Courtesy of 'Spookey Ruben's Dizzy Playground' Spookey Ruben is a man of…
- Posted on Jun 16th 2011 4:50PM by Lonny Knapp
During Wednesday night's (June 15) NXNE showcase, which doubled as 10th anniversary party for his own Hi-Hat Recordings label, Ruben somehow out-weirded the audience.
On the strength of his wonderful web series 'Spookey Ruben's Digital Playground,' Ruben is gaining notoriety as an offbeat filmmaker. However, last night was all about the music.
Dressed in a golden gown with a Shriners cap atop his shaved head, Ruben led his tight trio through complex prog-rock tunes with killer hooks. The diminutive singer is best known for his mid-'90s low-fi debut 'Modes of Transportation Vol. I,' and the packed crowd reserved its best response for songs off that album.
The funky ode to chocolate cake, 'Welcome to the House of Food,' prompted a call and response sing-along.
For the most part, Ruben let "Mr. Wonderful," a program that spit out platitudes such as "Let's just cuddle tonight," do the talking.
However, during the poppy, 'Rachael,' Ruben picked up a rotary phone dialed into the soundboard and begged his imaginary girlfriend to come check out his big time showcase at NXNE.
After more than 15 years in the industry, Ruben remains one of Canada's most visionary artists. Unfortunately, his unorthodox approach keeps mainstream success out of reach. Before the show, Spinner asked him if the years of battling the indifference of the music industry has somehow sucked the weirdness out of him.
"Artistically, I'm equally as weird. When I was younger I had more raw energy; I wouldn't give up. I'm the same person I was then, but now I'm just a little slower," he said.