Paul Leary

Austin 360

Austin360 On The Record: Paul Leary, Los Sundowns, Beth Lee, more

Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists. Paul Leary, “Born Stupid” (Shimmy-Disc/Joyful Noise). Best-known for his tenure as singer-guitarist with the Butthole Surfers but also an accomplished producer with credits ranging from Sublime to Daniel Johnston to Reverend Horton Heat, Leary hadn’t put out a solo record in 30 years before he decided to make "Born Stupid" from a batch of songs he'd written over the years. A press release accompanying the album describes its contents as a “soundscape filled with carnival sideshow calliopes, spaghetti western guitar motifs, and off-kilter German beer hall waltzes,” and that gives a pretty good overview of this broad-ranging set that reaches well beyond the Surfers’ harder edges. The title track opens the album in a psychedelically twisted country vein, signaling that Leary is blowing the doors wide open here. Other cuts may be familiar: “Shah Revisited” and “Gary Floyd” are both inventive reworkings of Surfers tracks, and “The Adventures of Pee Pee the Sailor” is a Leary original that first appeared on a 1992 album he produced for alt-bluegrassers the Bad Livers. Renowned drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer) joined Leary for the album, which appears on outsider artist Kramer’s recently revived Shimmy-Disc imprint. Here’s the track “Born Stupid”:
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