BLVD: The 90s Rock'n'Roll You Know You've Been Missing.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Paul Kimbiris has a new project and we dig it. 

BLVD. Four letters, three guys. And their first show under the new name is happening this Friday at The Fall Showcase. So who are they?

Well, we’ve brought you info on Paul Kimbiris before. You might remember him headlining the Fox back in May with backing band The Paper Stars. Or maybe you saw him at Augustus’ CD Release show at The Lazy Dog in June, where again, he was referenced as a solo artist with a backing band. Well guess what kids. Paul’s got a new gig in this town. And he wants you to know it’s “a little less sad bastard and a little more punk rock”. F*ck yes.

BLVD is composed of Leor Manelis (drums), Danny Rankin (bass), and Kimbiris (guitar, vocals). When I met up with Paul to learn a little more about his new project, he told me he’s played with these guys forever. They were with him for the Fox show last May. And practicing for that is actually where BLVD kind of kicked off.

“We were practicing for the Fox show and- you know we were practicing pretty stuff- melodies, a waltz. And just joking around, I played one of my old songs and [the guys] were like ‘Hey what else do you have like that? That’s the best song I’ve heard you play.’ I mean I wrote these songs like late 90s. I’d put them to bed. But when you play songs with really good musicians- you can play two chords and it can be fucking awesome. And so that’s what we’re playing. These old songs I wrote and we’re rock and roll, you know?”

I told him I didn’t- BLVD hasn't put anything out yet (though they will be this winter). And they haven’t exactly performed live yet with their new material and under the name BLVD. So Kimbiris explained the sound to me like this:

“70% of what BLVD plays are songs I wrote late 90s- so they’re influenced by things happening then. The Pixies; British rock bands like Blur. You’ll hear it; you’ll hear it. Like right around the time OK Computer came out- I mean that record was huge for me as I’m sure it was for a lot of people. Minor keys, delayed pedals, that atmospheric sound. That’s what we’re doing with these songs. And no acoustic- this is all electric. But these are songs from another life.”

And what other life are they from?

“Well they sound like they’re about a guy who was living in Philly. Because that’s what I was doing at the time and they’re all about my experiences.”

And is the name somehow from that other life too? Why BLVD?

“Back in Philly, there’s this street called Roosevelt Boulevard. It’s where we used to buy drugs and it’s, you know, ‘one of the most dangerous streets in America.’ Bad traffic, pushers, everything. And I used to hang out there. So I felt like it fit this. And I liked the name- it looks good on a t-shirt or a hat.”

I laugh. So what is BLVD most looking forward to about playing The Fall Showcase?

“I’m looking forward to playing louder and to an audience that’s a little bit younger than me. And for the folks that are coming to see Whiskey Autumn and Ben Hanna [and the Knighthawks]. Ben was one of the first people I met when I moved to Boulder and we lived together. I met him at a Conor’s open mic.”

Boulder’s crazy that way.

“You know, I had no plans to play music here when I first got here. I came from Austin and met some folks like Philip Parker and Gregory Alan Isakov and they heard me a couple times. And they said to me, ‘You’re good. But you should try harder.’ And sometimes, that’s all people need to hear.”

Definitely- and those are pretty awesome people to hear that from. So what’s next for BLVD?

“We’re playing Chautauqua on November 20th but that’s going to be a very sit-down and like bring your mom. Like my mom will be there. And wear a nice shirt. We’ll be doing things different for that- we’ll have a cello, more strings, an organ. We can’t rock there- it’s a hundred year old building. And then I want to put something out. Something we record live maybe and do overdubbing on. My last solo record took a year; I want this next one out quick. Like a month. And then in January or February we’re going to be doing an OpenAir session. And from there- play a lot in Denver; we’ll play a lot in Boulder too. But Boulder’s venues are pretty limited.”

They are indeed. Which is one reason The Fall Showcase is happening.

“Yeah it’s gonna be a great show. The middle slot’s the best slot and that’s where we are so it’s gonna be great.”

Though they're just revving up their 90s engine, something tells me BLVD’s going to be taking off pretty quickly. So come see their first show together as BLVD this Friday at The Riverside for The Fall Showcase!

Join the FB event here.

-Hannah

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All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.