Saturday, February 23, 2008

Paleface - Burn & Rob (1990 solo guitar version)

Back in 1990, singer / songwriter Paleface became part of the Anti-Folk scene in
New York City.

His song 'Burn & Rob' gained him some notoriety and received some airplay attention on college radio.

This early version is markedly different than the one that appeared on his first album in 1991. ➤

That 2nd version can only really be said to be 'fuller and more polished' when compared with this one. Both recordings were produced by Kramer of NYC's Shimmy Disc record label.

In '89 it was Daniel Johnston who had taught Paleface how to write songs, and soon he was performing in small clubs and the subway, while sharing an apartment with friend and fellow struggling musician Beck.

There are different opinions out there as to which artist influenced the other more, but personally I don't feel it matters.

I will say though, that there was a time in the early '90's when Paleface and Beck shared a similar sound in some of their recordings.

At various points during the 1990's, Paleface's career progressed in fits and starts, partially due, it would seem, to the inability of the music industry to settle on the right niche to market him towards.

These days things appear to be running a little smoother, as both Paleface and the music scene have matured just a bit.

From the LP
'What Else Do You Do?
(A Compilation of Quiet Music)'
(Shimmy Disc, 1990),
Listen to Paleface:

Burn & Rob (click for audio)

See also:
- Official website:

- Paleface entry with bio at Antifolk.Net

- An interview at The Idiot Online

- A live show review at journalism, fiction by Brian Tucker

- There's info and recent tunes available at the Official Paleface MySpace page

- There's other info and older tunes available at the Paleface "unofficial FAN PAGE" at MySpace

- At YouTube: A video clip of Paleface performing 'She's So' (in '07?)


John Spithead said...

I can't thank you enough for this. I used to have it on a trip-tape someone did for me 15 or so years ago and have been trying to find it for some time. I'm enjoying the blog, by the way and have been stopping by regularly for a couple of weeks now. keep up the good work.

dave said...

a big thanks from me too! like js i've been trying to find another copy of this for years after first hearing it on the john peel show many many years ago. Nice one

Anonymous said...

me too!!

"hideous crimes done with a cattle prod"!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I do have a correction regarding "there are different opinions out there as to which artist influenced the other more..."

It is a fact that when Paleface and Beck where hanging around the Lower East Side, before was writing songs Beck was just playing old folk covers at the open mics, while Paleface was performing all original songs.

"We used to go to all the open mikes together. He taught me Daniel Johnston songs on the sidewalk and let me sleep on his couch. He was a great songwriter, a generous friend, and a big influence on my early stuff", Beck on Paleface (American Music-Annie Leibovitz).

Adam Michaud said...

Love this song. I actually have a very old demo tape of it that is some were between the version you posted and the album version. You reminded me I have to dump the tape to cd before the tape disintergrates.

Marie said...

Are any of you by any chance based on the west coast? We're booking PALEFACE shows on the west coast August 2009....just confirmed San Franscisco, Davis/Scramento, Merced, and still working on more.....
They will all be posted soon here:

If you'd like to help with promo of any kind or if you have questions, requests, etc please write to:


Mike Nobody said...

Been looking for this a long time. I had taped it off the radio way back when it was released and could never find a copy of the demo this originated from.

Freshly-stirred links