Eugene Chadbourne

Me and Paul

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Eugene Chadbourne's career is scattered between so many styles, groups, and projects, determining one of them to be his best is obviously something open for debate. Still, his duo with drummer Paul Lovens has resulted in a significantly steady and exciting output, the two of them clearly having fun. Me and Paul is the third release documenting the duet's activities and even though it came out on "the Doctor's" home label House of Chadula, it deserves at least as much attention as the Leo two-CD set Young at Heart/Forgiven. It presents a typical set from the summer of 2000, unaltered except for a few edits to make it fit on one disc. Sound quality is absolutely acceptable considering the half-broken guitars Chadbourne plays. Drummer and guitarist alternate between short improvisations and songs from the latter's amazingly vast repertoire. "Me and Paul," "Imagination," and "Desafinado" were part of the Leo set, but all performances are different and happen in new contexts. Surprises include the very rock "BYOB Club," a song the singer used to play with Jimmy Carl Black in the days of the Jack & Jim Show. Hearing Lovens pounding a rock beat and then taking it apart is a treat. Another highlight can be found in the heartfelt rendition of "Everyone's Been Burned." A great blend of songs and improvisations from two men who deeply understand each other and can surprise even the most dedicated fan, Me and Paul is a must-have and one of the strongest releases from House of Chadula.