Vivian Girls and Awesome Color at Cake Shop


Vivian Girls + Awesome Color
Friday September 21
Cake Shop
Photos by Rebecca Smeyne

Local soft-focus punk rockers Vivian Girls channel distant cousins No Age as much as they do C86, Heavenly, Shop Assistants, et al: Something about the gorgeous way they leave their songs so unpolished. In a way, it’s tempting to suggest them as the emblem of some sort of pre-internet, communitarian, non-self-conscious emblem of the past–not least because of things like Brooklyn Vegan’s comments section, which might well be the apotheosis of what this pictures-on-the-internet thing is really about, i.e., fetish pornography for an age where regular pornography is too readily available.

But the DIY DNA is really there: Vivian Girls’ smeared vocal harmonies and utilitarian guitar parts and unpretentious stage poses come straight from the K Records/Lync playbook–by way, perhaps, of one time Against Me! home Plan-It-X, where Lansing, Michigan’s Abe Froman played this sort of thing way before Vivian Girls did. At the Cake Shop on Friday night, the crowd ran all the way to the back, ATP or no ATP, which meant most people just stared at the back of the person’s head in front of them and thought about how nice the songs sounded. This despite the fact that their drummer was basically pulled of the street–regular Ali Koehler had missed a flight, so the task fell to the band’s civilian roommate, which if you think about it, is as good a summary of the Girls’ casual bedroom aesthetic as you’re gonna get.

Awesome Color, up next, took care of the general dazed reverie, however–being loud and dynamic-less will do that to a crowd. They may be KRS-One’s favorite new band, but in a tight space, AC don’t leave much air to breathe.

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