Tuesday, April 14, 2009

among dreams, we’re best friends

saturday i drove down to denton, texas with a buddy to see vivian girls and ariel pink’s haunted graffiti at hailey’s. i grew up in the dfw area and my sister happens to live in denton so it was a great trip for many reasons.

bought these vivian girls tshirts off the bass player at the table; she was adorable and friendly. i told her the tshirt was irresistibly clever, and she said, “thank you! waves hasn’t seen the design yet and we can’t wait for him to see it.” i felt confused and thought, “are we still talking about tshirts?” and drank my beer nonchalantly, hoping her perplexing comment would pass. when i woke the next day i looked at the shirt and noticed the two v’s in the middle of “vivvian”, a la the indie rock artist wavves. i dunno why i wasn’t getting it at the time. i had been satisfied with how funny all the z’s looked!

vivian’s girls set was great, very tight, if perhaps lacking a little aural contrast. but it’s just their aesthetic, and their lp sounds exactly the same: a wall of distorted guitar and deadpan harmonized vocals. it’s actually very appealing and somehow distinctive. i thought their stunt at the end was fun; one by one they seamlessly switched instruments. then a few dicks started trying to mosh in my personal space and i lost my temper, like the proverbial old man trying to get kids off his lawn.

i was BIG into ariel pink when i was a freshman in college. i remember playing songs off “the doldrums” and people saying, “quit that, it’s creeping me out.” after seeing him in live action (no pun intended), i’m still not sure i understand him. his recordings are strange, dreamy, and unsettling, while his live show seemed just a series of cool, engaging pop songs, the mystery lost with the fuzziness of the home recordings. in a way, i missed that “mysterious” element, but in a way i appreciated the veil being lifted off the songs, leaving no noise or silliness to distract you from the songwriting. i’m not sure if i prefer one version of ariel pink over the other.

enjoy more
vivian girls and ariel pink on their respective myspaces.