Ten Reasons We Love Vermillion Lies
Written by: Lauren Marie Fleming for Curve Magazine
What do global warming, lobster squeaky toys and a circus of zombies have in common? They’re all a part of the “thrift store cabaret” that is Vermillion Lies. Drawing upon the dance, circus and art classes they took as kids, Zoe and Kim Boekbinder (vermillionlies.com) have put together a vaudeville-inspired show that will quite literally have you laughing your pants off. Their quirky quips and amusing antics form an engaging and entertaining experience.
1. They’re morbid but not morose. And their lyrics are reminiscent of the scary stories we were told as children. Zoe’s known to be jazzier, Kim likes a good ballad, and together they create whimsically bizarre fairy tales and fables set to the kind of lighthearted music that you would hear at a circus or carnival.
2. They play the barbecue grill. And the typewriter, tricycle bell, accordion, air vent and pretty much anything else they have around. They used to play the plastic squeaky lobster, but he ran away. If you see him, they ask you to please ship him home.
3. They sing with their pants down. “There is supposed to be this sexy thing when a woman takes her clothes off,” Kim says. “But we’re making it really silly.” She insists that their motto applies to the rest of their show as well: “A show doesn’t have to be only sexy or only smart or only silly—it can be all of those things at once.”
4. You can participate, too. In fact, you have no choice. “Our performance is like theater,” Zoe says. “We can’t just do it without anyone paying attention.” From playing a handed-out instrument to singing along, these girls inspire—and require—full audience participation.
5. Their new EP is a “scream-along.” Along with an exceptionally participatory audience, the girls arranged an EP full of songs that allow for various forms of singing along—including screaming.
6. They make music for people who wear hats. These sisters love wearing hats, “fluffy undies,” corsets and any other vaudeville-inspired garment, and they encourage anyone coming to their shows to do the same.
7. They roll with a posse. The Vermillion Sisters, groups of burlesque-inspired dancers, have joined them on stage in many towns along their tour. In addition to these sexy sirens, the sisters often share the stage with other cabaret comrades, and they are always looking for people to join in the fun.
8. Their parents love them and so should you! Recently their mother arranged a show for them in Toronto and brought 150 of her friends to come see it; their father bought them a van to go on tour.
9. They’re not just another folkie duo singing about the environment. They are actually making a difference. Along with videos, pictures and an interesting story about the band, the Vermillion Lies Web site includes a link to an informed global warming page. Encouraged by their song about the phenomenon, an environmental policy analyst has helped them to create a page that is insightful and informative on how you too can actually make a difference.
10. They’re inspiring. After watching a Vermillion Lies show, I guarantee that you’ll want to join the circus, ride a tricycle, wear a hat, stop global warming, sing with your pants down and maybe even write an article professing your love for this quirky twosome.