Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “The End” by Vivian Girls from the 2009 album Everything Goes Wrong on In The Red.
In case your head is in the sand Vivian Girls is an all girl lo-fi garage rock outfit hailing from Brooklyn. Back in 2007 these ladies -- Cassie Ramone (guitar/vocals), Kickball Katy (bass/drums/vocals) and Frankie Rose (drums/bass/vocals created a great deal of buzz following the release of their widely played single “Wild Eyes” and subsequent self-titled LP initially released on the Mauled By Tigers label. The first press of this 22-minute noisy overture on love and heartbreak sold out in a mere 10-days – adding new fuel to an already blazing firestorm of cult status in the underground community. In the years following this initial burst of attention the band toured extensively with an exciting and diverse pool of bands from Sonic Youth, Jay Reatard, King Khan & the BBQ to Crystal Stilts and Male Bonding.
“The End,” from last month’s Everything Goes Wrong, is all things noisy, angry and raw while staying sonically focused. While the underlying 60’s era garage sound is certainly still here –previously explored notions of heartbreak seem to really come to head here musically. I’m reminded of feelings I used to get when I listened to Black Flag a lot -- like GOD, I FEEL BAD FOR THESE INSTRUMENTS. Ramone’s guitar has one of those sounds that makes you wonder “is it too late for me to learn an instrument?” To quote Jonathan Richman, her distortion laden guitar sounds “Tough,” but somehow “barely there / like a bitchy girl who just don’t care.”
Everything is getting annihilated here: drums, cymbals and guitars become weapons in an effort to eradicate some mutual emotional enemy. Or perhaps they’re just trying to break something to feel better. I don’t know; either way, it works. Nothing was wrong, but I feel better.
It hasn’t been so long since Vivian Girls were in Seattle. And according to their MySpace page, they’re on the East Coast heading back to NYC, where they’ll spend the remainder of the year before heading of to jolly old England. However, the girls did perform an exclusive set at the KEXP-sponsored Music Lounge during the 2009 Bumbershoot Music and Arts festival on Labor Day weekend, and we’ve got the video to prove it: