Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Boy Least Likely Too - A Balloon On A Broken String Video

The long awaited second album from British duo The Boy Least Likely To will finally be released on March 3rd. Entitled The Law of the Playground, the release is filled with track after track of charming pop songs. They just released the video for "A Balloon on a Broken String". Based on this, the album is going to be another keeper.

The Boy Least Likely To Myspace


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Black Lips - Short Fuse Video

Earlier this week, Black Lips posted the video for "Short Fuse" off their latest album 200 Million Thousand! Animation by Chris Taylor. Directed by Joe Bradley. Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

7 Silly Questions With Bodies of Water!

It is nearly impossible to describe in any meaningful context the triumphant sounds produced by California band Bodies of Water. Part rock opera, part gospel, part Age of Aquarius, the music is theatrical and over the top in all of the best possible ways. Perhaps Pitchfork’s description of them as “Jesus Christ Superstars” is the most accurate three word summary available. Husband and wife team of David & Meredith Metcalf have created the some of the most provocative, rousing tunes that come as a very welcome, very brilliant departure from standard indie rock fare.

Depending on the venue, day, and time of year, their live show can be comprised of anywhere from two to eleven band members. Sometimes it’s just David and Meredith performing. Other times, it’s a small orchestra of musicians and vocalists furiously belting out the songs.The group has taken to touring around the country in a used RV, parking to sleep when they see fit and rocking the asses off every audience they meet.

We caught up to David & Meredith during some of their down time and begged them to answer some of our exceedingly silly questions.

Viva: What was the first record you ever bought?
David: It was a compilation tape of 50's music from the radio station K-Earth 101 that they were selling at the Pantry, which is the grocery store that used to be down the street from our house in Fullerton. The Platters, Jan & Dean, the Big Bopper, Dodie Stevens, etc. The Pantry became Vons a little while later, and now it is a Persian market.
Meredith: The Tom-Tom Club (1st record)

Viva: Who smells the worst in the van on tour?
David: I haven't noticed problems of this sort. Maybe that means that I have the problem...
Meredith: Kyle

Viva: Your sound can sometimes be reminiscent of 70s and early 80s rock operas! What is your favorite movie musical extravaganza from that time period?
David: Einstein on the Beach
Meredith: The Wiz

Viva: What's the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Meredith: We off-roaded into a wooded area to unload the black water from our RV, thinking it was pretty harmless. We had never emptied it before. It was disgusting. We opened up the valve and let it drain into the dirt. We weren't on any kind of incline, so it just swirled around, and we had to hop out of the way. You would think that since it is mostly sink water and urine, it wouldn't be that bad, but it was unspeakably vile.

Viva: Beatles or Stones?
David: Beatles
Meredith: Beatles

Viva: Who's in heavy rotation on your iPod?
David: Dionne Warwick, Carl Orff, Kurt Weill, Richard Strauss, Donna Summer, Elvis

Viva: What was the worst fight over nothing that you got into with each other after being road weary and exhausted?
David: After eating at a Burger King in Wisconsin or someplace, Jamie told us that when he was 10 years old, he was served a bad hamburger and he vowed to never eat at Burger King again. He had kept his vow up until that very night. I don't know how much exhaustion factored into his decision, but it was a sobering moment. This was not a fight as much as an internal conflict (which was peacefully resolved).

Visit Bodies of Water Online:
Bodies of Water Website
Bodies of Water Myspace

Download Gold Tan Peach & Grey MP3!
See all the Bodies of Water MP3 Downloads


Dntel - Early Works For Me If It Works For You II

Jimmy Tamborello may be best known for his masterful programming as part of The Postal Service. However, he has been (not so) quietly been releasing albums as Dntel for well over a decade. On April 14th, he will be releasing a 3 disk set which includes remastered versions of his first two albums EarlyWorks For Me If It Works For You and Something Always Goes Wrong along with a disk of unreleased materials that was recorded before his third album Life is Full of Possibilites. Check out "Loneliness is Having No One To Miss." If you are a big fan of electronic music, this is a must have.

Dntel Myspace
Download Loneliness Is Having No One to Miss MP3


Friday, February 20, 2009

Ruby Isle Vs II - The Complete Series

For the last two winters, Kindercore founder Dan Geller and his band of electro-pop geniuses known as Ruby Isle put out an amazing weekly cover song series known as Ruby Isle vs. It started in winter of 2008 when they had the brilliant idea to cover whatever song was at the top of the Hot List on the well known blog aggregation site . This year, they are back at it. This year's crop includes six amazing cover songs accompanied by six amazing videos. Their victims? Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Animal Collective, Black Lips, & The Thermals.

Ruby Isle has graciously allowed us to post all six videos and all six mp3s! Enjoy!

Ruby Isle vs. Fleet Foxes White Winter Hymnal MP3
Ruby Isle vs. Bon Iver Skinny Love MP3
Ruby Isle vs. Decemberists The Rake Song MP3
Ruby Isle vs. Animal Collective My Girls MP3
Ruby Isle vs. Black Lips Short Fuse MP3
Ruby Isle vs. The Thermals Now We Can See MP3

Visit Ruby Isle Online:
Ruby Isle Myspace
Ruby Isle Kindercore Page
The Complete 2008 Ruby Isle vs. Wrap-up


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Broken West - Perfect Game Video Debut + Spring Tour Dates!

Merge Records artists The Broken West debuted their new video Perfect Game this week. It's an homage to Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy directed by Neil Mahoney of In addition, they are kicking off their big spring tour that will take them from San Diego, CA to Cambridge, MA and everywhere in between. They will be sharing the stage with the likes of French Kicks, AC Newman, and Clem Snide.

The Broken West Myspace


02.23.2009 San Diego, CA Casbah w/ the French Kicks
02.24.2009 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour w/ the French Kicks
02.25.2009 San Francisco, CA The Independent w/ The French Kicks
02.27.2009 Portland, OR Doug Fir w/ the French Kicks, AA Bondy
02.28.2009 Seattle, WA Chop Suey w/ The French Kicks
03.11.2009 Denver, CO Hi-Dive w/ Blind Pilot
03.12.2009 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room w/ Blind Pilot
03.13.2009 Iowa City, IA The Picador w/ Blind Pilot
03.14.2009 Madison, WI Orpheum Stage Door w/ Blind Pilot
03.16.2009 Columbus, OH The Treehouse
03.17.2009 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda's w/ AC Newman
03.18.2009 Washington, DC The Black Cat w/ AC Newman
03.19.2009 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle w/ AC Newman
03.20.2009 Atlanta, GA The Earl w/ AC Newman
03.21.2009 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge w/ AC Newman
03.22.2009 St. Louis, MO Duck Room w/ AC Newman
03.24.2009 Minneapolis, MN 400 Bar w/ AC Newman
03.25.2009 Chicago, IL Logan Square w/ AC Newman
03.26.2009 Pontiac, MI The Pike Room w/ AC Newman
03.27.2009 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop w/ AC Newman
03.28.2009 Pittsburgh, PA Andy Warhol Museum w/ AC Newman
03.30.2009 Cambridge, MA Middle East w/ Say Hi, Blind Pilot, and Telekinesis
04.04.2009 Austin, TX Mohawk w/ Clem Snide


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

7 Silly Questions With Tullycraft!

When people tell me that my pop sensibilities are a bit too sugary for their consumption, my response is always, “Blame Tullycraft.” When they wonder why I am blaming one single band for my sunny musical disposition, I sit them down, give them a fizzy soda pop, and make them listen to every song off of Old Traditions, New Standards. More often than not, I have a convert.

Tullycraft is a special band. Sure they make what you could categorize as twee pop. But there is such amazing heart to their music. The songs are sincere, endearing, and so remarkably well performed that you can’t help falling in love with them. Even the most hardcore shoe-gazers I have known couldn’t help but crack a smile at songs like “Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid To Know About” and “Wild Bikini.”

Since their first full length release in 1996, Tullycraft have been steadily turning out hit records filled to the brim with memorable pop gems. The indie music world loves them so much there was even a tribute album released entitled First String Teenage High. Tullycraft may not have invented the twee genre, but they have become its strongest champions.

We caught up with the band while they were relaxing in their hometown of Seattle. They graciously agreed to answer some of our burning questions:

Viva: What's the most embarrassing band you loved as a kid?
Corianton: Phil Collins
Chris: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. I was about 12
Jenny: I still love ABBA and am not afraid to admit it.
Jeff: Jenny is correct. One should never be embarrassed about the music they love.
Sean: I guess that explains the John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band when Jeff drives.

Viva: What's the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Chris: Maybe the elaborate pranks between Bunnygrunt and us when we were touring together.
Sean: That's true, that dirty diaper gag we pulled on Bunnygrunt had to be one of our finest moments, and it went on for days. We trashed their van so bad! It was absolutely disgusting!
Jenny: It's got to be a tie between Chris hanging out in the hotel room for hours wearing only a towel and Jeff falling on his ass on the sidewalk in Cleveland because he tried to do a drunken high kick on his birthday.
Jeff: Hey, I succeeded in the high kick - it was the aftermath that was not so good. And I'm still getting good milage out of the photos of Chris and his towel.

Viva: Who has the worst van etiquette?
Corianton: Jenny has the worst van etiquette.
Chris: Gary did, for sure! Though Sean shaving with his electric razor in the backseat is a close second.
Sean: It's true, I have shaved in the van and it drives Chris crazy. Maybe it's me?
Jeff: I actually have the worst van etiquette as I hog the front seat. And I don't care. Plus I have a habit of using inventive sign language with other motorists.
Jenny: Believe it or not, they were all perfect gentlemen!

Viva: A good number of your songs deal with falling in love, being in love, or falling out of love/breaking up. What's the best advice you can give to those looking for love?
Jenny: Find your passion, work towards it, along the way you'll meet someone who has the same passion as you. Is that too New Agey?
Corianton: Yes.
Chris: Love is a grave mental disease.-- Plato
Sean: The best advice I can give those looking for love: don't listen to indiepop.
Jeff: And don't listen to our music for advice on matters of the heart. What's wrong with you?

Viva: Please finally help set the record straight. Which is more twee: bunnies or kittens?
Jenny: Kittens, kittens, kittens!
Corianton: Turduckens.
Sean: Bunnies singing songs about kittens, and then releasing those songs on Matinée Records is by far the most twee. But seriously, how many songs about kittens sung by bunnies do we really need? Apparently, Jimmy thinks we need more.
Chris: Bunnies. Kittens are just small tigers and lions.
Jeff: Your concern on this topic is, of course, the twee-est thing ever. Fuck you, you're twee.

Viva: Who's in heavy rotation on your iPod?
Jenny: Rihanna and I'm loving that Lady GaGa song. The rest of the boys are much cooler than I am!
Corianton: Joanna Newsom. Is that too new-agey?
Jenny: Yes. Even I think so.
Chris: Feist, The Lucksmiths, M83, Jens Lekman
Jeff: Felt, Dead Moon, and Firewater.
Sean: Hello Seahorse, Iji, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, Hefner and a playlist of Halloween Sound Effects.

Viva: What was the worst fight over nothing that you got into with each other after being road weary and exhausted?
Jeff: 10 years ago Tullycraft almost fell apart on a hot summer evening when one member of this band drove another member to a Manhattan, Kansas Greyhound Bus station. We have disfunctionally continued until today by leaving the details of the event in that dusty midwestern parking lot.
Sean: Manhattan, Kansas. Now that was a fight.
Chris: Uh, these things happen so often it's hard to separate them into individual fights, it just one decade long battle.
Jenny: The fights are my favorite part!

Visit Tullycraft Online:
Tullcraft Website
Tullycraft Myspace

Download Wild Bikini MP3!
See All the Tullycraft MP3 Downloads at Tullycraft Nation!

Georgette Plays A Goth Video!

Stowaway Live in Portland!

Twee Live @ NY Popfest!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Shortwave Set - Replica Sun Machine

On March 26th, The Shortwave Set's Replica Sun Machine is finally getting its US Release! The self-financed Replica Sun Machine is full of charming, inventive pop songs. They brought themselves all the way out to California to record and collaborate with the likes of Danger Mouse, Van Dyke Parks, and even John Cale! The results are brilliant. If you do not derive some enjoyment from this record, you clearly either audit taxes for the IRS or have to clean port-a-johns for a living. Check out the songs "Harmonia" and "No Social." Also, since this album was out in Europe last year, there are already some fantastic videos available. Take a look!

The Shortwave Set Myspace

Download Harmonia


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Papercuts - You Can Have What You Want

Though the album doesn't come out until April 14th, 2009, Papercuts have kindly given us a preview track from You Can Have What You Want. Jason Quever has been hailed as the west coast melancholy pop messiah! Take a listen to the preview track "Future Primative." If you are in the SF area, you can catch them Feb 25th at Noise Pop along side The Mountain Goats.

Papercuts Myspace
Download Future Primative MP3


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Deer Tick Prepares To The City of Sin Documentary, Launches 2 Month Tour

During the Fall of 2008, filmmaker Cory W. Lovell shot footage of Deer Tick on tour and is currently putting the finishing touches on the documentary To the City of Sin! No word is out yet on exactly when the film will be released, but here is the trailer:

Also, Deer Tick launched their 2009 spring tour on Friday the 13th of February at NY's Bowery Ballroom. Check the rest of the tour dates and see if they are coming to a town near you!

Fri-Feb-13 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom *

Sat-Feb-14 Northampton, MA Iron Horse #
Sun-Feb-15 New Haven, CT Café Nine #
Mon-Feb-16 Albany, NY Madison Grille
Tue-Feb-17 Buffalo, NY Soundlab
Wed-Feb-18 Ft. Wayne, IN The Brass Rail
Thu-Feb-19 Rock Island, IL Ribco
Fri-Feb-20 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle &
Sat-Feb-21 Bloomington, IN Cinemat
Sun-Feb-22 Jamestown, NY Labyrinth Press Company
Mon-Feb-23 York, PA First Capital Dispensing Co.
Tue-Feb-24 Boston, MA TT the Bears %
Wed-Feb-25 Providence, RI Steve'n'Levin 4-ever
Thu-Feb-26 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom %
Fri-Feb-27 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live %
Sat-Feb-28 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café %
Sun-Mar-01 Washington, DC 930 Club %
Mon-Mar-02 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom %
Wed-Mar-04 Toronto, ONT Horseshoe Tavern %
Thu-Mar-05 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place %
Fri-Mar-06 Columbus, OH Skully's %
Sat-Mar-07 Cincinanati, OH Southgate House %
Sun-Mar-08 Asheville, NC Orange Peel %
Mon-Mar-09 Charleston, SC Tin Roof ^
Wed-Mar-11 Tallahassee, FL The Engine Room
Fri-Mar-13 Louisville, KY Headliner's %
Sat-Mar-14 Nashville, TN The Mercy Lounge %
Mon-Mar-16 New Orleans, LA Clever
Tue-Mar-17 Houston, TX Rudyard's
Mar 18 - 21 Austin, TX SXSW
Mon-Mar-23 Huntsville, AL The Flying Monkey Art Center $
Tue-Mar-24 Birmingham, AL Bottletree $
Wed-Mar-25 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn $
Thu-Mar-26 Durham, NC Duke Univeristy Coffeehouse $
Fri-Mar-27 Baltimore, MD The G-Spot $


Download Deer Tick's - Longtime


Friday, February 13, 2009

7 Silly Questions with Tartufi

I have never seen a live band quite as impressive as the San Francisco duo Tartufi. Lynne Angel and Brian Gorman build incredibly complex songs in front of their audience piece by piece, one instrument at a time using delay pedals, loops, and a little bit of magic, until there is a thunderous wall of sound that threatens to bring the building tumbling down. Two people do the job of a five or six member band, and they do it better.

Veteran road warriors, Tartufi always seems to be on tour. Fortunately, we caught them at home resting up and preparing for their new album release Nests of Waves and Wire (due out in June 2009 on Southern Records) and yet another US and European tour. They graciously gave us a special sneak preview of the record. Check out the song “Dot Dash” below.

While Brian and Lynne were distracted doing more important things, we jumped on the chance to ask them to answer some highly dubious questions. Here’s what they had to say:

Viva: What's the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Lynne: Every day is a joy with my Brian. Each second tinged with humor, each moment .... hilarious!
Brian: One day we almost went to jail, Lynne broke her toe, we slept at a gas station, got caught in an ice storm, our windshield broke, we ran out of gas, walked miles for gas in freezing rain, and the clerk at the gas station tried to pretend that they didn't have any gas cans though one was in plain sight. That was pretty funny the next day.

Viva: In your amazing live show, the two of you play and loop back the parts of a 5 or 6 piece band. Has your gear ever betrayed you in the middle of a set?
Lynne: In the middle, at the beginning, at the end, while loading out, while loading in, the gear seems to think the gear is in charge and needs to be reminded every once in a while that one little snip and the gear is magically transformed into the ger.I would yurt the shit out of my amp if need be.
Brian: Every show we are like paratroopers jumping and hoping our shoots open. Often they don't and we do as much repair work as we can while still playing. You should see Lynne pass me replacement cables while she is shredding on her Firebird.

Viva: What other band names did you seriously consider before going with Tartufi?
Lynne: Unfortunately we had no such luxury but we have always wanted to start a side project called Cheese Sandwich.
Brian: If we had given any thought to our band name we would have most likely ended up with a long winded name with too many words. Thankfully we ended up with something that sounds like nonsense to everyone but our friend the Itailians.

Viva: A wise man told me never to print anything the drummer says. Is this true?
Lynne: (Nervously eyeing question #7) Heh heh!Everything my drummer says is worthy of being printed!E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Including these gems: "That dog look like it gon' do that cat." and "Ass-bastard! Where's My Hat!? [wearing hat]". Nuff said. Print it!
Brian (the drummer): Viva is very handsome. (Will the "wise" words of a man or the ego of the blogger in chief prevail?)

Viva: Who's in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Lynne: Vetiver. Department of Eagles. Celebration. Des Ark. D Numbers. The Golden Bears. The Heartless Bastards. Animal Collective. The Rosebuds. Santogold. Snowblink. Witch. Tunng. Barry Manilow. Wham....Deborah Gibson....
Brian: The Skeletons, Andrew Bird, Sia, Deer Tick

Viva:What was the worst fight over nothing that you got into with each other after being road weary and exhausted?
Lynne: We don't fight silly goose! We get frustrated over space restrictions while setting up on stages that are small. We need coffee / tea sometimes. Or a sandwich. We ne
ed a little space here and there. We do not always 100% agree with things that fly out of the other one's mouth, especially regarding interpretive dance. But we do not fight about it! We simply give "the look" and later "the groin punch".
Brian: I second that. Lynne's my great friend and best bandmate forever (BBMF).

Check out Tartufi Online:
Tartufi Website
Tartufi Myspace

Watch all 3 parts of this amazing live video of Tartufi @ The Bottom of the Hill!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pan American - White Bird Release

For more than a decade, Labradford’s Mark Nelson has been gently delighting us with his phenomenal solo project Pan American. White Bird Release is the latest in a long stream of sonically rich, hauntingly beautiful, minimalist offerings. Sombre. Thought provoking. Intelligent. The songs on this album twist in and out of your consciousness allowing you to absorb every nuance and subtlety of the arrangements while allowing you to forget your miserable existence for the duration. Pan American is the perfect break from a hectic day. Release date: Feb 23, 2009.

Kranky Records