Little Books is a two piece folk outfit made from Robin Rutenberg of Four Families and Rick Colado of RickoLus. The two met at a house show in Arlington and eventually started making music together. Little Books’ new album, Bridges and Empires, is set to release in May.
EU: What is the story behind the band name?
Robin: We both always have multiple little journals. We have miniature little libraries. It just kind of stuck at one point.
EU: [To Robin] Your other band, Four Families, also had an album release on March 1. What is it like to release the albums in such short timing?
Robin: It was actually one that Rick recorded for us. He recorded and mixed it. We’ve been working together on various projects, and through them, Little Books formed. It is a lot to do, and I’m always really busy. But I enjoy it because it keeps me thinking and focusing on it. Trying to keep things separate often means trying to keep things very unique.
EU: What makes Four Families & Little Books different for you?
Robin: Just the set up in general and how the songs are conceived. With Little Books, it could be me bringing something, Rick bringing something, or something spontaneous that happens. It’s really rare to write something entirely together. Also, the instrumentation is entirely different. Rick and I are limited by only being two people, but it’s also very freeing.
EU: What are some memorable moments for you from the Jacksonville music scene?
Rick: I’ve been playing for a long time, so the scene kind of starts back in the 90’s. There was this beautiful strange moment where Jacksonville actually had this cool, underground scene. It felt like everybody was in bands, everybody was playing with each other, and we were all super young. There was this club, Einsteins A Go-Go, that was at the beach, this mecca…I can’t even believe that it happened. Every band that you can think of that played in the 90’s happened to go through Einsteins. I feel like that’s almost the roots of anything that’s been going on in Jacksonville since. It’s all grown from there. So we have this anchor. It was really vibrant and beautiful and cool, and then Einstein’s closed and everybody just broke off and did things. There are moments where there are a lot more groups and a lot more venues, and then the venues die out and move. But it’s been steadily growing, and now I think it’s great, too.
Robin: I think one of the biggest moments in the scene recently is the formation of Girls Rock Jacksonville. I’ve been with this since its inception, and just being able to work with the other female musicians who are all a part of it, who all have their own wonderful bands, is great. Sometimes music scenes can get competitive, and people are competing when really we should be bolstering one another up, helping the scene. Girls Rock is that case, it’s only good energy. I think that GRJ reinvigorated live music in the Jacksonville music scene. We’re not competing because if we can get someone out to a show in general, then that’s good. Someday, hopefully all of the girls going to the camp will be part of the Jacksonville music scene itself.
EU: [To Rick] What 90’s bands were important to the scene?
Rick: Polvo, they’re one of my favorites. Sonic Youth came through. There are huge bands that came through. For me it’s Polvo, Sebadoh, Archers of Loaf.
EU: How was it opening for Sebadoh?
Rick: Sebadoh was the first indie rock show that I had ever been to. When I got the news that I was playing with Sebadoh, I went and found the ticket stub. The date was like February 6th, 1994, and I was playing with Sebadoh on February 9th, 2014. It was crazy. They’re maybe one of the first reasons that I started doing this in the first place. To be like a little 13-year-old insecure dude, and then to see these guys that look like an older version of yourself. That show was this big nostalgic thing for me, seeing some of my heroes.
Listen to Little Books
Girls Rock Jacksonville