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Out of the Box Album of the Week--Hurray for the Riff Raff

Album of the Week--Hurray for the Riff Raff

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “The Past is Still Alive” is like a modern day western, tough and tender and full of personal experiences that, while traumatic, inspire the feeling that life goes on.

Alynda Segarra is the songwriter who has been recording under that name since 2008 and they are joined by some like minded artists as contributors. Meg Duffy of Hand Habits, S.G. Goodman, Mike Mogis plays on and mixes the album and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes lends his voice to one of the songs.

Segarra returns to an acoustic base for these performances. The focus is on the dispossessed with songs about the Club Q shootings and an ode to one of Segarra’s life mentors, a trans person who was instrumental in accepting their own gender identity.   

There is a desperation to the songs on "The Past is Still Alive" but Segarra’s vocals and arrangements make them seem more optimistic. Like a gunslinger coming to town to set things right, Segarra makes the trauma of today is a harbinger of a better tomorrow.