"Dying is fine, but maybe..."
Ra Ra Riot
Festivals like Austin's SXSW and New York's CMJ Music Marathon are notorious breeding grounds for unsigned musicians turned "celebrity overnight"(twista), having launched relatively unknown acts like theArcade Fire and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to instant indie rock stardom. Regardless of whether or not you are lucky enough to make the trip, there are so many music snobs with Wi-Fi access covering the events that you can live vicariously through one of the jounralists who ran amuck in New York racing by subway between Brooklyn and the Village or vomiting up BBQ in Austin between sets at the infamous Emo's.
With that in mind, let's raise the all important. Who was the "it" band? Who launched a thousand emails and got a million myspace hits? And, more importantly, who got the Pitchfork love??? Know doubt the big hit of CMJ was the Norweigan goth-electro group The Knife As for SXSW, I'm not too sure, although Austinite's Ghostland Observatory , Voxtrot , and Peter and the Wolf have all been showered with love and street cred from the blogosphere.
PopMatters feature on the daily showcases highlighted a cello infused rock band from the city that brought us the Carrier Dome and Carmello Anthony, Syracuse. Affectionately known as 'Cuse, the college town in Upstate New York isn't exactly known for its indie rock output. Bluntly put, 'Cuse is no Brooklyn or Portland. Ra Ra Riot, a six piece made up of the standard guitar, keys, bass, drums with a dash of violin and cello for good orchestral measure. The PopMatters article gave Ra Ra Riot one of their honored "Where did these guys come from?!" titles after catching one of their six showcases, which they booked on the strength of a three song demo. I got a hold of the afore mentioned demo and was immediately impressed. Think a more animated, poppier sounding Arcade Fire (huge cello sound) . While the band has yet to become the envy of thrift store shoppers around the world, we hear at the Bobka agree with those over at PopMatters. Ra Ra Riot are the real deal, and if they keep writing songs like "Can You Tell" and "Dying is Fine," another standout from the demo, they are sure to be on everyone's "Bands to Watch list." Really don't know much about these guys except that they just released their first self-titled EP, which features a few of the tracks from the demo. Download "Can You Tell" below.
Ra Ra Riot- Can You Tell
Ra Ra Riot website