Today's What You Need Wednesday comes from the Brooklyn-via-Detroit girl-group Habibi. The band name comes from the Arabic word for a male object of affection, which is adorable and way better than just naming your band "Dudes."
Anyway, the music. I'm quick to draw Vivian Girls comparisons (because, hey, they're a girl band from Brooklyn!) and the Marvelettes (because, hey, they're a girl band from Detroit!), but I'm getting a strong 90's pop vibe à la Slumberland/Harriet Records, which, hey, kinda just validates both comparisons I just made!
The band just released their first 7" earlier this month on French label Born Bad, the label behind bands like Cheveu and the A-Frames.
Habibi's A-side kicks of with the easy-going jam "Sweetest Walk," a song that rides that fine line between drone and pop, Beat Happening style. It's less jarring and even more minimal and effortless than the Vivian Girls, which is impressive, considering that band once wrote a song called "No," where the only lyric was "no." Check the vid below:
The 7" wraps up with an eerie, Raincoats-y song called "Sunsets," backed by some killer harmonies and some nice AM-radio guitar production.
Two options now: you could order the 7" from France and pay big Euros and wait for that to get to your door, or you could just catch Habibi opening up for Detroit air conditioner vibers Tyvek (who are playing with their original line-up) this Friday at Death By Audio and buy it straight from them. How do you think this easy going crew would want it?
Bad Data Sleaze,
the latest Viva-Radio program to populate your e-waves, is the brainchild of Detroit, MI resident and former Electric Six member, Chris Peters. Viva hasn't had a dedicated metal and rock show since the lovely Lady Starlight aka Lady Ga Ga's
glam mentor left in 2010. We're excited Chris is taking the helm on some serious "Metal Health" overdrive.
“I want to do a show that deals with 80s hair metal stuff,” he said. “I want to do stuff like early LA Guns, Crue, Jetboy, Seduce, Faster Pussycat…not stuff like Slaughter and Warrant. I’d like to play the more obscure stuff, the stuff that I don’t hear ANYWHERE.”
Of course, we at Viva are on board with literally all of that.
We're kicking off a new piece here on the Viva Blog that sends some love to our wonderful contributors and features some of their latest playlists during the week. I know the Oscars were rough last night. Nobody needs to see that many plastic faces on a Sunday night.
Just relax already. It's a new day and one of our veteran DJ's Jill Bradshaw couldn't break it down any better with her new playlist entitled "Tides are Turning" Check out J'aime Musique every Monday at 2pm only on Viva Radio and always available on demand. Here's a little taste of her selections below!
The Castaways - Liar, Liar
The Sonics - Witch
The Spades - We Sell Soul
Galaxie 500 - Pride
Saucers - A Certain Kind of Shy
Ty Segall - Girlfriend
Mikal Cronin - Apathy
Thee Oh Sees - Enemy Destruct
Ganglians - Blood on the Sand.
Country Teasers - Secrets In Welsh
The Great Unwashed - Boat With No Ocean
The Moles - Wires
Spacemen 3 - Honey
Brian Eno - Mother Whale Eyeles
CAN - All Gates Open
The Stranglers - Peaches
VR: The band has a pretty cinematic sound and is named after a David Mamet film. Is this incidental, or does film have a big influence on your writing?
AH: At the end of the day both film and music are narratives about the connections people have with each other and how different yet similar everyone is. The way a film is shot can have a huge effect on how a story is told and on the viewer. Little things, like where a plant is placed in a room, or the color of a dress, can make a seemingly mundane scene beautiful. I think the little details are the biggest things we take a way from the films we love. It's definitely pushed us to make sure that every single aspect of a song is placed there for a reason and every sound is the right sound for the mood we're trying to create.
VR: Musically or otherwise, what are some of the band's influences?
AH: Oosh! That's always the hardest question to answer and would be completely different depending on which band member you ask. We each tried to do our top 5 albums of all time while we were drunk after a show once and the few overlaps I remember were Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin, and Destroyer's Kaputt. Many others were mentioned and subsequently ridiculed and over analyzed, but those are a few that we all take something away from.
VR: What was the impetus behind recording the Smiths "Still Ill" cover? Any other plans to record another cover?
AH: Someone we know approached us with the idea of doing a Smiths compilation album that he wanted us to be a part of and we weren't really doing anything else at the time so we figured, "why not?" I think everyone goes through that phase where the Smiths sort of change your life for awhile and we're no exception, so it was fun to put our spin on something we're all so familiar with and love. No plans for new covers, but we're not ruling anything out. Personally, I keep trying to get someone to do a cover of J. Geils Band's "Centerfold" but no one takes me seriously. Very disappointing.
VR: A few of you used to write for Bushwickbk.com. What are a few of your favorite places in Bushwick? Any hidden secrets/lesser-known places in the neighborhood?
AH: There are so many new things popping up in Bushwick that it's almost hard to keep track– which is also what makes living in this neighborhood so exciting. I just recently went to Central Cafe; they had a solid sandwich menu, good coffee, and a super friendly staff (not to mention old People magazines which are my kryptonite). 280 Cafe and Lounge is another secret killer that most people walk by, but the owner is incredible, the food and drinks are great (and cheap) and there's a pool table in the back room. Can't ask for much more than that.
VR: The band currently has a Kickstarter page to help you guys get a touring van. Describe your dream van.
AH: Funny you should ask! I think we've all started looking at what I describe as "van porn" and salivating at all of these crazy vans with wild stallions air brushed on the side and shag carpeting, but if it runs and the doors lock I'm a happy camper.
VR: I read that the band plans to record a new song every day inside your new van. Where did this idea come from? Any expectations? Any plans for these songs?
AH: That's actually [frontman] Leo's brainchild. I didn't even know we were doing it until the day before we launched the Kickstarter campaign and I was just, "whoa, whoa whoa…that's a lot of pressure." But I actually think it's going to push us creatively and help us come up with some new things for our next album. I think we'll be just as surprised as all of our subscribers by what we come up with.
VR: What do you hope to accomplish as a band in the long run?
AH: Bands always talk about being bigger and better and playing this festival or touring Europe or headlining XYZ, but generally I want to make something I'm proud of, and I want to have fun and I want other people to hear our music and love it as much as I do. So in that sense I'm pretty happy with where we are now and am excited to do that on a larger level and tour as much as possible this coming year.
VR: What's next for the band after the tour? Any new releases on the horizon?
AH: Yes! All of us are itching to get some new material out there and we have some new things percolating that are all in different stages of completion. Hopefully after our tour we'll be able to solidify everything and have a new album out by the end of the year.
These guys (and gal) from Brooklyn go by the name of Old Monk, and together they play a fun and erudite style of indie rock. Their first full-length, Birds of Belize, was released in January by the California-based Eenie Meanie Records and packs a nice selection of energetic jams. The aforementioned "Warm Moustache" harkens back to Electr-O-Pura-era of Yo La Tengo and Pavement at their least lazy (frontman Josh Carrafa even sings the lyric "fight this generation"), while "Butter and Toast" gives nods to the Mike Kinsella's Cap'n Jazz days.
The band eschews lo-fidelity and opts for a nice clean production, which I think has to do with the fact that they're good musicians. Most of their songs tend to veer into that fun prog-pop-rock territory that Deerhoof is so fond of, but never veers into "Alright dudes, I know you can play eight time-signatures in half a minute" territory.
Check out "Warm Moustache" below, and if you live in New York, catch Old Monk every Wednesday at Cake Shop.
BAHAMAS - Hockey Teeth from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.
We are just tickled to delight your cupid fancy with a heartfelt playlist from John and Lizzie Pugh today on a special edition of Naked Fridays today at 3pm. It's the middle of the winter so treat yourself today with a fine playlist that will possibly inspire poetry, art, and perhaps a few sips of the bubbly with you and that special someone. Or just sprawl out on the couch and let the Pugh's pluck your heartstrings until they ring with vibrations of love. Thanks for that line John. Happy Valentines Day or not. We love you either or.
Dreamweaver/dream interpreter/dreamboat Dustin Wong stopped by the Viva Studios recently for Me + You Pt. 111 to hang out and shed some light on his newest album, Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads.
In the past, Wong has spent time burning down the fretboard with bands like Ponytail and Ecstatic Sunshine. His solo work finds him treading a similar yet completely unique territory, with Wong layering precise loops of riffs that are both techincally and emotionally arresting. He's like Erik Satie on adderall, or Dave Mustaine on MDMA (disclaimer: though Wong explains in the interview he no longer doses, listeners are encouraged to take whatever dose they find appropriate).
Over the course of the interview, Tedward talks to Dustin about the songwriting process, how he comes up with song titles (unfortunately, the mystery behind the song title "Abstract Horse Slow Motion" remains), his "Say Your Dream, Create a Sound" project, and the spiritual healing that dishwashing can provide.
Dustin was also nice enough to perform some live cuts from Dreams Say for us, including album closer "Diagonally Talking Echo," which you can watch below. Wong prefaces this song with a smirkingly low key "I guess I'll sing on this one." What resulted was five minutes of intense free-form vocals and borderline no-wave shredding. It knocked all of our socks off, except for Dustin's, who was already barefoot.
Check out the full interview today at Noon on Me + You on Viva Radio.
Dustin Wong hosts his album release show on February 24 at Cantina Royal. Pick up the album, do some dishes, and space out.
Thirty years in the DJ game, the master of long-form partying will be spinning all night long at Santos Party House (Santos Harvey House?), starting at 11 p.m. Disco and house fans, as well as other people who need no reason to dance, you probably don't want to miss this. $20 gets you in, which divvys up to about $4 per hour of dancing. Not too shabby.