Longtime Wondering Sound favorite Hurray For the Riff Raff — an artist we believed in from the very beginning, to the point where we released one of her early records — performed on Late Show With David Letterman last night, marking her network TV debut with the stark ballad “The Body Electric.”
“It had been an idea in my mind for months,” singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra told NPR, when asked about the song’s reactionary roots. “I was out at a club one night and I heard somebody sing a murder ballad, it was a new song — very rock ‘n’ roll, a song about killing his girlfriend for cheating on him. There was just something that popped into me at that moment when I was listening to the song, where I suddenly realized, this person is so disconnected from what they’re saying. It was one of those moments when you’re like, the whole world has gone crazy!
She continued, “We hear the song and say, oh, but it’s in that old form. They don’t really mean that, they’re just singing it. That’s very similar to, oh he didn’t mean it, she was drunk. Or he didn’t mean it; she made him really angry. All of those things had started to play in my mind as ways that we try to make sense of something that’s basically just violent and crazy. And I just suddenly felt like it was my place to say something about it.”
Have a look at last night’s segment below, and check out J. Edward Keyes’s recent feature on Hurray For the Riff Raff here…