of the Month, July 1996
Van Gogh's Daughter
Driven by two frontwomen who both write, both sing
and both play guitar, Van
Gogh's Daughter can be light and dark, charming or brutal, feminine
or masculine. The best pop music is always a combination of forces
fighting with one another and this applies to Van Gogh's Daughter
and their debut album SHOVE.
Jane Woodman and Paige Weber, VGD's two singer-songwriter-guitarists,
both grew up in the Midwest, and both became players to help escape
from the boredom. They drifted to San Francisco separately, and
as one story goes, were introduced to each other by a friend while
cooling their heels in the local jail. They kicked it around in
various local bands and eventually found a kindred spirit, and drummer,
in California native Jeanne Hangauer. The trio worked out together,
playing the clubs and bars, but it wasn't until they landed Rachel
Thoele and her bass that VGD's really got rolling.
Working on its live show and act in places like the
Bottom of the Hill the power of VGD can now be heard on SHOVE. VGD
co-produced their album with Julian Raymond and Phil Kaffel, and
the basic tracks were cut live to keep the juice from their live
Like all good pop and rock and roll songs, VGD writes
songs about "drinking, anger, our heads, and relationships,"
according to Jane and Paige. VGD express the frustration of smart
kids who want to taste the best and the worst of life, as heard
in the chorus of the raucous "S.L.A.G." (I wanna get wasted)
and "Through the Eyes of Julie", a slice of irresistible
pop wrapped around a wistful look at the life of a junkie.
The two songwriters often collide in their approaches
to songs, but the friction serves them well. "We butt heads,"
Weber has said, laughing. Woodman agrees, but adds, "I think
there's a lot innovativeness in the way we approach the sound, Like
Rachel comes from a noise-pop background, and then there's Jeanne,
who's pretty much straight R&B, but the way she interprets the
songs is really great, and it makes it totally different. We're
not your stock alternative players."
Van Gogh's Daughter is a take no prisoner's band,
uncompromising in an industry that expects bands to be thankful
for every crumb they get tossed. "We won't become victims of
the industry, " Woodman has said, "We don't want to be
put in these little packages once the record comes out." The
chances of VGD becoming passive packaged darlings are slim to none.
H.E.A.R. is happy to honor Van Gogh's Daughter as
our June Artist of the Month, and we urge you to get out into the
clubs to see them live and pick up a copy of SHOVE.
VAN GOGH'S DAUGHTER
Jane Woodman - vocals/guitar
Paige Weber - vocals/guitar
Rachel Thoele - bass
Jeanne Hangauer - drums