The Suspect: Ra Ra Riot
This group includes a violinist and a cellist; the resulting sound is part indie pop, part chamber orchestra. Founding members of this young band met while attending college in Syracuse, N.Y. Their recently released second CD, The Orchard, contains tracks mixed by Death Cab for Cutie and Vampire Weekend members; the band wrote and recorded demos for the disc during a stint they spent living on a peach orchard.
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Wednesday, Nov. 3
RIYD (Recommended if You Dig): Fleet Foxes, Tokyo Police Club, Andrew Bird.
You Should Go If: You started using public transportation on principle but now it’s a big part of your social life; You’re a cat person in a dog person town; “Early Voting” has been referenced in your last twenty-three Facebook statuses; Your best defense against S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder): Drinking a skinny caramel latte every two hours.
The Suspect: Marco Benevento Trio
Marco Benevento is a keyboardist whose musical style is a mix of jazz, jam band and post-rock. He graduated from the Berklee School of Music in 1999, where he studied under acclaimed jazz pianist Joanne Brackeen. He spent much of 2006 touring with former Phish leader Trey Anastasio as part of his back up band. His most recent disc, Between Needles & Nightfall, was released in May of this year.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Thursday, Nov. 4
RIYD: Medeski, Martin & Wood, Garage a Trois
You Should Go If: You’re still wearing the pants and boots from your Spaceman Halloween costume; the Octopus Garden gave you an unlimited line of credit; You’re obsessed with televised celebrity roasts; Your best defense against S.A.D.: Using a lot of pharmaceuticals and embracing your “Shadow Side.”
The Suspect: Marcy Playground
The song, “Sex and Candy,” was on Marcy Playground’s self-titled debut in 1997. It spent 15 consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Modern Rock Charts before eventually going platinum (the song recently regained popularity when it was used in the movie Zach and Mira Make a Porno.) Although the band hasn’t found that sort of commercial success again, they are very excited about their most recent release, Leaving Wonderland…In a Fit of Rage; it’s much more mellow and adult rock oriented than their earlier grunge sound; front man John Wozniak calls it, “by far the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Friday, Nov. 5
RIYD: Early M.P. — Nirvana, Everclear; Recent M.P. — Counting Crows, Pete Yorn
You Should Go If: There are lots of parallels between Winona Ryder’s life path and yours; You go on vacation to the same place every year; You learn your deepest desires when drunk texting; Your best defense against S.A.D.: You have none; in less than a month you’ll be hanging by a thread.
The Suspect: Soulive
These guys play organ-driven instrumental jazz that makes people want to get their groove on. Originally from Vermont, brothers Alan and Neil Evans founded Soulive in the late ‘90s with guitarist Eric Krasno. The band gets audiences moving with their fusion of soul-jazz with more modern hip-hop sounds.
Can Be Found: Pisgah Brewing Company, Monday, Nov. 8
RIYD: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Herbie Hancock.
You Should Go If: The song, “It’s Hip to Be Square,” runs through your head at least once a week; You’re considered a regular at the Eliada Corn Maze; You view your unemployment as a liberated lifestyle choice rather than a “problem”; Your best defense against S.A.D.: A sofa at Barnes and Noble with your name on it.