Friday Five: Timothy Monger, Jojo Engelbert, Fred Thomas, Josh Woodward, Latimer Rogland
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features a music video by Timothy Monger, pop-punk by Jojo Engelbert, a reissue from Fred Thomas, jazzy folk-pop by Josh Woodward, and ambient by Latimer Rogland.
Timothy Monger, "Cranberry Bog" music video
We covered "Cranberry Bog" in March when it was released as a single and interviewed Ypsi's Timothy Monger in May about his new self-titled album from which the song was taken. But "Cranberry Bog" also has a lovely video now, which is worth watching as you make plans to see Timothy Monger State Park perform an after-hours concert at the Ann Arbor District Library's Downtown branch at 9 pm on Saturday, September 9.
Jojo Engelbert, "Not a Real Blond" music video
Ann Arbor's Jojo Engelbert is the younger sister of the siblings who starred in the 2009-2017 syndicated variety program Ariel & Zoey & Eli Too and its spin-off, Steal the Show. The now 16-year-old Jojo has worked with her sibs on past songs "Grown Up" and "Sweet N Sour," and sister Zoey pitched her the new pop-punker "Not a Real Blond." Keeping it all in the fam, Jojo's pops, Matt Engelbert, directed the video, which plays off the Barbie movie and Clueless.
Fred Thomas, Sink Like a Symphony (2023 Reissue)
Ypsilanti's Fred Thomas was leading the indie-pop project Saturday Looks Good to Me when he recorded Sink Like a Symphony in 2005. The songs were originally intended for the band, but as Thomas writes in the notes to the LP's 2023 reissue: "These noisy folk songs were originally going to be a stark stylistic about-face for the third Saturday Looks Good To Me album, but quickly felt too intimate and internal for that. Instead, they became my first solo album that wasn't just a nervously thrown-together collection of songs and experiments, but something I took really seriously and worked out the details of for the better part of that year."
Thomas wanted to streamline the listening experience, so this remastered—excuse me, mastered, as the original never had that treatment—edition excises two tracks from the original version, "Human Hands Made the Highways" and "Yo-Yo Tricks," and makes some running-order changes and edits.
Josh Woodward, Standard Deviations EP
Ann Arbor's Josh Woodward has sidestepped the music industry. The prolific songwriter releases his music for free on the internet under a Creative Commons license—and there's a ton of it. There are at least 15 full-length albums on his website as well as this past June's EP, Standard Deviations. Even though all five tunes are originals, the EP's title is a play on the idea of jazz standards as well as moving away from his own background as a singer-songwriter. The music here evokes jazz balladry as much as it does folk-pop, but it's not a total about-face for Woodward—which you'll discover for yourself if you spend some time poking around on his unique website. Not only can you pick songs based on mood, but you can also set filters for tempo and length, creating your own playlists in the process.
Latimer Rogland, Thanksgiving EP, "Sounds Inside Sounds Around Sounds," "Wake Up If You Know It’s Over"
Ann Arbor's Latimer Rogland makes ambient recordings that utilize natural sounds, studio instrumentation, and in the case of "Wake Up If You Know It’s Over," the organ inside Incarnation Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.