The unapologetic girl-rock project, Vivian Girls, who have been outstanding female voices in music, called it quits on Wednesday, January 22nd. They announced their final shows close to their home cities, LA and New York. While Ali Koehler, Cassie Ramone and Katy Goodman will continue to work on various other musical projects, the end of Vivian Girls certainly marks the end of an era, and leaves an empty space in my heart.
Growing up in New Jersey, I had always been under the impression that nothing cool ever happened on the northern east coast. I thought all we had were diners, malls and bad traffic. Goodman, Ramone, and Koehler are all from New Jersey and they proved that there was a whole world of Jersey-cool I was missing out on! I wish these 3 had been inspirations to me sooner. (Now, I’ve been working on compensating for all my lost years of loving the Garden State.)
“Take It As It Comes” has singlehandedly changed my way of thinking and general outlook on life, and not just in a New Jersey-state-of-mind kind of way… It’s become a mantra for me and my friends. Every time I begin to feel anxious about any sort of thing (not just boys!), I hear “oh girl take my advice / take it as it comes” reverberating in my mind, or sung by a consoling friend. It almost immediately puts everything in perspective for me, as I remember to take everything one step at a time. It’s almost as if Cassie Ramone is on the phone with me, while Katy Goodman is three-wayed-in. Like best friends, I could always count on them.
My fondest memories of my Vivian Girls fan-girling was one night, in 2012, at Union Pool in Brooklyn. The moment I noticed I was standing near Cassie Ramone, my life came to a screeching halt. Though I was hesitant to approach her, my friend, who definitely had a drink or two in her system, walked over to her and began singing “Take It As It Comes”. Cassie handled the serenade much better than I ever could have handled two girls spilling their tipsy adoration relentlessly in my face. Your acceptance of our love, Cassie, was much appreciated.
There were nights I stayed up late with my female friends, singing along to every Vivian Girls music video available to us. We dreamed up creating a ferocious girl band, with great hair and bouncing bass lines, that only the wonderful Vivian Girls could inspire. None of these imaginative musical groups ever came to fruition, though I am certain that the music of Vivian Girls has provoked the creation of more than a few real, girl-strong bands. I offer you the following tweet from an up and coming girl band, that proves their influence:
vivian girls was one of the first bands that really made me believe we could have a girl band and that real musicians still exist
— VERDIGRLS (╥﹏╥✿) (@WeAreVERDIGRLS) January 22, 2014
Most female musicians that I consider to be empowering inspirations to me aren’t even in bands that are entirely female. All-female bands are a rare breed. I am thankful that Vivian Girls have jammed out guitar rifts and soothing melodies through the sexism and hierarchy that is punk and alt rock. I am thankful that they helped create a safer, stronger, visible space for girls in music. I am confident that they will continue to inspire, in all of their individual endeavors. (And I secretly hope for a reunion as soon as their last show ends.)
Editor in-Chief Ingrid and I are looking forward to a serious girl power night at their final performance at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, NY. Perhaps we will be seeing some of you there?
If you are interested in following the future of each of the original Vivian Girls (you should be) you can find them here:
Cassie Ramone (The Babies): https://twitter.com/cassieramone Ali Koehler (Upset): https://twitter.com/hernameisali Katy Goodman (La Sera): https://twitter.com/iamkatygoodman