at Pitchfork’s Saturday-night South By Southwest showcase last March, I
coaxed SLEIGH BELLS’ Alexis Krauss to crowd surf during their
M.I.A.-ish punk anthem “Crown on the Ground” (video here). She hit the crowd and briefly fell into my arms.
The elusive Swedish producers-turned-indie-pop-hitmakers
Miike Snow have worked hard at translating a subdued electronic debut
album into a rousing live performance, but their sold-out appearance at
the Paradise this past Wednesday proved that the transition can be a
bumpy and confusing one.
This week, in addition to getting pummeled by
rainstorms, Boston also found itself flooded with SXSW 2010 talent, as
a slew of recent Austin vets converged upon the East Coast. Among them
were Manchester Orchestra (of neither New Hampshire nor English stock),
who headlined a sold-out show at the Paradise on Tuesday night.
Ra Ra Riot is a little more ra ra than riotous, but that's part of their charm. The six-piece act resembles a group of young band-geeks-cum-rock-stars (sort of), and it works for them. Their two female members rock a violin and a cello as if they were channeling Slash manhandling his axe, while shaggy-headed vocalist Wes Miles bops around the stage, alternately crooning into his mic and ruffling bassist Mathieu Santos’s hair with joyful abandon.