Twenty Top 5s with Rui Gabriel

HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today's Twenty Top 5s participant is Rui Gabriel, bassist and co-lead vocalist of New Orleans band Lawn. Lawn's new record Johnny is being co-released on September 4th by Community Records and Muscle Beach Records. Johnny perfectly captures what Lawn does best: balancing twangy folk-tinged pop with harsh, angular post-punk, frequently in the same song. Rui's driving bass forms a formidable rhythm section with rock-steady drummer Hunter Keene, and Mac Folger's ability to shape shift his guitar playing to whatever the song calls for makes every song surprising. Mac and Rui's distinct voices play off of each other extremely well, with Rui's bellowing, often half-shouted vocals carrying some of the record's heavier songs. You may recognize his voice as the lead vocalist on the Matt Surfin' and Friends track "Get Down" (Matt Seferian of Matt Surfin' and Pope engineered Johnny as well).

Lawn has been one of the hidden gems in a vibrant New Orleans music scene for a while now, and I have a feeling the "hidden" part is going to change when Johnny is released. Not many bands could pull off making a cohesive record that seems equal parts influenced by Parquet Courts and Bob Dylan. Nothing on this album sounds out of place, and Rui seems to be the glue that holds it all together. While you're waiting for Johnny to be released, be sure to check out Lawn's 2018 debut record Blood on the Tracks to get ready for another Community Records banger.

recording artists when you were in high school

1. The Clash
2. Pavement
3. Beck
4. J Dilla
5. Talking Heads

Instrument influences

1. Tina Weymouth
2. Graham Lewis
3. Paul Simonon
4. Steve Hanley
5. Deborah Scroggins

Songwriting influences

1. Stephen Malkmus
2. David Berman
3. Mark E. Smith
4. Elvis Costello
5. Residente

Karaoke songs

1. Bizarre Love Triangle
2. Lust for Life
3. TVC15
4. Burning Down the House
5. Like a Rolling Stone

Junk foods

1. Taco Bell 7 Layer Burrito (hold the cheese and cream)
2. Hardee’s Beyond Thickburger
3. McDonalds’ Fries
4. So Delicious Salted Caramel Cashew Milk Ice Cream
5. Waffle House hash browns

Places to eat in New Orleans

1. Sweet Soul Food
2. Dian Xin
3. Pho Tau Bay
4. Taqueria Guerrero
5. Marjie’s Grill


1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
2. La Haine
3. Boogie Nights
4. Do the Right Thing
5. Che (parts 1 and 2)

Role models

1. Mi padre
2. Malcom X
3. David Sedaris
4. Pepe Mujica
5. Andy Kaufman

Songs you’ve written

1. Argentina
2. Summertime
3. My Boy
4. Soda
5. Honest to God/Paper

Guilty pleasures

1. Cheese
2. Alternate history YouTube videos
3. Reality TV
4. Raw onions
5. Sitting in the car with the AC blasting while not leaving the parking lot after grocery shopping.

Musical artists in New Orleans

1. The Convenience
2. Sharks Teeth
3. Sexy Dex and the Fresh
4. Video Age
5. Pope

Productive ways to pass time during corona

1. Leisure walks
2. Learning to make cacio e pepe
3. Reading
4. Writing/Recording
5. Attempting to learn another language

Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

1. Smoking
2. Fantasizing about gear I can’t afford
3. Rewatching House M.D
4. Sleeping in
5. Impulse buying gear I can’t afford and then returning it

Songs right now

1. Art Feynman - Taking on Hollywood
2. Arca - KLK
3. Lithics - Hands
4. J Balvin - Rosa
5. NNAMD├Ć - Wasted

80s pop jams

1. Talking Heads - Once In a Lifetime
2. Prince - Raspberry Beret
3. The Romantics - What I Like About You
4. Paul McCartney - Coming Up
5. The B-52’s - Girl From Ipema Goes to Greenland

Venues you’ve played

1. The Bootleg Theater
2. One Eyed Jacks
3. Billy’s Ballroom
4. Cheer Up Charlie’s
5. Some abandoned batting cages in Philadelphia (Editor's note: pretty sure this is Everybody Hits?)

Albums that changed your life

1. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
2. The Clash - S/T
3. The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour
4. Silver Jews - American Water
5. Beck - Odelay

Cities you’ve visited

1. New York City, NY
2. Chicago, IL
3. Montreal, QC
4. San Francisco, CA
5. Jackson, MS


1. Habanero Yucateco
2. Valentina
3. Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
4. Guasacaca
5. Chimichurri

Fictional characters

1. General Buck Turgidson
2. Bunny Colvin
3. Jennifer Melfi
4. Dale Cooper
5. Quico

Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)