Long before Ra Ra Riot performed a single note of its dancetronic third album, Beta Love (Barsuk), the band talked at great length about the need for a change. The viscerally charged chamber-pop outfit had maintained a steady course after the tragic 2007 drowning death of beloved drummer John Pike, blossomed on its 2008 Barsuk full-length debut, The Rhumb Line, and flourished with a variety of subsequent beatkeepers, but everyone felt the inevitable tug of creative evolution after 2010 sophomore album The Orchard. The roles of violinist Rebecca Zeller and guitarist Milo Bonacci changed the most dramatically; with the dominance of the synthesizer on Beta Love, Bonacci was forced to radically reimagine/rewrite his guitar contributions and take on more expansive sonic duties, while Zeller was freed up to explore new approaches with her instrument and the spare strings the band utilized. Bassist Mathieu Santos will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Ra Ra Riot feature.
Santos: The Illuminatus! Trilogy is incredibly fun to read and nearly impossible to describe. Basically, this book systematically examined and destroyed just about every square inch of my psyche. Skepticism and gullibility, curiosity and paranoia, fact and fiction, memory and fantasy—all were juxtaposed with such calculated abandonment that by the time I was finished, each concept had seemed to completely swallow itself whole. Whenever I put the book down, everything around me seemed a little more absurd and dubious. Even my dreams became more vivid and difficult to differentiate from reality. It was such a joyous, exhilarating, and exhausting read. While it’s not going to be the last book I ever read, it might as well have been.
Video after the jump.