MP3 Paul Labrise - Planet of the Love Guitars
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15 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, ROCK: Americana
âLabrise writes intricate songs, that take you on a journey to a safe place in your mind, and remind you of a time when youâve been surrounded by those you love.â
"Planet of the Love Guitarsâ is voted among the 20 Best Pop CDâs of 2000 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Planet of the Love Guitarsâ CD Review
By Mike Shanley
In Pittsburgh Weekly
January 26, 2000
Erstwhile guitarist Paul Labrise has avoided the dreaded âsolo project pitfallâ phenomenon on his new disc, Planet of the Love Guitars. Instead of sounding like a set of unfinished doodles--the danger of recording everything yourself--Planetâs 15 tracks are fully matured songs that stand firmly on their own without vocals. The songs retain a simple beauty that could be described as indie folk, peppered with a few jazz chords and sampled voices. Although Labriseâs electric guitar appears on several songs, his acoustic picking plays the lead melodies most of the time. Drums and bass--upright in one case--fill things out. When Labrise adds slide guitar on âFlying Trains,â it--surprisingly--enhances the purity of the vibe rather than overpowering it. Most of the tracks clock in under three minutes, never letting a melody wear out its welcome. And when he exceeds the eight-minute mark on the gentle waltz of âTea Party,â it unfolds so sweetly, pushed by a slight off-key, that time never drags. ***1/2
âFrom Bitter To Sweetâ CD Review
By Ed Masley, Post-Gazette Music Critic
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Thursday, January 27, 2000
When guitarist Paul Labrise left Bitter Delores in 1998, he did it because he was writing more material that didnât suit the band, and he needed an outlet. So he formed the Haw Flakes.
When the Haw Flakes lost a drummer and nothing was happening over the summer, he needed another outlet. So he cut a solo album, âPlanet of the Love Guitars.â
Itâs all Labrise -- the drums, the bass, the lover guitars, the sound effects, the haunting tin whistle on âGrandeur.â It's all instrumental, recorded at home on a four-track reel-to-reel machine and mastered in New York by original Haw Flake drummer, Greg âSpankyâ Hoy.
Looking back on the four years he spent as a member of Bitter Delores, Labrise says, as much as he liked it, âIt got to the point where I felt like I was always going to be looking over the fence.â
His friends in Bitter Delores were cool about his leaving, to the point that drummer Tom Emmerling recently joined Labriseâs band.
The Haw Flakes--including original bassist Ray Vasko--recorded a four-song effort that first summer and released it on their own to sell at shows.
The instrumental road Labriseâs taken on the solo disc is nothing new. Heâs always written instrumentals.
âPretty much the day I graduated from college, I started writing music,â he says. âAnd it was like being reborn. I went home for a month and then I moved away to live with a friend in Columbus. And basically, I lived in this kidâs studio apartment while he lived with his fiancee and I didnât know anybody, which is perfect to get into writing when youâve never done it before, if nobodyâs around.â
He would have liked to have some friends around to work on âPlanetâ with him, but it only would have slowed him down and maybe compromised his vision.
âI was really in a fever,â he says, âjust working on this thing. And at 3 in the morning, I canât call Tom or any drummer, really, to come down and play. ...So it was just simpler to do it myself. And there were some things that I wanted to do that maybe some people wouldnât really want to play. The same beat the whole time. Who wants to do that? Theyâll add fills. Any drummer will add little things, and thatâs not really what I wanted. So I learned how to do it and did it myself.â
Labrise is working overtime tonight to hype his low-key, low-fi instrumental treasure. First, at 8, heâll be playing acoustic with Vasko at Cafe Au Lait. And then, at 10, Labrise with a full band plays a gig at the 31st Street Pub.
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