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XPNFest Recap: Viv and The Revival kickstart the festival on the Marina Stage

Viv and the Revival | photo by Noah Silvestry
Viv and the Revival | photo by Noah Silvestry | www.silvestography.com

The opening notes of the 2014 XPoNential Music Festival were power chords played by Viv and the Revival, a local group set to release a new album called The Introduction next month.  Playing tracks off of the record, the band kept the energy high and the mood edgy as they sung about living life to the fullest, staying young and generally having fun at all times.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Hold Steady and more top the XPoNential Music Festival lineup

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com

Dueling acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, eclectic New Orleans folk-blues combo Hurray for the Riff Raff, and stalwart rock n’ rollers The Hold Steady are just some of the 25 artists announced today in the full lineup of this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival.

These acts will play the two stages in Wiggins Park from July 25th to July 27th of this year, alongside the festival’s headlining concerts at Susquehanna Bank Center featuring Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26th) and Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts (July 27th).

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.

There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

The greater Philadelphia scene is nicely represented as well. Bigger names like avant-garde rockers Man Man (who leaked their appearance last week), punk rock troubadour Dave Hause and reinvented folklorists Marah will mix with emerging artists Commonwealth Choir, Our Griffins, Marian Hill, The Lawsuits, Ginger Coyle and Viv and the Revival.

And adding an even more eclectic scope to the lineup is a taste of zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and some Mississippi blues care of harmonica master James Cotton.

Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).

Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.

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Getting What They Want: Viv and the Revival makes a splash in a national ad campaign

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

“It feels surreal and amazing at the same time,”says Philly songwriter Viv Peyrat. He’s talking about the experience of turning on the television and hearing his song “I Want It” in a major national ad campaign: the Verizon “Faces” commercial.

The spot (which you can watch below) features a twenty-something male taking various tech devices out of a red Verizon shopping bag. The song, by Peyrat’s band Viv and The Revival, is an infectious rocker that sounds like a distant cousin to Gary Glitter’s “Rock And Roll Part 2,” and it features Peyrat singing “I want it, I want it, I want it right now.”

Written by frontman Peyrat in collaboration with Nate Rylan (formerly of the Philly band Early Ape), “I Want It” is very catchy. It was the second song the two wrote together. The television commercial campaign launched on December 24th, and according to Viv in a recent e-mail exchange, the commercial has played “at least 30 times a day” since then. The campaign runs on TV till February 15th, online till the end of the year.

The use of song placements in television shows and commercials and movies has been increasingly more important to the music industry business model over the last decade. As overall record sales have been in decline, bands are generating money through increased touring and as well as various media placements. A song placement in a high profile media campaign has been one of the ways many artists are reaching millions of people – and getting paid.  to hear the song in the commercial, says Peyrat, “You can never get used to the feeling, it always surprises me and gets me every time.”

According to Peyrat, who was born in France and moved to Philly as a young kid, the band has been writing and performing as Viv and the Revival for about 3 years. With the exception of some time he spent in Los Angeles, the live band lineup he says, “came together eight months ago, and we’ve been playing everywhere since then.”

“I Want It” found its way onto the Verizon commercial through the work of Peyrat’s manager, Diane Dragonette. According to him, there is “even a Spanish version of the song.”

While Peyrat is taking in the moment, he’s preparing to release his official debut album, The Introduction, next month. It will include “I Want It,” which is now available digitally. The rocker, who says he’s influenced by “Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Peter Gabriel, Bob Marley, Prince, AC/DC, and so many others,” plays The Grape Room in Manayunk, on Saturday, February 22nd. Below, listen to “I Want It” in its entirety.