by FAITH BENNETT
Paul Baribeau has long been an ambassador of young adult feelings. He released noteworthy folk-punk albums on Plan-It-X Records from 2004 until 2007 and in 2010 put out Unbearable on No Idea Records. Each of these albums easily found its way into the hearts of boys and girls across the country.
Baribeau’s first album was a self-titled piece that contained songs about girls, being broke and being sad. It was this album that brought us ‘Never Get To Know’, an anthemic song about the damage alcohol has done to his friends and family. ‘Never Get To Know’ has been known to bring a great deal of listeners to tears, particularly during his live performances. His songs about heartbreak have been just as valuable to twenty-somethings slowly going through college and learning about love. As a friend of such artists as Kimya Dawson and Ginger Alford, Barbeau’s music has always been simple musically and frank lyrically. He has, since his beginning, been one of the most relatable and honest voices in folk-punk.
His most recent work, Unbearable, produced such gems as ‘Blue Cool’ and ‘Eight Letters’, a perfect song about letters that were never sent. You can probably expect to hear these songs live, and you can absolutely expect people to be singing along. Baribeau tends to play music festivals, small venues and garages, where he brings a tangible sense of intimacy to all of his performances. Between songs he explains the stories behind them or tells other stories.
Paul Baribeau has a lot of material that deals with feeling down and depression, but audiences never leave with those feelings. Shortly after he finishes screaming ‘Ten Things’, a song that asks the listener to think about things they want to do before they die, you can judge the general disposition of everyone present. And, while you will see a face or two striped with tears, you’ll mostly see people smiling.
Paul Baribeau is playing in a garage February 4th at 2135 Dellwood Avenue at 8 pm with Jason Anderson and Robbie Freeman. Parking is limited, and no alcohol is permitted.
by FAITH BENNETT