Now It’s Time to Live Our Lives More Quietly: Paul K. and the Weathermen

If you believe that art imitates life then it’s easy to see where the roots of Paul K.’s blues-punk music were formed. 

Detroit born and Louisville, KY bred Paul K. (né Kopasz) was a gifted student, earning a debating scholarship to the University of Kentucky in the early ’80s. A  prolific singer/songwriter in 1983 he began home recording his songs onto cassettes and ended up self-releasing a half dozen albums. Through choice, chance, or just plain bad luck by the end of 80s he had drifted to New York City where he lived as a squatter, pulling stick-ups to support himself before finally ending up in jail for several years on a heroin-possession charge.

After his release he began recording again and signed with the Dutch label SilenZ. His first album for SilenZ, 1992’s The Big Nowhere,was a solo affair, but later that year he debuted with the Weathermen on the full length The Killer in the Rain.

The band enjoyed marginal success in Europe but remained unknown in the US.  With the 1993 Homestead release of The Blue Sun, a collection of songs culled from his cassette archives, that would change.

The album-opening "Stone in My Shoe" on 1993’s Garden of Forking Paths finds Paul K. acknowledging his past failures conceding that

We failed/We fucked up/Now it’s time/To live our lives more quietly

While his earlier albums had always had a subtle Christian subtext on Garden of Forking Paths it finds full voice on the songs "7 Gates to the City" and the cover version of David Olney’s "Jerusalem Tomorrow." This is not a Christian rock record as mid-tempo rockers "Radiant and White" and "Carrville" which

strongly recall Lou Reed’s songwriting on the Velvet Underground’s Loaded,

the R&B flavored "To Win is to Fail," the soul ballad "This Broken Heart," and the folk influenced "Something I Never Did Own," make perfectly clear.

Written and recorded in 1996 Love Is a Gas is Paul K.’s attempt to make it into the mainstream, and in the process shed the label of being

one of America’s greatest unknowns.

Produced by The Velvet Underground’s Mo Tucker, who also served as the drummer on this release, the album was dedicated to her former band mate Sterling Morission who died in 1995.

Easily his most pop-oriented album at this point in his career

his always-competent guitar work simmers with clarity,

flirting with feedback on "David Ruffin’s Tears," which he dedicated to the former Temptation who died in 1991; and the nearly five-minute guitar explosion of "Manna;" but songs like "Another Night on This Earth," the stark "Everything That Glitters," and "Liar’s Prayer" make perfectly clear that he still has personal demons to confront.

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Releases:

Even Odds (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Foul Weather (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Bag of Worms (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Blue Money (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Canal Street Station (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Cold Front (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Live at CBGB Pt 1 (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Twenty Three (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
The Death Tape (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1987
Patriots (Shrunken Stomach) 1988
Joe Nix’s Life of Crime (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1988
Blood (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1988
Rhymes/Reims (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1988
Holy Drug War (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1988
Standards (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1988
Prints of the City (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1989
Greed (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1989
Fools and Fanatics (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1989
The Evil Twin (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1989
Heavy is the Head That Wears the Crown (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1989
Coverage (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1989
Kindred Souls (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1990
Cousin (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1990
Nashville (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1990
Live at CBGB Pt 2 (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1990
Radio Dazed (Cass) (Shrunken Stomach) 1991
The Big Nowhere (
CD, MP3) (Cool Tunes/SilenZ) 1991
The Blue Sun (Homestead) (Cass, CD) 1992
The Killer in the Rain (CD) (Hol. SilenZ) 1992
Stolen Gems (Single-CD) (SilenZ Records) 1992
 Pat Mears – Golden/Carillo – Paul K & The Weathermen (CD) (SilenZ Records) 1992

Blues for Charlie Lucky (CD, MP3) (SilenZ Records) 1993
Garden Of Forking Paths (CD) (SilenZ Records) 1993
Deep Freeze  b/w Faded Flowers (Single) (Dead Dog Records) 1994
Achilles Heel (
CD, MP3) (Thirsty Ear) 1995
Coin of the Realm (Fiasco) 1995
Corpus (Cass) (Shrimper) 1995
Now and At the Hour of Our Death, Amen (CD) (Glitterhouse) 1996
Love Is A Gas (Cass,
CD, MP3) (Alias Records) 1997
A Wilderness of Mirrors [Soundtrack] (
CD, MP3) (Alias) 1998 
Stolen Gems: The Anthology (CD) (CoraZong Records) 2003

Paul K. and The Prayers

Saratoga (CD, MP3) (Alias Records) 1999)
Makers on the Rocks (Digital) (52nd steam media) 1999
She’s Wired In Stereo (Digital) (52nd steam media) 2000
Cycles (CD) (Shrunken Stomach) 2000
The Night We Cheated Death (CD) (Shrunken Stomach) 2001

Tracks Appear On:

"My Knife" Ten Of A Kind (LP) (RCA) 1988
"Everything’s Forgiven" Out Of The Blue Volume 2 (CD) (Glitterhouse Records) 1996
"Al Bowlly’s In Heaven" Out Of The Blue Volume 3 (CD) (Glitterhouse Records) 1996
"Slow It Down" CMJ New Music March – Volume 43 (CD) (College Music Journal) 1997
"Apple in My Eye" Premium: New Music With a Golden Glow

 

Garden of Forking Paths (1993)

Playing Time: 67 Minutes 49 Seconds

1. Stone in My Shoe (2:51)
2. Something I Never Did Own (3:12)
3. Radiant and White (6:12)
4. Stolen Gems (3:03)
5. To Win is To Fail (4:08)
6. The Tower (4:03)
7. 7 Gates to the City (3:58)
8. N*GGER (4:26)
9. This Broken Heart (5:22)
10. Coconut Grove (4:04)
11. Disappear (4:58)
12. Jerusalem Tomorrow (5:02)
13. Carrville (3:47)
14. Jimmy Blue Eyes (3:47)
15. The Brush Fire (5:31)
16. The History of Rain (3:23)

Garden of Forking Paths (Part 1) (Part 2)

Buy Garden of Forking Paths from Amazon.com

 

Love is a Gas (1997)

Playing Time: 50 Minutes 21 Seconds

1. Apple in My Eye (1:46)
2. Another Night on This Earth   (3:26)
3. Slow It Down (3:29)
4. David Ruffin’s Tears (4:24)
5. Everything That Glitters (3:39)
6. Lavender Door (3:12)
7. Deep Freeze (4:49)
8. Jesus Children of America (3:41)
9. Liar’s Prayer (3:43)
10. To See You If You Fall (4:31)
11. Manna (4:48)
12. Love Is a Gas (8:52)

Buy Love Is A Gas from Alias Records

Buy Love Is A Gas from Amazon.com

 

Powered by Windows Live Writer

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s