NO DARGERISM REQUIRED Vivian Girls

They just kinda like
the name…

 

BY ERIC SCHUMACHER-RASMUSSEN

 

 

Taking their name from outsider artist Henry Darger’s
15,000+ page manuscript 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 Rebellion
, surely Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls have much to say about the
exhibit “Dargerism: Contemporary Artists and Henry Darger” at the American Folk
Art Museum in New York.

 

“We kinda just liked the name,” says bass player Kickball
Katy. “People expect us to be Henry Darger Wikipedias, but we’re just casual
fans. He wrote the longest book ever, which is cool.”

 

Ahem. Well, given the lo-fi sound of their self-titled debut
on In The Red-reverb-laden vocals and jangly, distorted guitar-certainly Katy
can wax rhapsodic about C86, the indie-pop movement that coalesced around the
1986 NME cassette for which it was named?

 

“Actually, I’d never heard of C86 before people started
calling us that, and neither had Cassie,” says Katy, referring to Vivian Girls’
guitarist and lead singer Cassie Ramone, who slept through our scheduled early
afternoon interview. (New drummer Ali couldn’t make it either; she’s the only
one in the band who still has a day job, at the skating rink down the street
from her parents’ Toms River, NJ house, where the trio are recording a 7″ for
self-release their newly formed Wild World LLC label.)

 

Turns out the band’s biggest heroes are the Wipers and the
Shangri-Las, something Katy does like talking about, especially Ramone’s
vocal similarity to Shangri-La siren Mary Weiss. Indeed, Vivian Girls’ most
powerful sonic weapon is their harmonies. “Cassie has very good projection, a
very unique voice that’s very specific to her,” says Katy. “I have a real
chorus-y voice that’s high and indistinguishable. I could be anyone.” 

 

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