DSP Shows presents Rubblebucket returning to Asbury Hall with Dante Elephante opening the show!
Tickets: On Sale Fri 7/28 10a – $27.50 advance, $32 day of show General Admission Standing
7pm Doors, 8pm Show
“I’ve been coming a thousand years / you could call me the endless fuck,” goes the memorable opening line of Rubblebucket’s Earth Worship, a groove-forward, joyously layered collection of songs which work to dissolve the imaginary lines between the natural world and its human inhabitants. The prolific group’s newest record, it’s an album with renewed shimmer, showcasing Rubblebucket’s intricately sparkling beats, hushed-yet-hooky vocals, and irresistible melodic complexity—a celebration of togetherness, environmental curiosity, and the pleasure in doing what you love.
Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth, the group’s front persons, co-writers and co-producers, first began a friendship as jazz students at the University of Vermont. Soon after, they formed Rubblebucket, using the project to delve into pop, funk, dance and psychedelia; performances have spanned Bonnaroo to Glastonbury to their self-curated Dream Picnic Festival, and they’ve collaborated with kindred genre-blenders including Arcade Fire and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears. But before their musical relationship, Traver and Toth initially bonded over another shared passion: the two were part of UVM’s Sustainable Community Development program.
Rubblebucket recorded a significant portion of Earth Worship at their homes, tracking Juno 60, Yamaha DX7, flugelhorn, trumpet and saxophones—all atop an electric bass and percussion-heavy production template Toth devised to evoke his vision of disco. In March 2021, the group moved to the Catskills’ Spillway Sound alongside their live band: bassist Ryan Dugre, trumpeter and keyboardist Sean Smith, and drummer Jeremy Gustin, who incorporated chopsticks into his playing to produce otherworldly beats. They reunited with beloved engineer Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Deerhoof), whose keen taste for Russian drum machines and unusual microphones brought multidimensionality to overdubs like timpani and cassette-processed horns. After eight days of studio bliss, it felt difficult to return to reality. “We had so much fun and it was super inspiring, but it was Alex and I back in a pressure cooker,” says Traver. The duo realized they had to unlearn old patterns in their working relationship, and over the next 10 months, they developed a new language for mediation and repairing creative boundaries—which helped them round Earth Worship’s final corner. Mix engineer Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet Courts, Weezer) brought striking finishing touches to the record, much to the band’s delight. “It’s a cool way to let go,” says Toth. “The music’s not done when Kal and I are done.”
Levity is unmistakable on opening track and lead single “Earth Worship,” on which Traver embodies the timeless lust of our planet’s entanglement with humanity over outer space synths and thundering toms. On “Geometry,” Rubblebucket uses no wave guitars and bursts of saxophones to deliver an impressionistic narrative about being trapped in a painting; “Let’s make geometry,” goes the sunny chorus—a cherished sentiment about the resilience of the collaborators’ friendship. “Cherry Blossom,” an addictively catchy blend of warbling keys, soft horns, and sugared piano, sees Rubblebucket’s singers in octave-stretched unison—one of their most unique vocal collaborations yet, as they attempted to copy each others’ inflections across over fifty takes. “You look exactly like a cherry blossom / life is full of paradoxes,” goes one triumphant verse by Toth; “It melds the object and the subject in a way that takes my breath away,” says Traver.
“Back in the day, Rubblebucket was so confusing for me,” explains Toth. “We’re interested in so many things musically. But to have no set bumpers is torturous.” Both artists agree that their extra-Rubblebucket outlets have allowed them to explore their tastes in a way that leaves them rejuvenated, better prepared for the singular beauty of their collaboration with one another. “The process, to me, is what the album is about. The songs are just an artifact,” Traver effuses. Earth Worship uses vibrant sound and glorious harmony to worship our planet and the people who live on it—in Rubblebucket’s world, those two concepts aren’t so different.
Dante Elephante opens the show! Dante Elephante is based out of Santa Barbara, CA. Released German Aquatics in 2013 & Anglo-Saxon Summer (Produced by Jonathan Rado) in 2015 via Lolipop Records. Rare Attractions was released digitally in the summer of 2018.
Dante Elephante’s new album, “Mid-Century Modern Romance” was released on January 8th, 2020 via Born Losers Records.
Dante Elephante has toured the entire US from 2016-present, and has supported acts such as The Orwells, Summer Salt, Hunny, Japanese Breakfast, Awolnation, Cold War Kids, and more.