The Vivian Girls were the heroines of a 15,000-page novel by Henry Darger, a reclusive janitor who died in obscurity, only to posthumously become one of the most famous and influential outsider artists in the world.
Obscurity and inspiration play big roles in the story of the Brooklyn band called the Vivian Girls. The all-female trio became an Internet sensation earlier this year when their debut album sold out in just over a week (a reissue came out last month). Mind you, it’s not necessarily hard to become an Internet sensation, and the album that sold out was limited to a press run of only 500 copies. Still, the Vivian Girls have the makings of a big deal — at least among the critics and bloggers and Brooklyn scenesters who are the band’s natural constituency. They’ve even started to generate a backlash, which is a sure sign of success in the indie-rock underground. I saw one online post that read, “Re-recording a Talulah Gosh album does not a great band make.”
If you don’t know who Talulah Gosh is, don’t worry. The Vivian Girls sound more like early Lush or Henry’s Dress than a twee or C86 band anyway. The point is that the Vivian Girls call to mind a lot of obscure, mostly British indie pop acts from the ’80s and early ’90s who wedded sweet vocals to noisy guitars and hazy reverb. If you can recognize the influences, the Vivian Girls will make you feel smart and hip and…well, old. If you can’t, you’ll like the Vivian Girls because they’ll make you feel good.
Love Is All and Grand Ole Party also perform.
VIVIAN GIRLS, Casbah, Monday, November 17, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $15.