Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” – Listen

From this month’s Friends Of compilation (out now on digital download!) there’s been some discussion of a striking track by Hurray for the Riff Raff called “Pa’lante” which is an incredible listen. Pitchfork have written a piece about it here which is worth a read while you absorb the track – the audio is below. “In an ever-desensitized world, Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra is skilled at making violence human. “Pa’lante,” a ferocious highlight from her forthcoming record The Navigator, examines the spiritual death that occurs when ancestral histories and identities are abandoned in order to assimilate. The song’s title is a Spanish affirmation that means “onwards, forwards,” borrowed from the name of the newspaper published by the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican community activist group that agitated for change in the 1970s. Segarra also samples a recording of Pedro Pietri’s seminal 1969 poem “Puerto Rican Obituary,” which illuminated the rigged game of naturalization to a generation. But her lament is entirely her own.  Continue reading “Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” – Listen”

South By Southwest Festival 2017. Austin, Texas

I normally advise Americana-loving friends who enquire about sxsw simply to visit Austin at any time of the year and check out venues like the Broken Spoke or the Saxon Pub to get the authentic Austin feel. You’ll be sure to see the likes of Jon Dee Graham, William Harries Graham, Bob Schneider, Darden Smith, James McMurtry and other such stalwarts of the scene. But there are certain sxsw American events that are unique to that week and are not to be missed.

The Yard Dog Gallery on South Congress has a yard at the back which is covered by a gazebo during sxsw and it is really worth spending a whole afternoon there, because the music is invariably top notch and the audience respectful and very much “up for it”. A common characteristic of all the places I shall describe is the superhuman amount of alcohol consumed. I’m by no means teetotal but I tell you, the amount these guys put away is mind-boggling. Nursing a three dollar local IPA, I was hugely entertained by a highly-wired Austin Lucas (whose Alone In Memphis always brings a lump to the throat), who also duetted with Mara Connor. Continue reading “South By Southwest Festival 2017. Austin, Texas”