Paleface is one of the great heroes -- not unsung, but perhaps undersung -- of the '90s East Coast folk(-ish) revival whose influence would eventually spur on bigger marquee stars in the early '00s, like Kimya Dawson and Regina Spektor. (Actually, fun fact: Way before all that, Paleface even shared an apartment with Beck.)
But although he scored a deal with Sire in the mid'-90s, that was not Paleface's time to blow. Add up a combination of typical major-label neglect, hard living, and a refusal to go pop at all -- this was a guy who got his first songwriting inspiration from the infamously off-kilter Daniel Johnston, after all -- and the end of the decade found him foundering. Luckily, the new millennium was kinder, and thanks to live slots with Dawson (specifically her band the Moldy Peaches), Spektor, and others, Paleface rose again.
In recent years, actually, fans can credit his renewed prolificacy to the love of a good woman. In the waning part of this past decade, Paleface left New York for the fresher air of Concord, North Carolina, and hooked up with a fellow musician, Monica "Mo" Samalot. Together as Paleface n Mo, with him on guitar and her on drums, they've been traveling the country continuously DIY-style, playing the rootsy spare songs they've released together on two albums for Ramseur Records
. (Another fun fact: That's also label home of the white-hot Avett Brothers.)
The latest, One Big Party
, came out last year, and the duo's been traveling the Southeast on an extensive tour that seems to have stopped in nearly every midsized to large city in Florida. The tour leg through this state ends this weekend on our own turf, with a show tonight at Dada
and another tomorrow night at the Monterey Club
Stream the whole album below via Bandcamp, and score a free download of "You Will Get What You Want." How's that for words of general encouragement?
Paleface n Mo. 11 p.m. Thursday, February 24. Dada, 52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Admission is free; all ages. Call 561-330-3232. With Boise Bob, Craven, and Lauris Vidal. 10 p.m. Friday, February 25. The Monterey Club, 2608 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $3; age 18 and up. Call 954-598-1887, or visit themontereyclub.net.