Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Young Adult Friction Video & MP3!

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart just released a new video and MP3 from their self-titled release that came out earlier this year. If you get a chance to see these guys live, you owe it to yourself to do so. Check em out!

Download Young Adult Friction MP3!

Apr 28 2009 Lee's Palace Toronto, Ontario %
Apr 29 2009 The Pike Room at Crofoot Pontiac, Michigan %
Apr 30 2009 Beachland Tavern - All Ages Cleveland, Ohio %
May 1 2009 The Summit Columbus, Ohio %
May 2 2009 The End Nashville, Tennessee %
May 3 2009 The Earl Atlanta, Georgia %
May 4 2009 Local 506 Chapel Hill, North Carolina %
May 5 2009 Talking Head Club Baltimore, Maryland %
May 6 2009 The Barbary (Early Show) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania%
May 7 2009 Champion Ship Lemoyne, Pennsylvania
May 12 2009 Bowery Ballroom New York, New York %
Jun 18 2009 Cake Shop New York, New York #
July 10 2009 South Street Seaport New York, New York % (FREE)
July 18 2009 Pitchfork Fest Chicago, Illinois
July 20 2009 The Echo Los Angeles, California *
July 21 2009 The Rickshaw Stop San Fransisco, California *
July 23 2009 Backspace Portland, Oregon *
July 24 2009 Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, BC *
July 25 2009 Capital Hill Block Party Seattle, Washington
% = w/ Zaza
# = w/ Crystal Stilts
* = w/ Girls


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blank Dogs - Setting Fire To Your House Video

Blank Dogs have released a video and free MP3 download from their upcoming album Under and Under on In The Red records. The album is available in both CD and double LP format. For now, take a look at the video for "Setting Fire To Your House", it's pretty f'in entertaining.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Photons - Glory! EP

I had not heard of 8 member San Francisco band Photons until the band sent me an email asking me to take a listen to their upcoming Glory! EP (due out May 12th ). Frankly, I was a little worried at first when they noted in their press materials that other critics were comparing them to Bloc Party and The Strokes. Thankfully, such correlations clearly come from small minded bloggers with limited musical knowledge. In truth, Glory! is a great 4 song release full of interesting instrumentation, charming arrangements, and some entertaining call and response. Take a listen to their free MP3 download "Where Were You Last Night." Photons are worth a few moments of your time.

Photons Myspace
Download Where Were You Last Night MP3


Thursday, April 23, 2009

7 Silly Questions w/ The Preakness!

The first time I saw The Preakness live I was completely blown away. The guitar work of Brandon Arnold is so intricate, so inspired, and so effortless it makes you want to quit playing your own instrument because there is absolutely no way you could ever be that graceful and intuitive. Throw in multi-instrumentalist/co-vocalist Tracy Clark and inventive drummer Matt Glagola and you have what is perhaps the best live act Atlanta has to offer.

Their debut album A Class Act In A Bad Situation just came out on Two Sheds Music. All 13 tracks are extremely well crafted, intelligent delights. The dual vocals take the recordings from merely excellent to incredible. There are too many great songs on the album to point to one or two tracks as standouts. However, their cover of Smog's "A Hit" is pretty special. Take a listen to the songs in the player below. It's worth your time.

We caught up to The Preakness via the interwebs. Thankfully, they gave us a few moments of their time to answer some highly suspicious questions:

Viva: What is the most embarrassing band you loved as a kid?
BRANDON: I had a picture of Cindy Lauper on my Trapper Keeper but she's not a band, so I'll just say Dokken
MATT: Phil Collins

TRACY: Missing Persons, but that did not stop me from buying the album for a dollar recently.

Viva: Who has the worst practice ethic?
BRANDON: Mark Crifasi

MATT: Nobody, we love that stuff!
TRACY: We have champagne jams …and no one can fight when champagne is involved

Viva: Who would win in a fight, Falcor....or Mr. Snuffaluffagus?
BRANDON: A street fight, or something more organized like a boxing match? I think Snuff does better when it's no holds barred.
MATT: I believe they would settle their differences in a gentlemanly manner.
TRACY: Falcor obviously - he's REAL...duurrr.

Viva: What is the funniest thing that happened to you at a show?
BRANDON: A tree fell on my car. Oh wait, that wasn't funny. Probably the time my pants fell down mid song. Oh wait, that didn't happen. Maybe the tampon joke. Yeah...the tampon joke is
the funniest thing.
MATT: Twinkies were hurled at us violently
TRACY: A gorilla came up on stage and tried to play my bass while it was still attached to m
e. Also, someone sharpied on our email list “may God have mercy on you SWINE” – I don’t know what we did but, it’s really great to know we’re reaching out to people and making a difference.

Viva: What's the worst song you have covered live?

BRANDON: I once covered Baby's Got Back with another band. Our cover songs have been pretty rad.
MATT: All songs I've covered are awesome.
TRACY: Good song that we covered badly: we mutilated "Yeah, Oh Yeah" by Magnetic Fields. Bad song that we covered awesomely: is yet to come and
I believe it will be by REO speedwagon.

Viva: Who's in heavy rotation on your iPod?
BRANDON: A lot of old soul music and metal right now.
MATT: Smog/ the Joggers
TRACY: Bird and the Bee, Motorhead, Heartless Bastards, Alexander Robotnick, A Date with John Waters (album), Joy Division.

Viva: What is the worst fight you have gotten into with each other?
BRANDON: I think it was over toothpaste brands. I still say Aquafresh...I mean, it's three in one protection for Christ's sake.
MATT: I've only played with these guys for a few months now. So far, so good. No fighting yet
but I can be pushed only so far and then I snap. We'll see.
TRACY: Since the guys don’t wear eyeliner, we are argument-free

Visit the Preakness Online:
The Preakness Myspace


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tartufi - Fleet Week Video + US Tour

Tartufi has released the first video from their upcoming album Nests of Waves & Wires. It's some pretty amazing imagery accompanied by an equally dreamy, beautiful song. Catch them live. It's mindblowing.

April 22nd – Park City, Utah at Downstairs Park City
April 23rd – Fort Collins, CO Beth Ranch Fest
April 24th – Omaha, NE at Oleavers
April 25th – St. Paul, MN at Eclipse Records
April 26th – Minneapolis, MN at Palmers
April 27th – Iowa City, IA at Public Space One
April 28th – Southbend, IN at Ewing Bar
April 29th – Chicago, IL at Ronny’s
April 30th – Dayton, OH at Vex
May 1st – Jamestown, NY at Labyrinth Press (early)
May 1st – Jamestown, NY at Mojo’s (later)
May 2nd – Kingston, RI at URI Coffehouse
May 3rd – Somerville,MA at PA’s Lounge
May 5th – Boston,MA TBA
May 6th – New York City at Arlene’s Grocery
May 7th – Norfolk, VA TBA
May 8th – Charlotte, NC at Milestone
May 9th – Greensboro, NC at Glenwood Festival w/ The Hive Dwellers and Chain and the Gang
May 10th – Chattanooga, TN at JJ’s Bohemia
May 11th – Tulsa, OK at Sound Pony
May 12th – Hot Springs, AR at The Exchange
May 13th – Dallas, TX at Space
May 14th – Lubbock, TX at Bash’s
May 15th – Santa Fe, NM at Meow Wolf
May 16th – Denver, CO at Oriental Theatre
May 22nd – Hailey, ID at Sun Valley Brewery
May 23rd – Fairfield, ID at Deb-Da-Doo Ranch Fest


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flying - Draw It In the Dark 7"/DVD Combo

Just off their tour with Deerhoof, Flying is releasing a 7" and compiled video DVD on April 28th. Draw It In the Dark is meant to be a companion piece to their recent album Faces of the Night and features songs from the album and one previously unreleased alternate take of the song "Cloud in Doubt." Accompanying the vinyl is a separately packaged DVD containing 10 videos made by various filmmakers, artists, and the band themselves. It's a pretty interesting watch. All in all, this is a great release.

Flying Myspace


Thursday, April 16, 2009

M. Ward - Rave On Video

New video from M. Ward's latest album Hold Time - the Buddy Holly classic "Rave On." The video is pretty f'in great. Take a watch. You can also download the MP3 for free thanks to Merge.

Rave On MP3


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Man Man - Rabbit Habbits Video

Here is a pretty funny video of the title track from Man Man's new release Rabbit Habbits (released April 8th). I'm not even going to describe it. I'll just let the video speak for itself. The album is really great, btw....go buy it.

Man Man Website


Friday, April 10, 2009

Fleet Foxes - Mykonos 7"

For all you vinyl collectors, Sub Pop will be releasing a new-ish Fleet Foxes 7" on May 5th. "Myknonos", the best track off of 2008's Sun Giant EP is the A side. The B side is "False Knight on the Road" which is previously unreleased in the US. Myknonos has long been available from Sub Pop as a free download, so this vinyl edition is really for the die hard fans and hard core vinyl afficianados. On the other hand, Fleet Foxes are one of those special bands that I wouldn't mind having a copy of everything they release. Brother, you don't need to turn this away.

Download Mykonos MP3


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lewis & Clarke - Light Time 12" EP

Lou Rogai, founder of La Société Expéditionnaire, and his musical collaborators known as Lewis and Clarke are releasing a wonderful 4 song vinyl EP entitled Light Time on May 12th. The Lewis & Clarke moniker has been described as metaphor for journey on many levels; musical, spiritual, and physical. And truly, the music is a beautiful, dreamy, post-folk journey in and of itself. Check out and download the haunting track "Petrified Forest." You can also catch Lewis & Clarke opening for Bat For Lashes in the coming weeks. Light Time is a limited run of 500 copies on colored vinyl, so order early or be left out.

Lewis & Clarke Myspace
Download Petrified Forest MP3!

4-18 09 - Stroudsburg, PA - Main Street Juke Box w/ Strand of Oaks
4-25-09 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club w/ Bat For Lashes
4-27-09 - Boston, MA - Paradise w/ Bat For Lashes
4-28-09 - Kittery ME - BUOY
4-30-09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom w/ Bat For Lashes
5-01-09 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church w/ Bat For Lashes
5-02-09 - Brooklyn, NY - Williamsburg Music Hall w/ Bat For Lashes


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Starfucker - Jupiter

Less than a year after their debut album, Portland quartet Starfucker are back with a terrific 8 song release - Jupiter. The album is technically due out on May 5th, but it is already available for purchase directly from their label Badman Recording Co. In case you are unfamiliar, Starfucker is one of the most incredible dance-tastic electronic indie acts in the US. Our choice cuts from the record are "Boy Toy" and "Biggie Smalls." You can hear them in the player below. They have also made their track "Medicine" available for free download. We highly recommend this album to anyone who likes to have a good time.

Starfucker Myspace
Download Medicine MP3!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

7 Silly Questions w/ Casper & the Cookies!

For more than a decade, Casper & the Cookies have been putting out fantastic indie pop records so sugary that you need a trip to the dentist after listening. Veteran musician Jason NeSmith (BP Helium, Of Montreal, Sunshine Fix) started Casper as a 4 track cassette project in the mid 90s and since then he and wife Kay Stanton have been churning out one amazing record after another and entertaining kids around the world with their high energy, phenomenally tight live act. Just this year they have already completed a US tour, put in several appearances at SXSW, and will be playing the vaunted NYC PopFest in May. Their current line-up is a three member tour de force which also includes the tremendous multi-instrumentalist Jim Hicks.

On May 12th, Casper & the Cookies are releasing their latest album Modern Silence in both CD and vinyl format. Modern Silence is 18 tracks of sheer pop pleasure. My early favorites include “Little Lady Larva” and “Nagoya.” “I Am Gone”, the final cut on the album, is a 15 minute opus featuring 35 guest musicians including Rob Schneider from Apples in Stereo, Bryan Poole from Of Montreal, & Vanessa Briscoe Hay from Pylon. Hysterically, not a single member of Casper & the Cookies appears on the track. The band has also been nice enough to make two tracks available for free download – “Little King” & “Pete Erchick Bicentennial Service Area.”

We caught up with the Jason, Kay, & Jim right after they got home from their US Tour and they kindly agreed to answer some highly suspect questions:

Viva: What was the first record you ever bought?
Jason: By category...single: "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes, LP: either Voices by Hall & Oates or Escape by Journey, I can't remember which came first. cassette: Long Distance Voyager by the Moody Blues.
Kay: I’m pretty sure it was El Vira by the Oak Ridge Boys. For some reason I really liked El Vira when I was little and would watch her on channel 5 whenever I could.
Jim: The first record I ever bought was a seven inch single for the Michael Jackson classic, Bad!

Viva: Who smells the worst in the van on tour?
Jason: It used to be Joe, but now that he's gone it's probably me.
Kay: Used to be Joe Rowe (the Joezone), but now it would be a race between Jason and me. He gets ripe in the pits, but if I eat at Taco Bell two days in a row, it can be bad.
Jim: Well, this answer used to be easy, it was Joe. Nowadays, all cookies seem to enjoy daily showers and the van aroma maintains a very un-rock band pleasantness.

Viva: Who would win in a fight, Unicorns… or Narwhals?
Jason: Probably Unicorns due to their powerful eye-lasers and ability to fly. But they'll get all hot under the collar when part of Unicorn Town comes to be known as Little Greenland. And the children of Unicorn soldiers who come back from the war with Narwhal wives will look like the most frighteningly beautiful hovercrafts.
Kay: Are they the flying unicorns? Or regular? If they’re the flying ones, they can totally take on the Narwhals with the swoop and skewer. If not, it would be a draw, because the Unicorns can’t get deep enough in the water to do any damage, and vice versa (but with land) On their turf, the Narwhals can just swim out to a safe distance, and the Unicorns can just stay on dry land without fear of Narwhals flopping out to get them.
Jim: Now see, this all depends on where the battle takes place; on land, unicorns have it on lockdown for sure, but in the water, I'd tip it to the narwhals!

Viva: What's the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Jason: Hard to say, but a couple of weeks ago a passenger in a car on I-10 pressed the center of a hardcore porn magazine against their window while passing us. We all got off.
Kay: Goose + Little Rock, AK + Locked in the bar overnight + Open bar +Arsonist/Murderer + Keith John Adams = one funny night
Jim: I think the funniest thing that ever happened on the road was when Joe walked out in the unitard the first time. It's a moment I'll never forget.

Viva: What’s the worst song you have covered live?
Jason: "Sweet Pea" It's catchy as hell, but it's like the Oreo Cakester of songwriting. Devoid of anything good for you. In fact, if you analize it, it's trying to kill you.
Kay: “Mother” by Danzig. It was awesome.
Jim: Hmmmm, I, personally, really like cheesy covers so this one is hard for me to answer. I really, really wanna cover "Man in the Mirror" so when that happens, it will be that song.

Viva: Who's in heavy rotation on your iPod?
Jason: LCD Soundsystem's The Sound of Silver, Rotary Connection best of, and-- in a surprise return-- XTC's Skylarking (I thought I was done with that album).
Kay: Sly & the Family Stone, Jookabox, Pylon, The Who, Talking Heads, Lightning Bolt (OK, not really on the iPod, but check them out on YouTube)
Jim: Poison Control Center, Everthus the Deadbeats, Apples in Stereo, Esg, the new Marshmallow Coast, Jookabox, and it will be L.A. Tool and Die once I get a copy of the Mustache song!!!

Viva: What was the worst fight over nothing that you got into with each other after being road weary and exhausted?
Jason: Good god, this happens twice a day. I'm constanty fighting with someone, but the other person is usually unaware. I secretly loathe when people sing along with the van stereo because I'm trying to hear the recording, not their approximation of it. But you know if one of my sing-along faves comes up on shuffle I'm'a sing my heart out.
Kay: Our first year at CMJ, we decided to hang out after the show because our friend Keith John Adams from England was touring with us. At some point, I decided I was done and wanted to go home. Shortly before I came to this bad decision, Jason and Keith had found a partially full bottle of whisky in the gutter. I suspect that it was one part whiskey and one part bum piss, but I guess one would take care of the other. In any case I couldn’t remember how to get back to where we were staying, and Jason and Keith were just getting started, so I screamed at Jason for a while, and then walked around the lower east side and had my own personal meltdown on some steps somewhere. Good times.
Jim: Fight? This band? Oh, we never fight.

Visit Casper & the Cookies Online:
Casper & the Cookies Website
Casper & the Cookies Myspace

Download Little King MP3
Download Pete Erchick Bicentennial Service Area MP3

Top photo courtesy of Fredrick R Arnold III. Other photos courtesy of