By Mark Grabowski
You are secretly a moron. Admit it. You live in constant fear that someday someone will discover that you aren’t as cool as you look, you aren’t as smart as you sound, and you aren’t as cultured as you make yourself out to be.
You began A Brief History of Time, but you didn’t finish it. You do crosswords, but have never got past the Wednesday edition. You bought a guitar but never learned more chords than “A,” “G,” “D.” You’ve fooled your friends, your boss, and maybe even your significant other. But time is running out. Your heart beats faster every time you pass that Trivial Pursuit box in the hallway, every time someone flips the TV to “Jeopardy,” every time a friend asks you what five-across is. It’s going to come down to a choice: admitting your idiocy to the world, or swallowing a daily dose of culture for as long as it takes.
Decided to go with the latter? Then let me recommend Paul Curreri’s upcoming CD release party at Starr Hill on May 3 as a good first step in that learned direction.
So you like rock music. Great. But what about folk? “Well, er, Dylan…” I can hear some of you stammer. But what about modern folk music? Folk did not cease to exist after the 1960’s, its death heralded by Dylan’s “electrifying” performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. The music went on, through permutations and changes (I believe the best was the removal of the shrill warblings of the mid-sixties– peAaAcEeEe), until we come to the folk of today.
Some artists still use the folk style as a platform to try to right injustice, while for some it is merely a canvas on which they paint beautiful and sometimes haunting portraits of their own thoughts. Paul Curreri’s impressive work fits into the second category.
“Slept by her and I dreamt of bees/That’s all I can remember/Just that I was stung a thousand times/So I woke, I dressed, and left her,” Paul croons, pairing these stunning words with his acoustic and a soft snare on “Bees,” track four from his soon-to-be-released CD, From Long Gones to Hawkmoth.
I’ve heard the CD, and in between asking my friend what exactly is “Fragonard” and how it is different from “rococo” (“Miles Run the Daffodil Down”), I could feel something stirring within me. This was something real, something great, something right. This, to be so bold, is true folk music.
Paul Curreri’s CD Release Party with special guests Nickeltown, Jan Smith, Danny Schmidt, devon, BJ Kocen takes place at Starr Hill May 3 at 8pm. $6.