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Fruit of the Vine

After a lengthy break playing mom, an '80s indie rocker returns.

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Back in the early ’80s, Human Switchboard was part of the Northeast Ohio new-wave scene that spawned Devo and Tin Huey. Pere Ubu’s David Thomas produced the band’s first EP. After 1981’s terrific Who’s Landing in My Hangar, the group split up. Singer Bob Pfeifer went on to become president of Hollywood Records (and later got caught up in a star-studded wiretapping incident). Keyboardist and singer Myrna Marcarian, who now fronts Ruby on the Vine, was fed up. “I gave away or sold all my keyboards, guitars, and amps,” she says. “I never wanted to play music again. Human Switchboard did not have a happy breakup.”

Marcarian moved to New Jersey to raise a family. About a decade ago, she started to get an itch. So she bought a guitar. In 2003, Ruby on the Vine released its debut album, This World of Days, a slab of Patti Smith-style rock produced by another Ubu alum, Tony Maimone. “Things are so different now,” she says. “People sit in front of their computers [to make music] instead of sitting in front of their instruments.” Marcarian’s now on the road for the first time in years. “I’m getting intrigued doing this again,” she says. “I’m actually excited about music again.”
Thu., July 19, 9 p.m.

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