Wednesday 16 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Syracuse indie rockers Ra Ra Riot...

Syracuse indie rockers Ra Ra Riot bring a catchy string theory to OKC

Bryan Mangieri March 19th, 2009

Ra Ra Riot thrust itself upon the Syracuse, N.Y., music scene as somewhat of an anomaly. The indie-rock group formed over winter break and lined up a show at a Syracuse University architecture b...


Ra Ra Riot thrust itself upon the Syracuse, N.Y., music scene as somewhat of an anomaly. The indie-rock group formed over winter break and lined up a show at a Syracuse University architecture ball in January 2006 before it had even gathered together for a single practice, violinist Rebecca Zeller said.


"A lot of the first record were songs written the first few practices," she said. "For me personally, I'm still playing the violin parts that, as a musician, were the first things I'd ever written in my entire life."

Other contributors include guitarist Milo Bonacci, cellist/vocalist Alexandra Lawn, keyboardist/vocalist Wesley Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos and drummer Gabriel Duquette.

After a few local shows, a buzz started to grow, and soon, the group's music was captivating national listeners. The audience spread to include new fans who read critical praises in Spin and Rolling Stone.

On "The Rhumb Line," its debut album, Ra Ra Riot wholeheartedly infects listeners with swelling melodies, rhythmically driven and accentuated by cellos and violins.

During the first few basement practices, Zeller said the songs coalesced out of collaboration.

"We could play it straightforward as that and just tweak some parts," she said. "Or someone will just bring a chord progression in, and we kind of dig into that and add some parts to it."

Disagreements occasionally arise among the members, but Zeller said the band's temperament is "peachy" at the moment.

"Whether you're in a band or not, the friendship goes through phases," she said. "There will be times when you see eye-to-eye on everything. There will be times when you don't see eye-to-eye on anything at all."

Ra Ra Riot has celebrated quite a bit of critical and audience acclaim in recent years, but Zeller is quick to put the praise in perspective.

"It's hard to see it as this huge success," she said. "It doesn't seem like we arrived at all. We're so thrilled things are going the way they are and that we're in fact able to not have to work day jobs. It's the best possible thing. It's just so much fun."

Fun, however, doesn't pay the bills.

"For as well as people say we're doing, we can't support a lifestyle of our own," she said. "One of the goals would be to have apartments to live in. It's hard to say that we've made it when I can't really support myself living on my own."

Tragedy struck the band in June 2007, when its original drummer, John Pike, drowned. In his memory, Pike's family began the John Ryan Pike Memorial Project, an organization that donates musical instruments to children without them.

The band members soldiered on by still performing, wearing Pike on their sleeves as he wrote a good sum of the songs on "The Rhumb Line," an album that triumphs musically, overcoming the listener with a sense of recovery from emotional trauma.

For the next album, Zeller said the band will bring more of the same.

"I'm not sure how to slap a name on what direction we're going in, but I think we're definitely growing as songwriters," she said. "There's obviously a growth. It's not a change at all. It's definitely doing what we do, but better." "Bryan Mangieri

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