It’s rare, in our modern day and age, to come across the true bohemian artist, traveling the land, living on the bare essentials, and not knowing where they’ll end up tomorrow. It’s a very romantic lifestyle, but one that requires a great deal of willpower and fortitude.
Twenty-six year old David Andrew Strackany embarked on a life of music in 2004 when he abandoned his DIY art and theater venue in Iowa City. He goes by the musical alias Paleo, a name he settled on upon visiting a Paleontology exhibit in Prague’s National Museum. Paleo recently traveled to our city this Sunday to play a show at the Warehouse Nextdoor. This wasn’t any normal show, though. This was the culmination of a full year songwriting project. Paleo calls it the Song Diary. He began it on April 16, 2006 and concluded it this past weekend on April 15th, 2007. The Song Diary is characterized as a cross-country project to write and record a song every day during his travels.
Paleo stated that, “there were no rules for the songs, only that they would be recorded by sunrise.” When I asked him why he decided to undertake such a strenuous and daunting task, he stated that it would be a spiritual way of keeping his life together and gaining a better understanding of himself through poetic self-reflection. Having garnered a great deal of buzz within the New Folk movement and attention from record labels, Paleo seems disinterested with maintaining musical trends or signing with anyone. He reasons that his survival thus far without a label, day job, or booking agent has justified his decision not to accept any offers.
On the phone, he came across as very eloquent and imaginative in language, and in person, as a long-haired young man with spacey eyes and slow speech. He was discernibly introverted and aloof in casual conversation. When he approached the stage, however, he came alive. Playing his songs on a children’s guitar that he bought for thirty dollars at Wal Mart, his music has no frills. The most distinctive quality of it is his voice: a piercing shriek that resonated with sweet vibratos and falsettos. His songs contain beautiful poetry juxtaposed with beguiling melodies. He seemed relatively comfortable on stage, remarking over how he hadn’t changed his pants in one year apart from a recent trip to the White House. He also hadn’t cut his hair, which he brazenly clipped off before his last song. It was like a rebirth. Paleo had songs of each day of the past year to reflect on. He had written them in towns across the country. He had experienced a whirlwind of different people, emotions, and territory. It is our only privilege that he’s chosen to share these musings with us.
Listen to Paleo’s Song Diary at www.paleo.ws
For a complete tour schedule visit www.myspace.com/paleo