By E.E. Cummings
The first time I saw Ra Ra Riot was a few months after I started at Syracuse when one of my (now best) friends asked me if I wanted to check them out at the Funk N' Waffles on Marshall Street. I was indifferent and I'd never heard of them before but the show was 5 bucks, it was October, I was new to campus and had a try-anything mentality, so I went. This was before they renovated the place, so the stage was near the front and it couldn't have been elevated more than a foot off the ground. Basically there was no real separation between band and audience. Not many people showed up that night from what I remember, or well, it was a small space. So it was intimate. And long story short: I fell in love and they're now one of my favorites. I've seen them five times since, including once at the beginning of this year and I'll probably see them again in October when they return to NYC. (A description I wrote of Ra Ra Riot in 2010 for CITYist.com.)
I am also a fan of e.e. cummings and the other day picked up Selected Poems, a book I purchased in January 2012 that I never finished. It was such a pretty cover (see above) and I like him so I bought it. As I was reading last week I came upon the below and realized that "Dying Is Fine," one of my favorites and one of Ra Ra Riot's most popular songs, was inspired by one of the poems! Instantly looked it up to make sure (though it had to be), and it was just kind of a great, quiet little epiphany I had one morning.
Read & then listen: