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Video Of The Week: Ra Ra Riot “Beta Love”

posted February 8, 2013, 4:13 pm by Ben Oliver | Filed Under General Interest, Music News, Releases, Video | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Dirty Projectors, Guards, Ra Ra Riot, Pacific Air


“Songs of direct melodic and emotional thrust.” – The New York Times

“Danceable songs packed full of hooks, thanks to Wes Miles’ solid songwriting.” – The Washington Post

“['Is It Too Much'] is a song that gets the prize for the catchiest track I’ve heard so far.” – NPR Music All Songs Considered

“In the tight new configuration every sound serves the melody. It’s highly focused pop, with buffed tunes and hooks everywhere you turn. When strings appear, they square off against the synths, providing extra rhythm rather than a focal point.” – New York Daily News

“Beta Love is a bold sea change for Ra Ra Riot, brimming with confidence and a hint of uncertainty that lends an agreeable edge to the proceedings.”- Billboard

“Definitely the band’s catchiest, most optimistic album to date.” – Details

The Onion A/V Club is premiered the video for the title track off Ra Ra Riot‘s new album Beta Love, out now on Barsuk Records. The video was directed and edited by David Dean Burkhart, a Ra Ra Riot fan who sent it to them after assembling it from found footage. The band immediately loved it and became even more enamored of it once they learned about its source, the local TV show “Dance Party” which aired in the ’80s on the low-wattage UHF station KOFY in San Francisco. The band is currently touring in Asia and will kick off west coast leg of their tour in Vancouver on February 7. Please see full tour dates below.

Beta Love marks the band’s first outing as a four-piece with members Wes Miles on vocals, Milo Bonacci on guitar, Mathieu Santos on bass and Rebecca Zeller on violin forming the core of the group. Beta Love’s songs are informed by the works of cyperpunk novelist William Gibson and futurist Ray Kurzweil’s musings on the technological singularity and transhumanism.

Inspired by their lean new lineup, the recording process found Ra Ra Riot’s members exploring and re-defining their roles within the new makeup of the group. They built upon demos created mostly by Miles and producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, Wavves) at Sweet Tea Studios in Oxford, MS. For the first time in their history the band recorded in a warmer climate and found themselves stimulated by the balmy Southern air and the physical setting of Oxford. Joined by session drummer Josh Freese (Devo, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer) the band enjoyed exploring its potential, experimenting with new influences and exciting sounds.

Santos said of the sessions, “Making the record was a lot of fun for us, because we were in a completely different environment, trying a completely new approach. We’d been used to arriving at a session with every song totally arranged and figured out, but in Oxford, a lot of the creative decision-making happened in the studio, on the fly. We wanted to be outside of our collective comfort zone for this record. We wanted to be open to new things happening. There was a lot of building up and tearing down with Dennis—a lot of problem solving, a lot of trial and error, and that was really exciting for us.”

Formed in the basements and attics surrounding Syracuse University in 2006, Ra Ra Riot released their debut The Rhumb Line on Barsuk in 2008. NPR Music said their 2010 release The Orchard’s “10 songs positively burst with sophistication, precision and polish.”
Ra Ra Riot will tour extensively in the new year.

RA RA RIOT TOUR DATES

January 31 The Wall Taipei, Taiwan %
February 3 Hostess Club Weekender Tokyo, Japan$
February 7 Venue Vancouver, BC
February 8 Neptune Theater Seattle, WA&
February 9 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR&
February 11 Fillmore San Francisco, CA@&
February 12 El Rey Los Angeles, CA@&
February 13 The Observatory Santa Ana, CA@&
February 15 Belly Up Solana Beach, CA@&
February 16 Club Congress Tucson, AZ@
February 19 Kessler Theater Dallas, TX@
February 20 The Belmont Austin, TX@
February 21 Fitzgerald’s Houston, TX@
February 23 Proud Larry’s Oxford, MS@
February 24 Masquerade Atlanta, GA@
February 25 Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, NC@
February 26 Grey Eagle Asheville, NC@
February 28 A&R Music Bar Columbus, OH@
March 1 Metro Chicago, IL@
March 2 Der Rathskeller Madison, WI@
March 3 Triple Rock Minneapolis, MN@
March 5 The Blind Pig Ann Arbor, MI@
March 6 Lee’s Palace Toronto, ON@
March 7 Il Motore Montreal, QB@
March 8 Higher Ground Burlington, VT@
March 9 Pearl Street Northampton, MA@

* with Savior Adore
^ with Guards
% with Dirty Projectors
$ with Best Coast Dirty Projectors
@ with Pacific Air
& with Cayucas

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