© 2021 Boise State Public Radio

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact us at boisestatepublicradio@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-3663.
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
What is the single most important question about COVID-19 you think needs to be answered? Submit it for a special Idaho Matters Doctors Roundtable in English and Spanish.

Hurray For the Riff Raff, 'Rhododendron'

The spirit of The Velvet Underground has permeated this season, thanks to Todd Haynes' acclaimed documentary on the band. Hurray for the Riff Raff's Alynda Segarra, one of the most adventurous spirits to ever come out of the Americana music scene, is one step ahead of the curve, as usual. They recorded "Rhododendron," the first single from their upcoming Life on Earth — HFTRR's first album since 2017's masterwork The Navigator, due out Feb. 18 — before that movie made Lou Reed's snarl ubiquitous again.

Segarra modulates Velvets attitude for their own purposes: The song, they say, is about "finding rebellion in plant life," and their hypnotic, attitudinal vocal invokes the titular flower alongside night-blooming jasmine and deadly nightshade, old spirits to carry us beyond our current crises and into a cosmic place of healing. The video, directed by New Orleans artist Lucia Honey, was inspired by the Teenage Apocalypse trilogy of one of Haynes's peers in the revolutionary New Queer Cinema movement, Gregg Araki.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.