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Paul K(opasz)

Paul K(opasz)
March 09, 2021 11:22AM
I thought I had posted in this forum a year ago about the death of Paul K(opasz), leader of the Weathermen, and one of the greatest (and most prolific) unknown songwriters of his generation. Now that we're a week out from the first anniversary of his death (which may explain why I dreamed about him last night), I can't find the original post, which makes me think it doesn't exist. Mea culpa.

Details here or here. Obituary here.

If this is on the board buried somewhere, I apologize.

Much of his work is available digitally on Bandcamp. For those who've read or heard about him and are looking for an "in," I recommend the remaster of The Blue Sun.

The original copy of The Blue Sun, with liner notes by my Pop Culture Press colleague and TPRG alum Jason Cohen, was one of those landmark listens that changed my views on rock. I interviewed Paul for PCP around the time of Achilles Heel. Great conversation. He turned me on to James Ellroy, one of my favorite authors, in that conversation. We didn't see or talk to each other often after that, but we kept in touch over the years, and I wrote about his work often, which he appreciated. The last time I heard from him was about a year before his death.

His widow reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and sent me some anthology CDs that Paul compiled before his death. Now that we're coming up on the anniversary of his passing, I'm spinning them and thinking about all the great music. Guess I had to spill while I was at it.
zoo
Re: Paul K(opasz)
March 09, 2021 04:25PM
I took one look at the Bandcamp page and the term "rabbit hole" came to mind. There is a lot there!

Anyway, thanks for sharing! I always find it interesting to discover artists like this that I never knew about.
Re: Paul K(opasz)
March 09, 2021 05:23PM
You know what's scary? What's on his Bandcamp page is just the tip of the iceberg. He self-released dozens of cassettes going back to the early 80s before signing to a European label in the early 90s, and continued that pace after his tenure on Alias Records came to an end in the mid-90s, this time on CD, CD-r, and digital downloads. He made Robert Pollard look like Tool when it came to releasing albums. "Prolific" seems inadequate. It was impossible to keep up.
Bip
Re: Paul K(opasz)
March 09, 2021 08:13PM
Pretty certain this is NOT the Weathermen I’m familiar with (late 80s electronic band on Play it Again Sam records.... who are reviewed on this site).

Hmmm... (*note to self*) this might make a good idea for a thread: different artists with the same name.

Anyway, always nice to learn about a prolific artist you’re totally oblivious to. Unfortunately in sad circumstances in this case.
Re: Paul K(opasz)
March 09, 2021 10:38PM
Definitely not the same. The billing was always Paul K & the Weathermen. Sometimes Paul K and the Prayers, and, in his final years, it was Paul K & the Killer Elite, which included Rick Rizzo from Eleventh Dream Day, Deanna Vargonna, Scott Ligon from NRBQ, and sometimes Glenn Kotche from Wilco. Kotche was a Weatherman before he joined Wilco, which led to Paul opening for Wilco a few times in the Midwest.
Re: Paul K(opasz)
April 25, 2021 03:17PM
The film about Paul, which shares a title with one of his alias records - “A Wilderness of Mirrors” - is streaming on YouTube now. It’s part doc, part adaptation of the opera/concept album AWOM, and ultimately doesn’t do justice to either (or to Paul’s genius or his body of songs).

That said, it’s still worth a watch, and for anyone looking for a(nother) nudge down that rabbit hole, it’s a trip well-worth taking. He wrote a (gigantic) treasure-trove of songs.

[youtu.be]
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