Trung Ngo and Brad Petering, otherwise known as TV Girl, were as surprised as anybody to find that Pitchfork had given their new EP, a catchy patchwork quilt of songs crafted over time and distance (Ngo works at a local marketing firm, Petering attends UC Davis), a solid thumbs-up.
“I remember seeing it and doing a double take,” says Petering of the online mention. “It was kind of weird, like, getting picked up so fast.”
The reviewers at Pitchfork used the words “balmy and inviting” to describe TV Girl’s ballad “If You Want It” and posted a link to the song on their Forkcast blog. They called TV Girl’s use of a sample lifted from the once-popular “Hello It’s Me,” Todd Rundgren’s 1973 hit, “ballsy.”
A Pitchfork mention carries no small weight in the music business. Their often snarky reviews have a reputation for making or breaking CD sales and band careers.
“They found us,” says Petering. “We sent our stuff to some smaller blogs. We didn’t bother sending it to the bigger blogs right away.” He says their song took off and got picked up by a lot of other blogs. “Eventually, it got to Pitchfork.” Eventually, in virtual terms, means one week in this case.
“Yeah,” says Ngo. “That [Pitchfork review] was only about a week after we self-released the EP.” Petering says it got picked up next by the bloggers at the UK Guardian. “And, I heard it was on a BBC podcast,” he says.
TV Girl is an eponymous four-song EP and is available from a music-sharing site called Bandcamp (tvgirl.bandcamp.com). But other than a MySpace page, information about the band on the internet is thin to nonexistent.
“We don’t really focus too much on the MySpace page,” says Ngo. “The Guardian commented that it’s weird to see a band get, like, this kind of exposure and then see only 25 friends on MySpace or whatever.”
Petering and Ngo grew up in the same Scripps Ranch neighborhood and attended the same high school. But they met and discovered a mutual appreciation for music while skating a mini-ramp in a friend’s backyard. They started making music three or four years ago while in college — “random projects here and there,” says Ngo. “It’s always been a side thing that we, like, did.”
What’s next for TV Girl? “We have lots of songs in various stages of completion right now,” says Peterman. “Finishing them and rehearsing a live show are priorities.”
“We’re looking to play shows in January and February…once Brad gets back and we’ve had time to practice,” says Ngo. Live, Peterman says one can expect to see a stage littered with a conglomeration of turntables, amplifiers, analog instruments, and keyboards.
“We’ve never really played out,” says Ngo. “It’s always been a recording project.”