Christine Hoberg: Nice
Go see Christine Hoberg: Christine Hoberg has two local shows before heading back home to NYC. Catch her at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Beaner’s Central, 324 N. Central Ave., and at 9 p.m. Friday at Thirsty Pagan Brewing, 1623 Broadway, Superior, where she will perform with Sarah Morgan and Emily Jayne.
Length of first spin: Straight through, no stops.
Getting to know Christine Hoberg: Now we’re talking new media. Instead of sending me a CD, Hoberg sent me instructions on how to download her album "Nice." Nice is right. You, too, can download it for free here. Seriously. She wants you to. "If you don’t know an artist," Hoberg said, "You want to listen to the music before you are going to buy it. … Once people like your music, they want to support you anyway. I don’t need to charge for that."
Hoberg is a 23 year old Superior native who moved to NYC in 2005 for the challenge, and to make music. Hoberg plays a couple shows a month around Brooklyn and Manhattan, and her day job is "freelance reception work," she said, and laughed. "I’ll do any random job I can." Hoberg describes her sound as Indie Jazz Folk and her newer stuff, post-"Nice," is more based on guitar and violin. Before leaving the Twin Ports area, Hoberg was involved in local theater, and did some comedic opera. Hoberg said she has a habit of recording things that come to her on her outgoing voicemail, or into a digital recorder.
My assessment: Hoberg has a nice, mellow, vocally driven sound — sometimes pained, sometimes a more sassy and aggressive and sometimes just pretty. (The "pretty" is most fun in "White A**" when she sings about "All the sh**** things you’ve done to me.") I bet she’s been compared to Norah Jones before, but I’ve heard musicians hate comparisons, so I won’t.
On her song "Weaknesses": "’Weaknesses’ was a ditty that I came up with while in Toronto for New Year’s Eve like three years ago. I met this guy and I really liked him. We were walking around and we got into some heavy philosophical things. Afterward, by myself, something clicked to me. It’s the men I want to be with that I could share my deep thoughts with. … It was a relection. If you were to share your weaknesses and deep thoughts, would they embrace them or reject them. There was nobody out, it was just me walking and dancing around in the streets. I recorded it on my voicemail. … [For months after that] People would call, leave a message and say ‘Your [outgoing] message is so long, but I really like it … it’s a hot tune.’"
What to expect from Hoberg’s upcoming shows: "Mainly it’s going to be new stuff. My friend Megan Cox is the other half of my band. We’re doing arrangements of new stuff. … We have a really interesting version of ‘Billie Jean’ that we’re actually doing. The set is very harmony and emotionally driven, I guess. All pretty personal songs."
3 Spin Review is a feature where I receive a CD in the mail, and then justify it by taking a quick zip through it, skipping ahead when a song starts to poke my brain, lingering when it has immediate appeal. Second spin includes listening to it while I’m doing something else. Third spin I actually decide if I like what I’m hearing. These brief reviews will also include my working knowledge of said band, so you know whether my opinion is trustworthy, and then the opinion of someone else who has reviewed the CD.