Oh Pep! is a four piece from Melbourne, Australia. As My Bubba was named for its two members, Oh Pep! derives its Oh from Olivia Hally (vocals, guitar) and its Pep! from Pepita Emmerichs (violin, mandolin).
“The Race” is indeed about a race: “You started skipping in a running race.” It’s a fast upbeat song–almost punky but for the fact that they are playing acoustic guitar and plucked violin (the violin really adds some great sound to this song). I love her fast delivery and that delivery that reminds me in some way of The Smiths. I love the ending of four quick drum hits.
When the first song ends, they are adorably star struck. They say that they saw Bob in front row of the crowd at the showcase and were glad “he was someone important.” They’ve watched tons of Tiny Desk shows online an are excited to be there.
“Doctor Doctor” is pretty straightforward folky rock song, but the plucked violin (held like a guitar) works as a great accent. The melody is familiar and you can almost hear it in the lyrics: “I went to the psychic and the psychic said he wanted to, but it’s up to you….” I love the repeated refrain: “I know what I want and it’s not what I need.” Even better is midway through the song when the unexpected bowed violin kicks in–and the fact that it is a little wavery and not a “clean, sharp” sounding solo really works as the song propels toward the end.
As Oh tunes her guitar she says it doesn’t know where it is: They were in Australia, then Halifax. It was hot in Louisiana and now it’s raining–her guitar won’t stay in tune.
For the third song “Tea, Milk & Honey,” Pepe plays the mandolin. The song starts with just guitar and voice and seems likes that’s all it will be because this section lasts pretty long–two and a half minutes of the total 5 and a half). When the bass and mandolin eventually come in, the song really blossoms. The chorus of “tea, milk and honey never satisfied me” is clever and fun. Another surprising moment comes near the end when there’s a violin solo and the sound of the violin is almost like a flute-like. It’s very cool.
Oh Pep! is a fun band that I’d like to hear more from.
[READ: July 7, 2016] Adventures in Cartooning Christmas Special
What series would be complete without a Christmas special?
This Christmas story is even told in rhyme!: “Santa is grumbling that traditions are crumbling.” Quality toys are a thing of the past. But the elf points out that kids don’t want old-fashioned gifts–all the elves do is “write code and upload.”
I rather enjoy that the premise of this books is that video games and TV are bad (but not really). The point is that books and drawing are pretty awesome and great uses of your imagination.
Santa imagines a comic book which will be exciting for kids and then *poof* here comes the Magical Cartooning Elf. He says they’ll make an exciting, outrageous comic. And *poof* here is the knight (who is mad that everyone is speaking n rhyme).
The knight tells a story about climbing a mountain and being captured by a yeti, but Santa points out that there’s no real holiday theme there. So he switches his story to the land of giants who celebrate Christmas but need a star for the top of their ten-mile-tall tree.
Everyone agrees that this story is perfect so they set out to print and distribute in time for Christmas.
But the elves got rid of the reindeer. How will they fly the ship? Edward perhaps? (He’s actually the wrong shape, sadly). So they must find a flying creature to help them.
And as happens in books like this, the kids get their comics and immediately try to draw their own.
And the ending rhyme is hilariously bad.
So bad that they have to end the book two more times.
The second time even encourages you to write a comic to Santa and send it care of:
The Center for Cartoon Studies
PO Box 125
White River Junction, VT 05001
(its half way to the North Pole).
Should I have waited until Christmas time to post this?