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Paul Michel

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Singer/songwriter Paul Michel is a veteran of Washington, D.C.'s hardcore scene, but his solo work reflects a very different side of his musical personality; trading his electric guitar for an acoustic axe, he performs melodic and affecting pop songs informed by affairs of the heart. Michel began playing music as a boy when his parents arranged for him to take lessons in flamenco guitar, and as a teenager he developed a taste for jazz before diving into the Washington, D.C., rock scene. While studying journalism in college, Michel played guitar with a number of punk-leaning D.C. bands, including Blue Line, the Hard Tomorrows, and Out_Circuit, but after a difficult romantic breakup, he began focusing on his own songs and his own style. Michel made his solo debut with the 2004 EP Ayuda!, released by the independent Magic Bullet label (based in Fredericksburg, VA, not far from D.C.). A full-length album followed in 2005, These Are All Beautiful Things, and a second EP, Revolve, appeared in the summer of 2006. Later that year, Michel signed with the Astoria, NY, label Stunning Models on Display and recorded Quiet State of Panic, an album released near the end of 2006 that merged the quiet textures of his earlier recordings with a more eclectic pop/rock approach, boasting some potent electric guitar and a subtle but pointed political broadside, "Your Name Is Icarus." ~ Mark Deming

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Washington DC

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