Archive for July 31st, 2010

Ra Ra Riot: Too Dramatic

Ra Ra Riot’s The Rhumb Line was one of my favorite albums of 2008. Alexandra Lawn and her cello, along with Rebecca Zeller’s violin, are the heart and soul of the band for me. But Wes Miles’ vocals are perfect for the band’s pop confections. The first song from the band’s new album The Orchard was “Boy,” and it was a solid but slightly underwhelming start. It grew on me, and then I heard “Too Dramatic.” Oh man, let the fawning begin.

Ra Ra Riot, who hail from Syracuse, N.Y., have delivered an indie-pop gem here that is sure to find its way on to plenty of summer and fall playlists. The more I listen to Lawn and Zeller’s strings slice in and out of this track, the more firmly I am in the song’s clutches. The Orchard was produced by the band along with Andrew Maury, and mixed almost entirely by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla. Be careful: this song can get stuck in your head just as quickly as Death Cab’s best stuff. It has apparently become a favorite at the band’s live shows already.

Listen below

Ra Ra Riot – “Too Dramatic” by Some Kind of Awesome

Psst… you can grab the song in the Jukebox on the right…

Pre-order The Orchard, out Aug. 24, here.

Boy” By Ra Ra Riot (From The Orchard, out August 24 on Barsuk Records)

“Dying Is Fine.” One of the best La Blogotheque performances I’ve seen…

–Sean

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Menomena: TAOS

Awhile back, we posted the first taste of Menomena’s latest full-length LP Mines, entitled “Five Little Rooms.” I wrote of how strange and compelling that initial introduction to this Portland outfit’s most recent musical output was. The newest single floating out there now is called “TAOS,” and while it’s slightly more conventional, it’s just as loud and just as interesting as “Five Little Rooms.”

The elements — a droning guitar line, great brass section, a dash of percussion from Danny Seim and some wonderful keyboard melodies — are blended superbly and layered with Brent Knopf’s swagger-filled singing. When all the wonderful noise drops out just short of halfway through this fun 5-minute track, I am taken directly back to their I Am the Fun Blame Monster days. The brittle, echoing keyboard  takes center stage before Knopf’s vocals return. Then we get back to the noisy fun.

Knopf sounds a bit like Damon Albarn on this track… Gorillaz Albarn, not Blur Albarn.

“I’m not the most cocksure guy,
but I get more bold with every smile

I’m not the most cocksure man,
I take what I get and get what I can.”

TAOS” By Menomena (From Mines, out now on Barsuk Records)

Five Little Rooms” By Menomena (From Mines, out now on Barsuk Records)

Product Details

The Late Great Libido” By Menomena (From I Am the Fun Blame Monster, out now on Muuuhahaha! LLC)

–Sean

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