Artist: Jenn Grinels
Song: "No Better" (from the CD Little Words)
Heard By: Matt Valdivia, University Heights
To be honest, I wasn't really too into it. The vocal style turned me off. It seemed flat and boring. It's like something I've heard in the coffee shop a hundred times already. The guitar stuff was okay, though. I can't think of any artists [that she sounds like] offhand, but there's probably about 50 other "girls with the acoustic guitar" that sound just like that. There was an overall sense of dissatisfaction, anger, and a need to break loose [in her lyrics]. I picture people in a coffee shop with dim lights drinking coffee and watching some lady...light applause, maybe, but nothing too engaging.
Artist: Hesh One
Songs: "Bleed, Spit & Shit," "Rock My Khakis," "Red or Blue" (from the CD 40 oz. Dreams on a Champagne Budget)
Heard By: Bryan Peterson, Ocean Beach
I thought it was pretty cool. It had a stronger electronic side to it than I was expecting. It was pretty upbeat, up-tempo. I couldn't think of any specific artists, but it reminded me of a lot of U.K. drum-and-bass stuff that I've heard, though. It definitely had more of an East Coast hip-hop root. The tracks I listened to didn't really have many strong verses, but really strong hooks. The track "Red or Blue" that I listened to seemed [to say] "whatever gang you're with doesn't really matter." It was pretty forthright in what it means, I think. I would imagine cutting the hell out of [those tracks] with other records at a club or something.
Artist: Critical Me
Song: "Halfway Home" (from the CD Promised Land)
Heard By: Candyce Fischer, Clairemont
It was similar to the kind of music I listen to. I liked it. It kind of had that restless, nighttime, driving-down-the-highway-with-your-windows-down feeling. Honestly, lyrics mean a lot to me, and I couldn't understand most of what he was saying, but the lyrics seemed really "emo." The lyrics were, like, "we're almost halfway home." I'm not a huge music connoisseur, but they kind of sounded like Arm the Angels. The feeling behind it kind of reminded me of Amberlin and Yellowcard, in a weird way. There wasn't anything that unique about the actual music. I'm not a very good judge of it, granted, but it wasn't anything unusual.