Friday, December 28, 2012

Fidlar - Suburban Home MP3!

Milo Aukerman turns 50 on Jan 1st! 50! To celebrate, Filter Magazine (who is having their 50th issue and 10 year anniversary) put together Milo Turns 50, Songs of the Descendents featuring The Henry Clay People, Good Riddance, FIDLAR (featuring Brian Rodriguez), Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses, Thrillionaire, Milo Greene, Mike Watt, Edsel, Teen, The Bronx, The Babies, Tijuana Panthers, Bobby Birdman, & YACHT. Take a listen to the Fidlar contribution!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Low Premieres "Plastic Cup" on NPR's All Songs Considered

Low's upcoming album The Invisible Way is due out 3/13 on Sub Pop. Click the link to listen to "Plastic Cup" via NPR!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mmm - Dark Motion Video!

Great video from Oslo band Mmm. Check it out!

Your Fuzzy Friends - The Unicorn Song Video!

North Carolina electropop act Your Fuzzy Friends came up with a pretty novel idea: 8 weeks, 8 videos, can't spend more than $5 getting them made. To do this, they enlisted help from friends, had stuff made from listings on, and dug through the public domain archives and creative commons listings. Here's the video for The Unicorn Song made by Emmy Award winning video producer, documentarian, and Atlanta, GA musician Brandon Arnold. To see all 8 weeks of their $5 Video Series, click here!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Band in Heaven - High Low

Closing track from the 'Psych For Sore Eyes' EP - six tracks of modern psychedelia mastered by Sonic Boom and also featuring Hookworms, Ttotals, The Vacant Lots, White Manna and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete. The EP will be released on February 18, 2013 and will be available on limited-edition double 7" on green and red vinyl with a fold-out 3D sleeve and glasses.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Live Review - Fucked Up - December 21st at Warsaw!

Fucked Up has all the ingredients to make a great band— mystery, mythology, that insignia, a theatrical boisterous singer—but that would all mean nothing if the music was no good. Thankfully Fucked Up don’t disappoint, and last night at Brooklyn’s Warsaw was no different. The music is a wall of guitars and roars that envelopes you. The bandmates make up for the lack of layered sophistication from the recordings in bravado, energy, and devotion to thrash the hell out of whatever town they’re passing through.

Things started epic and then got louder. A slower rendition of “Let Her Rest” perfectly amped up the audience so that when lead singer Damian Abraham jumped onto the stage the crowd went berserk. The setlist consisted of a neat variety of very old (Color Removal, Police), not so old (Black Albino Blues, Toronto FC, I Hate Summer), and tracks from their most recent LP, David Comes to Life.

Like always, half the crowd was hardcore, and half the crowd was more intrigued to stand by and witness the mess of a pit, with Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus leading the audience as its most ballsy participant, throwing himself and his shoes around the floor after a surprise stage dive a couple songs in.

Damian constantly mentions how he feels obligated to cut himself on his forehead as a way to give the concertgoers their money’s worth. In a sense, so too the audience feels the need to give the same thing back with our sweat and blister toes, our hoarse voices, our bruised shoulders, and our ringing eardrums (which still persists as of this writing). All we endure and bask in as gratitude for everything this band gives us tour after tour, 7”after 7”, and scar after scar.

Fucked Up are the surprise headliners for the last night of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. I’ll be making the pilgrimage to the venue of course. I can’t think of a better way to welcome the Mayan Apocalypse than with these Canadians.

-Photos and Story by Joe Waslin

Bat For Lashes - A Wall Video!

Song is off the 2012 release The Haunted Man!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yo La Tengo - Ohm!

Take a listen to Ohm off new album Fade out January 15th on Matador!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

7 More Silly Questions With Tullycraft!

Omg! Omg! Omg! Tullycraft has reunited our disenchanted hearts with the news that they will be releasing their first new recordings since 2007's Every Scene Needs a Center! And, truthfully, it couldn't come at a better time. The world needs Tullycraft to remind us that music is supposed to be fun and that straightforward, clever, well written songs are always, always welcome. And Sean Tollefson and his wonderful collaborators Jenny Mears, Corianton Hale, Chris Munford, and Jeff Fell are masters at the craft of the three minute pop song.

Stowaway by Tullycraft on GroovesharkPop Songs Your Boyfriend's Too Stupid To Know About by Tullycraft on GroovesharkWild Bikini by Tullycraft on Grooveshark

In 2013, we can expect both a 7" single in Jan or Feb and a full-length release titled Lost In Light Rotation. Mixed by the legendary Phil Ek (The Shins, Band of Horses, Built to Spill, Fleet Foxes, The Halo Bender), the album is being released on CD/LP on Magic Marker Records in the U.S. and Fortuna Pop in the UK. The official release date has yet to be set. There is also going to be a limited edition cassette version of the album on Fika Recordings in the UK!! With all of the chaos surrounding getting a new release together, I am surprised they had time to answer our highly dubious questions (after being so kind to us in 2009), but I am eternally grateful they did!

Viva: Where the bleep have you been and what have you been up to in your absence? 
Chris: What do you mean absence? We've been doing things like being a band and making this new record! I guess we've also been doing things like getting married, having babies, moving to California, and trekking to Borneo to save wildlife, so not much.
Sean: I feel like I've been busy - buying a house, getting married, having a baby... adult stuff. But it's true, there were a few years that we did almost nothing as a band. Sometimes a band can be a difficult relationship and I think we all just needed a break.
Jeff: First, I don't appreciate the accusatory tone of the question. Second, let's use our big boy words. None of this "bleep" language. Each of us has been at our respective homes just living life and now we’ve made another album.

Viva: What is the first record you bought?
Chris: The first one I bought? Maybe The Knack? I loved it.
Jeff: I'm sure I've answered this question before and to tell the truth I couldn't definitively answer this right now but it would have been one of these four: The Soundtrack to Heavy Metal, Cheap Trick “Live at Budokan,” AC/DC's “Back In Black,” or Blondie's “Autoamerican.” Those were quickly followed by Devo's “Freedom of Choice,” Van Halen I, probably an Oingo Boingo record, most definitely Rush's “Moving Pictures” and Foreigner's first album because I love that stupid guitar break in "It Feels Like the First Time." But it wasn't all good. There was a Styx album in there somewhere too.
Sean: The first record I ever bought was “Hooligans” by The Who (on cassette). It was a compilation focusing mostly on singles they’d released in the 70’s. I still love The Who.
Cori: Pet Shop Boys - "Actually" (on cassette tape)
Jenny: Probably Sting's "Dream of the Blue Turtles." I never was cool...

Viva: Unicorns vs. Narwhals? Who would win in a fight?
Cori: Depends on the terrain.
Sean: That’s true. Where would this fight take place? In the Canadian Arctic or North Korea?
Jenny: Excellent question, Sean! Everyone knows the icy waters of the Arctic would favor the narwhal while the unicorn would dominate in Korea's marshmallow forests...
Chris: This really isn't my area of expertise.
Jeff: Nice try, Unicorns and Narwhals would never fight one another as they naturally see what they have in common. Why are you so intent on pitting them against each other?

Viva: If you could re-live your prom, what song would you want slow dance to? 
Cori: What prom?
Chris: I'm not much of a slow dancer, and sincerely hope I never have to re-live either of the two proms I attended, BUT, I do like dancing! So, I am going to say I would dance to "Come on Eileen" most anytime.
Jenny: You'd be wearing overalls, right Chris?
Chris: Of course!
Jeff: I don't think I would wish a re-living of my prom upon anyone who was there. I don't even remember dancing. We left for a house-party pretty early on.
Sean: Oh! Jeff, you've told me your prom story before. Ouch! As for a song, I think I'd need to go with a time tested classic - "If You Were Here" by the Thompson Twins. You may think you don't know this song, but I'm sure you do - it played at the very end of 'Sixteen Candles.'

Viva: What would you do if Mayans predicted that one more Orange Cake Mix song would reset the doomsday clock? 
Chris: I think I would question the accuracy of those Mayan predictions.
Jeff: Well, it's kinda out of our hands according to your supposition. So I would have a nice meal and hope for the best, I guess.
Sean: Jeff's right. I think the real question is: What would Jim Rao (aka Orange Cake Mix) do?

Viva: Who smells the worst in the van after a show?
Cori: Jenny
Chris: Jenny. Sorry J, you are however usually one of the top three best smelling in the van BEFORE the show
Jeff: I do. But Jenny takes the heat for me because she's swell like that.
Jenny: I am swell like that! Though my polyester dresses don't exactly smell like roses after a show...

-Tullycraft cartoon by Jake Rohdy

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why? - The Water You Walk Video!

The B-side to the forthcoming "Waterlines" 7" single.

Tour Dates:

02-08 - Cincinnati, OH  - The Taft Ballroom #$
02-09 - Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop #$
02-10 - Rochester, NY - Water Street Music Hall #$
02-11 - Hamden, CT - The Space #$
02-12 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall #$
02-13 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall Of Williamsburg #$
02-14 - Philadelphis, PA Union Transfer #$
02-15 - Falls Church, VA - State Theatre #$
02-16 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar #$
02-18 - Columbus, OH - Ace Of Cups #$
02-19 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop #$
02-20 - Galesburg, IL Knox College #$
02-21 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall #$
02-22 - Madison, WI - SETT @ UW Madison $
02-23 - Minneapolis, MN - The Fine Line %
02-24 - Fargo, ND - The Aquarium  %
02-26 - Billings, MT - Manny's  $
02-27 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theater $
02-28 - Spokane, WA - A Club $
03-01 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's Crystal Ball$
03-02 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore$
03-03 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom $
03-04 - Eugene, OR - W.O.W. Hall $
03-05 - Oakland, CA - New Parrish Of Oakland $
03-06 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall $
03-07 - Pomona, CA - The Glasshouse $
03-08 - San Diego, CA - Irenic $
03-11 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls &
03-12 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit &
$ = w/ Dream Tiger 
% = w/ Sarah Winters 
# = w/ Astronautalis 
& = w/ Baths

mnttaB : mainsHum

We got this in our inbox with the following note:

G'day Viv - So what is mnttaB? - its a melbourne based new-romantic, synth-punk, pre-menstrual, post-nothing, head stomping death-disko meltdown. Sort of like demented lift muzak played through a big muff, but more fucked. 

mnttaB (pron: "meant-to-be") will be celebrating the release of the new 5 track "mainsHum" EP with a (shortish) European tour in 2013. You'll love it! - 'promise.... 

Sometimes it is best not to argue. Here's track "We Touch." Take a listen!

Rone - Bye Bye Macadam Video!

Electronic artist Rone made a really interesting video for track Bye Bye Macadam off the Tohu Bohu album out now on InFine Music.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Younolovebunny - Attention MP3!

Copenhagen-based artist Claus Frøhlich aka Younolovebunny recently joined the roster of forward-thinking Parisian label Almost-Musique. Younolovebunny will release his debut cassette Happy Nation II (a play on Ace of Base debut Happy Nation) on January 1st, 2013. Take a listen to or download Attention!

8 Bands With Less Than 1000 Facebook Likes (That You Should Like)

Welcome to the first in a series of year-end retrospectives by contributor Joe Waslin that aim to celebrate the best of 2012 in indie music, with a particular focus on artists that we feel have not received as many accolades on other blogs and publications as they deserve.

These Bay Area punks released their self-titled debut in May on Deranged Records, the same label that formally brought you Toronto punk rockers Fucked Up and Brutal Knights. Playing loud melodic punk, the guys went on an extensive North America tour playing with the likes of Nü Sensae and Nude Beach among others.

This band was probably conceived by a 70's punk kid and a 60's flower child. The psychedelic rockers from Chicago carry a unique sonic blend of two great eras of rock, with a bit of British sensibility mixed in with songs like "High on a Bicycle" and "The Clockmaker." Comprised of members of The Arrivals, Lawrence Arms, Smoking Popes and Sass Dragons, they released not one but two LPs this year, both equally fantastic.

A Brooklyn power trio who blast off quickly with "Autobahn" (no, not that "Autobahn" silly!) the lead track off their debut EP Leave Your Leather On. This kind of old-school guttural punk n' roll is hard to put down once you start listening--it's just too fast and too relentless to ignore.

The matter-of-fact melody on lead single "Hearts" by this DC-based band is refreshing even if it is so simple: "Who decided it was such a perfect symbol for love? / It is only an organ, pumping your blood.” It's a nice twist and a cloy rebuke of any love song that indulges the heart as romance gesture, which most love songs tend to do. Don't mistake the seemingly dark lyrics for being jaded: it's not in the slightest. Instead the song just makes you wonder: who did decide that anyway?

This NYC pop collective began as a performance art group but went on to be one of the buzziest bands at this year's CMJ Festival. David Byrne has been a big supporter of theirs, having once toured with bandmate Steven Reker. Despite all this, they only have 921 likes as of this posting--let's fix that ASAP! Although they seem like a pretty savvy bunch on their own: just look at a very smart Kickstarter video they made to raise funds for their self-titled album released this year.

New wave punk for the newer age. Originally a solo piece by Ryan Howe, he recruited a band to record the campy glam rock LP Bad Expectations this year. It feels reminiscent of the experimental sound recordings of The Clash Sandinista-era, and they probably would have recorded something like this had they been on Mars too. Unfortunately, something was lost in the intergalactic exchange and their Facebook page is criminally under-liked. Help a martian out, won't you?

(formally Sex Cult) Singer Chris Shaw in speaking with MTV said that their self-titled Ty-Segall-produced debut LP describes “what it’s like to be mid-twenties and not sure what you’re doing with your life.” The Memphis punks don't exactly break new sonic barriers, (the band would've settled in nicely in the California punk scene in the 70s) but they definitely revive the age-old tradition in punk of expressing perfectly that feeling of aimlessness in the young adults among us.

The vowel-deficient Glasgow trio packs a lot of boy/girl lush harmonies, fast beats, and tambourine. A haze of lo-fi doesn't wash over the production but allows the guitars and vocals to breathe through a sunny pop sound. It seems like their aim is to prove on songs like "New Pop" that, well, everything old can become new again. Their debut album is due out in February on Slumberland.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Eversons - The Christmas Suicide Song

Hahahahah! Great track from New Zealand's The Eversons. They aren't allowing embedded players, so just click the link to listen and download the song!

Listen to Spectral Park's Track "L'appel du Vide"

From Spectral Park's self-titled debut album. Available January 29th, 2013 from Mexican Summer.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Download Beach Fossils "Careless!"

Clash the Truth will be available February 19th, on Captured Tracks. Download the track "Careless" now!

Listen to Foals Track "My Number"

New album Holy Fire coming February 13, 2013!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Live Review - Diarrhea Planet @ Death By Audio December 11, 2012

The name of this band is Diarrhea Planet. Yes, you read correctly. But pay no mind, because these boys—and there are a lot of them—demand serious attention, or as serious as a band with that name can warrant. Rowdy and raucous, listening to DP is like a punch to the gut, but in a good way, waking you up from all that pop-punk garbage that people sometimes forget is neither good nor fun. Thankfully, these guys are the real deal, and that was clearly evident Tuesday night at Death By Audio.

Things started early with Skimask, Doris Gang and Desert Sharks, and then really picked up with Brooklyn-based openers Hunters. Their singer (Isabel Almeida) was a whirling blur of bubble-gum pink that contrasted well with the dark and moody guitar drones. She howled with delight all over the place, including the (very dirty) floor, trading off vocals with guitarist Derek Watson on lead track "Deadbeat" off their EP Heads on Fire. The band certainly got things rolling.

Side note: for its cozy small size, it’s habit of piling a lot of great and notable bands alongside up and comers into one night, and for being far enough from the subway that only the most enthusiastic bunch of people turn up—i.e. no hipster posers or euro tourists—Death By Audio has all the ingredients to make it my favorite venue in all of Williamsburg. If you're ever in the neighborhood, I recommend checking this place out.

Shortly before midnight, Diarrhea Planet took to the stage. Average length of a song on their 2011 LP Loose Jewels? 1:42 (Yes, I did the math: college education!), an average much diluted thanks to the 3+ minute album-closer “Steve Fauser,” named after the skateboarder. All in all, it’s barely 19 minutes of pure unadulterated bliss, ending with a killer we’re-young-so-what kind of anthem:

“We were born to lose / Well, baby, we still do. / Cause there’s so much fucking shit / To deal with / And I quit. / So give me another beer / We’re gonna drink until the sun comes up / Or at least till there’s no beer. / And I believe God will find us / And forgive us / For these stupid things…”

Here’s how I would describe the band: much like Andrew WK, the band’s a perfect blend of old school arena rock and Warped Tour era punk, but without any of the excessiveness or overwrought lyrics that muddied those influences. DP brings loud fast melodies about taking a break from life’s toils with an energy that often seems somewhat lacking in other parts of the party indie scene. Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus counts himself a fan, which is how I heard about them (thanks Patrick!) and he even showed up, as he is wont to do when these Nashville punks are in town.

There were a large number of female fans in the audience, which was pleasantly surprising considering the overtly masculine nature of the music. The lyrics were not always quite discernible, but then you can’t blame a band with five guitar players for sometimes overpowering the vocals. Usually at least one guitar player was in the crowd, or surfing on top of it. My fruitless attempts at trying to fit the whole band in one photo ended in vain.

Oh and it was someone’s birthday: a great way to celebrate in my opinion. I wonder if these guys do birthday parties…

-Story and Photos by Joe Waslin

Viva Indie Rock Podcast #42 - Favorite Tracks of 2012!

Podcast version of the live Viva Indie Rock radio show Thursdays 9PM on Plaza Midwood Community Radio! This week: a recap of some of our favorite tracks from 2012. Mind you, this is only a one hour radio show, so we had to condense. But, here's 14 songs we absolutely love!

Track List:
1) Cloud Nothings  Attack On Memory  Stay Useless
2) Eternal Summers  Correct Behavior  You Kill
3) Moonface  With Sinaii:Heatbreaking Bravery  Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips
4) The Babies  Our House on the Hill  Alligator
5) Cheers Elephant  Like Wind Blows Fire  Leaves
6) Fawn  Coastlines  Pixels
7) CocoRosie  We Are On Fire Single  Tearz for Animals (feat Anthony Hegarty)
8) The Eversons  Summer Feeling  Could It Ever Get Better
9) PAWS  Cokefloat  Catherine 1956
10) Tanlines  Mixed Emotions  All of Me
11) KIDS  KIDS  My Sincerest Apologies
12) Satellite Stories  Phrases to Break the Ice  Anti-Lover
13) Stargroves  Within Me A Lunatic Sings Single
14) Frankie Rose  Interstellar  Interstellar

Stream Marnie Stern "Year of the Glad"

This is pretty great! The Chronicles of Marnia is due out 03/19/13 on Kill Rock Stars!

Dirty Projectors - Offspring Are Blank Video!

Dirty Projectors play Carnegie Hall on January 11, for which they'll press a limited-edition "Offspring Are Blank" 7" backed by a new song, "There's a Fire". It will be a white label pressing, hand-numbered in an edition of 250, only available at Carnegie Hall. Video courtesy of

Widowspeak - The Dark Age!

Their Almanac LP is due out 1/22/13 on Captured Tracks!

Tour Dates:
12/14 Brooklyn, NY - St. Vitus (Hurricane Sandy benefit show presented by Pitchfork) ¥
1/22 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
1/23 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
1/24 Washington, DC - Black Cat Backstage
1/26 Middletown, CT - Wesleyan University - Eclectic House
1/27 Boston, MA - Great Scott

¥ = w/ The Men, Lust for Youth

Stream William Tyler "Cadillac Desert"

Preview track from the album Impossible Truth, out March 19, 2013 on Merge Records.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wavves - Sail to the Sun Video!

Look for a new Wavves album in spring from Mom + Pop Records!

Fucked Up - Inside A Frame Video!

Confusing video for Inside a Frame off David Comes To Life out now on Matador. Video courtesy of

Alpaca Sports - A Million Times Video!

Great video for "A Million Times" by Alpaca Sports. Pre order the 7" at Cloudberry Records.

Los Campesinos - Free "A Doe to a Deer" Download!

Los Campesinos is giving away free holiday track "A Doe to a Deer" on their website! Just click the link below!

Nightlands - I Fell In Love With a Feeling

Nightlands - "I Fell in Love with a Feeling" from the album Oak Island out January 22, 2013 on Secretly Canadian.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Prince Rama - So Destroyed Video!

The official video for the first single off Prince Rama's album Top Ten Hits of the End of the World.

Wax Idols - Sound of a Void!

Hey! Here's a terrific preview track from Wax Idols sophomore LP Discipline & Desire, out March 26th on Slumberland Records!

Stream Ra Ra Riot's "When I Dream!"

From Ra Ra Riot's upcoming full-length Beta Love out January 22, 2013 on Barsuk Records (USA / Europe), Hostess (Japan) and Arts & Crafts (Canada).

KXP - Melody!

The first single taken from the new K-X-P album 'II' released 11th February 2012.

Stream Wimps Track "Nap!"

Wimps album Repeat is due out Jan 22nd on End of Time!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Seapony - Be Alone Video!

Off the Falling LP released back in September! Video courtesy of Pitchfork.

Stream Phosphorescent Track "Song For Zula"

Phosphorescent's new album Muchacho is due out March 19th on Dead Oceans. Tkae a listen to the fantastic track Song For Zula!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

10 Favorite Tracks Second Half of 2012

Here are 10 tracks that never left heavy rotation on my personal playlist the second half of 2012. Again, it was brutal trying to pare this down to 10 songs. In truth, there were about 40 tracks I seriously considered. You can also revisit my 10 Favorite Tracks First Half of 2012!

#10 Reptile Youth - Morning Sun

#9 Plateaus - Blackout

#8 Local Natives - Breakers

#7 The Babies - Alligator

#6 Stargroves - Within Me A Lunatic Sings

#5 Satellite Stories - Anti-Lover

#4 Parakeet - Shonen Hearts

#3 PAWS - Catherine 1956

#2 Fawn - Pixels

#1 Eternal Summers - You Kill

Friday, December 7, 2012

Stream Brooms Track "Balding!"

Brooklyn band Brooms debut album In the Backyard comes out Tuesday, Dec 11th. Check out the charming track Balding.

Stream Radar Bros "If We Were Banished"

From the album Eight, out January 29, 2013 on Merge Records.

Spitzer feat. Fab from Frustration - Clunker Video!

Clunker from Spitzer feat. Fab from Frustration off the new album The Call.

Parenthetical Girls - Privilege Preview Video!

Originally recorded and self-released as a sequence of five self-contained, extremely limited 12" EPs (each heroically hand-numbered in the blood of the group's members, and available only through direct mailorder) the ambitious Privilege series was a grand and unequivocally impractical achievement. Privilege condenses the 21 recordings of the original series to a single, 12-track, remixed and remastered album due out Feb 19, 2013!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

MUST WATCH VIDEO: Yacht x ADHD - Second Summer

YACHT unveils a brand new stand-alone single & video today: "Second Summer" (think the opposite of Christmas in July) - video directed by ADHD. Also of note: YACHT is turning ten years old! To celebrate, YACHT is throwing a 10th Anniversary celebration on Dec. 8 in Los Angeles at the Echoplex. The performance will feature material from all eras and line-ups of the band, with special guests, surprises and prizes and party favors for the audience!

Mean Jeans - I Miss Outerspace

Mean Jeans/Big Eyes split 7", out December 18 on Dirtnap!

M83 - Wait Video!

Off Hurry Up We're Dreaming.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Live Review - Japandroids/Diiv at Webster Hall December 4th

Japandroids are rock stars. In just a few short months their status has propelled exponentially, and it seems only to continue with year-end lists that have featured the band prominently high. Drummer David Prowse and lead singer/guitarist Brian King live for their concert performances, even admitting they recorded “a new album just to keep touring.” Together, they are two of the most likable people in the business, commanding a presence last night at Webster Hall unlike any other rock band working today.

I was also surprised by opening band Diiv’s strong showing. Their debut album Oshin is a reverb-heavy collection of beach pop songs that possesses an energy that separates it from shoegaze and chillwave, but not by much. Like the Titus Andronicus/Ceremony bill on Sunday, this pairing did not seem like the best fit, since lyrically and vocally these are two very different beasts, but again, I was wrong. Diiv are much livelier in person than in their recordings and rocked a sleek opening set.

Wearing jeans that put all other skinny jeans to shame, Brian started things off loud and fast segueing into “Adrenaline Nightshift.” The guys were friendly to the audience and were game for anything, like when some fans teased the band with shouts of “Let’s Go Rangers!” digging at the band’s Canadian hockey roots. Brian went on a playful tirade about why the Rangers “actually suck.” While Titus Andronicus might possess more ardent fans (the audience last night sang along far less than on Sunday), there was genuine love felt all around. Best example: girl near David calls for his attention. “What?” he mouths. “I love you drummer,” is all she says, repeatedly as a matter of fact. Brian thanks her and blushes, probably a bit perplexed by the rampant adoration.

Early into their set, I noticed that security escorted the professional photographers out of the throughway between the stage and audience. Brian then gave the audience permission to come up on stage, jokingly warning “you didn't hear it from me.” Yours truly was an accomplice in getting many fans onto the stage, and security was friendly enough, playing a game of cat and mouse with fans who dared to try and reach the stage before a guard got to them first.

Japandroids’ latest album, Celebration Rock, is a slimmer, more refined record that showcases the band’s longevity at making very little sound like a lot, and that was evident throughout the night with hits like “The House That Heaven Built” and “Young Hearts Spark Fire.” While some of their older songs have been guilty of meandering verses that feel a bit repetitive like in “Couture Suicide,” and “Press Corps,” (“Wet Hair” being the exception), their newer songs add something extra satisfying—usually a more dramatic shout of the same lyrics, as in “Younger Us,” or a guns-blazing guitar solo, like in “Fire’s Highway” and “The Night of Wine and Roses” that justifies their length.

It is not platinum-selling records, sold-out massive stadium tours, or gracing the cover of every magazine website that proves once and for all that you've finally made it; more tellingly, it’s when you have a backlash that you know you’re a star. It doesn't matter that the scalpers outside the venue can’t pronounce the band’s name. When your work is being religiously and carefully analyzed and discussed throughout the blogosphere, you must be doing something right.

Ignore the overwrought position that this band is too nostalgic and instead, believe the hype: this band knows how to rock, and with only one guitar player to boot.

-Photos and story by Joe Waslin 

Chrome Canyon - Pluze Video!

Chrome Canyon's debut LP, Elemental Themes, out now on Stones Throw Records.

She & Him Free Yule Log App for iPhone

Enjoy the glow of a cozy yule log at your home, office, or your favorite coffee shop while listening to A Very She & Him Christmas through a brand-new iOS app! The She & Him Yule Log app features one free song from the album—“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”—and works on the iPhone and iPad. It also supports AirPlay, so you can enjoy the full app through your Apple TV!

Hayden - Old Dreams MP3!

Old Dreams is the lead track from Us Alone the seventh full-length from Hayden, available February 19 on Arts & Crafts.

Cold Showers - BC Video!

From Love and Regret released this past October by Dais. Courtesy of Noisey.

Yellow Ostrich - Ghost Video!

Yesterday, Stereogum got to premiere this new Yellow Ostrich video! Ghost EP is out now via Barsuk.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Split Screens - Deep Down MP3!

Split Screens debut EP Split Screens is out today! Take a listen or download track Deep Down!

Boekbinder, Batt and Crabapple - I Have Your Heart Video!

Animator Jim Batt teamed up with musician Kim Boekbinder and illustrator Molly Crabapple to bring you this wonderful video for I Have Your Heart!If you want more info, click HERE!

Parakeet - Darumasanga Video!

Off the Shonen Hearts EP! Video courtesy of Stereogum.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Live Review - Titus Andronicus/Ceremony at Webster Hall - Sunday, December 2nd

Hey! Viva Indie Rock is proud to introduce a new contributor - Joe Waslin out of Brooklyn, NY.

A stormy night of thrashers, anti-thrashers, and awkward fans lingering on stage...

There was much fun and good music at the Titus Andronicus show at Webster Hall on Sunday, despite the presence of some aggressive and obnoxious concertgoers. One crowd-surfer had to have leaped off the stage at least 4 times, and the ridiculously massive mosh pit that broke out and remained during most of the Ceremony set created a lot of tension with TA fans who were probably not expecting such a hostile turnout. Anytime a thrasher came too close to the outskirts of the pit, he was (ironically?) brushed away rather forcefully. One guy advised his friend to leave his fists clenched forward for any mosher who came nearby. But even Ceremony Bassist Andy Nelson was having enough and at one point called their fans out, saying that punching kids you don't know in the face was "fucking ridiculous," a comment which received hearty applause by the anti-thrashers. Thankfully that seemed enough to calm the agro-pit down a bit just in time for the end of the band's set.

Patrick Stickles and the boys pleased the audience (most of whom recited every lyric verbatim) with songs spanning their entire discography, from their first 7" (the raucous "Titus Andronicus") to their latest single "In A Big City" from their new album Local Business. The band finished with one of my favorites, "The Battle of Hampton Roads", which was a surprise for me considering its length and complexity, but then again, how could they not end with this song?

Cheers for an encore resulted in a cover rendition of "Brown Sugar." It was a rare occasion (apparently they "don't usually do this") that was partially soured thanks to one girl who thought it'd be a good idea to crawl up on the stage DURING THE ENCORE and outstay her welcome, confusing Patrick's death stare for an invitation to dance.

That's not to say all stage-dancers and divers were an unwelcome presence, as for the most part the audience and band members alike enjoyed the fun, although guitarist Liam Betson lightly kicked one fan in the butt to make him aware it was time to go. One band member (don't recall who) gave a shout-out to the security for allowing the stage diving and dancing, saying it was something unheard of for a venue of this size. Even Patrick joined in on the fun for a nice crowd surf, with his guitar still in his hand.

At first glance, a Ceremony/Titus Andonicus bill doesn't make the most sense--how could bar rock peacefully coexist with the faster harder songs of Ceremony? Judging from the attire worn by the Ceremony drummer and singer Patrick Stickles, who each donned the other band's t-shirt, this tour was a successful and joyous pairing for all.

-Photos and story by Joe Waslin

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