The Rubinoos

The Rubinoos

Crimes Against Music


There’s a rule in the record reviewing world: not only are most of the records you get crummy, you’ll never ever get one worth keeping. I think we broke the rules with this album by some Bay Area troopers known as The Rubinoos. This band has existed with various line-ups since the mid ’70s, has opened for big name acts and even had a minor hit. Too bad they never made the big time, as they have a genuine sense of pop music, great arrangements and more skill than most MTV level bands. After a zillion (OK, half a dozen) albums, they’ve put together a disc of nothing but covers. Everyone from Bowie to the Ramones has done it, and this compilation is one of the best. It’s not that they do the covers “Rubinoos Style,” but they cast them freely into the style of a broad spectrum of other bands’ styles. Some of the picks in my mind are the Swing Dance version of Costello’s “Pump It Up,” the jungle version of “Bend Me, Shape Me” and best of all, a Green Day-style redo of “Brandy You’re a Fine Girl.” They even pick out some songs you may have missed first time around, like Polly Brown’s “Up in A Puff of Smoke” and the marginal “Bubble Gum Music” by a band with a name way too long to print here. These guys know their stuff, make every song sound like a hit and even look pretty good on the cover in a “Middle Age Comb-Over Skinny Tie” way. Oldies never sounded this good!

Zip Records: • The Rubinoos:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Halloween Nuggets
    Halloween Nuggets

    Halloween Nuggets (Liberation Hall). Review by Charles D.J. Deppner.

  • RoboCop Steelbook
    RoboCop Steelbook

    Computerized police work in 1987? What could possibly go wrong? Carl F. Gauze reviews.

  • Memoria

    Winner of the Jury Prize of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria subtly draws viewers into a connective reality shaped by the sounds and images emerging from the unknown. Lily and Generoso share their thoughts on the film, currently touring North America.

  • Say Goodnight, Gracie
    Say Goodnight, Gracie

    Lose a job? Eh, there’s always another one. Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • New Music Now 007: crêpe girl
    New Music Now 007: crêpe girl

    Episode 007 features new music by Jack White, Snail Mail, and crêpe girl, and 2 sweet Yoko Ono covers from Stephin Merritt and Deerhoof. Stick around for joy!

  • Hot Water Music
    Hot Water Music

    Feel The Void (Equal Vision Records). Review by Charles D.J. Deppner.

  • Watcher

    Chloe Okuna’s new thriller Watcher is an immersive journey into fear. Review by Phil Bailey.

  • From Here
    From Here

    A mass shooting changes the world, but not the people in it.

  • True West
    True West

    Two brothers attempt to get into movies without killing each other. It’s a close call.

  • In The Heights
    In The Heights

    A lottery ticket and a blackout shift a man’s life in the New York Hispanic community.

From the Archives