Sound Check: August 2008


Gina Genius and Gina Bling rap about pop culture as well as
serious issues such as gender roles and equality, so they’re kind of like a
queer novelty act, especially with their matching neon outfits. If you like
funny songs that rhyme, I recommend "Wife-Swapping," which is about
the feeling that there are only "12 lesbians" in the world. One
hilarious line: "Six degrees of separation? That’s for straight people!"
Funny lesbian truths: check. Good music: not so much.

Team Gina

Perhaps I’m just not that into it because Gina Genius, née Gina Young, is so much better on her own, when
she’s being more serious. Trading in her keyboard for a guitar on her solo
album 3AM Voice, Young sings with an
earnest quality in the same vein of the Murmurs and Tegan and Sara. It might be
a little more lo-fi, but I find it endearing and all the more real on love
songs like "Quantum Physics and Me."

Gina Young

Both Team Gina and Gina Young are engineered by queer
producer Radio Sloan, but I have to say her work can’t help Products of the ’80s be any less hokey.
However, 3AM has a great sound
quality that is surely care of both the artist and her producer.

A totally different kind of sound is coming from
Minneapolis’ Sick of Sarah, whose debut
self-titled album comes out Aug. 12. The all-girl queer pop-rock quintet
recently won the Emerging Artist Award at Summerfest in Milwaukee, as voted by

Sick of Sarah

I must admit, the band’s name made me think they might be
somewhat dark and super punk, but their album is a pleasant and polished
surprise. Harmonies, rounds and upbeat "ahhs" will win you over if
you like optimistic songs. Even the lyrics, such as "I’m not writing this
love song for you," sound as happy-go-lucky as the album’s opener (and
first single), "Daisies."

Dueling vocals from frontwoman Abisha
Uhl and backup vocalist/guitarist Katie Murphy are entertaining, especially on
fast-paced tracks like "Not Listening." Sick of Sarah have taken
Breeders-esque rock and infected it with a pinch more pop to make their music
accessible, and I don’t mind it at all. Neither will you if you like all-girl
bands that play radio-ready music.

Also out this month: Uh Huh Her‘s Common Reaction (look for a feature on
the band and their album later in August), CSSDonkey, Mirah‘s The Old Days Feeling.


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