Story and video by Joel Patterson
The future belongs to songwriters. Ever look at it that way? A hundred years from now, I predict two things: the songs of Hank Williams will still be around, and so will a few of Pete LaBonne’s.
Despite all the attention Pete gets for his supremely spontaneous and ironic personality – which charges his performances with the scent of maximum subversiveness, almost criminal in its recklessness – his real claim to fame is the words-and-music part. He’s grafted the utterly innocent language of everyday speech onto the eternal, timeless rhythms of the American songbook. A “good” song – a great song! – is often the simplest phrase, hopping over a simple beat, and when a singer is roaring with confidence, swept up in the urgency and joy of it all… well, that’s a beautiful thing.
Plus, Pete’s always twisting things for entertainment value: pointing out absurdities and timeless truths in equal measure. Sometimes, these turn out to be the same things. So, I do think we got something lasting, here, but trying to picture October of 2113… I got to sit down, I’m getting dizzy.
LIVE: Pete LaBonne @ Caffe Lena, 5/11/12