Tag: Vivian Girls

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Rock Act Vivian Girls Reunite for a Kaleidoscopic and Trippy Visual for “Something To Do”

Formed back in 2007 by founding members Katy Goodman (bass, drums, vocals),  Cassie Ramone (vocals, guitar) and Frankie Rose (drums, bass, vocals), the acclaimed indie rock act Vivian Girls, derive their name from the title of outside author Henry Darger’s The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. And although they went through a series of drummers in their run together, they developed a reputation for being a band for outsiders, for playing warehouses, house parties, DIY spots and small clubs. Sonically, they bounced back and forth between heart-on-their sleeves romantics and feedback-driven sheogazers. 

After their third album, 2011’s Share the Joy, the band split up and went their own ways. Katy Goodman and the band’s third drummer Ali Koehler relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued with different musical pursuits — Goodman with her acclaimed act La Sera and Ali Koehler with Best Coast and Upset while starting families. Ramone continued to make art, released two solo albums and two albums with Kevin Morby in their band The Babies. Interestingly, Ramone relocated to Los Angeles after a phone call with Goodman sparked the possibility of a reunion. 

Last spring, the trio began jamming together, keeping their practices a secret  while enjoying the simple act of playing together again. By the fall, the trio had written an album’s worth of material and entered the studio to record their Rob Barbarto-produced fourth album Memory, the first batch of original material from the band in over eight years. 

Slated for a September 20, 2019 release through Polyvinyl Records, Memory’s title may conjure the concept of its band members waxing nostalgic over halcyon days — but actually, the material may be the darkest of their catalog. Fueled by their own experiences as individuals and as a band, the album thematically touches upon their personal reflections on toxic relationships, the false promise of new love, mental health struggles and finding ways to accept oneself amidst it all. Sonically, the album reportedly evokes desperation and longing while having a newfound sense of intensity and direction. 

Interestingly, Memory’s second and latest single “Something To Do” is a shoegazey-like song centered around layers of buzzing guitars, a propulsive groove and ethereal vocals bubbling up from the murky mix — and while sonically nodding a a bit at their past, the song is a bold push forward, imbued with a dark, murky quality of a dysfunctional and fucked up relationship. 

Directed by Jason Lester, the recently released feverish video for “Something to Do” was shot on what appears to be 8mm film in the Los Angeles area and features the band members running toward themselves playing in an abandoned structure — presumably, the band running to a new future together. 

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Perhaps best known for stints drumming for Shilpa Ray, WALTZ and Lola Pistola, Robert Preston Collum relocated to Los Angeles for a change of scenery, and began his solo recording project Pink Mexico. Shortly after relocating to Los Angeles, Collum self-released his Pink Mexico debut pnik mxeico back in June 2013. The album attached the attention of Austin, TX-based Fleeting Youth Records, who re-released pnik mxeico the following December.

Preston then relocated back to Brooklyn during the fall of 2014, where released a split 7 inch with Los Angeles-based indie band SunLikeDrugs and a 12 inch vinyl pressing of pnik mexico by the Bordeaux, France-based label Big Tomato Records. And with a growing national and international profile, Collum caught the attention of Burger Records, who signed him and released his sophomore Pink Mexico fool, an effort that Collum said was written in window-less 10×10 rooms between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, reportedly fueled by nasty hangovers, cheap coffee and cigarettes. Interestingly, over the past year or so, Pink Mexico expanded to into a fully fledged band with the addition of Grady Walker (bass) and Ian Everall (drums), who toured with Collum during the tour to support fool and contributed to Pink Mexico’s forthcoming, third full-length album Dump, which is slated for a March 1, 2019 release on cassette and digitally through Burger Records and Little Dickman Records.

Written and recorded during 2017 and 2018 at Civil Defense Studios with Jeremy Scott, who has worked with Vivian Girls and These Are PowersDump is the first Pink Mexico album as a fully fledged band and the album’s latest single “High Dive” is a grungy take on surf rock, featuring fuzzy and distorted power chords and a mosh pit friendly hook. Sonically, the song manages to hint at The Jesus and Mary ChainIncesticide-era Nirvana, Melvins and Foo Fighters while clocking in at a little over 2 minutes — or in other words, a fast and furious ripper that’s absolutely necessary.

 

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant  and vital role in Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, as an original member of several critically applauded and commercially successful acts including Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly, as well as a solo artist. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that Rose had briefly relocated back to her hometown of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, the experience of being down and out, and not quite knowing what to do next wound up inspiring her fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, which was co-written with Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens.

Adding to a run of New Wave-inspired material, Rose is set to release a full-length cover of The Cure‘s critically applauded sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds as part of Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious vinyl covers series. The first single off Rose’s Seventeen Seconds cover album is a fairly straightforward and moody rendition of one of my favorite Cure songs “A Forest,” but interestingly enough, the cover album’s latest single is a slightly sped up rendition of “At Night,” which retains the original’s moody and foreboding vibe — all while reminding contemporary listeners of how influential and timeless The Cure’s work has been; in fact, you can easily imagine a contemporary band recording something that would have sounded like the material off Seventeen Seconds right now.

 

This past weekend has been a very busy one for me, as I’ve taken part in a Baby Robot Media hosted Mondo.NYC panel titled “Your First PR Campaign” and I’ve managed to cover some of the festival — while squeezing in my beloved New York Yankees, who have managed to get into the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. There will be more on Mondo.NYC in the future; but in the meantime, let’s get to some music, eh?

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant role in Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, as an original member of several critically applauded and commercially successful acts including Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly, as well as a solo artist. And interestingly enough, Rose has been considered a controversial and restlessly creative presence, frequently leaving projects, just as they were beginning to attain some measure of success. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the summer, you may recall that Rose relocated back to her birthplace of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, the experience of being down and out, and not quite knowing what to do next wound up inspiring her fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, which was co-written with Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens. Album single “Dyson Sphere” managed to sound as though it owed a debt to 80s New Wave — in particular A Flock of Seagulls I Ran (So Far Away),” Siouxsie and The Banshees’Israel” and “Happy House,” immediately came to my mind.

Adding to a run of New Wave-inspired material, Rose is set to release a full-length cover of The Cure‘s critically applauded sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds as part of Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious vinyl covers series. The first single off Rose’s Seventeen Seconds cover album is a fairly straightforward and moody rendition of one of my favorite Cure songs “A Forest.” And if there’s one thing the Frankie Rose cover should do two things: remind contemporary listeners that a great song can truly be timeless and that The Cure should be considered one of the more important bands of the 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The 80s New Wave-Inspired Sounds and Visuals of Frankie Rose’s Latest Single “Dyson Sphere”

For the better part of a decade, Frankie Rose played a significant role in Brooklyn’s  indie rock scene, both as a solo artist and as an original member of critically applauded and commercially successful acts like Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly; in fact, if you’ve been covering music in this town as long as I have, you may recall that Rose was a largely considered a controversial, restlessly creative presence, frequently leaving projects, just as they were about to attain some measure of success. As the story goes, Rose relocated back to her birthplace of Los Angeles with the intention of establishing a new, creative and professional moment in her career; however, she gradually found herself running short on sleep, money and optimism.  “I moved to LA, drama ensued and I ended up on a catering truck. I was like, how can this be my life after being a touring musician and living off of music. I had really lost my way and I thought I was totally done,” the indie rock artist recalls in press notes.

During those restless nights, Rose spent her time listening to Art Bell’s paranormal-themed archives and her thoughts turned fatalistic — in the sense that she started to feel as though she wasn’t cut out for the music business, and wondering what she was going to do next. “But out of it all, I just decided to keep making music, because it is what I love and what I do — regardless of the outcome,” the indie rock artist says.

Towards the end of her 18 month stint back in Los Angeles, Rose reached out to Jorge Elbrecht, known for his work with Tamaryn, Gang Gang Dance, No Joy and my own personal favorite Violens and began sketching what eventually became the basic outline of what felt like a new album. When Rose returned back to Brooklyn, she had the realization that she had to do it on her own, and naturally it meant working with basically no budget and finding ways to record in-between days; however, Rose credits it as being incredibly useful as it allowed her to experiment with a variety of people, who helped change her creative process and songwriting as a whole. “I got a lot of people from people like Dave Harrington (Darkside), who was helpful in reconstructing the songs, adding dynamics and changing up the rhythms.”

The end result is Rose’s soon-to-be released fourth full-length album Cage Tropical, and as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Dyson Sphere,” the material takes on a decidedly spectral yet New Wave-inspired sound, complete with analog synths, an angular and propulsive bass line, angular guitar chords fed through delay and reverb pedals, dramatic percussion and a soaring hook paired with Rose’s ethereally crooned vocals floating over the mix. And although the song is reminiscent of A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away),” Siouxsie and The Banshees’ “Israel” and “Happy House,” it may be the one of the more personal and albums of Rose’s career — and while seemingly dark, there’s an underlying and subtle sense of hope; that the darkest days of one’s creative or personal life certainly aren’t forever.  “It’s all essentially based on what happened to me in Los Angeles and then a return to Brooklyn. Misery turned into something good,” Rose says of the album in press notes. “The whole record to me is a redemption record and it is the most positive one I’ve made.

“I feel like I am finally free from worrying about an outcome. I don’t care. I already lost everything. I already had the worst-case scenario. When that happens, you do become free. In the end, it’s about me rescuing myself via having this record.”

Directed by Daniel Carbone, the recently released video for “Dyson Sphere” is an incredibly 80s New Wave-inspired performance video that features the Brooklyn-based indie artist and her backing band shot in a hazy and moody shadows, complete with trippy fade outs and bursts of color, that should remind anyone who grew up in the 80s of watching warped and over-recorded VHS tape.

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d likely be familiar with La Sera, the recording project of Vivian Girls‘ and All Saints Day‘s Katy Goodman. Initially begun as a solo side project, Goodman’s La Sera found an increasingly growing national profile with the release of her first three critically applauded albums — the project’s self-titled debut, her sophomore effort, Sees the Light and her third effort, Hour of the Dawn. Each subsequent album found Goodman experimenting and expanding upon her sound with Hour of the Down revealing an 80s guitar pop influence, clearly drawing from The SmithsThe Pretenders, and others.

Goodman released her fourth La Sera album, Music For Listening To Music To earlier this year and at its core, the material revealed an artist who has gone through a series of personal and artistic transitions that heavily influenced the material’s lyrical themes and concerns — while further cementing Goodman’s burgeoning reputation for crafting shimmering guitar pop paired with infectious hooks and Goodman’s plaintive, ethereal vocals. One of the biggest personal and creative transitions was that Goodman’s husband Todd Wisenbaker, who may best be known as a member of Music For Listening‘s producer, Ryan Adams‘ backing band and Hour of the Dawn‘s producer, officially joined as a cowriter, guitarist and collaborator. And for a song like “I Need an Angel,” the material manages to nod both at The Smiths’ “This Charming Man,” and Johnny Cash‘s and June Carter Cash‘s “Jackson” thanks in part to the alternating boy-girl verses, and their harmonizing on the song’s hook and chorus.

Goodman and Wisenbaker will be releasing Music For Listening to Music To‘s follow-up and continuation of sorts, Queens EP today and you might remember that earlier this month I wrote about the upbeat, propulsive and shimmering EP title track, which was written while Wisenbaker was on a leisurely stroll through East Hollywood at dusk one night. And as Goodman adds, “To me, the song stands for being an important, passionate, loving person in your own life, every day.” The EP’s second and latest single changes things up quite a bit — mainly because it’s a strutting and swaggering homage/cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love.” And while being a somewhat straightforward cover sonically, Goodman’s vocals add a completely different interpretation and feel to a beloved and familiar song; in fact, her vocals add a feminine sultriness. Interestingly, the La Sera cuts the end section of the original, presumably to be gender neutral — and that decision also adds its own series of interpretations to a familiar and beloved song.

Goodman, Wisenbaker and the members of their backing band will be on tour throughout October to support both Music For Listening Music To and to the Queens EP and it’ll include two NYC area dates  — October 22, 2016 at the Mercury Lounge and an early October 23, 2016 at Baby’s All Right. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES: 

10/07 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
10/08 San Diego, CA @ The Hideout
10/09 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10/10 Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
10/12 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder
10/13 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
10/14 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
10/15 St Louis, MO @ Firebird
10/16 Nashville, TN @ High Watt
10/18 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/19 Chapel Hill, NC @ Pinhook
10/20 Washington, DC @ Song Byrd
10/22 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
10/23 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (early)
10/25 Boston, MA @ Brookline Teen Center
10/26 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk
10/28 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
10/29 Detroit, MI @ El Club
10/30 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
11/01 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
11/02 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
11/03 Reno, NV @ Holland Project
11/04 San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
11/05 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater

Initially begun as a solo side project from her then-primary projects  Vivian Girls and All Saints Day, singer/songwriter and guitarist Katy Goodman has developed a burgeoning national profile with the release of her first three critically applauded albums with La Sera — including, the project’s self-titled debut, her sophomore effort Sees the Light and her third effort Hour of the Dawn. And with each successive album found Goodman experimenting and expanding upon her sound with Hour of the Down revealing an 80s guitar pop influence, in particular The Smiths, The Pretenders, and others.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you’d know that Goodman released her fourth La Sera album, Music For Listening To Music To earlier this year, and the material on the album revealed an artist, who has gone through a series of personal and artistic transitions including  Goodman’s newlywed husband Todd Wisenbaker, who may be best known as a member of Music For Listening To Music To‘s producer  Ryan Adams‘ backing band, and as the producer of Goodman’s third album Hour of the Dawn joined his wife’s project as a cowriter, guitarist and collaborator. Sonically, the material continues along the veins of its predecessor — sounding deeply indebted to the aforementioned The Smiths and The Pretenders while at times also nodding at Johnny Cash (in particular, think of “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and countless others.) And lyrically, the material focused on romantic relationships — whether our desire to be and feel loved, the raw and bitter ironies exposed during the breakup of a relationship and more. Of course, adding to the retro feel and tone of album was the fact that the material frequently employed the use of male/female vocals on top of a familiar and beloved sound featuring shimmering guitars played through reverb as you’ll hear on album singles “High Notes,” and “I Need an Angel.”

Beginning in October, Goodman Wisenbaker and company will be embarking on a month-long national tour — and just before the tour, the members of the project will be releasing the digital-only release Queens EP. The EP’s title track is a propulsive and upbeat bit of shimmering guitar pop that was written while Wisenbaker was on a leisurely stroll through East Hollywood at dusk one night. And as Goodman adds, “To me, the song stands for being an important, passionate, loving person in your own life, every day.” While sonically the song continues to cement the act’s reputation for crafting swooning nd shimmering, 60s and 80s inspired guitar pop, the song lyrically deals with the passing of time and the experience of small yet profound joys with someone you love.

As I mentioned the band will be on tour throughout October and it includes two NYC area dates — October 22, 2016 at the Mercury Lounge and an early October 23, 2016 at Baby’s All Right. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

TOUR DATES: 

10/07 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
10/08 San Diego, CA @ The Hideout
10/09 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10/10 Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
10/12 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder
10/13 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
10/14 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
10/15 St Louis, MO @ Firebird
10/16 Nashville, TN @ High Watt
10/18 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/19 Chapel Hill, NC @ Pinhook
10/20 Washington, DC @ Song Byrd
10/22 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
10/23 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (early)
10/25 Boston, MA @ Brookline Teen Center
10/26 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk
10/28 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
10/29 Detroit, MI @ El Club
10/30 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
11/01 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
11/02 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
11/03 Reno, NV @ Holland Project
11/04 San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
11/05 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater

 

Currently comprised of Drew Citron (vocals, guitar) and Scott Rosenthal, the Brooklyn-based band Beverly was initially formed back in 2013 by Citron and Frankie Rose, best known in New York music scene circles as being in the early lineups of Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts, as well as several other projects before releasing material as a solo artist. Now, if you were following this site back in 2014 you may recall coming across  a post on “Planet Birthday,” the third single off the band’s full-length debut Careers was a noisy and propulsive song with swirling and towering feedback and layers of buzzing guitars paired with seductively crooned vocals. Sonically, the song seemed to channel early Dum Dum Girls and The Go-Gos but as though they were covering The Jesus and Mary Chain — but with a loose, boozy feel.

“Contact,” is the latest single form the band’s long-awaited sophomore effort, The Blue Swell, slated for a May 6 release through Kanine Records, and the new effort not only reveals a lineup change but also a decided change in sonic direction as the band pairs shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive and driving rhythm section with gorgeous and ethereal vocals. Sonically, the song sounds as though the band drew from Too True-era Dum Dum Girls, My Gold Mask, garage rock and shoegaze.

The band is the middle of an lengthy tour, which will include several sets at SXSW and an NYC area set at Baby’s All Right. Check tour dates below.

Tour Dates
Mar 15 Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas
Mar 16 Austin, TX – Spider House
Mar 16 Austin, TX – Valhalla
Mar 17 Austin, TX – Container Bar
Mar 17 Austin, TX – El Sapo
Mar 18 Austin, TX – Maggie Mae’s
Mar 19 Dallas, TX – Spillover Fest
Mar 22 Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall *
Mar 23 Omaha, NE – Milk Run *
Mar 24 Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen *
Mar 25 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub *
Mar 26 State College, PA – Chronic Town *
May 5 Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right (Record Release Show)
May 7 Rough Trade Record Store, Brooklyn, NY (2pm free instore)
May 10 Amsterdam, NE – De School
May 13 Paris, FR – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
May 16 Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen +
May 17 Bristol, UK – The Louisiana +
May 18 London, UK – The Victoria Dalston +
June 14 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s %
June 18 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn %
June 20 Memphis, TN – The Hi-Tone %
June 22 Cincinnati, OH – Northside Yacht Club %

* w/Lazyeyes
+ w/Box of Light
% w/Flowers

 

 

 

New Video: Wander Through Hidden and Surreal Los Angeles in La Sera’s New Video for “I Need An Angel”

Initially begun as a solo side project from her time in Vivian Girls and All Saints Day, Katy Goodman’s recording project La Sera has developed a growing national profile through the release of three critically applauded albums — the project’s self-titled […]