PAPA – EP Release Show – Bootleg Theater PAPA – EP Release Show – Bootleg Theater

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The deeper I’ve gotten into the music scene over the years the more I’ve realized how many ridiculously talented bands and musicians go unnoticed by the general public. I’m not going to launch into a diatribe on the music industry but talent without exposure and intensely hard work won’t make you a burger flipper’s wage in this era. But no matter what decade we’re talking about bands have always needed a break to get big. I believe PAPA has gotten that brake; more to the point I’m not sure there is a more talented band emerging right now.

PAPA is back home in Los Angeles after opening for Girls during the US leg of their world tour. Lead singer and drummer of PAPA, Darren Weiss, had been pulling double duty on that tour along with his older brother and guitarist Evan (Slang Chickens); as both Weiss brothers would hammer it out each night playing with both PAPA and Girls.

This night at the Bootleg though was about PAPA. This night was a hometown celebration for the release of the astonishing debut EP “A Good Woman Is Hard To Find”.

It turned out to be a preamble to the high energy show but watching Darren start the set by repeatedly jumping up and down while trying to bring his knees up to his chest was both entertaining and endearing. It oozed the childlike eagerness that only an ice cream truck, or apparently an EP release, can bring. I don’t know what Darren Weiss’s baseball card has him listed at but when you hear a full, almost baritone voice erupt from his 5’8” 150lb’ish frame it’s jarring. Not jarring in a way that causes alarm, but more of that 80’s double-take, wipe your eyes while you’re wearing hot pink zinc on your nose, check out the girl in the high waisted red bikini variety. It gets your attention and holds it there. The deep tone immediately makes sense with the music because both fit the velvety smooth, effortlessly cool, pop tone that PAPA emanates. I can’t exactly peg why but I get the feeling that the gentlemen from PAPA would be right at home sipping a glass of scotch, neat, in the 1960s Rat Pack scene. It’s not like Darren is exactly crooning, and if he is it’s more of the Elvis Costello variety than the Frank and Dino brand, but the similarities in bravado and confidence might be what connects those dots for me. Whatever it is that night at Bootleg PAPA had a sold out crowd dancing for the entirety of their 50, or so, minute set. Oh and the ladies love PAPA; not to put all the guys in the crowd on the pay-no-mind list but the amount of stunning girls in the room was pretty arresting. With songs like “Let’s Make You Pregnant” I can’t say I don’t get.

As the night closed down Darren took off his red shirt which he summarily turned into a half-assed turban style head wrap. After running the perimeter of the stage high fiving everyone within reach like a hipster Jay Leno, PAPA finished their set strong and thanked everyone who came out in the way that pretty much every band does. Except with PAPA it felt genuine, really everything about PAPA feels genuine.



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