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The Romance of Ra Ra Riot



    This show was canceled at the last minute due to illness -- Ed.

    Ra Ra Riot plays the kind of preppy pop that suggests you might want to tuck in your shirt and wear a novelty bow tie. It's what happens when indie music writers try to make sense of the romanticism of the cello and violin -- they immediately categorize the band's sound as something a little more regal than your average pop band. 

    It's true that Ra Ra Riot sound like fellow Ivy Leaguers Vampire Weekend -- both groups craft music that is equal parts urgency and emotion, a sound that can get you dancing along in a club or listening alone in your room. It's pop perfectly structured for the life of the twentysomething. 

    Ra Ra Riot hail from Syracuse, N.Y., and are made up of vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Bonacci, cellist Alexandra Lawn, violinist Rebecca Zeller and drummer Kenny Bernard. Their last album, The Orchard, is sentimental and introspective, melodic rock at its finest and, perhaps, most groomed. Recently, they released a new video for "Shadowcasting" that's been described as a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Harry and the Hendersons. It's totally bizarre and playful, like the band itself. 

    Getty Images

    Supporting Ra Ra Riot at the Belly Up on Nov. 9 will be Yellow Ostrich, who are also on Barsuk Records and carry that same indie- pop charm as their tourmates. Yellow Ostrich began on the blogosphere, with vocalist Alex Schaaff performing Youtube covers of the National, Sharon Van Etten and many others -- with a bedroom-pop quality provided by Schaaff's reverberated vocals. His record The Mistress is filled with haunting harmonies that loop and layer on top of one another. He's got a boy's choir kind of voice, the stunningly pure sound of wonder and imagination, and while he may sing about fireflies, whales and libraries, none of it sounds childish. Rather, it's redemptive' in fact, it sounds like the kind of songs everyone needs write. 

    Ra Ra Riot and Yellow Ostrich are playing at Belly Up with Delicate Steve. Grab your tickets here

    Nada Alic runs the San Diego-based music blog Friends With Both Arms.Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.