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At every festival, there’s a day where you say, you know what, I’m going to take it easy. Saturday was that day for me. Most of the bands I wanted to see were at the end of the day, and besides, it was extra humid – the kind of day where you don’t think it’s too bad, because it’s pretty overcast, but before you know it, you’re covered in sweat. (It was also the kind of day where you don’t think you’re going to get a sunburn – overcast, remember? – until you get back to your hotel and realize you’re much more lobster-like than you were that morning.)
So for the most part, I kept Saturday nice and easy. Things started out with a set from Hurray for the Riff Raff. Their latest album, Small Town Heroes, was a regular play on CHIRP when it was released, and most of their set was made up of tracks from that release. Frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra kept the mood light and easy with her upbeat folk songs, but they’re not a band that’s afraid to get political or challenge the status quo. While they didn’t play it, they have an unreleased song called “Everybody Knows”, written for Trayvon Martin, that’s absolutely chilling. Segarra also pokes at the folk tradition of murder ballads, which are almost universally about a woman being murdered. Segarra spins that into a song that’s almost, but not quite, going into revenge territory. “Delia’s gone, but I’m settling the score,” she sings, quiet and delicate, and you get the feeling that whoever did Delia wrong is going to regret it pretty soon.