[pullquote quote="A lot of stuff that influenced us started here in New York. It's like a church for us." credit="La Vida Boheme, in NYC promoting 'Nuestra'"]One of the greatest stories in music for 2011 is the emergence of Venezuelan rock band [lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm]. In four short years they have transformed from a loose group of punk-obsessed high school students, to local underground rock heroes, to today when they find themselves nominated for two Latin GRAMMYs. Their album Nuestra is one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory and surely one of the most exciting albums of the year in any category. Charismatic to a fault, and deeply knowledgeable about American music, [lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm] are charming audiences and interviewers alike as they criss-cross the globe seeking an ever-wider platform for their message.
[pullquote quote="When I wrote the lyrics I wanted it to be a footnote of all those forgotten things, like a secret handshake." credit="Henri D'Arthenay, discussing The Ramones and 'Radio Capital'"]“Radio Capital,” their first big single, serves as a perfect introduction to the band and their mission. The title is a reference to the glory days of a radio station by that name in their hometown of Caracas, Venezuela. Once a source for progressive music from distant shores, the station today has fallen prey to the same creative and economic malaise that has stricken that country thanks to the policies of the governing regime. This is protest music of the highest order, at once rebellious and educational. It aims a middle finger squarely in the face of oppression, and leads a generation of young listeners down a rabbit hole towards knowledge of the great music that so influenced these four young men.
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[lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm] is: Henry D’Arthenay (guitar, lead vocals), Rafael Pérez Medina (bass, vocals), Sebastian Ayala (drums, vocals) and Daniel de Sousa (guitar, cowbell, vocals). Together they have created a movement in their home country, with fans who call themselves “La Resistance” and splatter their bodies with brightly colored paints to emulate La Vida’s signature look. Their hometown shows in Caracas have taken on the feel of political rallies, with crowds so large they’ve stopped traffic in the capitol on more than one occasion.
“El Sentimiento Ha Muerto“
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[pullquote quote="If you don't know Caracas, it's a very dangerous city." credit=""]Despite the swelling movement and political undertones, the secret to [lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm]‘s success lies in their music and their ability to make people move. Nowhere is this more present than on their bombastic sing-along tune “Danz!,” sung primarily in English (though the sentiment comes through loud and clear in any language).
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Listen to how passionately Henry D’Arthenay speaks about the mission of [lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm] in this interview. It’s no surprise that, when asked for his current favorite band, he answers: [lastfm]LCD Soundsystem[/lastfm]. Just as James Murphy crafts his songs around a lifetime of his own musical influences, D’Arthenay and the band want fans to read between the lines and become as fascinated by progressive music as they are. If you hear traces of [lastfm]The Pixies[/lastfm], the [lastfm]Sex Pistols[/lastfm] and [lastfm]The Ramones[/lastfm] on this album, it’s no accident. Hit play below to watch what was truly one of the finest interviews ever conducted in the Street Date studios.
La Vida Boheme – Exclusive Interview
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On Thursday, November 10th the 12th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony will take place at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. [lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm] are nominated in two categories: Best Rock Song (for “Radio Capital“) and Best Rock Album (for Nuestra). They’re also currently in the running MTV Iggy’s Best New Band In The World competition, head over there to vote for LVB and watch their outrageous MTV Iggy Show performance.
Nuestra by [lastfm]La Vida Boheme[/lastfm] is available now at iTunes and Amazon. The full track listing is as follows:
1. Radio Capital
3. El Buen Salvaje
5. El Zar
7. Calle Barcelona
10. El Sentimiento Ha Muerto