Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hurray For The Riff Raff Perform "Look Out Mama," "The Body Electric," "Crash On The Highway," & "The New San Francisco Bay Blues"


Hurray for the Riff Raff has been on my radar for a while, but not until last night did I fall in love with them, or more accurately with Alynda Lee Segarra, a Nuyorican who cut her teeth on hardcore punk, reminding me a bit of a certain Nuyorican goth gal who once had been my merengue partner.

Back to Hurray for the Riff Raff, National[ist] Public Radio says the band "has always been, proof that millennials are not lazy or unobservant or wandering — or, more accurately for the famously peripatetic Segarra, that not all who wander are lost. She has a voice rooted in history, making music to change the present. Hers is the voice of the future."

Queerness was not something I noticed in the band until further research, having myself very poor gaydar "I really like to make our image as a very queer band," said Ms. Segarra. "Yosi [Perlstein, the band's transgender fiddle player] identifies as queer. So do I, as a longtime ally of queer causes." Continuing about her punk rocker days, "I loved the energy of the shows and listened to a lot of Kathleen Hannah of Bikini Kill," Segarra said. "She made me love women before I understood I did too." Ahem.

She also said, "You don't see a Puerto Rican girl play the banjo in a honky-tonk very often! You don't see a transgendered drummer/fiddle player very often! It's awesome. I think it's powerful that we'll play songs with the Tumblweeds and show publicly that we accept and love each other as musicians and people. I hope that kind of acceptance and respect is contagious."

Whether or not you would call any of that awesome, that adjective is appropriate to describe their music.

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