Word is bond

'Jared Paul Live' bursts with poetic justice
By CHRIS CONTI  |  November 20, 2013

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INSPIRATION STRIKES "anywhere, anytime," Paul says.

The grind never stops for impassioned activist Jared Paul. He just dropped his spoken word debut titled Jared Paul Live, a collection of witty, knowledgeable, and uncompromising stories recorded in front of a packed house at the Empire Black Box Theatre. Paul will return to AS220 on Sunday for the CD release show (it’s available now at jaredpaulsfr.bandcamp.com). Spin the new disc and it’s instantly apparent that Jared Paul was born to rock the stage.

There are no limits to Paul’s diatribes, from crooked cops to angry East Side taxi drivers. And lord knows this dude has plenty of stories to tell. His arrest outside the 2008 Republican National Convention received national coverage (a case he eventually beat) fueled his fire, and he unleashed plenty of vitriol on two excellent releases from his former punk outfit Prayers For Atheists, his razor-sharp tongue lashed out at war-mongering, capitalism, jingoism, and local corruption. Paul’s steely blue eyes will light up when talking about anything from his highly active role during the Occupy PVD movement to his beloved New England Patriots. He is one of the most engaging people I have ever encountered. Hell, dude could get you pumped about a vegan stir fry (#ClassWarChef), and he is red-hot across Jared Paul Live.

Paul, a Lincoln High grad (Manville in the building!), was initially inspired by local legend Sage Francis, who would eventually release the PFA debut on his imprint Strange Famous Records. Paul’s delivery mirrors a highly confident rap lyricist (in fact, he is halfway through recording his first hip-hop album) combined with the fiery wit of a bike messenger messiah. “My song is a deep sea alien that would explode in people’s ears if payola ever brought it to the surface of a top 40 playlist,” he says on the second track, “ABCs for Radicals.” On “River to Basin, Moses to Basket,” he eloquently quips, “This notebook is alive like 100,000 fishermen each kneeling to open a separate can of worms at the same time.” “Black Dove Shuffle” is dedicated to his Occupy PVD brethren, and the final two tracks, “Pro Choice for Life” and “2008 RNC Arrest Story” are potent highlights.

As usual, Paul’s plate is full. He plans on booking another DIY nationwide tour behind the new album and recently launched a crowd-sourced writing residency (indiegogo.com/projects/jared-paul-book-campaign) in order to write a creative non-fiction collection of short stories and personal essays about radical art, DIY touring, and nationwide protesting.

Strange Famous CEO Sage Francis was kind enough to drop a line just prior to deadline regarding longtime friend and slam poet cohort Jared Paul:

“I have the fine honor of being the person who introduced Jared to poetry readings back in our URI days. We owned all the noobs in the coffee shop. That was way back, so it’s wild that this is his first official spoken word album. What people are going to hear on this CD is material that’s been sharpened and finely tuned over the last decade.”

I caught up with Paul earlier this week for a quick sitdown.

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