Described as the feasible love children of They Might Be Giants and Kimya Dawson, Vivian and Midge Ramone are folk-punk, ugly pop duo, ShiSho. The teen sisters have been performing for 10 years with a punk aesthetic that catches audiences off-guard.
Influences:They Might Be Giants, Kimya Dawson
Sounds Like:They Might Be Giants, Kimya Dawson, Camera Obscura
If They Might Be Giants and Kimya Dawson had baby daughters they powdered regularly with Joe Jack Talcum, they'd grow up to be ShiSho.
The Sisters, ShiSho are Vivian and Midge Ramone from greater Akron, Ohio
Real-life sisters Vivian and Midge Ramone are the avant garde, ugly pop band ShiSho from greater Akron, Ohio. At 17 and 14 years old, the girls have been writing and recording for 10 years. ShiSho performs their own brand of intelligent and quirky music on accordion, guitar and occasionally ukulele.
“We deliver a folk-punk performance in a ‘darling’ way that completely catches people off-guard,” says older sister, Vivian. “It’s not planned. It’s who we are. We love playing for crowds who aren’t familiar with ShiSho because we're a disconnect from first impressions. When you see two young girls in polka-dot dresses take the stage with an accordion and guitar, you don't expect to hear a hand-clapping song about a doll ripping your throat open and gnawing at your living skull. But you're delighted when you do.”
ShiSho draws inspiration from acts like Kimya Dawson, The Dead Milkmen, Ben Folds, Shel Silverstein, The Vandals, Ween, and artists known for humor and clever word play. Always comical, sometimes political (in their recent “My Dear Republicans - The Fiscal Cliff Song,” ShiSho rhymes the names of all Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a plea for bipartisan compromise) Vivian and Midge do not cater to the typical tween audience.
“Though we're kids, we're not a band FOR kids,” explains Midge. "We're not nasty or disrespectful. It's just that most kids aren't interested in the things we sing about. We almost got kicked off the stage at a big Girl Scout convention during a war protest song (a cover of Harvey and Felix's "America Will Punch You"). It's ok that den mothers don't like us because punk and indie moms do.”
The band performs mostly original songs live. A crowd favorite is “Rocks and Penalties” a musical narrative about poison rainbows, puking unicorns and a Smiths reunion, released on England’s Filthy Little Angels Records in 2006. Vivian and Midge are seasoned performers, having played countless shows in garages, universities, bars, basements, festivals, radio and television studios, record stores, activist rallies, comic cons (once in a comic book), museums, respected and not so respected music venues. They’ve opened for and have been preshow acts for Kathleen Hanna's The Julue Ruin, The Blow, Cracker, Shonen Knife, Man Man, They Might Be Giants, Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen, the Smoking Popes, Harry and the Potters, Skating Polly, and many more.
Their music and performances have been described as, "wonky," "just barmy genius!," "goofballs... crazy... awesome... fun... mega-silly...," "the absolute dog's bollocks," and "I swear, it almost made me cry how hard I was laughing."
"The Sisters EP" Release Show at NYC's Bowery Electric - June 1, 2013
In the summer of 2013 ShiSho released The Sisters EP a follow-up to their 2009 project “Rainbow Jumpin’ Demos. It was introduced at a CD release show at the legendary New York City Bowery Electric. The EP features five original tracks including the comically nihilistic tribute, “The Dead Milkmen Song" featuring the Dead Milkmen. The Sisters EP was produced by "Phantom Farmer," aka Joel McAnulty of indie band, De Novo Dhal at The Green Lodge Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
In addition to music, ShiSho actively supports causes for social justice. In September 2011, they organized the RYE (Respect Your Elders) Rally, a 23 act fundraiser, to support 250 senior citizens evicted from their Kent, Ohio retirement community by a real estate developer. Vivian and Midge are also official Occupy Musicians and have been actively involved with Occupy Akron and Kent. Vivian volunteers to support local political causes.
For complete tour dates and much more, keep up with ShiSho online:
ShiSho releases "Shrouded in Shadows," in the wake of their break-out "The Dead Milkmen Song - featuring the Dead Milkmen"
Teen Sisters Vivian and Midge Ramone are Quirky, Indie Duo, ShiSho
In time for the much-anticipated "The IT Crowd" sitcom finale, ShiSho releases their new single, "Shrouded in Shadows," a song of solidarity to the alienated and bullied.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2013 - Akron, Ohio: Quirky, clever teen-sister act ShiSho, spent their summer touring to support their release, "The Sisters EP" and their comically nihilistic tribute single, "The Dead Milkmen Song - featuring the Dead Milkmen." Now, in time for the much-anticipated IT Crowd television show finale - where viewers can spot ShiSho's posters prominently displayed on set, the duo unleashes a new track, "Shrouded in Shadows," the second single from "The Sisters EP."
Through "Shrouded in Shadows" Vivian and Midge Ramone sing a message of solidarity to the alienated and bullied using oft-too-familiar high school scenarios as a backdrop. The track empathetically addresses the issue with sensitivity while maintaining ShiSho's trademark quirk.
Like a favorite coming-of-age film, the song unfolds with dark yet authentic geeky warmth. It holds appeal for fans of Daniel Johnston, Kimya Dawson, The Blow, Allo Darlin', and the Sarah Records crowd.
“Shrouded in Shadows tackles bullying from a sympathetic outsider’s point of view with gawky charm." says Nikki Delamotte, of Cellar Door Cleveland, "An ode to a fellow classmate rife with total pubescent recall – 'I’m sorry that they said those things about you changing in the locker room,' 'In art class they made fun of you because the only way you know how to draw is anime,' 'I know why you sit alone at lunch' 'Shrouded' is innocent, but never juvenile, and in essence the stuff folk-punk heroines are made of."
Music writer, Ken Sears praises ShiSho for "capturing adolescent angst and awkwardness perfectly."
Adam Spektor of Tour Volume says, "The balance of humorous references to fan fiction and equine birth with poignant asides, recalls They Might Be Giants at their funny-sad best."
Listeners of WFMU, Jersey City's famous free-form radio station, heard ShiSho perform "Shrouded in Shadows" as part of their hour, in-studio interview on June 3rd. Fans can stream the interview and performance from WFMU.ORG:
"Shrouded in Shadows" was produced by "Phantom Farmer" aka, Joel McAnulty of indie band De Novo Dahl at The Green Lodge Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The track is the second single from "The Sisters EP," released on ShiSho's own independent imprint, Magnetic Bunny Arts, available at iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp.
Fans of "The IT Crowd" will catch sight of ShiSho's band posters and stickers prominently displayed on set of the highly-anticipated finale episode, airing September 27.
"Graham Linehan, the writer, director, and mastermind of the IT Crowd is giving ShiSho a generous nod in the big finale episode airing on Friday, September 27," says Vivian Ramone. "If you're a fan like us, you'll be watching the show like we will be - and you'll see ShiSho posters and stickers sprinkled throughout the show's set, including front and center on Moss' (actor, Richard Ayoade) desk. It's so surreal! We're beyond excited."
Indie recording artists' ShiSho are real-life sisters, sixteen year old Vivian Ramone (guitar, ukulele, vocals) and thirteen year old Midge (accordion, ukulele, vocals). The duo have been described as the feasible offspring of They Might Be Giants and Kimya Dawson. With a punk aesthetic that catches audiences off-guard, ShiSho is a kid band that's not for kid audiences. In the nine years the sisters have been writing, recording and performing, the duo issued four releases, performed with artists including Man Man, The Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum, The Smoking Popes, They Might Be Giants, Skating Polly and many others. The band performs primarily original songs live. A crowd favorite is "Rocks n Penalties," a musical narrative about poison rainbows, puking unicorns and a Smiths reunion, released on England's Filthy Little Angels Records.
Upcoming ShiSho Shows:
09/22 Ingenutiy Fest, Cleveland, OH
10/05 Lawn Con, Youngstown, OH
10/12 Highland Square Porch Rokr, Akron, OH
10/13 The Grog Shop, Cleveland w/ The Blow
10/19 Con on the Cob, Hudson, OH
For complete tour dates and much more, keep up with ShiSho online: