Press kits are typically good for three things in the Calendar Kid’s fantasy realm: photos to reprint, pertinent information to regurgitate and/or distort, CDs to sell back to the record store to support my Franzia boxed-wine habit. One must, at all costs, avoid reading what the band, their lickspittle hirelings or their celebrity pals write about them if one wishes to keep an open mind about the music. It’s almost always, well, pure rubbish.
Almost always. I saved the press kit for Pure Rubbish because I thought you might like to read the following celebrity endorsements, which are considerably gushier than the usual purse-lippedly self-important damning faint praise that rock stars deal out for other rock stars. Check out some of the choicer bits:
“Pure Rubbish is the only band in the country we have played with that brings in a crowd, keeps ‘em and always gets an encore.”—Ruyter, lead guitarist, Nashville Pussy
“Derek can do things with that guitar that we can’t figure out!”—Blaine, lead vocalist, Nashville Pussy
“Pure Rubbish were better than us and blew us away!”—Sal Canzonieri, rhythm guitarist, Electric Frankenstein.
“Pure Rubbish blew my doors off…Derek is the most amazing guitarist I’ve seen in years!”—Todd Youth, guitarist, Danzig
“Pure Rubbish has restored my faith in rock ’n’ roll!”—Rick Richards, guitarist, Georgia Satellites
“Watching this kid play gave me chills…no one’s done that in a long time.”—Sam Yaffa, bassist, Hanoi Rocks
These are not record company publicity hacks. These are people who know a thing or two about raw and dirty rock, and here they are fawning all over this band you’ve never ever heard of: Pure Rubbish. One more thing. Did we mention that most of Pure Rubbish are barely old enough to drive?
That’s right. Can’t buy cigarettes. Can’t vote. Haven’t registered for Selective Service. What they can do, and have done many times in the past two years, is twist a room full of dirty rockers around their teenage pinkies with loud, raunchy la muchachita street-o cred-o trash rock that has drawn more comparisons to the New York Dolls, the Ramones and the Dead Boys than Hanson (or even Old Skull, if you remember them). Brothers Derek (lead guitar) and Evan Dunivan (drums) cut their teeth on real-deal guitar punk and recorded their first single as Pure Rubbish when they were 13 and 11. They’ve even got their dad singing for them!
You know I hate gimmicky crap when it comes to my rock fix, but I’m here to tell you that this is no pat-the-little-fella-on-the-head nicey-nicey I’m talking here. Pure Rubbish live up to the hype. The music isn’t exceptionally original, but the kids—Evan, Derek, Mike Cool and Jay Trash, plus “Punk Daddy”—tear into it with religious fervor, and man have they got the chops.
Besides, what were you doing when you were 13 years old? Wearing braces and listening to Duran Duran? That’s what I thought. I just wish I’d have had half this much gumption when I was their age.
Pure Rubbish plays Aug. 1 at Jay’s Upstairs at 10 PM. They’ll be the ones with the underage hand stamps. Cover TBA.