By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Jorge Rubiera, one of Miami's most collaborative musicians, has decided to create his own labor of love. For years, he's performed alongside longtime pals in Pygmy, Down Home Southernaires, and Animal Tropical. But now he's created Can't Stop.
Only a month ago, the band played its first concert at Churchill's Pub for 10K Islands Records's Holidazed showcase. And already, Can't Stop has a big bash booked at Sweat Records this Saturday to commemorate its brand-new debut album, Neighborhood.
The question: How did Rubiera get it done so quickly? "Since we have a record label now, we've been recording several different things and a bunch of different releases," he says.
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That label he mentions is Rottweiler Farm Records, a joint venture with bandmate Jose Castello. The pair plans to release all of Animal Tropical's records, as well as albums by Can't Stop and a few other local bands. Also in the works: a Pygmy documentary, limited-edition art books, and possibly even poetry projects.
And right now, Rubiera is already working on a second Can't Stop record, which he suggests is a bit of a departure from the band's current frame of mind. It seems impossible, but he'd like to take a more collaborative approach for this new collection. He'd also like to incorporate more of his trademark vaudevillian flourishes. "It's going to be these pop tunes dispersed around weirdo noise orchestration," Rubiera explains. "I wanted to keep the same kind of structure with the pop songs and intersperse it and make it one long musical experience, as opposed to the last record, which was just a bunch of tunes."
If you've yet to hear it, that "bunch of tunes" off Neighborhood is a heavy blend of '90s New York City indie rock and summer pop à la Beach Boys. The songs sound distinctly different from Rubiera's previous stuff. And that's because he has consciously chosen to temporarily shift from the troubadour style that characterized many of his earlier bands, including Down Home Southernaires and Animal Tropical. For now, he's sticking strictly to rock music.
"Basically, when I was riding the bus in middle school, it's what was on my tape player," Rubiera admits. "It was a lot of Pavement, Sonic Youth, the Flaming Lips. Listening to this stuff again made me think, God, this really sculpted my way of listening to music."
And while recording the debut, Rubiera went searching for those coarse and distorted sounds of his youth. "[It was] sort of nasty and free," he says. "That's what Neighborhood is. For the most part, it's reminiscing. All these tracks are through the eyes of a 12-year-old."
Between Rottweiler Farm, Can't Stop, and other projects, Rubiera has so much going on he's not planning many gigs aside from the Sweat Records CD-release show. So if you'd like to catch him and his new band live, this Saturday may be your only chance for months.
Yeah, he should slow down a bit. But honestly, Rubiera can't stop.