TV Girl
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TV Girl

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Apr
06
TV Girl @ The Casbah

San Diego, California, USA

San Diego, California, USA

Dec
15
TV Girl @ The Bootleg Theatre

None, California, USA

None, California, USA

Music

Press


Last year, San Diego duo TV Girl released the wildly clever and sample-heavy "mixtape" The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle free to the internet. Trung Ngo and Brad Petering have just followed that up with a new EP, Lonely Women, featuring five songs that mix hip hop beats with indiepop melodies and bitter/funny lyrics. A spoonful of sugar, they say. No snarky activity book with this one, and no easily-identifiable samples either. But their melodic abilities are still in full effect. You can stream the whole thing below.
TV Girl have a couple live dates coming up, but none on the East Coast. We need to get them out here. Tour schedule and EP stream are below. - BrooklynVegan.com


Is it possible to weep with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek? TV Girl seems to think so. The duo's biggest hit to date, the Todd Rundgren-sampling "If You Want It" is a breakup anthem, but a playful one. With sonic architecture firmly grounded in the refrain that opens Rundgren's 1968 Billboard monster "Hello It's Me," band members Trung Ngo and Brad Petering reappraise the somber '60s hit for the dance floor. The narrator, reliably modern and perhaps a bit too jaded, knows how to chuckle at himself despite heartbreak: "When the weekend rolls around / you'll want it, and you'll get it," he sighs.

As TV Girl, Ngo and Petering saddle the blurred line between sadness and nostalgia, irony and true humor. "Our friends tried to start a rival band called Radio Boy," Petering says, laughing. "I don't think they ever made it. They're too underground." For their latest release, The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle mixtape, the two drew literal lines—including a download of a coloring book to accompany the new music. "I haven't [colored it], but a lot of people have," Petering notes with pause. "I wasn't expecting that."

We're pleased to debut the video for "Misery," the latest single from The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle, below. Our conversation with the band follows, in which we discuss strategies for impressing Parks & Recreation star Aubrey Plaza, video games, a missed opportunity with the Beastie Boys, mixtapes, and military food.






AGE: 24 and 24. Collectively 48 years old.

HOMETOWN: San Diego

LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: Trung Ngo: Los Angeles. We wanted to be where the beautiful people are.

LIFE GOALS: Brad Petering: My goal is to end up at a party with Aubrey Plaza. Do you know Aubrey Plaza? I just want to be at the same party and have a shot at normal conversation [with her]. I'm not asking to like, sleep with her or anything. I just want a shot. An opportunity. That's all I'm asking for. I mean, I don't know what parties she'll be at, or if we'll ever be at the same party. But, that's my goal. Maybe we'll hit it off.

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: Petering: Video game music, probably. That was what I listened to before I bought CDs, which is pretty funny to think about. I remember playing Sonic the Hedgehog. I remember vividly that it had a cool soundtrack that I really liked. I remember getting songs from that game stuck in my head. I beat the game. There's this really hard level with air jets that spray you and fuck you up.

WORST DESCRIPTION OF YOUR MUSIC: Ngo: "Sundrenched California pop." I think someone read it in a bio, and then everyone picked it up in every single description of us. The California waves, sun rays... it's horrible! It's weird that people pick up on that, because there's absolutely no lyrical allusions to it.

DESCRIBING YOUR MUSIC TO A FIVE-YEAR-OLD: Ngo: I would describe [our music] as, "You can sing along to it, but I wouldn't sing around your parents."

MISSING OUT ON THE BEASTIE BOYS: Petering: My sister was a Beastie Boys fanatic when I was in the fifth grade and she was in the eighth grade. And I didn't like the Beastie Boys [at the time] because I didn't like whatever my sister liked. I made it a point not to like it. But she was obsessed, and convinced my dad to go to a Beastie Boys concert [with her]. My dad used to be in the military, so he brought these bulletproof headphones—sound-dampening headphones. He wore those the whole time, and said [the concert] was the loudest thing he had ever heard in his life. And that his ears were ringing for three days afterwards. [sighs] My dad has been to a Beastie Boys concert, and I never will.

SURVIVAL KIT: Ngo: Beef jerky, mostly.

Petering: I have MREs in my closet. "Meals ready to eat." It's what the military uses to feed their soldiers; rationed food. My dad was very into survival kits. People always laugh at me, but if you really think about it, it is a smart thing to have. I have two boxes full. They're supposed to last a couple of months. [MREs] are super compacted and calorie-rich, but don't taste as good as normal food. My dad once told me the history of MREs. He told me that when he was in the military, they were pure protein bars with a horrible, disgusting taste. [Then the military] did a bunch of studies and found that morale in those kinds of situations... people need actual food to keep their sanity. So it's like real food. Parmesan chicken dinner, pasta... it's normal food, but really nasty versions of normal food.

THE THING ABOUT MIXTAPES: Petering: What makes a rap album a mixtape and not an album? A mixtape is sort of meant to be less official. We didn't want to call this our debut album, because it's more... it didn - Interview Magazine


TV Girl first gained attention in 2010, when the duo digitally released the banger "If You Want It." It pulls off a funk sound that would put Toro Y Moi to shame, flipping a Todd Rundgren sample into the second coming of "Since I Left You." But "Lizzy Come Back to Life" is where the band really goes someplace that hasn't been explored before. Its boomy breakbeat and Ghostface-ready soul sample almost obscures the dejected narrator's post-breakup lamentation: "Everyone dies / It ain't nothing new on a gloomy afternoon."

With two EPs under its belt, TV Girl boasts an eccentric style: Trung Ngo's mellow vocals cavort with Brad Petering's expertly arranged beats, which he constructs from a range of samples. The pair's latest EP, Benny and the Jets, is a toe-tapping synthesis of pumping bass rhythms and balmy vocals. Hear two of its four songs on this installment of World Cafe: Next. - NPR


Hometown: San Diego.

The lineup: Joel Williams (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, vocals), Trung Ngo (acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, vocals), Brad Petering (vocals).

The background: Whatever happened to Beck? Time was, he wasn't so much a ubiquitous part of the landscape – he was the landscape. We vaguely recall a magazine back in the 90s, possibly Select, conducting a poll asking who were the most important people in pop, rock, rap, whatever, and top of the list was – what was his name again? Ah yes, Beck.

If you do happen to miss Beck – and by this we mean early Beck, when he seemed to be half slacker-country boy and half smart hip-hop urbanite, not the ersatz Prince of Midnite Vultures, the surrogate Nick Drake of Sea Change or indeed any of his other guises – then you'll want to hear TV Girl (although, and this is when things get complicated, hence the brackets, we actually preferred him in surrogate Drake/ersatz Prince mode). Of course, it seems weird to be recommending a new band by conjuring up the memory of a recording artist whose appeal lay in the way he seemed to be a walking, talking amalgam of every music genre since the 60s, but there you go. It's not our world (formerly, as we say, Beck's world), we just live in it.

If Beck came across like a pop artist who might just as easily have made a career as an advertising hot-shot, then it should come as no surprise to learn that TV Girl's mainman Trung Ngo used to have a job in marketing. There's a savviness to his songs, an ironic distance that suggests someone able, as per Beck, to work in any area of music – you name it, you sense he's willing us to dare him, and he'll master it. "I ain't no poet," he sings on the title track of TV Girl's current EP, Benny and the Jetts, "but I'll try like all the rest." But he's no trier, he's part of that breed of American whizkids who can do something/anything. A bit like Beck in the 90s, and a lot like Todd Rundgren in the 70s. In fact, TV Girl, after sampling everyone from Bob Dylan to Tracy Chapman, based their best-known song to date, 2010's If You Want It (You Got It), on a snippet – well, a sizable part of the intro, plus a chunk of the chorus – of Rundgren's 1973 US hit, Hello It's Me. And it came out fine, a real blast of old-style AM radio magic put through a chillwave memory haze, until all websites featuring the tune were politely requested by Rhino Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, to remove the song.

Shame, because it could have served the dual purpose of spreading the word about TV Girl and alerting people to the genius of Rundgren, still an overlooked talent, admittedly a funny thing to say about someone who produced one of the biggest-selling albums in history. Still, it's not the only jewel in their crown. That four-track Benny and the Jetts EP really is quite marvellous, from Baby You Were There – which is so faithful a recreation of pre-Brit Invasion American pop it's surely a cover of an old Paul Anka or Neil Sedaka hit – to Lizzy Come Back to Life, which recalls Beck circa New Pollution and rhymes "Richard Hell" with "gazelles". So go and check that out, then report back if and when you've heard anything about the whereabouts of that Hansen fella – we said Hansen, not Hanson.

The buzz: "Lo-fi bubblegum pop for the children of chillwave" – sandiegoreader.com.

The truth: They're mellow gold.

Most likely to: Do a Crocodile Rocck EP.

Least likely to: Make a documentary detailing Trung Ngo's hissy fits.

What to buy: The Benny and the Jetts EP is available on TV Girl's bandcamp.

File next to: Wavves, Todd Rundgren, Harry Nilsson, Magnetic Fields.

Links: tvgirl.bandcamp.com.

Tuesday's new band: Tashaki Miyaki. - The Guardian


Hometown: San Diego.

The lineup: Joel Williams (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, vocals), Trung Ngo (acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, vocals), Brad Petering (vocals).

The background: Whatever happened to Beck? Time was, he wasn't so much a ubiquitous part of the landscape – he was the landscape. We vaguely recall a magazine back in the 90s, possibly Select, conducting a poll asking who were the most important people in pop, rock, rap, whatever, and top of the list was – what was his name again? Ah yes, Beck.

If you do happen to miss Beck – and by this we mean early Beck, when he seemed to be half slacker-country boy and half smart hip-hop urbanite, not the ersatz Prince of Midnite Vultures, the surrogate Nick Drake of Sea Change or indeed any of his other guises – then you'll want to hear TV Girl (although, and this is when things get complicated, hence the brackets, we actually preferred him in surrogate Drake/ersatz Prince mode). Of course, it seems weird to be recommending a new band by conjuring up the memory of a recording artist whose appeal lay in the way he seemed to be a walking, talking amalgam of every music genre since the 60s, but there you go. It's not our world (formerly, as we say, Beck's world), we just live in it.

If Beck came across like a pop artist who might just as easily have made a career as an advertising hot-shot, then it should come as no surprise to learn that TV Girl's mainman Trung Ngo used to have a job in marketing. There's a savviness to his songs, an ironic distance that suggests someone able, as per Beck, to work in any area of music – you name it, you sense he's willing us to dare him, and he'll master it. "I ain't no poet," he sings on the title track of TV Girl's current EP, Benny and the Jetts, "but I'll try like all the rest." But he's no trier, he's part of that breed of American whizkids who can do something/anything. A bit like Beck in the 90s, and a lot like Todd Rundgren in the 70s. In fact, TV Girl, after sampling everyone from Bob Dylan to Tracy Chapman, based their best-known song to date, 2010's If You Want It (You Got It), on a snippet – well, a sizable part of the intro, plus a chunk of the chorus – of Rundgren's 1973 US hit, Hello It's Me. And it came out fine, a real blast of old-style AM radio magic put through a chillwave memory haze, until all websites featuring the tune were politely requested by Rhino Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, to remove the song.

Shame, because it could have served the dual purpose of spreading the word about TV Girl and alerting people to the genius of Rundgren, still an overlooked talent, admittedly a funny thing to say about someone who produced one of the biggest-selling albums in history. Still, it's not the only jewel in their crown. That four-track Benny and the Jetts EP really is quite marvellous, from Baby You Were There – which is so faithful a recreation of pre-Brit Invasion American pop it's surely a cover of an old Paul Anka or Neil Sedaka hit – to Lizzy Come Back to Life, which recalls Beck circa New Pollution and rhymes "Richard Hell" with "gazelles". So go and check that out, then report back if and when you've heard anything about the whereabouts of that Hansen fella – we said Hansen, not Hanson.

The buzz: "Lo-fi bubblegum pop for the children of chillwave" – sandiegoreader.com.

The truth: They're mellow gold.

Most likely to: Do a Crocodile Rocck EP.

Least likely to: Make a documentary detailing Trung Ngo's hissy fits.

What to buy: The Benny and the Jetts EP is available on TV Girl's bandcamp.

File next to: Wavves, Todd Rundgren, Harry Nilsson, Magnetic Fields.

Links: tvgirl.bandcamp.com.

Tuesday's new band: Tashaki Miyaki. - The Guardian


A little while ago, we posted a cut from San Diego indie pop duo TV Girl, a catchy slice of vintage pop called “I Wonder Who She’s Kissing Now.” Now, we’ve got their entire new mixtape up for download, or you can quickly preview that release with an MP3 of a standout, “It Evaporates.” The choice is yours. It’s out now via Das Racist member Himanshu Suri’s Greedhead imprint. Dive in below.
- Stereogum.com


Todd Rundgren's "Hello It's Me" resides in the upper echelon of "breaking up is hard to do" songs, as does Neil Young's elegiac "Birds". But where Shakey sings about setting yourself free from the one you love, Rundgren leaves the door open for the future encounters: "I'll come around to see you once in a while/ Or if I ever need a reason to smile/ And spend the night if you think I should." For the protagonist in "If You Want It", the Rundgren-sampling gem from San Diego indie pop duo TV Girl, that door's always open-- and that's kind of the problem. "Morning comes/ I know how the next part goes/ One last dance/ Then you delete me off your phone," he sings, lamenting to the nameless lover, "you only want it when you're drunk." Maybe he likes being used, though, as the chorus ("If you want it/ You got it") suggests, over champagne-sparkling drums and far-away piano drops that bring to mind Jens Lekman's own follies in finding a mate. Rundgren's opening line is repeated throughout, with new meaning here: Once the liquor's worn off, remember that I'm still here for you-- or, please, don't forget me. - Pitchfork.com


Discography

TV Girl EP - 2010

Benny and the Jetts EP - 2011

Girls Like Me 7" - 2011 (Small Plates)

The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle - 2012 (Greedhead)

Lonely Women EP - 2013

Photos

Bio

L.A.’s TV Girl is Brad Petering and Trung Ngo, friends who spent their high school summers absorbing and recreating golden age pop music in their bedrooms. After countless one-off projects and singles, TV Girl was formed as an outlet to blend their love of Spector-esque girl-group pop with their emerging interest in hip-hop. In late 2010, TV Girl released its self-titled debut EP, a collection of sardonic love songs laid over a bed of girl group harmonies and head nodding break beats. the TV Girl EP gained traction on several taste-making music blogs, eventually finding a glowing feature on Pitchfork.

TV Girl capitalized on the newfound attention by releasing their “Benny and the Jetts” EP, which received positive write-ups from blogs including Stereogum. The EP’s title track eventually made it to the #1 spot on Hype Machine’s chart.

Having witnessed countless bedroom projects flop on stage, the group worked hard to develop a live show, filling out their sound with a backing band and putting in time opening for groups like Wavves, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Diamond Rings, and Friends.

In 2012 they released a free mixtape of original music through Das Racist’s Greedhead imprint and embarked on their first headlining tour across the US.

Most recently, they released their third EP, Lonely Women in June of 2013. They are currently working on their debut album.