Jerry Paper is bringing his playful, mild-mannered, Los Angeles self to Larimer Lounge this Wednesday, March 27, for a night of wonderfully weird samples and silly synths. The artist put out his most recent record in October of last year on Stones Throw, the East L.A-based label founded by Peanut Butter Wolf. While Stones Throw Records is famous for its pastiche-style hip-hop from some of underground hip-hop’s most notorious artists such as J Dilla and MF Doom, in recent years they have expanded into releases that are more rock-oriented.
The newest record from the idiosyncratic artist, Like a Baby, features a collaboration with Mild High Club, a perfect pairing of airy synths, bossa nova-tinged guitars and rich, throbbing bass-lines. Wood blocks and flanger pedals galore, Jerry Paper’s sound at times harkens to early Mac Demarco, especially with the more traditional pop structure the compositions on this most recent record take the form of, with a little more variety and texture sprinkled throughout. Jerry Paper’s music incorporates Eastern instrumentation such as sitars and pentatonic scales, which can also be heard on this record as well, behind his smooth voice and occasional scatting here and there.
Plenty of funk influences persist in Jerry Paper’s music, so if Stones Throw is to venture into loungey, jazzy synth-rock, then Jerry Paper is the most fitting choice. With each record, Jerry Paper drifts towards more and more live instrumentation — his 2014 record, Feels Emotions, sounds like it was composed almost entirely on analog instruments with exception to the last song, “Feed Me Sweet Sounds.” He goes from sounding like an 8-bit RPG arcade game in his early works to a fully three-dimensional virtual band in his most recent album. The surreal, almost uncanny sound of Jerry Paper thankfully persists throughout all of his music, creating a frightfully playful, unsettling world right in the heart of the uncanny valley.
This tour will also feature a stacked line-up. New York-based funky pop group Ava Luna will open, along with San Francisco-based dreamy lounge pop outfit Healing Potpourri. Boulder-based Ashley Koett is the sole local opening act, yet her voice carries such power and poise, her set will surely create high standards for the night.
During his last tour, which included a stop at Lost Lake, Jerry Paper had brought a number of extremely talented touring musicians to help with the live performance, and almost all of those touring musicians were women. Jerry Paper himself had donned a dress for the performance, creating an entrancing stage presence that felt transcending of human trappings such as gender. His last tour stop in Denver served as a vehicle for a variety of different Stones Throw artists, a sampling of the label’s diverse sound and a showcase of up-and-coming talent.
A documentary about Stones Throw, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, was released in 2014 and features interviews with West Coast funk and hip-hop legends like Dâm-Funk. At one point in the documentary, a grainy 1998 photograph of a young Kanye West working in the studios of Stones Throw is shown. Flying Lotus interned at Stones Throw, and Peanut Butter Wolf is a well-documented vinyl aficionado — check out his 12-hour vinyl set on Boiler Room, which showcases just a tiny fraction of some of the records he owns. So head on down to Larimer Lounge this Wednesday for a night of weirdly wonderful waves of sound.