In the hands of Weird Paul the line, “Buy three boxes of crackers and get a free jar of honey,” never sounded so catchy
By Mike Shanley
Pittsburgh Current Music Writer
The act of releasing an album has changed over time, but not for Weird Paul Petroskey.
“Whenever I try to come up with the next album, I say, ‘What can I do to make the presentation of this better than the last one? How am I going to make people look at it and want it, just by seeing it,’” he says. This from a guy who has released 32 albums.
For his new one, he asked his girlfriend, artist Niffer Desmond, to render his image with Lite-Brite, the classic toy that uses plastic pegs to create images on a back-lit board. Even he was surprised by the results. “My thought was, she’d do this very minimalistic drawing and you could tell it was me because of my hair, and whatever,” he says. “Here, she does my whole head! My entire head is all Lite-Brite. I was blown away.”
When it came time to choose an album title, Weird Paul maintained another standard. “I like to incorporate something very old with something very new, two things that don’t really go together in a chronology. That makes me happy,” he says. Thus he settled on Lit AF, which references both the cover image and the modern, polite abbreviation of “as fuck,” which is popular with the kids these days.
It’s not too far of a stretch to see Lit AF as a statement about how literate his lyrics can be. Even when he goofs around, there’s some depth on the album. “Dopamine Drop” not only explains how the brain’s neurotransmitter works, this rap song goes on to show how social media interactions impact it positively. The topic of “Stupid Coupon” might seem flimsy, but in the hands of Weird Paul the line, “Buy three boxes of crackers and get a free jar of honey,” never sounded so catchy. At least not since he recorded “Pot of Macaroni” ten years ago.
Musically, the album — recorded solo, rather than with the Weird Paul Rock Band — changes styles with virtually every song. Heavy metal power chords lead to country twang, which precedes “Tell Me What You Think,” a track that Paul himself compares to Katy Perry and Pink.
Weird Paul plans to take his first-ever 10-day tour of the Midwest this fall. “I was actually surprised to find that there is a demand at this point to see me,” he says. “But I asked, ‘Where would you like to see me,’ and there was a huge response.”
Wait until they hear the album.