Former Otter Reggie Ginn visits Jose’s with songs that pierce.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Heartache, loss and sadness fuel most of the Sacramento singer-songwriter Reggie Ginn’s songs. On “Bruises and Bloodstains,” the musician empathizes with folks trapped in abusive relationships.
“I got bruises, and I got bloodstains on my dress/ Maybe this means that you and I should stay together, I guess,” she sings with a sympathetic tenor that echoes Tori Amos.
The somber “Kiss Me or Kill Me” is a highly personal account of heartache that cuts with the precision of a surgical blade.
“It’s been so cold since you went away and stopped calling me/ Kiss me or kill me because when you have feelings this strong, nothing is easy.”
The tune eventually explodes into a thundering chorus before drifting back into the unsettling quiet darkness with which it begins.
“I don’t sing about happy things,” she says. “When I’m sad I get inspired; sadness is important for people to hear about because it lets them know they are not alone.”
In fact, a new song may be in the works – another many could probably relate to – about Ginn’s Chihuahua Chiquita that recently was put to sleep.
Not that it’s all dark themes. The 26-year-old former CSUMB student – performing at Jose’s on Saturday after the L.A. duo The Bed Head Beauties and Sacramento-based Dear Left Brain – has a new side project called Loverly, featuring tunes that are somewhat brighter than her usual material.
Ginn’s first Loverly song, “My My Michael Cera,” is a tongue-and-cheek love letter to the king of the geeks and Juno star.
“Nice guys finish last, did you know nice girls do too?/ And I am one of them but if I brought a guitar and spermicidal lube, can I wait in back of line with you?”
The video for the song, available on YouTube, is just as ridiculous as the lyrics: It features moments of Ginn running on a school track dressed in the same tiny yellow shorts Cera sports in Juno.
“After seeing the video you’ll probably think I’m crazy,” she says. “It’s all in good fun.”
Like unrequited love and mourning for lost friends, the desire for a quirky movie star is a feeling that everyone has experienced at one time or another. Tapping those universal emotions is where Ginn is at her best.