Posted in music | pictures on June 16, 2008

photos by Ryan Muir

DOWNLOAD: Vivian Girls - Where Do You Run To (MP3)

Vivian Girls

Henry Joseph Darger (April 12[?], 1892-April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a janitor in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. Darger's work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art. [Wikipedia]
Love is All @ Market Hotel

There are a lot of bands named after Darger's Vivian Girls. Brooklyn's Vivian Girls are the ones commonly found playing shows presented by Todd P like the one pictured here in which they opened for Love is All at Market Hotel on Saturday (June 14, 2008). Vivian Girls are also playing Santos Party House on Thursday with The Muslims. The Muslims are also playing Market Hotel on Tuesday. Vivian Girls play Market Hotel again on June 28th. More pictures from Saturday's show below....

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

Love is All @ Market Hotel

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Comments (75)

>musicians...with tattoos...in brooklyn...(kinda)playing their instruments in a (sorta) band??? no WAY?!?!

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 5:16 PM

oh shut up, they're good.

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 5:31 PM

wouldnt hit it

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 5:56 PM

Why do most chicks hold their guitars like this :: holds guitar weird :: and play with their wrist like this :: locks wrist kind up a little :: and use only their forearm and then stare at their necks while they play?

Oh wait, who cares -- it's still hot to see.

Posted by greg | June 16, 2008 6:20 PM

Good god that redhead is a beauty.

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 6:35 PM

it doesn't matter what they look like, people like them because they're really good.

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 6:37 PM

these girls are blowing UP

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 6:44 PM

the blonde with the striped shirt is adorable.

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 7:46 PM

I didn't know Lush had reunited... That tape tattoo is really cool, though.

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 9:38 PM

All super cute. makes me want to like them. hopefully their music is good... awesome squier 51 BTW.

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 11:01 PM

>>it doesn't matter what they look like, people like them because they're really good.

>>these girls are blowing UP


hahaha. i wonder which one of the girls or their friends posted those comments.

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 11:07 PM

Anon 11:07 would tap that

Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2008 11:21 PM

they're a great band

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 12:28 AM

Good record!

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 3:40 AM

Human subway cars. Do not want.

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | June 17, 2008 4:41 AM

go to bed 4:41am. you're drunk

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 7:40 AM

i like the pink, not the ink

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 8:02 AM

the question is, do they follow in the footsteps of the mighty black lips and pee on each other?

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 9:26 AM

>>Good record!

YOU. HAVE. GOT. TO. BE. KIDDING!!!

i just went to their myspace page and listed to "damage", and seriously, it sounds like three girls who just got their first instrument, ever, and are having fun at a slumber party. it's all well and good, but hardly something worth talking about, blogging about, seeing live, or listening to. they may all be cute indeed, but if we're discussing them based upon talent, no thanks.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 9:49 AM

They sound like Lush (and The Charlottes) - if Lush had been based in Brooklyn and had very little musical talent. They can't really play - you can hear it just by listening to the music. They have good influences, but the tinny, garage-y production doesn't cover up the lack of talent.

With all that said, these girls are still very nice to look at. giggidy giggidy AWright!

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 9:51 AM

not good. might hit.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 10:10 AM

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Posted by Nikki | June 17, 2008 10:11 AM

as mentioned, they're certainly cute girls. and there's nothing wrong with cute girls and boys to look at. however, if we're here to discuss whether or not they've got talent, the answer is no. or at least, not yet. we seem to now be at the age where everybody and their aunt/sister/brother/uncle in brooklyn thinks they can get some ink and instruments and that seems to = a band. jesus h. christ. people, do your homework. practice, practice, practice. even the ramones, while only really knowing what to do with three chords, knew how to play.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 10:14 AM

oh no, this band we don't get is getting some attention... must... dis... them......

it's hilarious to watch the aging indie poppers get alienated by the new crop of way more exciting raw dirty shit that is coming out, and to watch them fall over themselves scoffing at it.

from Viv Girls to Times New Viking to No Age to Jay Reatard, can't you indie yuppies see that these raw lofi bands are an apt response to, and cancellation of, your gentrification of the independent music scene?

no, they aren't Sufjan Stevens or the Shins or Feist, dumbasses. Many people are bored with your car commercial music, and these new bands are the fucking future. Eat a dick if you think they "can't play." You'd have said the same things about Black Flag in 1980 or the Buzzcocks in 1978 or the Beatles in Hamburg.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 10:21 AM

they sound like surfy garage ala the Wipers or something meets Tiger Trap era indie twee, with a touch of Nirvana climactic freak out thrash.

their looks have got nothing to do with it

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 10:26 AM

I'd hit it provided someone guaranteed me there wasn't broken glass in her vagina.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 10:37 AM

this band is getting attention because their record has really resonated with a lot of people. it sold out via mail order in days, apparently.

it can't be just because of their looks because the band has barely toured and hardly anyone has seen them outside of Brooklyn. the record sold out to kids all over the country who've only heard their myspace songs.

who are you, 9:51 / 10:14, to say they've got no talent? It's one thing to not care for it, but you're straight up insulting. You sound vindictive, jealous much?

More importantly, there's obviously a critical mass of people who don't agree with you at all.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 10:45 AM

Anon 10:21, I haven't heard Vivian Girls but that's some pretty lofty company you put them in: all of those bands have very good to great musicians (Jay shreds pretty thoroughly; i'm sure you know this), so I'm excited to hear VG in the hopes that they keep pace. I don't want to condescend a band composed of young girls, maybe they've been playing for years and years but somehow I doubt it. All I'm saying is sure, be excited, but still keep things in persepective, if only for their own development. How many hot-shit flash-in-the-pans have to be stunted by the intense heat of the blogosphere before we realize there are such things as learning curves?

I'm not really sure how lo-fi cancels out 'gentrification of the independent music scene.' In fact I don't even know what any of that means. We're talking feedback not affordable housing. According to Ian Svenonus, the trend toward pared down bands are more suitable nomads for a gentrifying urban landscape.

Posted by dola | June 17, 2008 11:02 AM

BTW, they are having a Henry Darger exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum next to MOMA. Just came across it a few days ago. Pretty interesting stuff.

...also cute pics of the band here.

Posted by chinolam | June 17, 2008 11:03 AM

The music is just not good. Thats all.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 11:11 AM

11:02. since when do bands have to be virtuosos to be any good?

VG's play decently, but more importantly they rock and their songs are catchy as hell. No one's saying they're the best band out there or anything close to it, but if you'd read the thread you'd have seen that the defense of them was in response to some pretty tone deaf critics who are missing the point.

as for the gentrification of the scene, go see a show for $30 at MHOW or the Highline Ballroom and you'll see gentrification of the scene in action. It's not complicated and it ain't hokum. Mid 30's urban professionals have fully adopted and hijacked the independent music community. For a few years now indie industry has gone overboard catering to their tastes and their economics. You have to be pretty dense if you can't see that the new crop of rowdy jagged punk and noise influenced bands are a response to all that adult-contemporary-isation of independent music.

It's a reformation of the scene, a break from all those bands who seem mainly to aspire to get their cds sold in the checkout lane at Starbucks. If you want to criticize these new bands on the grounds of instrumental prowess, you're going to end up sounding like someone defending Yes in the face of the Sex Pistols.

and no, I'm not saying the Vivian Girls are anywhere close to the importance equals to Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Black Flag, or Beatles - don't take that cheap shot.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 11:28 AM

listen to "tell the world" off their myspace and tell me this band isn't fucking terrific.

wall of sound, indiepop melodies, reverbed out harmonies, Nirvana sounding climax, good shit!

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 11:37 AM

to 11:28 - yes absolutely I agree with you. Thank god for Todd P he is keeping the real indie music scene alive. there has to be a reaction to the super mellow/bland (my opinion) stuff like Vampire Weekend.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 11:50 AM

^^^

hahaha. actually, i think times new viking is pretty damn good. they were pretty great opening for yo la tengo. ths shins suck. sufjan, while maybe he's a poet, i saw him after the first and second records of states, and he bored the life out of me live. now, his guitarist, annie clark, ms. vincent, she's a fucking player. the little cute buttons in v girls should take some lessons fomr st. vincent and learn how to play guitar. haa. aww, come down now, don't get so angry. we're all just chatting here. chill on all the hate. i think they're cute and their music is bad. you think they're music is good. just a difference in perspective. if they're still a band in 5 or 10 years, and have contributed somehow, get back to me.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 11:57 AM

what hate? sounded pretty calm to me

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 11:59 AM

anyone else notice how lousy that recording is? the music clips so many times, making the song sound like a cd skipping (albeit very subtly)

Posted by phil spector | June 17, 2008 12:08 PM

anyone ever notice how boring audiophiles are?

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 12:13 PM

...not to mention record collectors...

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 12:14 PM

It's a bit unfair to say that the desire for a certain level of instrumental prowess leads to the slippery slope of prog-rock. All I said was that the bands that you mentioned, TNV, No Age & Jay Reatard are more than competent musicians with great songs at the heart of all that fuzz. If VG fall into that same category then fine - I can't wait to hear them live.

More importantly, what's to say that yuppies can't co-opt the 'new' diy either if they want to relive their early gbv days? This isn't the easily outraged bourgeoise of the 1900's anymore, you're talking about stylistic bounds that don't exist. The market is pervasive, and aesthetically shallow people easily adapt. Vice has been pumping VG pretty vigorously. Do you think that they're a little Mickey Mouse operation or that it's a mistake that they're "blowing up?"

I've never gone to the MHOW (?) or the Highline Ballroom and I don't want to see the gentrification of the scene in action. I'd rather not pay those prices and you don't have to either. It's not complicated, you're right.

I love the part in the Scorsese/Dylan documentary where Dave Van Ronk relates that back in the day the vernacular for finding out if an unknown was worth anything or could actually endure as art was, "What did they have to say?" That's so far gone from being the bar by which we judge things for ourselves anymore.

Posted by dola | June 17, 2008 12:27 PM

those who criticize Vivian Girls obviously don't listen to, get Garage, Punk, Noise-Pop, Twee bands like the Gories, The Primitives, Desperate Bicycles, Television Personalities, Nirvana - they have absolutely one of the best sounds in NYC or anywhere else for that matter right now! if you get punk it's not about how well you play your instruments to begin with instead the energy that goes into the attempt and then the sound that comes through

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 12:41 PM

12:08. no, I didn't notice it

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 12:48 PM

jesus. when will this site stop allowing comments?!?!?!

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 12:51 PM

Ok I'm listening on MySpace -- it's fun, harmonies are cool, 60's. If this were 3 ugly dudes, none of us would ever hear of them, but they're not.

Posted by greg | June 17, 2008 12:54 PM

im listening to their myspace right now and Im loving it. similar in sound to Black Lips. Im looking forward to checking them out live.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 12:56 PM

>>those who criticize Vivian Girls obviously don't listen to...Nirvana

Are you kidding? You really have the nerve to even jokingly compare that group to Nirvana? Other than sharing the same number of group members, there's nothing remotely alike. Go clean yur ears.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 1:06 PM

"damaged" was recorded as a practice demo with garage band just through the built in computer mic.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 1:16 PM

now i'm the first to inwardly resent a band for being pretty, sounding shite, and becoming popular but i resent Vivian Girls even more because they're pretty and their sound is both jagged and shimmery and i don't know, there's this kind of glare that occurs between the jaggedness of the music and the little lost girls vocals that lingers like the lithe
figures of darger's imagination, in the music, if that makes any sense

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 1:21 PM

^^you have a lovely way of describing music. that band should be so lucky to have someone like yourself writing lyrics.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 1:34 PM

1:21. it sure sounds like you like them

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 1:49 PM

>if that makes any sense

absolutely. well put.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 2:20 PM

Stop bitching, they're a good band, if you don't like them then don't talk about them, and stop being whiny ass hypocritical motherfuckers who don't do shit but criticize others. 12:41 PM is the only one with at least basic music knowledge.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 3:30 PM

^^ahh, yes, of course. agree with me = smart. disagree with me = stupid. excellent math skills you have there.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 3:33 PM

the ^^ guy is a self righteous windbag who doesn't know when to shut up.

you made your point. go away. does your 4th period social studies teacher know you're netsurfin during her class?

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 4:05 PM

this is sadly more press than the band will ever ever ever see. oh, and 54th BITCHES!

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 5:11 PM

they're already all over the press.

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 5:14 PM

Bottom line: the band sounds like a much lamer and deeply suckier version of Tiger Trap. And those nitwits were always singing about sleeping!

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | June 17, 2008 6:42 PM

bottom line this band is rad. otherwordly harmonies

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 8:20 PM

BEST FUCKING BAND IN THE WORLD !!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 8:24 PM

good band

Posted by Anonymous | June 17, 2008 11:39 PM

It's weird that everyone assumes that being an all-girl band is an advantage. Clearly from these responses, it is not. When you are girls you are constantly under the scrutiny of angry men who believe that any ounce of success you find is due to the fact you are a woman.

Think a bit, they put out 2 records on the SMALLEST labels you can imagine, played a ton of shows and then got picked up by In The Red. Is that so unlike any other male band? It's not like they played one show and then they signed to Matador or Sub Pop or something.

Musically, The Vivian Girls record is a solid debut record. Totally cohesive with tons of hooks. I'm tired of records having to be either pretty or harsh, like having a bit of both is a sin. Applying singalong songs to a raw, primitive backing is something that is LACKING severely in good pop music. TNV does it for sure, maybe Jay Reatard does sometimes as well, but he has his own thing.

Does that mean everyone in the world has to like it? No, of course not. But you need to accept that these kind of bands are refreshing in the light of some of the abysmal crap that the indie world has foisted on us for a buncha years. If that's your bag, cool, that's why you can go buy Feist or whatever if you want to instead. But I happen to love the Shop Assistants, early B-52's, Black Tambourine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Tallulah Gosh, etc.

How many bands are doing this very well right now? Not many at all. Vivian Girls are great at it.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 3:22 AM

This is a really early backlash for a band who's record literally just came out a few weeks ago. Everyone feels the need to slam these guys when I see no forced exposure.

And what exactly did they do to "blow up?" They just have a regular MySpace site, no press clippings or hotlines or any stuff like that. They don't even headline shows or anything.

They're just playing shows and making records.

And, shit, they're good.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 3:40 AM

"It's not like they played one show and then they signed to Matador or Sub Pop or something."

IRONY!

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 11:18 AM

i dont really care about the records. and vids of their live show?

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 11:28 AM

Frankie is fucking HOT.

both as a drummer and otherwise

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 11:57 AM

agreed

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 3:48 PM

Frankie is the best drummer in the world. and shes hot.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 9:24 PM

nobody used any superlatives in reference to this band. why do you think it's so witty to get all sarcastic about us supposedly drowning this band in overblown praise?

frankie is a fun, heavy punk drummer, this band is tight, has a new & original sound, catchy hooky tunes, and they are attractive ladies.

nobody except Mr Irony (9:24 & 8:24) has said anything claiming these guys are "the best" at anything at all.

get over it, this is a new and that's good and people are excited to be discovering them. why is that worth mocking to you? sorry it's not your band that's getting all the attention, dude, but them's the breaks.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 9:41 PM

the last sentence should read ...this is a new BAND that's good...

sorry for the typo

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2008 9:43 PM

12:48 ftw. cassie ramone sucks but she can definitely play the guitar. Spunk and songwriting chops will always trump technically advanced guitar and virtuosity, duh.

Posted by victor ross | June 19, 2008 2:32 AM

seems like these ladies might have some sullen ex boyfriends up here on this thing

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2008 12:47 PM

"there's this kind of glare that occurs between the jaggedness of the music and the little lost girls vocals that lingers like the lithe
figures of darger's imagination, in the music"

wtf kind of bullshit is that?

they're a good band, but that kind of drivel is just forced.

Posted by god below | June 19, 2008 3:08 PM

youre all fucking gay as hell, if i have to hear another shout out to todd p im going to fucking kill myself, and nirvana is the best band of all time

todd p can suck a fucking dick such a whiny piece of shit go to one of his shows and try not to fucking kill yourself

Posted by Anonymous | July 16, 2008 11:12 PM

somebody's drunk!

Posted by Anonymous | July 16, 2008 11:57 PM

11:12, you sound pretty off kilter and close to killing yourself right now actually, and Todd doesn't have a show tonight.

Posted by Anonymous | July 17, 2008 12:30 AM

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