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Paul Kotheimer | Home Grown Roses

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Folk: Political Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Type: Political
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Home Grown Roses

by Paul Kotheimer

Eclectic and poetic, political and personal, Kotheimer is a true artisan of American songwriting. These intimate home demos are a treasure-trove of short stories in song.
Genre: Folk: Political
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. No More Songs
4:04 $0.99
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2. Home-Grown Roses
4:34 $0.99
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3. The Grey Highway
3:28 $0.99
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4. J. 465
1:52 $0.99
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5. Planes
1:50 $0.99
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6. Another Love Song To The Moon
3:17 $0.99
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7. Simple
3:21 $0.99
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8. Advice For Teenagers
0:48 $0.99
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9. Life-Size Cardboard Cut-Out Ladies (At The Liquor Store)
3:40 $0.99
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10. Confundido
1:24 $0.99
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11. Made-Ja Look
2:01 $0.99
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12. Tale Without A Monkey
3:23 $0.99
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13. You Better Figure Out What It Is You Want
2:52 $0.99
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14. Kid, Someday
3:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Paul Kotheimer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul Kotheimer (born October 25, 1968, Evergreen Park, Illinois) is a U. S. singer-songwriter, activist, recording artist, and performer of DiY/acoustic, indie rock, and political folk music, performing since the late 1980’s, based in Urbana, Illinois. Kotheimer is also the founder of the DiY/folk and acoustic recording company, the hand-made record label.

Kotheimer’s DiY/acoustic and indie rock songs are characterized by vividly narrative and poetically expressive lyrics and by an eclectic blending of various popular music genres and styles. His recording techniques vary from the most sparse and lo-fi solo demos to full-band arrangements in which Kotheimer himself performs all instrumental and vocal parts as overdubs. Many of Kotheimer's political folk songs adapt updated lyrics to traditional American folk and protest songs. Kotheimer’s political subject matter includes commonly addressed 21st Centrury left-activist themes: Songs against war (specifically, the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), U.S. imperialism, corporate globalization, biotechnology, urban gentrification, and consumerism (and particularly, against Wal-Mart); along with songs in favor of direct action, ecodefense, organized labor, and feminism.

Career

In the Spring of 1988, Kotheimer recorded solo acoustic demos at Burton-Judson Courts at the University of Chicago. In 1990-1992, he performed bi-weekly sets at the Green Street Café in Chicago’s University Village neighborhood, where he was frequently joined onstage by multi-instrumentalist Oliver Steck. Later the duo performed at the Torchlight Café in Chicago’s Roscoe Village neighborhood.

From 1993 to 1996, Kotheimer was active in the Red Herring Coffee House on the campus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 1994, Kotheimer released Essential Demo Recordings, the first publication to bear the hand-made record label name and logo.

From 1995 to 1997, Kotheimer performed as songwriter, lead singer, and rhythm guitarist in the band Herring Boys (with Andy Gricevich, guitar/vocals, and Nathan Otis, drums/vocals; later joined by Aaron Barr, bass guitar). In 1997 and 1998, Kotheimer performed as bassist/guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist in The Prince Myshkins (with Rick Burkhardt, primary songwriter, accordion and vocals, and Andy Gricevich, guitar and vocals). In 1998, Kotheimer toured extensively in the U. S. and Canada and performed at South by Southwest, CMJ, and other independent music festivals.

In 1999, Kotheimer participated in the N30 direct actions against the World Trade Organization in Seattle, Washington. His song, “Wal-Mart Associates’ Mandatory International Anthem,” as performed by participants of the School for Designing a Society, appeared in the documentary 30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle. In 2000 and 2001, Kotheimer collaborated as one of approximately a dozen co-founders of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. From 2000 to 2002, Kotheimer submitted a wide variety of poems, articles, and song lyrics to the NewsPoetry project. From 2000 to 2003, Kotheimer served as a participant-in-residence at the School for Designing a Society. From 2003 to 2006, Kotheimer performed and recorded as bassist and arranger in the band Theory of Everything (with Darrin Drda, vocals/guitar, David Tcheng, multi-instrumentalist; and various percussionists).

Recent Activities

In August 2006, Kotheimer completed rough demos for his song cycle, A Martian Sends A Postcard Home: Nine Poems Set to Music. In that same month, Kotheimer published the political folk song “Trouble in the Water” as an mp3 on the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center website. The song, set to the tune of the traditional American spiritual “Wade in the Water,” was written in September 2005 to addresses the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.

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Reviews


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Lorenzo Baeza--Buzz Weekly

"A record that holds true to its title...infectious melodies...Paul Kotheimer tr
BUZZ Weekly Oct. 21-27, 2004 CD REVIEWS

For those unfamiliar with Urbana's Paul Kotheimer, 2004 marks the 10th year that he and Hand Made Records have been producing music and a message that presents itself as a quirky awareness, be it on political issues or those of the heart. On his latest release (which at the moment was made in a limited pressing of 25 copies--Paul promises that more copies will be available at the 10th anniversary party) Home Grown Roses, Kotheimer and friends have indeed cultivated a record that holds true to its title.

Musically, the songs rely mostly on acoustic arrangements involving guitar, piano, and drums--backing vocals and added harmonies also add to the depth and the quality of the arrangements. Lyrically, Paul Kotheimer runs a gambit of different concerns and issues within the 14 songs presented here.

The title track, "Home Grown Roses," is a country ballad that both ironically plays with the song of adoration and the difficulty of shipping roses to a loved one beause of U. S. policies on free trade. "J. 465" is a lovely piano piece composed by Kotheimer and set to the words of Emily Dickinson's "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died," which truly illustrates Kotheimer's ability to make catchy but slightly angular music with his strong piano chord changes and his rambling singing voice that at times seems somewhere between Elvis Costello and Ben Folds.

The album, as a whole, presents itself in a deranged paradox with infectious melodies that bite at every turn, especially those that feature Kotheimer alone on the piano. In "Confundido," in a playful samba rhythm, Paul lyrically acknowledges the awkwardness of the chords and the rhythms hat the song operates on. It is in this calm, playful and smart voice that Paul Kotheimer truly shines, operating on a mission to have his voice and opinions be both heard and enjoyable to the ear...
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Butch A. Nihm

"Paul's songwriting is enchanting, and he's a talented multi-instrumentalist..."
The CD review that isn't
by Butch A. Nihm
25 Dec 2004

...Give the gift of local art! Our community is filled with talented people pouring their souls into their canvases, their pottery, and their instruments. Most people in our culture never meet the people who write and perform the music they love, and that is tremendously sad. To know an artist and to here their music live is to witness an intense expression of an energy that could make the choice of president irrelevant if enough people listened.


That day after the [November 2004] election I went home and listened to a CD by Paul Kotheimer, his latest, entitled "Home Grown Roses." Here's a guy who lives right here in town, creating beautiful music and not making much money doing it. "Home Grown Roses" is intensely personal, lyrical, and shows that although Moxy Fruvous assures us that "Everyone's a novelist, and everyone can sing," some people work hard at doing both really well, and Paul's one of them. No two ways about it, Paul's songwriting is enchanting, and he's a talented multi-instrumentalist to boot. But most importantly, at least for this article, he lives here in Urbana, works in his yard, and takes care of his kid. He's part of our community; you can even get your CD from his hand to yours. You can hear him live, both on his own an as a part of another stellar group, Darrin Drda's Theory of Everything (but that's another "review.") So I encourage you to do your part to build connections in your community and beyond. Eat local. Buy local. Listen local. And talk about it!
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