Contra That Last Post: On the Vivian Girls In A Bathtub, A Cheerleader Pyramid, Etc
So the Vivian Girls, that Brooklyn trio whose 2008 debut record is pretty much the equivalent of putting on warm laundry, recently sat down on, variously, a couch, a bathtub, a cheerleader pyramid, and what appears to be a different couch for a series of interviews about hybrid cars, Project Runway, George W. Bush, one of their dads, who "won teacher of the year in New Jersey," Pitchfork, Vincent Gallo, and Applebees. Words were spoken--about the suburbs, about artists who use metronomes, about "normal people," who "go to the bar after work with their co-workers."
Anyone who's interviewed people who get interviewed for a living know the frustrations of these conversations. What inspired you to create this record? "Hallucinogens and Sam Cooke." Why lean wit it first and then rock wit it? Why not rock wit it first? "Because in the dance you lean first, then you rock wit it." People don't actually talk this way--in fact, the most surreal aspect of interviewing someone is that it is like no conversation that exists anywhere else in real life.
So the idea that these nineteen discreet, candid clips of a band that people more or less like because of their human aspects--off-kilter melodies, amateur guitar playing, songs about heartbreak and so on--are somehow in violation of an internet pact in which we all agree to be nice to one another strikes me as something like voter fraud. Or at least could we muster a retaliative put-down better than one of theirs? "My sperm's a hundred thousand dollars, but no Jews or black people can have it," say. Or "take that, math-rock." Or "I wish they would just chill out on learning how to slay in six different ways and just write a good song for once. Cause if you can't write a good song, what's the point?"
Is it just because people are worried that this is a subliminal aimed at Marnie Stern?
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