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Van Gogh's DaughterArtist 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 shows.

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.

Jane Woodman - vocals/guitar
Paige Weber - vocals/guitar
Rachel Thoele - bass
Jeanne Hangauer - drums


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