Aug 4-7

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Hurray for the Riff Raff
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Hurray for the Riff Raff

One of the reasons you started listening to music in the first place might have been in the hope of finding the kind of conviction and fierce rawness evident in Hurray for the Riff Raff’s, aka Alynda Segarra’s, “nature punk” manifesto about survival, LIFE ON EARTH. A visionary musician, Segarra (they/she) is an outsider in whose voice you might find echoes of your own. On her eighth full-length album, Segarra is creating music of honesty and portent. If there hadn’t been a pandemic, Segarra might have made a very different sort of album from Life on Earth, which became the record she’s waited a lifetime to make. “For me, every album is almost a film or a novel or a world I create that I want to live in. I want it to have themes and language, a cosmology or a lexicon, so the listener can live in it, because that’s what I loved about punk and the music that I was drawn to. It wasn’t just about the music, it was about joining a crew,” says Segarra. As is their habit when making an album, Segarra was relentless in their research, thumbing through books on flowers and plants and watching documentaries, such as Blank City and Jupiter’s Dance, about the music scene in Kinshasa. Segarra also drew inspiration from reading the poetry of Joy Harjo, the United States Poet Laureate (the first Native American to hold that honor) and Ocean Vuong, the award-winning Vietnamese American poet and author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Another source that sparked Segarra was adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy. “It’s like a toolkit or a map for activists and people in organizing movements of how to learn from nature, how we can flock together, how we can learn to be adaptive and resist and grow and thrive, and trust each other,” they explain. Segarra’s work with Freedom for Immigrants also impacted their writing. “I felt like the world was going to shit and I needed to be useful.”

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