Friday, May 23, 2008

Check them out-Paper Lions

P.E.I boy band Paper Lions was the opening band for Cake (who, of course, rocked) last week at the Edmonton Event Centre, and I was blown away. Originally the band was called Chucky Danger and released a few albums under that name. There is nothing on the website about exactly why they chose Paper Lion (a book and later movie by and about George Plimpton joining the training camp of the 1963 Detroit Lions, on the premise of trying out to be the team's third-string quarterback) as a name. Plimpton's shtick was apparently questioning "How would the average man off of the street fare in an attempt to compete with the stars of professional sports?". Perhaps they are demurely suggesting that they are merely pretenders? They may have a ridiculous flair for the dramatic, and are prone to some serious guitar masturbation, but Paper Lion earns the right to stunt with the best of them.

First, the lead singer's (whom I think is John McPhee, but I can't actually confirm this anywhere in the sites), voice is a luscious and rich tonal mix of Luke Doucet, Bono, Ben Sures, and maybe Rufus Wainwright. His is the kind of voice you just can't get enough of. These guys are a young floppy haired and sweater/corduroy jacket wearing bunch of cuties reminiscent of a number of floppy haired '60's bands but also of bands like Hot Hot Heat and Franz Ferdinand. Their music is eclectic and varied and borrows from multiple eras and genres. And they are shit-hot musicians. At one point ( I wish I could remember the song) everyone switched instruments so that the drummer could play a bongo solo. They are hot, they have a wicked website, their videos rock, and they are playing Spruce Grove, Alberta on July 1st. Check them out.

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