HEAR YE: The Vivian Girls

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Now playing on PHAWKER RADIO! Vivian Girls open for M.Ward at the Troc Friday!

VICTIM OF TIME: Behold the Vivian Girls. Just as their alluring name only became passed around mere months ago, this group of three upstart New York females have taken the noisy pop mantra and dipped it in pure gold, right out of the gate. With their debut 7″ on their very own Plays With Dolls Records label already sending out waves of panic and adoration to the outer limits of the underground pop contingent, they have become the newest breakout sirens of the New York loft-pop brigade. Within seconds of hearing their seductive three-part girl group vocal harmonies lushly interwoven with chest-pounding rhythms of beautiful feedback, it’s obvious that their songs are hard to resist, especially if you find yourself keen on the mid-80s noise pop conglomerate of Jesus & Mary Chain, The Vaselines, Black Tambourine, and Shop Assistants.

The echo-filled songs resonate with such sweetness and provocative noise, that it culminates into a wall of viviangirls_terrywoelfer1_1.jpgbeautiful vocals interplayed with a simple yet timeless beat that will have no problem crossing over genre lines and warming up to virtually anyone with an ounce of good taste. Vivian Girls don’t aim to break new ground, but the sheer innocence of their sound in this seething underground world of blistering sonic competition is as refreshing as a wet slap in the face, and the way they create such epically elemental songs out of two or three common chords that everyone has laying right in front of them is positively something you can’t go on without.

Swirling guitars topped with sweetly angelic voices is practically a can’t-miss concoction, so with this kind of potential mass-appeal under their wings, don’t be surprised to see your nosy neighbors and attention-starved friends to chime in with unabashed praise as In The Red Records has the good sense to snatch up the ‘Girls with a proper reissue of their debut album right here, right now, and add a distinct brightness to one of the most important years of modern music. [via IN THE RED]

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WIKIPEDIA: Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. (April 12(?), 1892–April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a janitor in Chicago, Illinois.[1] He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced 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 darger_1.jpgseveral hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.[2] In 1930, Darger settled into a second-floor room on Chicago’s North Side, at 851 W. Webster Avenue, in the Lincoln Park section of the city, near the DePaul University campus. It was in this room, more than 40 years later, after his death in 1973, that Darger’s extraordinary secret life was discovered.

Darger’s landlords, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner, came across his work shortly before his death, a day after his birthday, on April 13, 1973. Nathan Lerner, an accomplished photographer whose long career the New York Times wrote “was inextricably bound up in the history of visual culture in Chicago”,[8] recognized immediately the artistic merit of Darger’s work. Darger’s work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Darger’s work contains many religious themes, albeit handled extremely idiosyncratically. In the Realms of the Unreal postulates a large planet around which Earth orbits as a moon and where most people are Christian (mostly Catholic). The majority of the story concerns the adventures of the daughters of Robert Vivian, seven sisters who are princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia and who assist a daring rebellion against the evil John Manley’s regime of child slavery imposed by the Glandelinians. The latter resemble Confederate soldiers from the American Civil War. (Darger, like his father, was a Civil War expert.) Children take up arms in their own defense and are often slain in battle or viciously tortured by the Glandelinian overlords. The elaborate mythology also includes a species called the henry_darger_2.jpg“Blengigomeneans” (or Blengins for short), gigantic winged beings with curved horns who occasionally take human or part-human form, even disguising themselves as children. They are usually (but not always) benevolent; some Blengins are extremely suspicious of all humans, due to Glandelinian atrocities.

In the Realms of the Unreal includes 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 extends over 15 immense, densely-typed volumes of 15,145 total pages. The text is accompanied by three bound volumes of several hundred illustrations, scroll-like watercolor paintings on paper, the work of six decades, derived from magazines and coloring books. In addition, Darger wrote an eight volume, 5,084-page autobiography, The History of my Life; a 10-year daily weather journal; assorted diaries; and a second work of fiction, provisionally entitled Crazy House, of over 10,000 handwritten pages. MORE

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TRENT REZNOR: In NIN world, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of our first releases. I’ve been thinking for some time now it’s time to make NIN disappear for a while. Last year’s “Lights in the Sky” tour was something I’m quite proud of and seems like the culmination of what I could pull off in terms of an elaborate production. It was also quite difficult to pull off technically and physically night after night and left us all a bit dazed. After some thought, we decided to book a last run of shows across the globe this year. The approach to these shows is quite different from last year – much more raw, spontaneous and less scripted. Fun for us and a different way for you to see us and wave goodbye. I reached out to Jane’s to see if they’d want to join us across the US and we all felt it could be a great thing. Will it work? Will it resonate in the marketplace? Who knows. Are there big record label marketing dollars to convince you to attend? Nope. Does it feel right to us and does it seem like it will be fun for us and you? Yes it does.  MORE

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