Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ra Ra Riot

Metaghost showed me an artist named Wes a while ago, a friend he had met while on a semester abroad in japan. Wes was writing some cool music and had a band back home in Syracuse NY. Metaghost shared his myspace with me in an email from japan; the page was full of cool demos that went on to become parts of various songs in Ra Ra Riot. The best example is track at the top of his myspace (which to my surprise still exists). It is his demo version of Can You Tell. Check it here at his myspace:

johnny six pack

When Wes returned home from japan, he got right to work with his band and they released The Rhumb Line. He had a sweet group of musicians waiting for him in Syracuse. Ra Ra Riot is a six piece band; bass drums guitar, a violin and a cello, and Wes. They were the right group to flesh out the great things Wes was writing, and their input changed everything into one tight math pop outfit. The guitar bass and drum mostly hold things down tight rhythmically, but the strings add such great contrastingly rhythmic harmonies to the rest of the song that a great depth appears in their pop sensibilities. Here is the Ra Ra Riot studio version of Can You Tell, from The Rhumb Line. I highly recommend you hear Wes' version of Can You Tell before watching this video, just to note how the song changed with the ideas of the rest of his bandmates.

The Rhumb Line doesnt let up; the are some quieter moments, and some very catchy tracks, and the entire album is so well arranged. This is from The Rhumb Line, another standout track, Oh, La.
Oh, La

After The Rhumb Line blew up and they were launched into the music business, they rented a nice house in an apple orchard to record their follow up. The seclusion did them well. Although the formula did not change in their sophomore effort, they carried on quite well after the devastating loss of their drummer John Pike after he drown while on tour for the Rhumb Line. John Pike has been missed greatly, but the band has only grown closer with his passing, and continue to make great tracks like Shadowcasting, off The Orchard.

the rhumb line
the orchard


  1. Fun Fact:

    Cameron Wisch (of Zona Mexicana) was once a former drummer of this group.

  2. also didn't know we had a mega ghost here:)