Review Revue: Viv Akauldren – I’ll Call You Sometime

In this week’s Review Revue, we shall revel in the obscure. Have you ever heard of Viv Akauldren? I hadn’t either, until I stumbled upon their records while flipping through the V’s yesterday at KEXP. Seems this psychedelic Detroit outfit put out a few records and were quite well-regarded around these parts, at least for a while (unlike previous entry Lime Spiders, even Jim hadn’t heard of these guys). According to this brief history I found, Viv Akauldren (originally called Trancegland) were “one of the unsung heroes of psychedelic music.” KCMU folks certainly seemed to agree, as these comments on their second album show. This is also the first time we’ve gotten to see accounts of two different live shows on one record.

“This LP is no less than brilliant. Excellent mix of styles and sounds. What do you think?”

“There is a skip at the start of ‘The Maker of the Sun and the Moon.'”

“Viva Viv!”

“Peachey keen.”

“What’s happening to me? I think I like this.”

“This is it!”

“At Backstage on Sat. Oct. 10th.”

“See you there!”

“They died at the Backstage.”

“KCMU welcomes to the Vogue w/Electric Love Muffin on 6/20, Tues (21+)”

“6/20/89 They died at the Vogue too. Actually, they sounded good, but no one stayed to hear them.”

And this is where we leave the tale of Viv Akauldren for now, on somewhat of a sad note. But who knows, maybe they will be back to triumphantly rock Seattle! They do have two other records in our library…

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  1. Damon Creed
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This one’s from deep in the archives. Definitely remember giving them many spins.

  2. Sheri
    Posted May 19, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Cool!! I, or one of my sisters, has that album. I guess being from Detroit it isn’t surprising though. Haven’t listened to it in years. Time to dust it off perhaps…

    Yea Viv Akauldren!!

  3. rob watson
    Posted June 19, 2008 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    update: after viv disbanded in 1990 the former members went on to the following projects:

    Medusa Cyclone: Keir Mcdonald
    Jeff Tarleton: solo artist
    Deb Agolli: Outrageous Cherry–early recordings

    Thanks for listening to Viv Akauldren–it is sad that the records have not been re-released–

  4. Dirk
    Posted December 5, 2008 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Saw them in Flint, MI when they were supporting this record. Amazing show live, and a great album.

    A little sad, but not surprised, that they’d have trouble holding a crowd live. At the show I saw, the music was pushing the crowd’s musical tolerance, Viv all looked like they were trying to hide from the audience (especially Keir), and the stage patter was incomprehensible, including a long, rambling intro I could barely here that started off talking about Sirius. I still have vivid memories of Jeff’s macrame guitar strap for some reason. I have a vague memory that the friends I was with left & I had to bum another ride home, but that wasn’t uncommon in those days & I might be mixing up shows.

    Sure wish the records would be re-released. I think I still have my copy of this one, but it saw a lot of use before the last turntable died.

  5. sirius
    Posted January 31, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink


    I remember that show—it was in the basement of the Flint Theatre. I think Spahn Ranch was on the bill.

    I agree with you–in part–Viv did have problems tuning into their vibe at times–which would make it appear as if they were hiding—which could be confusing for an audience

    but on or off—Viv strived to reach beyond the normal music spectrum–in fact–i think that show was stocked with a hardcore audience expecting something other than Viv or Spahn Ranch—-so no need for the “sad” comment–they gave it their best shot!!!!!!

    and—-that was the uphill battle Viv generally faced–at least in the US—the gigs and audiences were showing up wanting either hardcore or grunge—not a coctail mix of psych–punk–macrame guitar straps or musings on Sirius

  6. Mark Bogetto
    Posted March 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I first saw them headline a Haloween show in 1986 at St. Andrew’s Church. Blew me away. I was a DJ at U of Michigan’s student run radio station WCBN, and had the opportunity to work their sound on a live show in the spring of 1987.

    I have an autographed “I’ll Call You Sometime” (including the 7″ live “As You Wish” b/w live “The Titanic Mind”). LOVED them. Thanks for bringing them up. Truly underrated.

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