Just think of it like this: you’re watching an awesome French film, listening to your favorite indie band and your two best friends are talking to you about their favorite things — all at the same time. – NY Post
This random, amazing, freak-nasty band called Girl Problems has been stomping the music scenes in Los Angeles and New York, performing many shows to sellout crowds (Viper Room, Hotel Café, Mercury Lounge, Stephen Talkhouse, House of Blues, Rockwood Music Hall). Their sound stems from bits of Violent Femmes, Cake, Beck, Velvet Underground, B-52s, and a hint of Zappa. It’s an awkward audio blender of puréed sounds, and the provocative brainchild of Charles Goodan and Nick Weber.
Charles Goodan is an LA based music producer who has worked with countless artists including Beck, Morphine, Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson, Smashmouth, Coolio, and Linkin Park. He received a Grammy as a producer on Santana’s “Supernatural” which was awarded Album of the Year and a Brit Award Nomination for creating the score for the movie Fight Club.
Charles’ career began right after college, when he moved to Los Angeles and became the Dust Brothers’ first employee. His first day of work was engineering Hanson’s ‘MmmBop’. Shortly after, he became Staff Producer at Dust Brothers Music and worked with them during the peak of the Silverlake scene. Fight Club was Goodan’s first film score wherein he combined elements that wouldn’t normally be put together. Dirty sub-bass synths with Hawaiian guitar and Medieval chants, all over heavily driven beats. Director David Fincher was immediately impressed. He said to Goodan after hearing the first two cues “From this point on, I’m not going to tell you anything. You just do what you do”.
These credits are no big surprise, considering at the age of two, he played cartoon themes and commercial jingles by ear, barely able to reach the piano. Classically trained from age four onward, he went on to earn honors from the Royal Academy of Music in London. With perfect pitch and an ability to play any instrument he picks up, Goodan enrolled at Stanford University where he majored in Music, Science & Technology and met Nick Weber. Together Charles and Nick write the music and lyrics for Girl Problems.
Nick, the frontman of Girl Problems, is also a well known painter. He shows at John McWhinnie in the upper east side, the Fireplace Project in Springs, NY, and has an upcoming show at Tripoli Gallery in Southampton, NY. His work has been collected by, among others Bruce Weber, Richard Prince and Betsy Johnson.
Nick, an Art major at Stanford, minored in creative writing, and started his own poetry group with novelist Nicole Kraus. Weber’s wry storytelling is the core of the songs. He’s got his complaints, sure, but he keeps it in perspective: if men invariably have girl problems, they have to accept their fair share of the blame for them. “I’ve got two sisters and I want them to be happy”, he confesses, “so I wouldn’t want them to end up with guys like me”.
After college, Nick moved back to the east coast and rented an art studio in west Chelsea where he had his first show, “Night Scenes”. Since then he has had several shows in NYC and the Hamptons, working on the occasional fashion-world project, the most recent being a commission for Abercrombie and Fitch, where he worked with creative director, Sam Shahid.
Weber and Goodan combined forces—an experiment that became the song ‘Cancel’. The signature element being authentic, flakey ‘Cancel’ messages from girls culled from both of the guys’ experience and actual voice mail recordings. The song marked the beginning of the Girl Problems relationship that would cleverly satirize, celebrate, and even mourn their experiences with women. Ironically, Weber and Goodan perform live with a band of beautiful and talented female musicians.
The girls not only provide back-up vocals, but can also be seen playing trombone, drums, guitar, piano, ukelele, Q-chord, and even a melodica. Visually, it’s a show that is enticing and unique. The lovely Julie Ingram (guitar, keys) has an angelic voice; she gives the show a special melodic touch. Alanna Vicente and Helga Douglas (Trombone & Sax) might possibly be the most fetching horn section on the planet. They tower over Nick!
Juxtaposing disparate elements in the songs, Girl Problems produces a sound that’s weird and different, but catchy. They boast some rarely coexisting qualities: cinematic, disarming, heartfelt, and satiric. Always danceable, the record is rife with virtuosic performances from the likes of violinist Lili Haydn, percussionist Mauro Refosco (David Byrne), guitarist Jan Ozveren (Corinne Bailey Rae), drummer Bill Dobrow (Black Crowes) and Charles Goodan, the architect of the songs.
Most importantly, Girl Problems is mischievous. Every song surprises, and flummoxes one’s expectations.