Miss Cedeño, Hannah Frank, Amateur Hour Recommended Member Picks Soundboard Image

When: Sat., March 9, 9 p.m. 2013

New York vocalist Xenia Rubinos was born to Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants, but despite the preponderance of Spanish-language lyrics on her frothy debut album, Magic Trix (self-released last year and just reissued by Ba Da Bing), her visceral, danceable noise-pop doesn’t yield to any easy notions about its provenance. Rubinos plays keyboard, but her parts often register merely as blurs of rhythmic distortion, propelled by the jackhammer beats of drummer Marco Buccelli, who produced the album with her—together their instruments sound like a version of Lightning Bolt that’s aiming for the dance floor instead of a grimy all-ages basement. That similarity ends with the vocals, though: Rubinos’s singing is bubbly and crystal clear, and she likes to play with the tension she can create by embedding nursery-rhyme melodies in a furious postpunk throb. Thankfully she also takes frequent breaks from the cute sing-songy stuff—she drops whale-size pop hooks in the long-delayed payoff of “Hair Receding” and elsewhere dips into breathy balladry. I’m still trying to figure out why I dig Magic Trix so much—despite its energy and immediacy, it’s so strange and alien that I haven’t been able to get my head around it. But that’s a good problem to have. —Peter Margasak Maria Blues, DJ Miss Cedeño, Hanna Frank, and Amateur Hour open.

Price: donation requested


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