The talk of the morning papers

This is a result of the lighting, not your LSD intake. Although that could be the case.

This is a result of the lighting, not your LSD intake. Although that could be the case.

So in more behind-the-times news, a friend of mine became excited about Paper Route’s upcoming show at Berbati’s Pan. Somebody else made a comment about M83, which led me to believe that the former resembles the latter, or vice versa. I, being wet behind the ears from my under-the-rock residence, was all “Who is this Paper Route you speak of? I think I should like to learn more of their ways.”

I am very glad I did. The M83 comparison is apt, in that Paper Route similarly uses their instruments (lots of synthesizer action but live guitars and other devices as well) to create an evocative and expansive sonic landscape. Often, the band uses the grandiose nature of their sound to accentuate their meditations on loss, heartache, and distrust. In short, all those expressions of adolescent-tinged drama that you experience from time to time but feel too jaded and evolved to say out loud? Both of these bands gladly say it for you, and supply a befitting musical backdrop for the histrionics. But while M83’s best songs show keen snapshots of the various emotions that define the coming of age process, Paper Route’s lyrics sound like they were cribbed, free of any editing, from a specific (and fragile) individual’s journal. Sometimes this can inspire the listener to cringe, but then the band launches into a cavernous string of drumbeats and delivers an electronic blast that clouds your judgment.

Despite that level of forgiveness, Paper Route is signed with Universal Motown. Do you know how galling it is to be beaten to the punch by a label as gargantuan as Universal Motown? It makes me want to crawl back under my rock and write a few songs about the pains of feeling so disconnected from the unrocked world. Grr. And it pains me to say it, but I prefer the sprawling, if less concentrated, feel of Paper Route’s EP from last year. Maybe if Stevie Wonder can make a surprise appearance, I wouldn’t care. If anyone can harness the spirit of the hyper-productive, precocious youngster, it’s him.

Paper Route will play at Berbati’s Pan on Tuesday, May 12. Young Love will also play.

  • Paper Route ~ Absence ~ Universal Motown

Are We All Forgotten


2 Responses to “The talk of the morning papers”

  1. 1 Taylor May 2, 2009 at 3:23 AM

    I work in the industry and you should probably know that it’s more indie labels to blame for ruining art these days. Failed tour support, failure to release albums, longer album deals. It’s the majors that have something to prove and are doing so by signing acts such as Paper Route. Listen with your ears, not your eyes.

    • 2 oldvertue0103 May 2, 2009 at 7:46 PM

      Whether you work in the industry or not, Taylor, there is no way to prove that a major label or the roughest independent label in any way makes or hurts the art that musicians produce. If that were the case, every record ever released by a major label would be touted by critics and consumers as the most life-changing album of all time. Clearly, this is not the case. But I appreciate your opinion.

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