Musical misfits are having a moment. Decidedly left-of-center musicians have contributed to a spate of recent hits by the likes of Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar.
Xenia Rubinos could be next. The arty innovations of the Brooklyn-based trendsetter contain the sort of compelling nuances that have made similarly adventurous artists like Kamasi Washington, David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors and Steven Ellison of Flying Lotus collaborators to the stars.
Rubinos has demonstrated that she has plenty of fresh ideas to offer elite pop celebrities. Her most recent album, “Black Terry Cat,” is a stunning exhibition of funk, hip-hop and rock that only someone with a degree in jazz composition from the distinguished Berklee College of Music could create.
“Mexican Chef,” an acerbic anthem about the integral role played by immigrants in the United States, typifies Rubinos’ perspective. She raps that “brown walks your baby, brown walks your dog, brown raised America in place of its mom.” The song places Rubinos is the venerable tradition of fiercely independent and formidably powerful American icons ranging from Billie Holiday to Janelle Monaé.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Rubinos’ music is as fun as it is challenging. Her unconventional sound is capable of thrilling pretentious art students as well as pleasing funk-loving partiers who just want to dance. La Guerre, the Lawrence-based art-pop project overseen by Katlyn Conroy, opens Tuesday’s show.
8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28. RecordBar. 816-753- 5207. therecordbar.com. $10 in advance.