Who: Glam rock guitarist and vocalist Viva DeConcini
What: Releases her new musical podcast I Love Olivia
When: Tuesday, October 8th, 2019
Why: I Love Olivia explores the function of loss in the creation of art by telling the stories behind the songs of her new rollicking break-up album, Living Well is the Best Revenge. When Viva’s love affair with a famous female author fell apart, she didn’t expect the story of their relationship’s demise to be displayed in a hit novel. Much less, that it would be told so differently from the way things had really gone down. Viva knew she had to tell the story her own way, so she turned once again to rock-and-roll to fill in the colors.
For the full back-story, see the press release below:
Post-punk/psychedelic/glam-rocker VIVA explores the function of loss in the creation of art with in her new queer musical tragicomedy podcast “I Love Olivia”
Why is it so hard to tell happy stories? Why do sad songs win the GRAMMYs? Why do people look at car crashes? What does this mean for the future of American culture and the current reality of two lesbian lovers calling it quits in modern-day New York City?
VIVA, the post-punk/psychedelic/glam-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist’s new podcast I Love Olivia (to be released October 8th, 2019) explores the answers to these questions and the function of loss in the creation of art by telling the stories behind the songs of her new album, Living Well is the Best Revenge. It’s a rollicking break-up album unlike any you’ve ever heard with a podcast to match.
When VIVA’s love affair with a famous female author fell apart, she didn’t expect the story of their relationship’s demise to be displayed in a hit novel. Much less, that it would be told so differently from the way things had really gone down. She knew she had to tell the story her own way so VIVA, the self-titled ‘older, lesbian Ty Segall,’ turned once again to rock and roll to fill in the colors.
For VIVA, rock-and-roll has always been about transforming and transcending, and her way of processing the confusion and loss that came with the heart-rending breakup was to create some of the witchiest music of her career. She created alter egos with different genders, backstories and names (Veronica Pierre and Charlie Columbine) and wrote songs for them fictionalizing the reality to get to the truth through the music. The resulting podcast is a ten-episode narrative queer musical tragicomedy with engaging storytelling interspersed with soul rectifying rock songs. Sometimes it is hilarious, other times, it will break your heart.
As a younger musician, VIVA moved to New York City in 1995 and then honed her rhythmic and theatrical rock chops during a nine-year stint with legendary Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista’s percussion funk theatre group Beat the Donkey. She toured the world with the popular ensemble for ten years, before then falling into queer theater performing with Taylor Mac on his ‘A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,’ for which a New York Times reviewer gave a nod to the “virtuosity” [of her] guitar shredding.
Throughout it all, VIVA has always continued writing songs and began releasing her own solo material around 2006. Her first official solo album Electric Cabaret came out in 2008 to high acclaim with a stellar write-up in Guitar Player Magazine. In 2010, her second album Rock & Roll Lover earned her the glorious with The Aquarian calling her “the musical love child of Little Richard and Joan Jett,” and her 2012 Rhinestones and Rust saw further praise for her solid songwriting chops, shredding on the guitar and a cover of “Cocaine Blues” That The Baltimore City Paper declared “the best we’ve heard, this side of Johnny Cash.”
“A lot of my music is theatrical, and my style of guitar playing is theatrical,” says VIVA. “So it made sense for me to apprentice with Cyro, because the Brazilians are very heavy on groove, and costumes, and the presentation of a complete spectacle, and it was a gateway into theatre and other experimental modes of storytelling. Viva has continued to carry this flair for dramatic storytelling into new and from rock-and-roll in dive-bars to Avante-garde theatre stages and now the digital realm of the podcast.
This year, on top of her podcast and album release, she musical-directed Machine Dazzles’s original music and fashion show Treasure, which just sold out sold-out a three-night run at Guggenheim Works and Process Series the Sept. 5-7th.