Posts Tagged ‘Ra Ra Riot’

Nominations for the 2009 MTVu Woodies are out  – Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, La Roux, Phoenix, and even Ra Ra Riot get some credit this year.  The event tapes at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom on November 18th, but voting begins today (and runs through November 16th) at

The nominees for the 2009 “mtvU Woodie Awards” are:


Woodie of the Year – (Artist of the Year)

The artists who made the biggest splash on mtvU and the college music scene this past year.



Asher Roth (SRC/Universal Mowtown/Schoolboy)

Kings of Leon (RCA)

Drake (Universal Republic/Young Money)

MGMT (Columbia/Red Ink)

Silversun Pickups (Dangerbird Records)


The Breaking Woodie – (Best Emerging Artist)

mtvU is where new developing artists are test driven for the first time by the toughest critics around: college students.  One of this year’s newest artists will win the coveted “Breaking Woodie.”



Grizzly Bear (Warp Records)

Never Shout Never (Warner Bros./Loveway Records)

Wale (Allido/Interscope)

La Roux (Interscope/Cherytree)

Friendly Fires (XL Recordings)

Passion Pit (Columbia/Frenchkiss Records)


Left Field Woodie – (Most Original Artist)

They are genre-busters. They resist classification.  They came out of left field, and we are still not sure what section of the record store to find them.   



Amanda Blank (Downtown Records)

Janelle Monae (Bad Boy Records)

Major Lazer (Downtown Records)

Jay Reatard (Matador Records)

Tech N9ne (Strange Music Inc)



Best Video Woodie  – (Best Video of the Year) 

The music video that is so incredible, we would watch it even without the music.



Matt & Kim “Lessons Learned” (Cornerstone/Fader)

The Dead Weather “Treat Me Like Your Mother” (Warner Bros./Third Man)

Death Cab for Cutie “Grapevine Fires” (Atlantic)
Anjulie “Boom” (Hear Music)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Heads will Roll” (DGC/Interscope)

Kid Cudi “Day N Nite” (G.O.O.D Music/Fool’s Gold/Universal Motown)


Performing Woodie – (Best Tour) 

For those artists who take to the road and never let up, always giving that memorable live performance. 



Green Day (Reprise/Warner Bros.)

Phoenix (Glassnote)

3OH!3 (Atlantic/Photo Finish)

Animal Collective (Domino)

POS (Rhymesayers)


The Good Woodie – (Greatest Social Impact)

The award for the artist whose commitment to a social cause has effected the greatest change this year. 



John Legend (Columbia Records) – Show Me Campaign 

 John Legend founded the Show Me Campaign to help end poverty through sustainable development at the individual, family, and community levels.  His organization works closely with Millennium Promise and the people of Mbola, Tanzania to implement practical solutions to poverty including clean water, improved health care and education, higher-yielding agriculture, and internet connectivity.


Wyclef Jean (Columbia Records) – Yele Haiti

Wyclef Jean has been active in his support of his native country and created the foundation Yéle Haiti to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to Haiti. Yéle Haiti is a non-political organization intended to empower the people of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora to rebuild their nation.


Kenna (Interscope Records) – PlayPumps

Kenna began working closely with PlayPumps at the beginning of 2009 in an effort to bring 100 PlayPumps water systems to Africa. PlayPumps’ goal is to provide access to clean drinking water to ten million people. Kenna also started his own organization, called Summit on the Summit, with the intent to promote safe water drinking worldwide and to teach the importance of setting and attaining goals – physically and emotionally – by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and documenting his experience.


Jamie Tworkowski – To Write Love on Her Arms

Jamie Tworkowski founded To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and to invest directly into treatment and recovery.


Ra Ra Riot (Barsuk Records) – John Ryan Pike Memorial Foundation

When the band’s 23-year-old drummer, John Pike, passed away tragically, his family and the band formed the John Ryan Pike Memorial Foundation, to encourage and promote music and the performing arts. 


Alicia Keys (J Records) -Keep a Child Alive/AIDSactivism

Alicia Keys is a devoted AIDS activist and philanthropist. In 2003, she co-founded Keep a Child Alive (KCA), a people’s movement that provides life-saving AIDS medicine and surrounding care to children and families in Africa and India. KCA also provides support to AIDS orphans left behind to keep the most vulnerable children out of harms way.


Still on a high from their April 4th headlining show at Webster Hall, Ra Ra Riot has managed to play on repeat for days on end.  Not really sure how it was possible to overlook them for this long (officially started hitting the blogosphere and began the show circuit in 2007).  Can’t beg you enough to check them out live.

Check out these amazingly shot videos, with an attic set design, from their hometown of Syracuse, NY. The four-song setlist includes “Dying is Fine”, “Too Too Too Fast”, “Ghosts Under Rocks”, and “Oh, La.”

During Ra Ra Riot’s first official headlining tour, the young eclectic band – including a mix of violins, synths, cellos – gave a 60min. satisfying set to the fans that showed up to Webster Hall to support the band famous for its Syracuse University conception.

Eyeballs rotated from lead singer Wes Miles, to the violinist that played and danced, to the sexy celloist that provided back-up vocals to a few tracks.  Together, the band creates a mixture of geeks to hipsters and their sound is fantastic – it’s a younger version of Toronto-based STARS.  And, even with all of the movement and energy that came from the stage, not one drop of sweat was seen on any of them – random but baffling.


A slow skyrocket to the top will happen for this band, with the sold-out show and the crowd sing-along as proof.  But the real obsession begins when you see how passionate each member of the band is on stage.  From the vocals, to the arrangement, to the chemistry that each of them have, Ra Ra Riot is the epitome of feel-good, deep, and dark with an uplift.  And, even after an unexpected tragedy (the original drummer was found dead in a river in Massachusetts in 2007) questioned how long the cult success would live on for, the band kept it together and wrote/produced one of the most loved tracks (“Dying is Fine”, dedicated to drummer John Ryan Pike) that was sung by the entire audience last night.  Even with an underlying mourning message to the lyrics, they manage to give it an optimistic sound to what lies ahead.  I was wowed.


Grab a free download of “Dying is Fine” here – thanks to


A serenade unlike any other serenade will even make one with a cold heart feel a slight tinge of….I’m not sure.  Between each band member making an attempt, equipped with flowers of their choice, and that drumming of the door that goes ignored…woe is them.

Ra Ra Riot rules, and their new music video for “Can You Tell” tugs at the strings.  Check it out.


When I look into your eyes
I tend to lose my thoughts
I don’t forget your stare
Oh what was that you said
Would you let me know
‘Cause I can’t read your mind
Oh can you tell
I can’t even explain