Paul Baribeau has been charming hearts and minds alike all across the country with his sweet, clever, awkwardly endearing lyrics. He has toured with Kimya Dawson and recorded a few songs with her, including the song “Tire Swing” featured in the film “Juno.”
Baribeau has been named one of the greatest living singer/songwriters by AP Magazine and has garnered quite a following from playing in peoples’ houses, garages, and neighborhood hot spots. Baribeau will be stopping by Pensacola on Saturday, Feb. 5 to play a show at Sluggo’s and continue the tradition of charming all those who will listen.
IN: Where are you from originally?
Baribeau: Grand Ledge, Mich.
IN: Where do you live now?
Baribeau: Bloomington, Ind.
IN: How did you first start making music? How old were you? What did it sound like? What did you want it to sound like?
Baribeau: In eighth grade my friend Mike and I started playing music together. I was the lead singer and he played guitar. We sounded terrible. It was mostly bad versions of Nirvana songs.
IN: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?
Baribeau: I’m embarrassed to think about it.
IN: Do you think your songwriting style has changed since you first started?
Baribeau: I don’t scream as much as I did when I was 13.
IN: How did you and Kimya Dawson meet?
Baribeau: We met at a show in Grand Rapids, Mich. I was going to college there and she was coming through town. I was a big fan before we were friends. I still look up to her—such an amazing writer.
IN: When did you decide to tour
Baribeau: She just called and I said I could do a few shows.
IN: How was the tour with Kimya?
Baribeau: Her family is great. Lots of hanging out and making each other laugh.
IN: I read that the song “Tire Swing” by Kimya has a verse in it that is about a dream Kimya had with you in it. Have you ever had any dreams that you decided to make into songs? What were they about?
Baribeau: No. Sometimes I finish lyrics in my sleep. Not sure how it works though.
IN: You’ve played at Sluggo’s a couple of times before. What were the previous shows like?
Baribeau: I’ve played some really fun shows there. They have moved now and I’m excited to see the new place. The food is the best. Every band I know loves playing Sluggo’s—such good food.
IN: What’s your favorite dish at Sluggo’s?
Baribeau: “The Culture Club.” (Triple-decker on local sourdough with marinated seitan, soy bacon and tofurkey slices with soy mayo, lettuce and tomato, and it comes with chips—$6.50.) But I understand they have expanded the menu. I’m excited to try some new stuff.
IN: How was your time in Pensacola?
Baribeau: I feel like I am always lost when I go to Pensacola. Weird town. Love the beach. Love Sluggo’s. The highway breaks up the town in a way that confuses me. I have been to P’cola probably 20 times and still don’t know my way around. Also, I’m from Michigan. We don’t have hurricanes. Florida looks very different from the Midwest.
IN: Think you’ll come back?
Baribeau: You know it.
PAUL BARIBEAU AND THE BOY WHO COULD FLY
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5
WHERE: Sluggo’s, 101 S. Jefferson St.