Bumbershoot Music Lounge: The Ravonettes

Photos by Brittney Bush Bollay

Super-cool Danish twosome The Raveonettes have been churning out delightfully psyched-out indie rock for the better part of the past decade. Singer Sune Rose Wagner’s hypnotically spaced-out voice sounds like it’s floating through the cosmos, and is complemented perfectly by the psychedelic twang of duo’s guitar lines.  Their latest album <i>In And Out of Control</i>, which was released last year, is more of the same goodness, and features the infectiously catchy song “Hear of Stone.”  They’ll be playing on the Broad Street Stage at 9:30, but if you can’t miss seeing Bob Dylan or Visqueen, who  come on at the same time, you can catch their performance from their Music Lounge performance on KEXP at 5:30.

When The Ravonettes started their KEXP lounge set with “Heart of Stone,” heads in the audience were bobbing, but not just the head bobbing of “oh this is a catchy song,” but more so a head bob that says “yes, rock and roll is not dead.” In shorter words, it was epic. The opening riff rang throughout the song as if it were the introduction to a gunfight. Then as Sharon Foo came in pounding on the modified drum set without a kick drum, the empowerment and adrenaline everyone was feeling was confirmed.

The group sounds as if the Sonic Youth and Pixies got together and decided they would have their offspring start a band with the crypticness of The Cure and adapting all of this to a 2010 style. On some songs the duo would have two other members join the stage, but at the core the band is a duo. The songs played just by Foo and Sune Wagner built a tension in the music that did not let go until the last note rang. Even the poppier sounding songs have a dark mystique about them.

Every song seems to breaks whatever rules there may seem to be about rock and pop music. As Foo banged a slow beat on the tom drum at the start of “The Beat Dies” it became ever more clear that they are out to make their own art and not just catchy tunes, while still being pleasing to the ears. Punk, new wave, alternative and art-rock had their moment in the sun for the performance.

“Ally Walk With Me,” a song with a booming back line and haunting harmonies, featured the band sounding like they might explode at any moment. Foo’s corase and dirty feedback solos could make someone feel like they need to take a shower afterward. As the solos and the set finished fans flooded to the stage to shake hands with the band. For others, it was a good moment to catch their breath from this intense and powerful performance.

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