it’s been well over half a year since Kari sent me Like Spinning’s lovely EP. but as you all know, I’ve been busy. really busy. but better late than never. here is Like Spinning’s EP. and it’s mellow and warm and cosy and melancholic and dark and a lot of things actually. where a lot of cuddly rock gets one dimensional, this EP is refreshingly deep. it sinks further and further in, under your skin, and raises it. Like Spinning make intelligent and heartfelt music.
archive for the ‘cuddle/folk rock’ category
is it cool to like or dislike folk punk? I forgot again. regardless of this though, Adam Bennett plays Dylan-esque folk punk/rock. it’s back to basics with Adam. a man and his guitar. and what a voice the man has! I must say… this bloke sure has pipes. reminds me of Black 47. as for his handling of the guitar, it is highly efficient. he knows how to strum and pick, and he knows how to write catchy chord progressions… with lyrics about why war sucks. it’s always struck me as awkward to talk about the catchyness of the song when the words are that serious. but this is music after all. ajd if Adam Bennett truly wants to «change the world through song», then his songs need to be really great. and though I do not know whether these songs will change the world by themselves, they certainly enhanced my world when I listened to them.
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.
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.
Crywank was started after a horrible breakup. one would think that’s a good foundation for a good folk record, right? it is. and with influences such as that’s punk favourites Andrew Jackson Jihad and Paul Baribeau, we are certain this is a winner. English-based James Clayton is influenced by a wide variety of anti-folk, outsider and punk music. the end result is fragile, highly self-critical and honest folk rock that one would think serves as a great outlet for all the pains of breaking up. James says they put him in a good mood, and hope that it serves the same purpose for someone else. now I’m not going through a breakup – thankfully… hell, I’m not even in a bad mood at all. I feel pretty good, actually. but James little record here no doubt put me in an even better mood. whether you are going through a bitter breakup or not, you should be able to find this enjoyable, if you like folk. check it out.
this is the solo effort by Matt Evans, who plays in the very recently posted Just Die!. this does however sound very little like Just Die!’s raging style of hardcore. it takes a far mellower road, with an acoustic guitar and a comfortable voice. Matt Evan’s take us on a gentle ride, through three songs that nearly reach the seventh minute mark. this is emotional folky and poppy acoustic rock that carves its way into your brain. perhaps especially with the last track, and all of its catchy The Get Up Kids (Four Minute Mile era) riffs. Matt Evans displays an affinity for melodic chord progressions and pleasant vocal harmonies. it’s good. download it!