Features

You Need To Listen To Weird Paul

By Jeff Ogiba

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Records come out all the time, but there's one coming out today that you have to jump on - 25 Lo-Fi Years, a comprehensive collection of songs by the one and only Paul Petroskey, AKA Weird Paul. Maybe you haven't heard of Weird Paul, but he's basically the Wesley Willis of Weird Als, the Atom & His Package of Dr. Dementos. Thick Syrup Records is putting out the collection, so before you read this article you should click here, buy the record, and then come back and, you know, read this article.

Here's the story: a few decades ago, a weirdo outcast named Paul began experimenting with a home camcorder and some stripped-down musical melodies. Now, with over twenty-five years under his belt and an arsenal in excess of six hundred songs, the "pride of Pittsburgh" is finally starting to gain some recognition... again. Except now he looks less like a child - he's 41, and looks like your undead Kurt Cobain Halloween costume:

Weird Paul wasn't always just a hopeless outsider. In 1991 his efforts to self-release most of his works were relieved when Long Island's Homestead Records released his first "real" release, Lo Fidelity, Hi Anxiety. But the recognition wouldn't last, and Weird Paul was flung back into the obscurity from whence he came, forced again to self-release his tunes. Only three short years later, Petroskey would write, record, and release Worm in My Egg Cream on his own label, Rocks & Rolling Records.


"Vinyl Spatula" [1989]

In 2006, he took another shot at the public eye in the form of a short documentary, Weird Paul: A Lo Fidelity Documentary. The documentary would only reach a limited audience and send Paul back into the outsider shadows where he'd continue relentlessly to mass produce his brand of DIY ear candy, like this banger, "I Got Drunk At Chuck E. Cheese":

Earlier this year, Weird Paul put up a video on his youtube channel which attracted more attention than anyone expected. The video wasn't musical though, and was rather a brief 1984 walk through of a McDonalds breakfast as hosted by a then-15-year-old Petroskey:

If you happen to live in Pittsburgh, there's a release show this Saturday at the Shop. You can find more information on that one right here. Oh, and if there's a Taco Bell nearby, try to paypal your quesadillas: 


"Pay For Your Tacos Quickly and Securely" [2011]

 

Previously - I Fired Devo's Nephew

 

If you live in New York, you can go bother Jeff at Black Gold Records in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. You can also follow his (mostly) music-related thoughts at @jeffogiba.

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