Line Out Music & the City at Night

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Ruby Doe: still a band.

Posted by on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Hey everybody! My name is James Burns. I know, I know.

No, I'm not going to write on here about Weezer, or Vampire Weekend, or "Eric Grandy's Blues," but wasn't that stuff fun?

I want to talk to you about The Ruby Doe. Remember them? Maybe your older brother used to like them, or you used to be into them when you were in your 20s, before you got a mortgage. Perhaps you remember when KEXP and The End used to play "Red Letters," on an endless loop.

The band just self-released their fourth album, Getting Ahead In The Music Business on 12" vinyl and digital download this month, and will be appearing at Neumo's tonight with NoMeansNo.

While the band never went away, they've endured a five-year-plus gap since their last album, Always With Wings. In the interim, it seems like they've slipped off the radar for many of Seattle's music fans. Many times, when I've told friends and acquaintances that I would be going to see them at the Sunset or the Funhouse, the response was often: "Holy shit, they're still around?"

Wha happen?

I dunno. But I'll say this: Getting Ahead is a far cry (in a good way) from the Doe's previous release. In fact, I'd wager that the majority of local radio listeners wouldn't be able to recognize it as the same band. On the phone, guitarist/vocalist Aaron Ellh laughed that off "I've been hearing that a lot, even from a lot of my friends... to me I'd say that 'Red Letters' was a different thing. That was a departure for us. Everyone at Loveless was great, but some people who were involved in [Always With Wings] were a bad influence. We were in on it too. Sometimes if you sleep with dogs, you'll get fleas."

"Powerpoint" is 3:17 of hoarse screams, and a strained guitar lead that sounds like it was lifted from AmRep's Dope, Guns And Fucking In The Streets Vol. 4. "Papermate" comes off like High On Fire covering Shellac. "Cell Phone Tower Cross" is a slow burn that briefly erupts into a choogle, like you accidentally taped 15 seconds of ZZ Top over your Mogwai tape.

Perhaps it's a bit strange to refer to a band that had a sizable local radio hit as "under-appreciated," but I'm going to go there. While it's pretty safe to say that they won't be courted by the majors again this time around ("Hearing your band's name in the same sentence as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, is fuckin' weird," says Aaron about a brief encounter with Jive records around the time of Wings,) this band is definitely worth a second look by Seattle's crankier fans of heavy stuff.

The Ruby Doe are still a band, no really. Yes. I am going to go see them at Neumo's. Yeah, they're still around.


Comments (10) RSS

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Whoo hoo! Been listening to them since the Iodine days in Wenatchee.
Posted by clintboxe on October 7, 2010 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Brian Cook 2
dudes from Ruby Doe were in Iodine?
Posted by Brian Cook on October 7, 2010 at 10:41 AM · Report this
tallchris 3
Great band, great dudes, great record. Aaron still owes me a beer for pointing him towards a steal on the Travis Bean TB1000S he bought a couple of years back.
Posted by tallchris on October 7, 2010 at 11:05 AM · Report this
matt 4
3/4 of The Ruby Doe were Iodine and made an album, but got challenged by another Iodine, I think from Kentucky. Then they changed their name to The Cat Ion and made a split 7" with a band called Shiva or something like that. They moved to Olympia, shed a member, and became The Ruby Doe. Then they moved to Seattle and the rest is better-known history.
Posted by matt on October 7, 2010 at 11:05 AM · Report this
matt 5
I should add: Iodine began, essentially, in Ellenburg when they were students at CWU.
Posted by matt on October 7, 2010 at 11:09 AM · Report this
matt 6
Gah I'm bad at math. The 3 members of The Ruby Doe were 3/4 of Iodine, from Ellensburg. I'm done with typing for the day, thank you.
Posted by matt on October 7, 2010 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Brian Cook 7
damn, you learn something new everyday. Iodine blew my teenage mind at the Puyallup War Memorial years and years ago. never made the connection that Ruby Doe was essentially the same group.
Posted by Brian Cook on October 7, 2010 at 11:16 AM · Report this
conanneutron 8
Rad! The Ruby Doe is a hell of a band, great to see them getting some love *SOMEWHERE*. Also nice to see LineOut take advantage of the wonderful writing skills of James Burns. Please sex him with your dollars people.
Posted by conanneutron on October 7, 2010 at 1:34 PM · Report this
tallchris 9
They were great as usual last night. Those three dudes just sound massive together.
Posted by tallchris on October 8, 2010 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Adam Superfan 10
Trying to book them May 11th, for my birthday!
Posted by Adam Superfan on January 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this

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