Featured News Taping Announcement

New Taping: Hurray for the Riff Raff

Austin City Limits is excited to announce a new summer taping, Hurray for the Riff Raff, to be included in the stellar lineup of Season 50 performances. Hurray for the Riff Raff will make their debut on ACL Tuesday, July 2 in support of their latest release, The Past Is Still Alive.

Hurray for the Riff Raff. Photo by Tommy Kha.

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s latest release, The Past Is Still Alive, finds bandleader Alynda Segarra (they/them) being called “one of America’s best songwriters” (Vulture). Recently released on Nonesuch Records, The Past Is Still Alive is the record of Segarra’s life so far. Finding fans in everyone from Elton John to poet Eileen Myles, it has been hailed as “the next great American road album” (The Atlantic), through which Hurray for the Riff Raff is “etching their own story into the American songbook, and asserting that they belong there” (The New York Times). Pitchfork named it Best New Music, NPR Music‘s Ann Powers drew comparisons to Joni Mitchell’s Hejira and Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels On a Gravel Road, and in a sweeping cover story, Paste declared it “the most important album of the 2020s so far.” Produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Indigo Girls, Waxahatchee), The Past Is Still Alive is both a memoir and a roadmap to America’s fringes, as Segarra uses portraits of their radical, itinerant experiences to deliver profound reflections on time, memory and loss. Segarra is 36, or a little less than halfway through the average American lifespan. In that comparatively brief time, though, the Hurray for the Riff Raff founder has been something of a modern Huck Finn, an itinerant traveler whose adventures prompt art that reminds us there are always other ways to live. Segarra’s poetic power proves why they have become a pan-everything fixture of the modern folk movement, illustrating inequality and independence, and navigating chaos and trauma with a sense of wonder and want. With The Past Is Still Alive, their ninth studio album, Segarra finally tells the story themselves, speckling stirring reflections on love, loss, and the end or evolution of the United States with foundational scenes from their own life. “It felt like a trust fall, or a letting go of this idea of proving something to the music industry—how I can be more digestible, modifiable, sellable,” Segarra says. “I feel like I’m closer to what I actually have to share.” 

We’re thrilled to welcome Hurray for the Riff Raff to the ACL stage for our milestone 50th season. Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes a week in advance of the taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episode will air on PBS this fall as part of our anniversary Season 50