CD reviews: Oh! Ginger, Donald Glover, Wilson Phillips
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Lindsay Holler has always been a local musician who could be counted on to do her own thing musically and bare her soul while creating and performing that music.
Her latest project, “Oh! Ginger,” continues that trend.
A collaboration with Michael Hanf, who previously played with Holler in the Dirty Kids, Oh! Ginger’s self-titled debut EP is a wonderful mixture of music styles that doesn’t really sound like anything Holler or Hanf have released, and yet has a comfortable sense of the familiar nonetheless.
“Dust,” the EP’s leadoff track, features hauntingly distorted vocals by both artists over a simple guitar melody. “End Over End” takes on a jazzier feel, with Holler’s vocals blending well with Hanf’s vibraphone, while “Don’t Call Me,” which finds Hanf taking over lead vocals, has a folkier flavor. A little reverb on Holler’s exquisitely rich voice adds a dreamlike quality to “On the Inside,” and the EP concludes nicely with “Where We Stand,” a lovely song that reminds you of early Wilco or late Whiskeytown.
The best thing about the EP is that it’s all killer and no filler. Holler and Hanf have promised two more EPs later in the year, and if those collections of songs are even half as good as what’s on “Oh! Ginger,” then I eagerly await the next installment.
Key Tracks: “Dust,” “Don’t Call Me,” “Where We Stand”
Weirdo/Ent. One Music
If you’re a fan of the TV sitcom “Community,” then you’re no doubt familiar with Donald Glover, who plays Troy Barnes, the geek trapped in a jock’s body.
Glover, who also writes for another NBC comedy, “30 Rock,” wears many hats in the entertainment field. At the beginning of the performance that was recorded for his new album, “Weirdo,” Glover asks the audience if they’re familiar with his character from “Community.”
“Just so you guys know, this is going to be nothing like that,” says Glover. “It’s going to be a lot grosser.” True to his word, Glover isn’t shy with letting the expletives fly. The amount of language is nowhere near the level of more established comedians but this is definitely an R-rated album.
Language aside, Glover definitely has material that is funny and, perhaps most importantly, original. Amusing is his observance of how musicians have the only job where sampling their own product seems egotistical, explaining that no one bats an eye when a sandwich maker makes himself a sandwich, but if you listen to your own album in your car, you’ll get called out.
Listening to Glover’s philosophy on various subjects definitely shows the listener why he is currently one of the comedy world’s fastest rising stars.
Key Tracks: “Weird Is Good,” “Kix,” “Home Depot”
Dedicated/ Sony Masterworks
Recently in the news there was an item about the children of the members of The Beatles wanting to form a rock band of their own. While the idea seems intriguing at first, I strongly urge those famous offspring to scrap the idea.
Why, you ask? Two words: Wilson Phillips.
The group includes Chynna Phillips, daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and Wendy and Carnie Wilson, daughters of Beach Boy Brian Wilson. The trio’s 1990 self-titled debut sold several million copies thanks to the singles “Hold On” and “Release Me.”
On Wilson Phillips’ latest effort, “Dedicated,” the singers have dispensed with any original material, choosing instead to cover songs made famous by their parents.
The even sadder fact is that this is not the first time these ladies have released an album of covers. Listening to the sanitized versions of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Monday Monday” makes Wilson Phillips the poster children for the argument against the offspring of famous musicians forming their own bands.
I understand they are trying to cash in on the unexpected bit of rediscovery after their appearance in the film “Bridesmaids,” but seriously, why listen to this when the vastly superior original versions are readily available.
Key Tracks: Do yourself a favor and listen to the originals by their parents.
By Devin Grant