JERbear | Junior Jer

15 Entries Prents Presents (self-released) | (self-released)

JERbear and Junior Jer are the folk and hip-hop alter-egos, respectively, of Washington University philosophy major Jeremy Weissman. The albums (both available at Vintage Vinyl) have some problems: An obscure musician giving himself two different bizarre names is never a good idea, for one thing, and the clichés of the college-student mindset flow perilously through his hip-hop lyrics (from "Opening Remarks": "Suburbia spills across government-owned land/The ozone layer falling like hourglass sand"). But beyond these surface irritations is some very solid musicianship. The production on the hip-hop album features a diverse array of sounds, and its pace is deliciously varied. But it's Weissman's folk album, 15 Entries, that really stands out. His workmanlike vocals and understated guitar-strumming are reminiscent of the work of Southern Illinois native Jack Logan. When he sings folk, Weissman sounds older than his 21 years. And that's hot.

About The Author

Ben Westhoff

Ben Westhoff is the author of the books Original Gangstas, Fentanyl, Inc., and Little Brother: Love, Tragedy, and My Search For the Truth.
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