more of the same, really. just more songs in the exact same style. you either like it or you don’t. it’s tragic and it’s captivating. this has less screaming than the previous posts. but it’s not really screamo anyway and screamo is a joke genre anyway. this music is not a joke though. but Ethan is a joker. all the sad boys are jokers. it hides their insecurities.
archive for the ‘acoustic’ category
this is pretty old by now, but I’m pretty old and slow. some of you might remember that I posted Henry Bemis is a Superhero a long time ago. go download those albums if you haven’t already. HBiaS is Ethan, who’s also a bunch of other people. he’s a cool kid. this is some sort of country with some acoustic screamo. I know, I know… just listen already. it’s honest and simple. as the title gives away, this sounds a bit like Daniel Johnston; which is OK if you like Daniel Johnston and not OK if you dislike Daniel Johnston. I like Daniel Johnston, and I like HBiaS.
this is the last Paul Baribeau post for the time being (I am sure there will be more). and it’s – behold – a live album. it’s from the eighth of March, 2008. recorded in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Division Avenue Arts Collective. it’s almost depressing to listen to this, knowing that I will most likely never experience Paul Baribeau live in person. but I guess it’s the second best thing, right? the second best thing is bitter sweet… oh, well. he plays twelve songs, and it lasts for thirty-eight minutes. the recording quality is definitely adequate. it’s a little too low, and the crowd is maybe a little too loud. but the songs are audible and then some – thankfully. he covers a nice portion of his excellent song catalogue, and also plays a John Prine cover. (you may or may not know this, but he refers to “Angel from Montgomery” in his song “Never Get to Know”. that’s punk: educating the masses.) it sounds like a very nice gathering, and a close and personal setting, in which Paul Baribeau surely must thrive. and when Paul Baribeau thrives, the listeners thrives.
in 2008 Plan-It-X Comp #2 came out, and it included Paul Baribeau’s absolutely gorgeous song “Eight Letters”, which is about how he wrote all these letters to an ex, but in his depression never managed to send them out. he tells it better than I do. just download it. the song was later rerecorded and put out on Unbearable (if you still haven’t downloaded that – DO IT NOW). this version is slightly longer, and a little more contained and “cool”. head over to http://www.plan-it-x.com/ and pick the comp up! it’s only $3.
I promised more covers, and I present to you: more covers. Bruce Springsteen covers, to be quite precise. that’s right, this is an entire album dedicated to “The Boss”. it’s named after his fourth album, but only contains one song from said album – the title track “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. Paul Baribeau and I guess some friends (there’s a female voice in here, at least) end up doing songs from very different albums. but they tie them in very well. it sounds consistent and well thought out. there’s a leaning towards upbeat and energetic performances, but on “Hungry Heart” and “In the Fire”, they turn the knob to “ballad” mode, making it cosy rather than boring. this album is from start to finish an exhibition of cosy-ness, really. and though the songs are probably too well known for anyone to fully accept this as anything but a “Paul Baribeau covers Bruce Springsteen” album, this isn’t necessary a bad thing. so download this and sing a long if you are Springsteen fan. if you aren’t really familiar with Springsteen, then let this serve as a highly unorthodox introduction to the big man himself.
in 2005 Ghost Mice and Paul Baribeau did a split. the premise is: Ghost Mice covers Paul Baribeau and Paul Baribeau covers Ghost Mice. this post contains Baribeau’s songs. if you want Ghost Mice’s tracks… well then you’re out of luck. it’s a very much out of print cassette. sorry about that. oh well. to get back to the point – Paul Baribeau does four really great covers, with his great voice and marvellous handling of that acoustic guitar. on “The Good Life”, there’s a bunch of heavy reverb (or perhaps there even are overdubs), mimicking the sound Ghost Mice gets with two vocalists. and on “Dead Flowers and Dirt” Paul plays a sparse piano, making him sound as humble as possible. at the end of the day when it comes to artists with such personal lyrics and such an intense nerve, believability is key. Paul Baribeau is believable. even when he isn’t playing his own songs. he does this in such a convincing way, and the end result is nothing but satisfying. listen to this! and next time I’ll post some new Paul Baribeau covers, so look forward to that.
that’s punk take some pride in having all of Paul Baribeau’s releases on here. but I feel like it’s time to take things the extra mile. so let’s just post all the unreleased Paul Baribeau stuff I have as well, yes? ok then! let’s start with this demo tape, which was released on on a cassette in 2009, and sold on tour. it consists of two songs. the first one is called “Sand Dollar” and sounds like it should be on Unbearable, which can be downloaded if you scroll down a bit, or use the search field to the right. the second one is called “Through the Wall” and actually was later rerecorded for Unbearable. the songs sound like Paul Baribeau. the man who narrates his songs in such a believable way that we all feel like we know him personally. add catchy chord progressions, a scruffy voice and a big beard to the mix, and you have a good idea what this is about.
we have finally come to the bitter sweet end of The Pine month. and we’re ending on a high note, with Reaching Away’s beautiful full length album Push Away the Moon. Reaching Away sounds like the insecurity of a teenager combined with the wisdom of an old man. the whole album is ominous and dark to the very core. on the surface it is a collection of memorable songs that excellently captivates the listener with its haunting atmosphere and stunning intensity. but the album works on an entirely different level as well. it digs into the listener and overwhelms it with sadness and darkness. Push Away the Moon is simply an extraordinary accomplishment. if you enjoyed the demos, you will definitely enjoy hearing Reaching Away in a consistent album setting, where they work so incredibly well. get this! by the way, this includes two of the songs that were on the demo in a rerecorded form – namely the beautiful “No Hope for Healing”, and the dark “The Worst In Me” (simply named “2″ on the demo). so download this! and buy from http://sncl.collective-zine.co.uk/ or http://reachingaway.bigcartel.com or wherever else you can find it.
while I have posted every album by The Pine, The Pine month is far from over. we still have a few days to go. so I present to you: Reaching Away. The Pine went on a hiatus in 2005, and up until just recently everyone feared we had heard the last of them. in many ways I guess you could say we have. but in some ways, The Pine still lives on through Reaching Away. albeit with a different drummer and a different expression. they started up in the summer of 2009, and by 2010 a demo had surfaced. this is said demo. it’s 10:50 long and consists of three tracks. the perhaps biggest change from The Pine is that Reaching Away is acoustic guitar driven, producing a much more soft sound. the middle track is without drums as well, and serves as one of those almost droning stand out songs that The Pine occasionally played to mix things up. the other two songs are more upbeat. it’s sad and melancholic like The Pine, with a mellow twist. it’s almost country-tinged, with its soft strumming and upbeat drumming. and even though the lads have grown up and all that jazz, the vocals are to some degree their easily recognisable selves. the vocals are – like the whole band – noticeably different from The Pine, but in the same spirit, and with the same heart. this is a continuation and evolution of The Pine’s magical sound. this is a worthy heir to the throne. and it’s a perhaps even darker and sadder heir, that sings «life’s weight blinds you» with the saddest voice on top of the saddest orchestra. it’s Reaching Away. get this.
whenever I ask any given person who their favourite that’s punk artist is, there’s at least an eighty percent chance that the answer I’ll get is Paul Baribeau. the that’s punk blog attract many different audiences, and all of them generally agree that Paul is one of the best artists of this often talked about “our time”. and now he’s back. this time with an insane recording budget that allows him to afford occasional vocal overdubs, and even an electric guitar on one track! but fans of the raw and emotional Paul we all got to know and love on his self titled, and Grand Ledge – he’s still here. the vocal overdubs results in a far more harmonic sound than I’ve grown accustomed to with Paul, but thankfully, it’s still very raw and very emotional. the album’s centrepiece “Rolling Clouds” is a perfect example of this, with its regretting lyrics and sad vocals. if you’re a fan of Paul’s, you’ll love this. if you for some obscure reason haven’t heard him yet – you’ll need this. because this has it all. catchy and creative chord progressions, a fragile and sincere vocal delivery and beautiful lyrics. I cannot stress the importance of paying attention to his lyrics enough, because he is a master of the arts. Paul Baribeau is definitely “the greatest living folk artist”. NOTE: this is self-released, not a Plan-It-X release. you can buy it from No Idea Records.