Pepi Ginsberg [2000]

Bottom of the Hill
San Francisco, CA
8 April 2009

I got no problem with someone having one voice for speaking and another for singing. Quite a few singers do it. But it seems like, these days (old man talking), it’s getting a little out of hand.

Pepi Ginsburg walked up on stage with her guitar and little else, and addressed the sparse crowd with a very normal girl-next-door, cheerful bordering-on-forgetful voice.

And then she started into her first song, and all of a sudden, some bastard child of Liza Minelli and Carol Channing was on stage, spitting out jazz-affected over-enunciated words with melodramatic flair.


My friend had a really interesting insight: it’s as if Ginsburg knows exactly what she’s doing, but we, the audience, have no idea what it is.

I couldn’t even get past this vocal…creation to hear the folky guitar music that accompanied it. There was simply no room for anything else.

Judging from the nervous tone of her between-song banter, perhaps Ginsburg’s affected singing voice is her escape, her flight into a self-created character brimming with confidence and panache.

I think I just want to hear what Pepi Ginsburg sounds like.