May 182011
 

Ra Ra Riot is known as indie pop’s most whimsical band, mixing infectious choruses with sweeping instrumentals. The energy and happiness that comes out of their music is contagious.

With their cover of ’70s favorite Sparks’ “Saccharin and the War” off of their 1972 album Halfnelson, Ra Ra Riot pays homage to the quirky alternative bands that paved the way for their music. Sparks, known for stage theatrics and for incorporating disparate influences into their own bright pop songs, is an obvious inspiration for the band, who have pioneered a fusion of classical instruments (cello and violin) in modern indie pop. Continue reading »

Jan 072011
 

You know the story. The Jews needed eight days of oil to purify the Temple in Jerusalem. There was only enough oil for one day. Miraculously, though, that small amount lasted for all eight nights. And on every one of those nights Yo La Tengo played a concert.

Well, maybe they passed on that first Hanukkah, but it seems they’ve played eight crazy nights of shows every year since. Twenty-ten was no exception. As chronicled at BrooklynVegan, the nights of December 1-8 each saw a unique Yo La Tengo show go down at Maxwell’s in New Jersey. Every evening featured surprise openers and comedians, including heavy hitters like the National and Jeff Tweedy. Continue reading »