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Paper Beat Scissors' successful experiment 

Paper Beat Scissors’ Tim Crabtree pushes himself to create something more intricate and bizarre than the usual acoustic guitar-singer fare.

click to enlarge JOSH FELDMAN

As Paper Beat Scissors, spatial explorer Tim Crabtree has always verged on the experimental. After releasing his second album last March, and touring Canada, the UK and Europe for most of 2012, Crabtree is back in Halifax working on new (top-secret) releases with Echo Chamber's Charles Austin. Out of necessity, Crabtree is a one-man band. But lately, he's been out of the ordinary.

"I feel like I've always been interested in experimental music," says Crabtree, "But I often get shunted into the acoustic-singer category because I play on my own." Most of the time, it's just Crabtree and his guitar on planes, trains and automobiles. "But I don't see the point of creating music unless it's something challenging, interesting and personal so I've been pushing the improvisational and bizarre."

Along with this shift from vocal, ambient-folk to jazz-like improv with electro-experimentation, Crabtree helped establish outsider label Backward Music last fall. With Kyle Cunjak of Forward Music Group and The Olympic Symphonium, Backward recently launched a dreamy, animated website that streams an artist compilation, promoting musicians who flirt with sounds beyond the mainstream. On Saturday, Paper Beat Scissors will start cutting the cloth of a new sonic outfit.

"It's hard to introduce changes at first because you spend such a long time honing and developing a set," says Crabtree. "But 1313 Hollis has a strong connection to jazz and experimental communities so I feel encouraged to take it there, both acoustically and electrically. And new material always has an amazing energy."

Joining Crabtree at the all-ages venue: dark-folk songbird Klarka Weinwurm, a solo set by Quaker Parents' Mark Grundy and the freshly minted JJ Purple. Featured on The Khyber Comp Volume II, JJ Purple is new duo of Scott Grundy (Quaker Parents) and Seamus Dalton (Monomyth). 

The show is shaping up to be a full-on multi-tonal quirk-fest.

"I'm excited to take my music out there," says Crabtree. "I'm giving myself permission."

Tim Crabtree
w/ Klarka Weinwurm, Paper Beat Scissors, JJ Purple, Quaker Parents
Saturday, February 9, 8pm, $6
1313 Hollis

Check out Paper Beat Scissors live in the Coast offices performing and talking about his song "Tendrils" (shot and edited by Heather Rappard):


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