Christina Rubino
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Christina Rubino

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Alternative Acoustic

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Usually when someone’s life changes in seven seconds, it’s something bad, like a horrific accident. Not so for Brooklyn native Christina Rubino, a former teenage couch-loafer and TV addict, whose destiny was forever altered when she observed a “seven-second snippet of music.” This particular snippet belonged to Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” which played as part of a commercial advertising a Time-Life 1960s music compilation.

An epiphany it was. Young Ms. Rubino promptly abandoned the couch, obtained all available cash, and hopped the next bus to a guitar shop, where she purchased a basic acoustic, despite not having enough to foot the sales tax (“the salesman felt bad for [her] and gave [her] a discount”).

Since the age of 18, Rubino has played guitar and sung for bands, including an all-girl outfit called Violator, which sounds pretty awesome. Though she enjoyed the “travel and fellowship” of the band, she came to embrace the role of solo performer.

Alive from the Scrapheap makes her full-length solo debut. About this album, she says: “I swore most of these songs would never see the light of day. They were too personal, too embarrassing. It was difficult to even play them in front of my producer.”

The album immediately establishes its folksy tone with the track “The Gateway.” Rubino’s vocals very well complement this type of music. Her voice is not only pleasing but also emotionally expressive. Is this a recording from a live performance? I ain’t 100% sure, but it does have that close-up, intimate kinda feel.

Rubino’s vocals tap the emotions again on “Pending the Last Soul,” a track which also features some thoughtful-sounding blues guitar.

Some pretty raw lyricism comes courtesy of the track “Tidal.” It’s difficult for me to objectively assess the lyrical content, because I’m biased since the vocals have me so smitten.

Along with the fine singing, the track “Breakout” provides a rather heartwarming acoustic guitar melody.

In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear, Ms. Rubino can sing – both in the harmonic and spiritual sense of that word. If by chance her solo act doesn’t come to full fruition, she’d be a prized asset to any band in her genre.

As it stands, this is an earnest and eminently likeable album. - Skope Magazine


"A final note about what I call channel changers. This talented and beautiful songstress is New Yorker born and bred. Yet she brings us this album of beautiful music from a country heart. She is a very talented visual artist as well, channelling something from someplace that may not be readily available to those who have not accepted their remote controls yet."

FULL REVIEW

"Alive From The Scrapheap"
A new album by Christina Rubino is playing in the background right now.
I'm listening to it as I write this article.
The lyrics are smart the musical accompaniment is apropos.
Nothing To Lose and Nothing To Gain, a sad and melancholy name for a song.
"How could I just fall like that, you're a hundred shades of wrong but you don't care."

The bass appears in this song and reminds me that sometimes I just love my own pain.
I am not going to complain about it or announce it or discuss it with my fiends because I'm a hundred shades of wrong and I don't care, well that may not be true, as I do care - I care too much sometimes and then comes the disappointment.

Disappointment has created quite a good living for me.
I have painted acted and spent time with great and talented people all because I learned something from embracing my disappointment, I see it all the time - people in pain, many of them tell me about their problems people confide in me and I'm happy about this, it means to me that they care about my opinion. But many times secretly I want to give them this advice.......And it starts with another line from one of Christina's songs.

"Its a fight you'll never win"

So don't fight the pain people embrace it, express it talk to your best friend about it.
Make love like it was the last day of your life and you might never get the chance to do so again.
Do whatever you have to do to deal with it, but most importantly understand how to love your pain and
turn it into something constructive.

Is this a sad idea?
Not to me, to me its an idea of transformation an epiphany of great and glorious measure.
Deliverance, growth, change, the acceptance of the inevitable.
These are the things we all must deal with on a daily basis. If you know something of great human value then share it with your fellow man.
Teach your children to be good and do good things. Be decent.

I am not sure if this is a traditional music review, but this is what I am hearing from the album "Alive From The Scrapheap", and the message I'm getting is -

Yes, life is hard, but I'm still here alive after surviving the great scrapheap that may sometimes be called a life.

A final note about what I call channel changers. This talented and beautiful songstress is New Yorker born and bred. Yet she brings us this album of beautiful music from a country heart. She is also a very talented visual artist -
and channeling something from someplace that may not be readily available to those who have not accepted their remote controls yet. - John Sebastian, New York Optimist


Indie Singer/Songwriter is an amazing example of why creative and original indie music must be supported. Christina Rubino has a great and powerful voice that is laced over crafty meaningful lyrics in the Americana, Folk, and Alternative music genre. Rubino spoke to our online magazine about her music and what it means to be an Indie Performer. We also spoke to Rubino about her musical influences and what sets her music apart for the masses. Here is what formulated from our online meeting.

Isaac: Music is so important to many cultures. Why is music important to you?

Christina: Music makes itself important. It demands expression, and then it demands attention. It’s a visceral part of every human, and that’s why music is such a defining & prominent aspect of every culture. It’s right up there with food, and humans need food. Humans also need music. The music starts from deep inside, and then propels an artist to express it. A great song refuses to go unnoticed; it plows straight through our defenses and dives right into our souls. So, this question is hard for me to answer– I don’t know why or how music has this power over me or you for that matter.

Isaac: Could you elaborate a little about your upbringing that led you to want to make music?

Christina: I was brought up in a pretty unpredictable atmosphere. There was a lot of violence, loss, and substance abuse in and around my family, but I had an older sister who played music …..and who also got sober. She exposed me to some incredible songs by playing them for me on an acoustic guitar as a kid. Songs like Father and Son by Cat Stevens, Leader of the Band by Dan Fogelberg, Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. Hearing her play woke up the music in me. It brought me hope, and music made me forget my fear for a few minutes. There was a tiny escape into beauty and hope during every song she sang me. When it came my time to be inspired as a teenager, I didn’t think of music as something that was for super talents on the radio. I wasn’t afraid to try because I knew that real people could make real music; I knew it because I saw it.

Isaac: What do you believe is the one element that makes your music, lyrics, and voice stand apart from others in the Indie Music Industry?

Christina: If I had to name one single element, I would name my own personal truth. We all have a truth…..and we all have a story – if our art is inspired and honest, it will be uniquely ours, always.

Isaac: What is it about making music that you enjoy the most and why do you enjoy performing it?

Christina: I most enjoy that moment when an inspiration starts buzzing at the bottom of your belly, and you can almost hear the song trying to break through. You scramble for an instrument, a pen and paper, and you frantically start writing. With every chord or lyric, you can feel if you’re getting warmer or colder – once the inspiration has moved through you, you play that first verse and chorus…..then you can finally hear what the song was trying to say. That is the BEST part of the process. Performing music, for me, means tuning back into that place where I was when I wrote the song (you know, the BEST part). The emotions, the thoughts, the inspiration all come to life again and live to their absolute fullest while playing live. If I am nervous or worried about being judged during a performance – It can be difficult to get to that place. A LOT of practice prevents that from happening, which can be a grueling aspect of any craft. The more you practice and play live, the easier it is to get past the normal discomfort of being in front of a room full of people.

Isaac: If you have to name a few of your musical influences, who would they be and why?

Christina: Oh I love this question. First of all, what many people don’t realize because I am an acoustic, rootsy artist, is that I listen to a lot of punk rock. Bands like Social Distortion, Rancid, the Ramones, to name a few – are a HUGE influence on me. They tell the truth. There are many others though – Janis Joplin, Sinead O’Conner, Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), Ani DiFranco, Joan Jett, Bonnie Rait – These are some badass women with serious talent and soul.

Isaac: What makes being an Indie Band/Performer great in your opinion?

Christina: Indie = Independence. It’s the same thing that makes a mom and pop shop better than Target. The cashier at Target doesn’t care if your chicken is free range, fat free or free falling. The independent music scene and the DIY scene are teeming with people who are moved by the music, not by the money. If you are connected to a good bunch of people, then music is about giving, not taking. It’s about unity & community….and it’s about service. If I wanted to make lots of money, I would have shot for med school – and I would rather hang up my guitar for good than be told what to wear, what to say and who to be in order to cater to a certain demographic for record sales. The goal of true independent music is to connect with people, share your talent & touch their hearts.

Isaac: What do you believe it will take for indie performers to gain the recognition as their mainstream counterparts?

Christina: Sacrifice. I think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are a fine example of what you are talking about here. Is it likely, or easy to gain that kind of recognition? Well, as Mack would say – “Hella No.” It takes a tremendous amount of dedication, work….and of course touring. Grueling, unfunded touring while staying on top of your music marketing & fan relations via social media and Internet ventures. A great team around you helps a lot too – but the artist still must be accountable that everyone is doing their part.

Isaac: Why do you believe that mainstream radios are so reluctant to play indie music?

Christina: For the same reason Target won’t carry my neighbors delicious home made cookies – politics, long standing relationships & money. They cater to the masses. You have your exceptions only when the mainstream radio will benefit from an artists hard earned following. I doubt you will ever find a mainstream program director adding a lesser known band to the playlist because he “believes in them”. - Junior's Cave



Skope: Does the warm summer weather make you feel more inspired to create music? Warm summer weather tempts me more to go outside and play, rather than stay inside to practice my craft. Though, practicing my craft & written songs are an entirely different experience from the inspiration to write. The inspiration to write is more like an old pushy friend with keys to your apartment. He just sort of shows up whenever he wants and won’t leave until he is good & ready. That calling from within can show up at midnight in the dead of winter or just as I am about to leave the house for some summer fun! It usually doesn’t consider MY plans at all :)

Skope: How much did your family & friends influence your love for music growing up? Growing up during the 80's, I had a big sister, Toni, who thought it was the 60's :) I was very young and she was a God to me…..while everyone else was listening to teeny bob, freestyle and hair bands, I was exposed to artists like Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac. I would torture her to play her guitar and sing for me and just watch, mesmerized. She bought me my first little guitar as a child – but I didn’t get serious about playing until I heard Janis Joplin sing the chorus to “Piece of My Heart” on a music commercial when I was a teenager. Thats when I was truly moved to play – and I met so many awesome people and made the best of friends in that local scene. I met the producer & musicians I am working with today back then. Their talent continues to inspire me. Thanksgiving at my house is awesome, because at the end of the night me and Toni jam to the classics, and a bunch of my friends, old and new, show up to join in. Rock and Roll is a holiday tradition in our home :)

Skope: What are you currently promoting the most via an album, tour, single etc? Definitely an album for now, and a tour may be in the works.

Skope: What music based goal are you most proud of that you accomplished?
This album! It is my first full length – and my first attempt of launching something solo. I didn’t have the luxury of just writing these songs by observing the way other people lived. I lived every word of this album, and I had to get through some incredibly difficult times……so seeing it all come together like this is a tremendous accomplishment for me.

Skope: Do you have any new Youtube video or Soundcloud single posted online we should hear?
Yes. Some rough mixes are up on soundcloud – which can also be heard on the website and facebook page.

Skope: What is coming up for you & where you at online?
The album release date is scheduled for October 31st, 2013 and it will be purchasable on iTunes and also in hard copy via CDBaby. It is currently under the care of my good friend and producer, Jerry Farley, in it’s final mix & mastering stage. My website address is www.ChristinaRubino.com, and you can follow me on Facebook too – http://Facebook.com/ChristinaRubinoMusic.


- Skope Magazine


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Still working on that hot first release.

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