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Washington, Washington DC, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Washington, Washington DC, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Alternative Indie




"D.C. DIY Vets Paperhaus Premiere 'Go Cozy' From Upcoming New Album"

Pulsing just around the corner from the headlines that dominate the D.C. news cycle is an arts scene that’s agitated, inquisitive and highly collaborative. New music from native son Paperhaus feels right here, right now, both in big ways -- such as themes exploring the conflict between reliance on technology and a yearning for nature -- and smaller ones reflecting on poignant everyday collaborations.

Paperhaus -- which comprises founding member Alex Tebeleff, Matt Dowling, Rick Irby and Danny Bentley -- is an architect of the city’s DIY music scene. Its name reflects the physical structure that’s provided both a home for various incarnations of the band and fellow DIY travelers, and a performance space for Paperhaus and other local artists that’s been visited by ultimate autonomous beltway’ers Fugazi.

The band’s upcoming album Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask?, due October 6 via Misra Records, continues along its post-punk arc of guitar- and synth-driven psych, with influences ranging from Brian Eno to Kraftwerk (Tebeleff has fronted a legit Kraftwerk cover band). It also continues the band’s wont for long, immersive songs. Check out this Billboard-exclusive clip of first single “Go Cozy,” which clocks in at seven minutes.

Pulsing just around the corner from the headlines that dominate the D.C. news cycle is an arts scene that’s agitated, inquisitive and highly collaborative. New music from native son Paperhaus feels right here, right now, both in big ways -- such as themes exploring the conflict between reliance on technology and a yearning for nature -- and smaller ones reflecting on poignant everyday collaborations.

Paperhaus -- which comprises founding member Alex Tebeleff, Matt Dowling, Rick Irby and Danny Bentley -- is an architect of the city’s DIY music scene. Its name reflects the physical structure that’s provided both a home for various incarnations of the band and fellow DIY travelers, and a performance space for Paperhaus and other local artists that’s been visited by ultimate autonomous beltway’ers Fugazi.

The band’s upcoming album Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask?, due October 6 via Misra Records, continues along its post-punk arc of guitar- and synth-driven psych, with influences ranging from Brian Eno to Kraftwerk (Tebeleff has fronted a legit Kraftwerk cover band). It also continues the band’s wont for long, immersive songs. Check out this Billboard-exclusive clip of first single “Go Cozy,” which clocks in at seven minutes.

“There's often a stigma in talking about the business end of music among more art-focused musicians. I think that's been to the massive detriment of artists, though it's understandable considering how painful the process is for most musicians who are devoted to making art and trying to navigate something resembling a sustainable path,” Tebeleff opines.

“Getting industry teammates is important if you want a path towards real sustainability in music in 2017,” he says. “We prefer the spirit of DIT -- Do It Together -- rather than DIY. The spirit of building good relationships and good community is what is most important to us.” - Billboard


The world is a pretty screwed-up place right now, and D.C. band Paperhaus has run out of questions to ask. At least in any known language. Enter, “Nanana” and its accompanying video, premiering today (August 24) via TIDAL.

“Instead of trying to force answers to life’s problems, stuck in the endless cycle of arguing right from wrong with others and with ourselves, ‘Nanana’ encourages us to find new questions to ask about problems, to find new approaches and ways of thinking,” the band’s frontman Alex Tebeleff tells TIDAL.

“There aren’t words available for solving most of the deeper issues in ourselves and in the world, but there is a feeling we can find through music and art to address them. The universal language of music transcends culture and time; it’s an opportunity to explore and communicate in ways that everyday language is rarely capable of,” he adds.

Paperhaus, which names bands like the Kinks and Blur as influences, teamed up with interdisciplinary artist Michael Smith-Welch to create the visuals for the synth-heavy track. It features members Tebeleff, Matt Dowling and Rick Irby, their faces mixing and merging like a kaleidoscope.

“[We used] visual synthesis to emphasize and visualize the more psychedelic elements inherent in the song,” Tebeleff says.

Check out the video now, and Paperhaus’ new album, Are these the Questions that We Need to Ask?, on October 6 via Misra Records. - Tidal

"D.C. punk-electronica group Paperhaus plays at Black Cat"

After he was left as Paperhaus’s only surviving original member, frontman Alex Tebeleff considered retiring the band’s name. But things seemed to be working well with new members Matt Dowling and Rick Irby, with whom Tebeleff and a studio drummer completed the D.C. group’s second album, “Are These the Questions That We Need to Ask?” In fact, he says, the new lineup’s music is “much closer to the sound that’s been in my head all these years.”

That sound is complex and sophisticated, assembled from ingredients sourced from punk, art-rock and electronica. The collectively written compositions tend to be long and sprawling, more likely to feature unexpected shifts than the back-to-chorus reliability of three-minute pop tunes. Yet they’re also immediate and playful. The album takes its title from words of a song whose principal lyric goes, “Na-na-NA-NA-NA-NA-na.”

Tebeleff calls the music “cinematic,” referring to its sweep and such soundtracklike bits as the creature-feature riff that opens “Walk Through the Woods.” Yet the songs are meant to be played live. They’re still rock-and-roll, eager to leave the musicians’ heads and become a collective experience. - Washington Post

"On Their Latest Album, Paperhaus Wonders Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask?"

Web metrics probably aren’t the most important thing to Paperhaus, given that the D.C. band was formed and nurtured in the now-legendary Petworth DIY house/show space of the same name. But here’s a number that can’t be ignored: As of the end of September, the Soundcloud page for its seven-minute single “Go Cozy” had registered more than 5 million plays.

The track got a big bump from a July feature in Billboard, but its modest virality speaks to something broader: For a patently indie band draped in art-pop, krautrock, and post-punk, the future is bending perceptibly toward breezier pleasures. “Go Cozy,” which deftly hops across all those genres, is hardly the only uber-listenable song on Paperhaus’ new album, Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? Founder/frontman Alex Tebeleff and his bandmates retain their usual sincerity, but they’re more attuned to showing some heart.

It’s not pleasure just for pleasure’s sake, though. The layers of inquiry in the album’s title ripple underneath all eight songs, which take glimpses of doubt and frame them with optimism and, on occasion, a little showmanship. When Tebeleff asks, “Can you believe the times we’re livin’ in?/ How can we get through it?” at the outset of “Nanana,” he hardly sounds defeated or bummed. When the “na na na” chorus kicks in, it’s more like a fight song for the DIY nation—imagine Radiohead’s “Airbag” as a jock jam.

There’s genuine dread elsewhere, but Paperhaus couches it: Album opener “Told You What To Say,” which muses about the basics of authoritarianism, has an unsettling keyboard riff and a portentous bassline, but there’s melodic glimmer to spare. The synth-heavy monster mash “Walk Through The Woods” shows its paranoid side immediately—there are no surprises here, except maybe the saxophone—but the song exits with a moody sound collage. The whole thing is overcooked, but it’s more theatrical than flat-out pretentious.

Elsewhere, Paperhaus takes interpersonal tensions and purposefully inflates the music around them. “It’s Not There” (a quote-unquote love song with DNA borrowed in equal parts from J. Robbins and Echo & the Bunnymen) and “Serentine” (a too-serious pop track nearly saved by sneaky Talking Heads-style polyrhythms) each strive to transcend whatever human complications might be at the core of the lyrics.

Sometimes pure momentum does the job: “Needle Song” has slippery and cavernous elements, as if Paperhaus is careening around some urban nowhere, but the high-BPM rhythm is nonetheless perfectly danceable. And album closer “Bismillah”—the only slow-building track here—eventually diffuses its abstract metaphysics with a surging, guitar-heavy coda.

Above all else, Paperhaus gives obsessive attention to the sonic details. Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask?—recorded with Peter Larkin at his Alexandria studio, The Lighthouse, and released through Pittsburgh’s Misra Records—has nary a snare hit or an echo effect out of place. Consider the breakdown about halfway through “Go Cozy.” Space opens in the mix. Handclaps announce that things have taken a turn. Bass thumps and synth squiggles compete for attention. When the main guitar motif kicks in, it resonates with confidence.

Those kinds of sonic entrances and exits are a bit of a local signature, from The Dismemberment Plan’s classics, to Beauty Pill’s Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, to whatever smart things The Caribbean cooks up regularly. It’s not the sound of the city, per se, but it’s a very D.C. kind of intelligence. In Paperhaus’ case—especially with the band’s house-show venue recently moved to a new location— the smarts come with an obvious desire to connect, and connect well. - Washington City Paper

"Paperhaus Look to the Recent Past To Decipher The Future on "Told You What To Say""

Politics will forever be tied to the musical landscape, but the age of Trump has especially provoked artists to respond in kind and in force. The author Dave Eggers, for example, launched his “30 Songs, 30 Days” playlist, featuring original work from the likes of Patti Smith, U2, and Tracy Chapman, in order to “combat apathy, entertain the citizenry, and provide a soundtrack to resistance.” Other artists have framed their music specifically within this politically charged year: “FDT”, Fiona Apple’s “Tiny Hands”. The urge for musicians to frame this moment and provide its theme song is strong, and there is no shortage of material for artists to use to write these songs.

However, Alex Tebeleff, the songwriter of Paperhaus, drew his initial inspiration for the band’s new song, “Told You What To Say,” not from 2016, but from the 1980s. “[The lyrics] were inspired by a trip to Colombia and learning about the history of the war there,” says Tebeleff. “It’s also a reflection on my Jewish background and my life-long interest in the history of European fascism and its legacy in the world today, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Musically, the song rides a wavering synth line and an insistent snare—as the track goes on, it becomes louder, more urgent; the instrumentation explodes at the end, not content to let the song’s message of antifascism and its difficulties play out as a whisper. “The second verse,” Tebeleff admits, “does describe a scene similar to and partially inspired by the emotionally toxic rallies during the presidential campaign." The song’s tracing a line through different eras of fascism and conflict is its strength: events transpiring now have their origins and parallels in the past, and to connect them is to begin to understand how and why they hold such a grip on the human zeitgeist today. As Mark Twain more succinctly put it: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

Paperhaus’ new album, Are These the Questions That We Need To Ask?, is out October 6 via Misra Records. Catch them on October 6 at Alphaville with Haybaby, Turnip King, and Sic Tic. They also play live on Facebook on October 6 at 4:30PM via Paste Magazine. - Adhoc

"Paperhaus gets political with new LP Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? [405 Premiere]"

Given their Washington, D.C., roots, it shouldn't be a surprise that hazy rockers Paperhaus have decided to make a record teeming with politics. What should also not be a surprise that the record, Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask?, is incredibly good.

Officially releasing this Friday through the terrific Pittsburgh label Misra Records, Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? is a dreamy, atmospheric record that invites you into its world with compelling compositions and thought-provoking narratives. Kicking off with the pulsing thump of 'Told You What To Say' -- a track frontman Alex Tebeleff says is "the key to unlocking the album" -- the record never relents in its sonic delights and intellectual cache. It truly is a record meant to be played in sequence, as Tebeleff suggested.

"'Told You What To Say" is a song that is a question to the listener," explains Tebeleff. "What would you do when faced in a formative and unavoidable way with something evil, authoritarian, and counter to your fundamental ethics, ideals or principals?"

Although the natural inclination is to suggest the record was inspired by the rise of U.S. President Donald Trump, Tebeleff says this is not quite the case.

"It’s not originally inspired by the recent rise of the Trump movement," he says. "The lyrics to the song were inspired by a trip to Colombia and learning about the history of the war there. It's also a reflection on my Jewish background and my life-long interest in the history of European fascism and its legacy in the world today, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Tebeleff does add, however, that some elements were"partially inspired by the emotionally toxic rallies during the presidential campaign."

Tracks like 'Go Cozy,' 'Nanana' and 'Serentine' all also stand out as the album weaves itself together beautifully. It is a dense collection of music, but Paperhaus has ensured that every minute you spend with Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? is time well spent. - The 405

"Petworth’s Famed Paperhaus Is Now a “Palace to Gentrification”"

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from DC music scene darling Paperhaus–either the DIY house show venue or the band it was named after. But neither have been inactive. The long-running Petworth community music venue and homemade recording studio, shepherded by Paperhaus (the band) frontman Alex Tebeleff, went quiet fall of 2015 when after nearly five years of hosting community music shows the death knell of any quasi-legal nightspot rang: Cops were called. Tebeleff says one officer on the scene told him he was a drummer himself and offered a friendly “Now I’m not saying y’all don’t sound good.” Nevertheless, the venue closed.
Since then, the old house has undergone some new changes, bucking some of the grit, history, and community focus in favor of an aesthetic that leans distinctly…West Elm. The house hit the market last week with a $750k asking price (it appears to be under contract already).
Petworth Paperhaus
Shepherds play the living room of the Paperhaus. October 27, 2015. Photo by James Cullum.
Petworth's Paperhaus
The newly remodeled living room that served as the longtime stage for bands touring at the Paperhaus.
Prior its final show, Paperhaus was a place of local music legend. The building, a four-bedroom rowhouse built in the 1930s, had hosted hundreds of bands, filling a niche for many touring groups. Established music venues (though not all, Tebeleff stresses) tend to book bands certain to draw a crowd. If the venue isn’t confident a band can bring in enough people (and the alcohol sales that come with them), it may pass. Smaller or lesser known bands often can’t pin down a venue to perform in, much less eke out the cash needed to eat or procure a place to sleep at the end of the night.
petworth's paperhaus
Wanted Man practicing at the Paperhaus, April 2015. In the back left, the original kitchen. Photo by James Cullum.
petworth's paperhaus
The renovated kitchen, complete with copper fixtures, stainless steel appliances, and white countertops.
Paperhaus addressed many of those issues. The residents of the home made a stop in DC an option for struggling artists. Parties were BYOB, and as many as 100 people would filter in through the back entrance to see touring and local acts rock out in the transformed living room. This was no amateur production. Booking, sound, and lighting were all part of the setup process. Press rolled in from Express and Mother Jones, among others. Paperhaus put a spotlight on the changing identity of the city’s music scene, along with the struggles creative communities face.
Petworth's Paperhaus
Ryan Hunter Mitchell at the Paperhaus, January 31, 2013. Another view of the stage area. Photo by James Cullum.
petworth's paperhaus
The area between the stage area and the kitchen where the audience traditionally gathered.
Tebeleff says he could see change coming in recent years: “The quieter neighbors moved out,” he says. Tebeleff depicts the community that was Paperhaus as a sort of DIY utopian venue. He says his landlords, who he refers to as Roberto and Auntie, were on board. Neighbors, he says, were either first to arrive come showtime or “live and let live” types.
“It was the end of an era, but it was good,” Tebeleff says. “An unusual environment where I learned a lot.” Now Paperhaus (the band) is focused on their second full length album, set to be released in spring of 2017. The original residents of the Paperhaus house have for the most part moved on, while Tebeleff moved out to Brookland, where he operates the quieter HausHouse.
Petworth's Paperhaus
Rick Irby strumming on the floor of the downstairs basement at the Paperhaus, March 16, 2013. Photo by James Cullum.
Petworth's Paperhaus
The newly renovated basement of the Paperhaus.
When asked about his time at his old home, Tebeleff waxes nostalgic. “My grandmother grew up on that street. It’s not so much the new residents I mind, it’s just that it would be nice if they made more of an effort to talk to the people that are already there, to contribute to the community that exists rather than bringing the suburbs in.”
“The house wasn’t in bad shape. It had great acoustics and was a good spot for house shows because there was no wall between the kitchen and the living room,” he explains. Now the house, chock full of years of local music history, once dubbed “One of the 15 Best Music Venues in DC,” has been repurposed to appeal to hip housing trends. Tebeleff calls it “a fucking palace to gentrification.” See the full listing of 4912 3rd St. NW here. - Washingtonian Magazine

"New Mix: Songs On Letting Go And Believing In Yourself"

On this week's All Songs Considered, we play songs about facing fears, being true to yourself and not worrying about what everyone else thinks, plus a new song from Angel Olsen and a conversation with her about her surprising new sound.

Robin Hilton opens with an introspective pop gem from the Portland, Ore. band Ages And Ages inspired by the ephemeral nature of nearly everything. Bob Boilen follows with a sonic adventure from the Asheville, N.C. folk group River Whyless.

Also on the show: Bed., another Portland band, has an ode to being free and escaping the comforts of home; The D.C. band Paperhaus has a fierce new single with some mind-blowing drumming and singer Hannah Georgas takes a simple piano ballad and turns it into a syncopated wonder with pulsing horns.

But first, Bob settles back in after a month on the road while Robin tries to put on a new face with a coffee mug that might just change his whole outlook on life. - NPR Music All Songs Considered

"10 Best Songs Of the Week"

The D.C. band Paperhaus — long purveyors of a DIY venue that went by the same name — make math rock that never feels cold. Their latest song Silent Speaking starts out with a precise, off-kilter beat that wouldn’t feel off on an In Rainbows track, then builds momentum to a big, hearty conclusion. - USA Today

"Paperhaus Silent Speaking Premiere"

DC legends Paperhaus just put out “Silent Speaking”, a pulsating, math-y rock track that takes clear inspiration from their hometown greats (à la Fugazi) while still maintaining an original sound. Produced by Brian McTear (Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, Sharon Van Etten), this isn’t head-bopping indie rock as much as it’s head-banging indie rock. Listen below and check them out at their single release shows on April 14th in Brooklyn and April 18th in DC. - All Things Go


On Thursday, D.C. music vets Paperhaus performed at our latest Luce Unplugged showcase at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. If you missed their fantastic set, check out these gorgeous photos from the show, taken by Mark Hoelscher. - DC Music Download

"NPR Music First Listen: Paperhaus "Paperhaus""

Paperhaus is my kind of guitar band, with power in the lyricism instead of just the chords. Its music can be jarring and jagged, but Paperhaus can also sound dreamy the way groups like Television could, with lilt and grit. These are long songs that take twists and turns of the variety you might find in a prog-rock band. But Paperhaus is more pop than prog, with excursions that serve the music rather than the musicians themselves.

Over the past four or five years, I've watched this band grow to become a centerpiece for an arty, punky side of Washington, D.C. Its members share a house, also called Paperhaus, and it's become a venue for an eclectic mix of noise, electronic and rock bands from in town and out. Alex Tebeleff and Eduardo Rivera both trade guitar and voice on the band's self-titled debut, and serve as the heart of the group amid turnover in Paperhaus' rhythm section. Their shows are about community and bringing people together, and recent performances bear that out.

With Krautrock providing a basis for what Paperhaus does, Rivera and Tebeleff even formed a Kraftwerk cover band, and they've been nailing those gems of the '70s in concert, performing with real drums, guitars and, of course, synths. But there are moments when Paperhaus digs further into rock's past, when its sound recalls lesser-known acts like Ten Years After and a time in rock music when the blues met psychedelia in long-ago songs like "50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain." Paperhaus channels that time, as well as its spirit of experimentation, but it still sounds like right now. - NPR Music

"Why Bother Going Out When the Show Comes Straight to Your Living Room?"

Practically everything about the Washington, DC-based band Paperhaus is homemade: its recording studio, its music venue (the Paperhaus), its business, its songs, its sound—even its Chinese food: "Why order it when you can make it yourself?" Alex Tebeleff explains when I arrive at the band's northwestern DC home and venue on a recent Monday evening.

Home venues are "comforting," Tebeleff says, in a way that clubs and bars and even converted warehouse spaces tend not to be.
As Tebeleff soaks his chicken in a deep fryer, a small black cat named Widget weaves around the amps and drum kits and guitars occupying the room. She arrived one night during a show and never left; Widget and Alex have lived here the longest. The décor is mixed, from a poster of a monkey skeleton to a flowered ceiling lamp—a distinctly homey vibe with a playful spirit. Over the past few years, thousands of fans, hundreds of bands, and countless underground music critics, have flocked here to listen, to enjoy, and make music.

The Paperhaus, arguably the most active and established of the several dozen home venues across DC proper, is a modern remnant of the DIY movement, wherein young artists and music fans, feeling shut out by the professional music industry, set about creating their own underground version in people's living rooms, garages, and basements. Home venues are "comforting," Tebeleff says, in a way that clubs and bars and even converted warehouse spaces tend not to be.

This is hardly an only-in DC thing. Smithereens's Pat DiNizio played a five month "Living Room Tour" in 2001, for instance. And Seattle Living Room Shows are hosted in secret locations to keep police from catching wind of the DIY venues and shutting them down, but DC hosts some 35 established home venues, tracked by a website called Homestage DC. The public radio station WAMU describes what's happening here as a local Renaissance—one that Alex and others would love to see spread nationwide.

"You come to a Paperhaus show and you see punk kids and young professionals, artists and people coming straight from work."
Paperhaus' adventures began on a soccer field 14 years ago, in Montgomery County, Maryland, when two middle schoolers met up and started chatting about music. The pair, Tebeleff and Eduardo Rivera, would become the "revolving center" of what is now the band Paperhaus—which shedded more than a few “terrible names” along the way.

Tebeleff, who has lived in the DC area his whole life, books the shows and produces them, and supplements that modest income by teaching guitar. He enjoys chatting about everything from German philosophy to pro football, and will endlessly describe his past and present inspirations: Fugazi, Radiohead, Scott Walker (the singer, not the politician), and Here We Go Magic, to name a few. Danny Bentley is the band's drummer, and Xaq Rothman its bassist. Tebeleff describes his bandmates as very "family oriented"—especially Rivera, his longtime musical partner. This attitude is reflected in the way the group invites bands and guests into its home and treats them like part of the family. During our chat, at least four or five neighbors and friends pass through the space as though they, too, lived there., Courtesy of Paperhaus Facebook
The typical show, Tebeleff says, draws 80 to 100 people to the living room, although more often show up, cramming themselves between the staircase and the stage for the best view.

One of the more prominent live bands in town, Paperhaus also plays at popular bars and venues such the 9:30 Club and The Black Cat—it recently played the Kennedy Center, which usually hosts major classical performances. The band has gone on several national tours, playing everything from a little record store in Mississippi on a Monday night to big venues in Atlanta and in Raleigh, North Carolina.

So why bother playing their own living room? "When I moved to DC after college," Tebeleff tells me, "the music scene was very closed off, very exclusive. It bothered me. Music is something that should build community and not isolate it." The clubs were not only cliquey and hard to break into; they made it practically impossible for bands to rise up: "There's no middle class for bands anymore," he says.

What he means is that commercial venues often refuse to take a chance on any band that hasn't already proved that it can pack a room or merit a pricey ticket. "The reason I started Paperhaus," Tebeleff says, "was to bring people really interested in music together in a safe space that was open and friendly."

The band applied the same philosophy to the recording of its upcoming album, which entailed long, intense hours together in the Paperhaus improvising riffs and phrases and melodies—and composing as a unit. It was "the hardest thing I’ve ever done," Tebeleff says, and its challenges led to the departure of the band's original bassist. The album is due out in January. Here's "Cairo":

The image Tebeleff hopes to project is a departure from the usual power-lunching lobbyists, punditry, and posturing that people associate with the nation's capital. "People have a very negative perception of DC a lot of the time because of the politics," he says. "We try to educate that there’s an entire other scene that couldn't be more different. We're not consciously trying to be the antithesis of the political world, though. We want to include them in this. You come to a Paperhaus show and you see punk kids and young professionals, artists and people coming straight from work. The whole spectrum of DC society is becoming aware of it." - Mother Jones

"D.C. indie-rock band Paperhaus wants to help redefine the city’s sound"

Alex Tebeleff is tired of hearing about punk and go-go. “It’s time for D.C. to be known for something else,” he says, gesturing toward an overhead speaker as the sound of a go-go beat fills Shaw’s Blind Dog Cafe. The primary songwriter of local experimental rock band Paperhaus, Tebeleff has been trying to help usher in a new musical era in D.C. — one that respects its storied past but is also enthusiastic about the art of the present. “The scene is the strongest it’s been in many, many years,” the Rockville native says. “I think right now it’s primed. All it takes is one band to break out.” If Paperhaus — whose current lineup also includes Tebeleff’s longtime collaborator Eduardo Rivera on guitar, The Effects’ Matt Dowling on bass and Danny Bentley on drums — is going to, in fact, be that band, then it all starts this month. On Saturday, Paperhaus will headline the 9:30 Club to celebrate the release of its self-titled debut LP, which comes out three days later (and is streaming for free this week via NPR). Then the band will embark on a national tour through late March. Recorded in the summer of 2013, “Paperhaus” feels like a melting pot for all of Tebeleff’s songwriting influences, from Brian Eno to Howlin’ Wolf. These sources of inspiration were individually explored on prior releases; 2013’s “Lo Hi Lo” was lush and dreamy while 2011’s self-titled EP was an experiment in alt-country. However, never before has the band managed to distill all of these diverse urges down to eight concise songs. The band is self-releasing the new album, and that’s just one example of Tebeleff’s DIY ethos. Paperhaus is also the name of his Petworth home, where he and his roommates regularly host house shows in their living room, and last summer Tebeleff partnered with some of the city’s other DIY spaces to organize a South by Southwest-like weekend of live music called In It Together Fest. “We’re just trying to foster more collaborations with other cities, doing outreach stuff to help D.C. bands get more connected to play and build followings,” says Tebeleff, whose organization D.C. DIT (which stands for Do It Together) is affiliated with most of the city’s local venues and shows. “We’re not just doing shows at the Paperhaus, we’re doing shows at The Pinch, at Union Kitchen, at The Dunes.” Stephanie Williams, the managing editor for D.C. Music Download who organized the 9:30 show, sees Paperhaus as more than just a band. “They’ve sparked an important movement in the city,” she says, “which is for more people to recognize and appreciate the underground music scene here — a feat that very few groups and even individuals have accomplished.” Tebeleff is confident that the current crop of local artists, Paperhaus included, is strong enough to get people to look beyond D.C.’s signature genres — if they’d only listen. “Ethically and creatively, I want to take from punk and go-go,” Tebeleff says. “But it’s time for something new. It may not be as easy to classify, but it’s certainly something special.”

Enter the Haus

Much of Paperhaus’ vast back catalog of EPs is not online anymore — Tebeleff spring-cleaned his Bandcamp page not that long ago. However, if you’re looking to start somewhere, here are three good songs, all accessible online. Cairo’: The opening track on the new self-titled LP is a jammy piece of krautrock with a driving, punk edge. It’s also probably the best summation of the band’s sound to date. ‘Twisted Tumbled’: Stretching beyond the seven-minute mark, this slow-burning, psychedelic number from 2013’s “Lo Hi Lo” EP is a sleepy-eyed epic. ‘Scarlet Rain’: This track dates back to the group’s 2011 self-titled EP, when the band was toying with an alt-country sound. “Scarlet Rain” sounds like “A.M.”-era Wilco, but if Jeff Tweedy were trying to emulate The Beatles instead of Big Star. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Sat., 6:30 p.m., $16. - Washington Post

"Paperhaus Review"

Paperhaus: Paperhaus (Huge Witch) Have been playing this loud and on repeat for the past week or so, and it’s great: The first full album from a Washington DC quartet who've been amusingly described as playing “psychedelic kraut-pop,” not all that inaccurately, this is loud guitar stuff you simply have to love. There are few wasted notes, lots of well-played rhythms, and those sort of odd, near-hypnotic passages that once used to be produced only by accident but now appear to be an increasingly sophisticated art form. And it’s just hype-less enough to love. “This might sound like a bunch of hippie bulls**t,” notes the band’s bio, “but Paperhaus are not a band of hippies.” Feel free to turn it up.

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook - Rolling Stone

"This weekend’s best concerts: Paperhaus"

District quartet Paperhaus is firmly entrenched in the area’s DIY — or, as guitarist Alex Tebeleff prefers to call it, DIT (“do it together”) — scene: In addition to making music, the band runs a house venue (also called Paperhaus) in Petworth. So it’s only fitting that a group with such a sharp focus on the local scene is headlining a 9:30 Club show curated by local music blog D.C. Music Download, with a portion of the ticket proceeds going to the DC Punk Archive.

The show also celebrates the release of Paperhaus’s debut full-length recording, which was recorded two years ago with a slightly different lineup. (Tebeleff and guitarist Eduardo Rivera now play with bassist Matt Dowling, formerly of Deleted Scenes, and drummer Danny Bentley, previously with Sunwolf.) Paperhaus’s psychedelic indie-rock shines through on the self-titled album; lead single “Cairo” morphs from a rock song into a hazy guitar jam and back again, while the sparse, bluesy “Misery” smolders with angst.

Paperhaus spends much of its time playing house shows, but the group is no stranger to more traditional venues, having performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and toured the country several times in recent years. While the quartet still operates with a firm DIY/DIT ethos, Paperhaus is a solid example of the real talent behind some of the city’s basement shows.

With Loud Boyz and Baby Bry Bry & the Apologists on Saturday at the 9:30 Club. Show starts at 7 p.m. 202-265-0930. $16. - Washington Post

"Stereogum 'Cairo' Single Premiere"

Washington, D.C. indie-rockers Paperhaus are heavily involved in their local scene: They run a wild DIY show space (also called Paperhaus), and this past weekend they threw a festival called In It Together. That said, they’re getting out of the city soon, starting with a concert in cozy Athens, Ohio (try the seasonal burrito at Casa Nueva, guys) and continuing throughout the Midwest and South, including a stop at Hopscotch. To herald their travels, they’ve sent a new single called “Cairo” ahead of them. It’s one of those songs that starts out atmospheric and whispery but inevitably explodes — a propulsive and high-flying dose of guitar rock buoyed by traces of post-punk, krautrock, and prog. (Note: They describe themselves as “Psychedelic Kraut-pop” on Twitter.) Like Paperhaus themselves, this song never stops charging forward. Listen below. - Stereogum

"Paperhaus "Paperhaus""

It’s a gutsy move to name your band after a Can song, but on Paperhaus’ self-titled debut LP, its members mostly live up to the moniker. Paperhaus is a solid conglomeration of what the D.C. mainstays do best—shaggy-haired, solo-happy ‘70s rock and experimental krautpop—with some minor tweaks.

The group’s production has never been cleaner or clearer, shifting Paperhaus’ focus away from the jangle-y haze of 2013’s wonderful Lo Hi Lo EP and toward a sound that feels muscular in a Josh Homme kind of way. Paperhaus is also the band’s most concise statement by a country mile, an album where lead songwriter Alex Tebeleff has finally figured out how to honor his wide array of influences—which range from Townes Van Zandt on 2011’s self-titled EP to R.E.M. on Lo Hi Lo—while maintaining a sonic consistency throughout.

Still, the record could use some trimming. A few of its tracks, like the goth-leaning “Surrender” and the slow blues burn of “Misery,” riff on a single melody past its freshness date. “Misery” is particularly confounding; it feels like it ought to soundtrack a Mexican standoff in a lost John Wayne film, with its seven-plus minutes of wacky suspense, howling vocals, and bursts of noise like an unexpected revolver shot. But it also lacks momentum and direction. The tightrope between purposeful linearity and monotony is a tough one to walk, and the band hasn’t completely mastered the skill. Too often, Paperhaus seems bent on reaching some sort of avant-garde nirvana, even when its songs don’t seem to call for it.

So it’s no big surprise that Paperhaus is at its best when the band doesn’t sound like it’s trying too hard, like on the gorgeous, string-laden “432”—which, delivering all the sorrow of a mid-afternoon sigh, could almost pass for a Bedhead song—and the swaying “I’ll Send It To You,” where Tebeleff croons, “I hope you’ll find/Some memories to hold behind.”

However, a question of individuality looms large. Paperhaus is a fine album that sums up everything Tebeleff and his rotating cast of musicians have made in previous years, yet the band still hasn’t fleshed out its own distinct voice. It can sound like R.E.M., it can sound like Townes Van Zandt, and sometimes, as on this record, it can put both of them together quite well. Paperhaus has the talent to more than emulate its wide array of artistic heroes, but Paperhaus sometimes feels like it should be accompanied by an elaborately drawn music history web.

The record peaks with the album’s first single and opening track, “Cairo,” where the band sounds most in control of its experimental leanings. It’s also the most Can-like of everything here, with its unflinching percussive drive and deftly executed dynamic shifts. Thanks to songs like this, Paperhaus manages to nearly meet the lofty expectations of both its influences and its name. Maybe next time, it’ll transcend them completely.

Paperhaus plays 9:30 Club Saturday, Feb. 7. - Washington City Paper

"Listen to Paperhaus’ Complex, Churning “So Slow”"

True to its name, Paperhaus' new single "So Slow" gets a plodding start—perfect for a dark, rainy Monday that feels like morning all day long.

But don't be lulled into daydream mode by the simple melody and hefty reverb. There's a lot to take in here: dual guitar leads, sensuous vocals in parallel octaves, wispy echoes, a stilted bassline, loose soda-shop harmonies. And when "So Slow" gathers its scattered parts together for a jubilant high mid-song, the breath of oxygen is worth the wait. It's the tortoise to the hare of Paperhaus' other, more instantly gratifying tracks.

The song, which premiered today on Alt Citizen, is the third single from the band's debut full-length, which drops Feb. 10.

Stream "So Slow" after the jump. - Washington City Paper


An anxious crowd filled the backstage of Black Cat on Tuesday night to see hometown heroes, East Coast travelers and distant out-of-towners.
D.C.’s own Paperhaus kicked-off the evening with their upbeat rock and even showcased a couple singles off their upcoming album to be released in February (coincidentally, Paperhaus is headlining DCMD’s third birthday bash). The band performed their latest “Untitled” single but also performed a “newer” song. “Not sure if it has a name, but we’ll play it anyway,” said frontman and guitarist Alex Tebeleff.
Paperhaus are cementing themselves as the face of rock music in the District, both as performers and as stewards for the local music scene. Their riffs are infectious and their sound is improvisational yet polished. At times they sound like Zeppelin, Radiohead or even the Flaming Lips. Get to know them if you don’t, because they’re going to be around for a long time.
The evening charged on with Spirit Animal, the Brooklyn rockers who have been on tour for most of the summer and fall. This four-piece band continued their funk domination with concert staples like “The Black Jack White,” “Bst Frnds,” and “Party in the Back,” their newest single.
“Eternity is a long ass time,” frontman Steve Cooper sang.
The band genuinely has a good time on stage, which is probably why they play so well together and why the crowd is so energized during their show. It matches the performance I’ve come to expect from this outstanding band. They closed with the seasonally appropriate “Come to Christmas.”
The evening wrapped up with Jamaican Queens, a Detroit-based, synth-heavy indie band with explosive sounds. The use of an acoustic guitar in their songs is a refreshingly-unique addition to their electronic sound. Too many bands rely on noise instead of talent. Jamaican Queens aren’t one of them. For their final song, they invited Tebeleff on stage to sing German vocals for a Kraftwerk cover. It was an outstanding preview of what’s to come on Sunday night at U Street Music Hall, when Paperhaus covers Kraftwerk’s landmark album Trans-Europe Express in its entirety.
Overall, the evening proved that you can still have a great time for just 10 bucks. I wish all Tuesdays were this entertaining. - DC Music Download

"Paperhaus Synths Up for a Kraftwerk Cover Show at U Hall"

Psychedelic rock, meet German synth. Paperhaus will cover the entirety of Kraftwerk’s landmark album Trans-Europe Express this Sunday at U Street Music Hall.

The idea began when DJ and U Hall owner Will Eastman played a Stone Roses record over the storied U Hall sound system. It sounded good. So good, in fact, that Eastman posted about it on Facebook. “I made a post that was like, 'hey, listening to this Stone Roses record at U Hall made me want to play more classic records at U Hall on Monday or Tuesday nights,'” recalls Eastman. “It got like 300 likes or something.”

The sizable social media response led to the creation of U Hall’s Madchester Monday listening party in September, and Eastman tapped Alex Tebeleff, the lead singer of Paperhaus, to host the show. Between songs, the two got to talking about other records they’d like to hear on U Hall’s sound system. “I mentioned that we should do a Kraftwerk night,” says Tebeleff. “Will was like, why not have Paperhaus come perform some Kraftwerk songs?”

“Alex sort of took the bait,” Eastman says with a chuckle.

“There was no way I could say no,” Tebeleff says. “Kraftwerk is one of my favorite acts of all time. To me, they’re like the Beatles.”

So Tebeleff rounded up his bandmates and got to work preparing for the show. The task at hand seemed a little daunting, especially since the band members were busy preparing for their new album, which drops on February 10. And there was a bigger challenge: Paperhaus, with its psychedelic guitar riffs and silky vocals, doesn’t sound too similar to the electronic music pioneers and man-machines of Kraftwerk. And even though the band has covered a handful of Kraftwerk songs in the past, covering an entire album is another beast. To fill in some gaps sonically, Tebeleff recruited Stronger Sex and Br'er member Eric Sleight.

“He’s the synth master as far as I’m concerned,” says Tebeleff. “He’s one of these freaks who spends 10 hours a day playing synth. Having him involved has been awesome, because the rest of us are far from experts.”

But Tebeleff says he’s spent some time trying to master the Moog synthesizer, too. “I’m really trying to get to the basics and the fundamental understanding and basis for it, which is insanely hard,” he says. Throughout the show, Tebeleff says he’ll angle his synthesizer toward the audience to show how working the complex instrument takes more than just hitting a play button. “That’s the way I think we can bring something fresh to this, and really show that the music itself is what makes it special.”

Tebeleff will also sing most of the band’s songs in German, and of course, run his vocals through a vocoder. “To not do the vocoder is just wrong,” he says.

Despite the dedication to authenticity, Tebeleff says you shouldn't go to the show expecting a one-for-one cover. “I don’t want this to be a tribute concert,” he explains. “We want to treat it as us performing the piece of music.” To keep some of the Paperhaus sound, the band will work bass guitar and live drums into the performance and eschew the Kraftwerk’s signature costumes, 3-D performances, and stand-in robot mannequins. But Tebeleff says there will be a scaled-down light show, and Eastman adds there may even be a German beer special behind the bar.

In the end, it all comes down to sharing the music Tebeleff loves. “None of this would mean shit if the melodies weren’t incredible,” he says. “That’s what I want to make the focus.”

See Paperhaus perform Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express at U Street Music Hall at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14. - Washington City Paper

"DC band Paperhaus ready debut LP, share new video (watch)"

Paperhaus is DIY space in Washington DC, but also the name of the band who runs it. The band Paperhaus make hazy, melodic indie rock and are set to release their eponymous debut LP early next year and, ahead of it, dropped shimmering single "Cairo." The video for that, directed by Nigel Lyons, makes it's debut in this post.
There are no NYC dates on Paperhaus' concert horizon but they do have a couple local DC shows lined up. All dates, and the "Cairo" video, below... - Brooklyn Vegan

"BBC MPFree 'Cairo'"

The rains might have returned but don’t feel glum free music fans! We have another belter for you. Today’s free download comes from Washington DC trio Paperhaus. They’re also a band who describe themselves as “Psychedelic Kraut-pop”. A sound we very much love on this show.

They’re a band who likes to keep busy as they run a DIY show space (also called Paperhaus), and very recently created / curated a festival called In It Together. They’re about to get out of the office and onto the road and so release this single to celebrate, and fortunately for us, it’s free for you to download. They’ve released several EPs over the years, but their new album will be out in January. - BBC6

"Me Against the Music: How Should Fans Behave in the Digital Age?"

Earlier this year, the fans at Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina started getting drunk and chatty—as fans at music festivals tend to do. Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek didn't take it lightly. Instead, the indie-folk act frontman refused to play and scolded the crowd.

“Everybody, all you fucking hillbillies,” he said. “Shut the fuck up.”

It was a rant that was rebuffed by even his die-hard fans, one of whom compared being a Kozelek fan to being in an “abusive relationship,” and accused the performer of bullying the crowds at his shows. The incident sparked debates about whether Kozelek was or wasn’t a jerk. But it was also an indication of how the dynamic has changed between musicians and fans in recent years. Rock music has always embraced—and even represented—rebellion, rowdiness, and a robust disdain for social decorum. But along with more classical art forms like theater, opera, and the symphony, it’s suffering from the distracted, smartphone-carrying audiences of the digital age.

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Why Would Anybody Ever Buy Another Song?
Exactly how audiences are supposed to behave at live shows has been up for debate since the emergence of the genre. There aren’t hard and fast rules like there are in other performative fields, and behavior that would get spectators thrown out of La Scala or Lincoln Center (moshing, crowd surfing, heavy intoxication) is an integral part of the live experience. But there are expectations. They date back to the 1950s, when the emergence of Elvis Presley first triggered hordes of screaming fans in concert halls. Although the singer adored them, the Beatles famously stopped touring because the hysterical teenage girls were so disruptive to their music.

It was also in the 1960s that artists like Bob Dylan emerged, making music that was both presented and perceived as an art form. The songs didn’t conform to the formulas of hit songs. They were longer. They contained more musical virtuosity. And they demanded their listener’s full attention. Venues and promoters began requesting that audiences keep quiet at their shows. At San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, rock concert promoter Bill Graham even began encouraging concertgoers to sit down, according to Steve Waksman, a professor and music historian at Smith College—which wasn’t easy at a venue that regularly hosted the Doors, the Grateful Dead, and the Hendrix Experience.

When disco and punk exploded in the '70s and '80s, the dynamic shifted again. Disco told audiences to dance, while punk told them to be anything but passive. The artists didn’t mind; in fact they encouraged it. But with the emergence of indie rock over the past few decades, they've started caring again, which Waksman attributes to the dueling legacies that the form has inherited.

“Indie has that ethos from the 1960s that the musician is a serious artist who needs to be listened to,” Waksman says. “But it also inherited from punk music the idea that the fan should be part of the show. Those are difficult to reconcile.”

Complicating matters further is the advent of social media, which encourages fans to share their experiences at shows while chipping away at the divide between musicians and audiences. Artists know they need to have digital presences to build and bolster their fan base, and fans have exploited that fact. A 2013 study conducted by MTV found that fans expected musicians to be “constantly accessible” online and to interact directly with the people who buy their music. (This is wildly different from the pre-digital era of fan clubs, when music enthusiasts would pay dues just to know what their favorite pop stars were up to.) Taylor Swift, whose rollout of her most recent album, 1989, is a lesson in pitch-perfect self-promotion, is the most obvious example of how musicians can sell more records by making their fans feel like they're part of their lives.

The digitization of music and free distribution of content has also changed the dynamic, in that artists now request more from their fans than they ever have before. It's not just about asking people to buy their music and tickets to their shows. Musicians now need fans to watch their YouTube videos, pre-order their singles, and talk about their music online. But that chatter can also have negative ramifications for artists, who’ve found they can no longer come on late, play drunk, play sloppy, play too long, or play too short without seeing consequences.

Instead, the fans are the ones calling the shots, as artists increasingly play to disengaged, talking, texting, photo-snapping audiences. But recently, musicians have started to ask—both politely and less so—for more attention and respect. When Neil Young caught two women incessantly texting at a concert in 2012, he began mock typing on an invisible phone on stage until the women noticed and apparently left the show. When Iron Maiden saw a guy in the audience doing the same thing, they called him out publicly for being “a wanker.” In July, Ray LaMontagne swore and stormed offstage after fans started talking in the front row of a sold out show. “Why don’t you go the fuck home and talk?” he asked.

Artists have also responded by instating camera bans, with requests whose language ranges from polite (Kate Bush: “I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras”) to philosophical (The Savages: “We believe that the use of phones to film and take pictures during a gig prevents all of us from totally immersing ourselves”) to blunt (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Put that shit away as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen, and Brian”).

Artists need to have digital presences to build their fan base, and fans have exploited that fact.
The shift in the artist-audience relationship is being felt by both well-established musicians and relative newcomers, although emerging artists don't have the same degree of freedom when it comes to calling their fans out. After the Kozelek incident, Tom Krell of R&B electronic act How to Dress Well (which began releasing music in 2010 and also played at Hopscotch) said in an interview that the only reason he also didn’t call out his disengaged audience was because “I’m just not established enough to do it.” But Krell also said he'd resolved to get less angry at his audience less often, even when fans bring a bad vibe to the show. “I don’t know if it’s because people are self-conscious or if it’s because they don’t have respect for what creative people are trying to do. Sometimes crowds just don’t care,” he said. “[But] I made a resolution … to try to be more open and sweet on stage.”

Krell isn't an anomaly: Even if expectations are violated, musicians typically only want better relationships with their fans. Psychedelic rock band Paperhaus, which organizes intimate DIY shows in Washington D.C., says it works to create an environment where the show is about the music, not the event, because that’s how fans and artists connect.

Punk music, which has always been about the energy, perhaps knows that best. Ian MacKaye, the singer-songwriter and producer behind punk bands Fugazi and Minor Threat, says a small percentage of people do make trouble at shows but not when both the musician and fans do their part. “Ultimately, I think that bands and audiences make shows together, each bringing their necessary energies,” says MacKaye. “I've seen plenty of shows in which the bands were not particularly talented and audiences were not particularly respectful, but still the experience felt transcendent.”

However fraught things might be between needy musicians and disrespectful fans, both are an integral part of the energy and emotional experience of live shows. “The reality is, a live music show is a reciprocal relationship,” says Alex Tebeleff of Paperhaus. "Both the band and the audience have to bring energy and civility for it to be a healthy environment." - The Atlantic

"NME Radar-Paperhaus"

Paperhaus have a lot going on over in their native Washington DC. As well as creating and curating a music and arts festival, they also run their own DIY show space - and their driving creativity is not lost on their own music. Tracks such as 'Cairo' are a perfect summation of the band's psychedelic kraut-pop. - NME

"Song Premiere: Paperhaus “So Slow”"

Paperhaus is a band that has always had serious ambition, and maybe things were moving too fast. Quitting their jobs to pursue music full time, jumping in a van for their EP “Lo Hi Lo” to tour the country, even living together for two years in the DIY music venue/space The Paperhaus in DC. This song talks about going “So Slow,” but it’s really a song birthed from a time when things were moving too fast, without taking the opportunity to look around to see how you are really feeling, in that moment. Luckily, this album, recorded live to tape at what is now knows as The Blighthouse studio house in Petworth in the aforementioned sweaty pressure of personal tension and literal severe heat, serves as a document of the time, and the energy that was there, as well as a perfect introduction to the sounds of Paperhaus. So take a minute to slow down from the hustle of your daily life, and really listen to this one. - Alt Citizen

"D.C. Band Paperhaus Plots An Ambitious Kraftwerk Cover Show"

Washington D.C. is a little like West Germany in the 1970s: We’ve got beer gardens, Olympic ambitions and pretty decent roadways. Come Dec. 14, this town may even sound like ’70s-era Deutschland, too, when local indie-rock outfit Paperhaus embarks on an ambitious effort to cover Trans-Europe Express, the revolutionary 1977 album by Kraftwerk, at U Street Music Hall.

Like the legendary electronic ensemble from Düsseldorf, Paperhaus’ members are audiophiles who can recognize a good sound system. Frontman Alex Tebeleff—who’s put in years playing through crappy PAs in basements and rock clubs—came up with the idea to cover Trans-Europe Express around the time he played a Madchester-themed DJ set at the U Street club in September. After his set that night, he spent some time admiring the venue’s sound system with U Hall co-owner Will Eastman.

“Me and Will were talking and I made a comment like, ‘Can you imagine something like Kraftwerk coming out of these speakers?’” says Tebeleff, 27. “It just came out of a conversation between two music nerds, basically.”

A Kraftwerk superfan, Tebeleff cites the German ensemble’s influence on pop music of all kinds, from hip-hop forebear Afrika Bambaataa to dance-punk ensemble LCD Soundsystem to his band, which usually plays a fairly straightforward strain of indie rock. When he spins music for his pals, “I always enjoy surprising people playing ‘Trans-Europe Express’ into [Bambaataa's] ‘Planet Rock,’” says Tebeleff. Plus, Paperhaus used to cover “Neon Lights,” a melodic cut from Kraftwerk’s The Man Machine.

Paperhaus doesn’t plan to alter the record or put a unique stamp on Trans-Europe Express, save a few minor tonal adjustments. He says the group will play 85 percent of the melodies on the record, but expects to add live drums and bring new timbres and textures to the songs. The Petworth band recruited neighbor and Br’er keyboardist Erik Sleight to play a synthesizer, and they’re plotting to stack the stage with twice the amount of normal Paperhaus gear, including drum samplers, bass synths, poly synths, a vocoder and effects pedals.

Tebeleff says Paperhaus wants the audience’s focus to be on the music and not the band’s image onstage, but it wouldn’t be a Kraftwerk-inspired act without a light show. Accordingly, Tebeleff says, there will be one—though something more low-key (and low-cost) than Kraftwerk’s spectacular recent performances.

The one-off December show promises to be a dramatic detour for Paperhaus, which is currently recording its new album, scheduled for a Feb. 10 release. All of this electronics-tinkering probably won’t show up on the record; Tebeleff says that the band’s latest songs represent “some of the dirtiest, nastiest rock ‘n’ roll that we’ve done.”

While Paperhaus has already started practicing for the Dec. 14 gig, the group still isn’t sure how it’ll turn out.

“Part of the fun of getting to see us play it is seeing how the [hell] we pull this off,” Tebeleff says. “I’m not even quite sure how we’re gonna do it yet.”

Paperhaus performs Trans-Europe Express Dec. 14 at U Street Music Hall. - WAMU Bandwidth

"Indie Shuffle Showcase"

As you may or may not know, a lovely new venue in Brooklyn called Palisades will be hosting our Indie Shuffle Showcase on December 10th. The showcase will feature some seriously talented bands in the realm of gritty garage and psych rock- Zula, Paperhaus, Mr. Kid & The Suicide Policemen, and Needle Points. While each of these bands fall under that umbrella, they individually extend their styles on their own respective branches.

If you're in the NYC area and in the mood for some fresh and eager psych rock, head on over to Palisades in Brooklyn for an Indie Shuffle backed lineup guaranteed to scramble your head space in the best way possible. - Indie Shuffle

"Brooding Post Rock from Paperhaus"

The weather’s been cold and dreary this weekend, so I wanted to kind of get into this week with some tunes that fit the weather patterns of the world. For me, this Paperhaus tune really summed up the weather, with these nice bits of angular guitar work knifing their way through a feathery vocal that floats through the distance. I think the reason this song won me over, aside from the obvious of the music, was that the song stretches near 7 minutes, yet it was still able to capture my attention. They’ve got a self-titled effort coming your way in February of next yea, but for now, just enjoy this tune and all its fine moments. - Austin Town Hall

"Sound It Out "Cairo""

No slaves to brevity, Washington DC’s Paperhaus deliver 6:24 of energetic yet hypnotic guitar-driven drone-rock with “Cairo”, the first track of their forthcoming eponymous debut album, due out in February 2015.

The full-length Paperhaus is a wildly eclectic collection of songs delivered by several different singers, but the band’s sound is consistently rooted in a jagged, nervous post-punk energy.

Bonus fact: Paperhaus occasionally devote entire sets to covering Kraftwerk songs, which, once you hear this track, seems compellingly odd indeed. - Sound It Out


Back in September I shared with you a new single called “Cairo” from Washington D.C.’s Paperhaus. Since then they’ve announced that they will released a new self-titled album on February 10.

“Untitled” is the latest single to be shared from the band, as a lead in to the new album. It’s a guitar wonderland with some pretty epic classic rock moments that are somehow contained into a nearly 6-minute jam that takes your mind far and wide away. There’s some David Bowie in the vocals, and some Talking Heads in the playing style. It’s wonderful, and it’s available to stream right here exclusively.

Find it posted below. - We All Want Somone

"Ones to Watch: Paperhaus"

For regular readers of our PULSE new music feature, you might recall PULSE#6 in which I rambled on about number that I like. You may also recall then, that I rambled on about a number of awesome bands you needed to get into your life. Paperaus were one such band.

Paperhaus, hailing from Washington DC, rustle up a great blend of intricate indie with an eclectic array of influences that mix together to create their unique sound. Aside from that, they’re DIY through and through – not just in themselves but in helping to get the DC music scene thriving as such. Since that feature I managed to get a hold of Alex from the band for a quick Q&A. Enjoy.

Firstly, how’s things? And who’s offering up the A’s to my Q’s?

Things are crazy busy! This is Alex Tebeleff from Paperhaus. I not only play in Paperhaus, but I book shows all over the city in DC with DCDIT. We just hosted 3 crazy packed shows in 4 days. So I guess you could say I’m a bit exhausted. Between the shows I book and my own band, you can imagine I don’t have a whole ton of free time these days.

We recently included you in an edition of Pulse, but how would you describe what Paperhaus is all about?

Paperhaus started with Eduardo Rivera and I back when we were in middle school, and we’ve been lucky to have worked with a really creative cast of musicians in our rhythm section over the years. Recently in 2014 we added Danny Bentley on drums and Matt Dowling on bass. It’s definitely the best line-up we’ve ever had.

We try to make music in as unconscious and organic a way as possible. We took that approach to its extreme with our first album coming out in Feb. 2015, writing the songs through rather intense collective improvisation sessions and slowly letting the songs take on a life of their own and turn into completed compositions over however long the song needed to develop. Some songs took two hours, some took two years! We even wrote some of the material live on stage during a long national tour we did in the spring of 2013. We find that this approach to creativity allows for the most open and free expression. We want to make music that will really give something special and fresh to people. We want to make music that makes people think and really feel something.

What would be some of your biggest musical influences, or otherwise?

We really listen to an extremely wide range of music. While making our upcoming album, we were listening to a lot of CAN, Parliament, Fela Kuti, and King Crimson for rhythmic inspiration, and I can hear how Scott Walker, Lower Dens, and Here We Go Magic really influenced us as well. When “Misery,” the song that really kicked off the process of writing for the album during a particularly, shall we say influenced, session, Radiohead’s King Of Limbs, James Blake, Howlin’ Wolf, and Fugazi were being played and listened to rather intensely, and I can still hear when I listen to it how each of them subconsciously influenced that song. Fugazi definitely influenced the lyrics, Howlin’ Wolf brought out the blues in us and certainly in that main riff, James Blake made us think about space and being tasteful, and that Radiohead album in particular made us think about timbre, texture, and sonic color.

The album overall sounds drastically different from our last record release, an EP called “Lo Hi Lo,” and the difference in the music we were listening to definitely had an effect on that. We wanted to make music that sounds like us, without being fearful of our influences showing, so hopefully you can hear these bands when you listen to the music, but it still sounds distinctly like Paperhaus. Really, song to song, the influences and styles on the album change pretty drastically, but we’ve never consciously tried to fit any influence into any aspect of a song we’ve created.

In that feature we briefly touched upon ‘The Paperhaus’, you’re home/practice space/gig venue. Care to tell our readers a little more about it?

We started The Paperhaus as a way to reach out to our community and to help touring bands find shows in DC. We wanted a way to hopefully help bring more awareness to the people really dedicating their lives to a creative pursuit in a city that really love to suppress their emotions and actual feelings. I think art is needed in DC more than almost anywhere else, which is probably why once people really started to realize that people wanted it and actually gave a shit over the past couple years, the DC scene has exploded. There are more great bands than I’ve seen in many years in DC, and now there are literally dozens of houses hosting shows in their living rooms. The spaces and bands come and go, but it seems like there is a really sustainable thing happening in the music scene long term in DC right now. It’s a really exciting time to be a musician in DC.

It’s amazing to me that The Paperhaus has lasted as long as it has! We’ve had hundreds of bands play at our house, and I’ve seen many of the best shows of my life in my own living room. With very few exceptions, people are always really respectful and reasonable, so we just keep doing it. Being on the road we meet so many great bands we want to share with our community back home in DC! Hopefully it helps inspire more DC bands to tour as well. It’s a great opportunity to help connect bands in DC with the rest of the country, and vice versa. We don’t want our house to just be about DC, we want to support vibrant music wherever it’s being made. I remember a few years ago when bands I really wanted to see just kept passing over DC on tour. Because of the house show scene, that doesn’t happen anymore!

Your debut full-length album is set for release in February, 2015. How are things looking in regards to that? Excited?

Well if you couldn’t tell by my previous answers, damn right I’m excited about this album! It took an incredible amount of time and effort over multiple years of writing, improvising, arranging, touring, and learning how to live with people in the most extreme ways. The four musicians on this album all lived together and toured together for months on end during the creative process, and we really pushed our minds and bodies to their limit. Our drummer on the album, Brandon Moses, and our bassist on the album, John Di Lascio, are both still like brothers to Eduardo and I. I don’t think you can go through an experience like that without either loving or hating the other people. Luckily it’s all love. Both are currently pursuing amazing projects on their own, Brandon with Laughing Man, and Johnny with Stronger Sex.

How about on the live front, gigging a lot? Any big tour plans?

We’ve played hundreds of shows over the past few years. We haven’t gone hard by our standards in 2014, in order to get ready for the album release and save up the cash and mental energy, but once it comes out in 2015 I’m sure we’ll make it across the country again. We really love to tour as you can probably tell!

You’re a key component of the DC DIY scene, are there any other bands from that scene that we should hurry up and get listening to too?

Oh yeah, I don’t know where to start! Young Rapids, Pree, The Sea Life, Wanted Man, Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists, The Effects, Laughing Man, Stronger Sex, Cigarette, Ex Hex, BRNDA, Joy Buttons, Presto Bando, Go Cozy, Two Inch Astronaut, I could keep going for a while on this one…it’s exciting as hell.

Apart from music, and the band, what are some of your other big passions in life that drive you?

I really try to take in art in as many forms as possible, I actually find I get more inspired to write songs by other mediums like painting and poetry especially. I’ve been reading Ezra Pound almost every day for weeks now and I think his ideas on the human experience, his use of classical historical myths, and his meta-ideas on the creation of art itself and what it means to truly be an artist in the world are really profound. Art is a way to force yourself to be challenged, to be better. If you are open to it, it can shake your opinions, values, habits; I feel making art and having it in my life as an appreciator as much possible is essential to my personal growth as person. It’s why I feel the need to pursue music so seriously, songwriting just happens to be the medium of art I connect with most fully.

I also really love food. I find food to be one of the most direct sensual experiences a person can have, I love the immediacy of eating something that is particularly delicious or interesting. I’m a pretty picky eater I guess. I just feel like it’s the same as anything else; if you are going to do something, why not do it well? Otherwise might as well have not done it at all, it’s just a waste of your time and probably somebody else’s time too.

If you had a pet vulture, that happened to be particularly cultured, what would you call it?

I’d call it Faith/Void. - Cultured Vultures

""One Track Mind": 'Cairo' By Paperhaus"

Standout Track: “Cairo,” the first single from Paperhaus' upcoming self-titled album. A mélange of strumming psychedelic guitars and harmonized vocals set to a frantic, dancey drumbeat, the song morphs into heady, drifting guitars by the five-minute mark. But it’s a false ending: It kicks back into gear with about a minute to go and finishes strong. If it sounds raw, that’s because it’s supposed to. Guitarist Alex Tebeleff says the entire album was recorded on tape and mastered with analog equipment. “We tried to be as pure to the source of the tape machine as possible and not fuck it up with digital square waves,” Tebeleff says. “And I think we did a good job.”

Musical Motivation: A friend suggested that guitarist Eduardo Rivera write a song about the Cairo condo complex in Dupont Circle, one of D.C.’s oldest and tallest buildings. “At first I was a bit apprehensive,” says Rivera. But the more he read up on the former hotel, built in 1894, the more he wanted to write about it. Rumor has it that the building once held Gatsby-esque parties, including one that involved 1,000 singing canaries, and the line “the rope breaks, the snow makes” references a supposed murder in which a painter fell to his death after his safety harness was sabotaged.

Basement Breakup: While recording the single, the band and its then-bass player, John DiLascio, split up in the middle of the song, partly due to the temperature in the studio. “It was like 100 degrees in the basement,” recalls Tebeleff. “We were pouring sweat for hours.” But the breakup had been a long time coming; DiLascio’s relationship with the band “had run its course.” “We were just like, we’re going to finish this and it’s over,” Tebeleff says. The band and its former member have moved past the split and are on “amazing” terms now.

Stream “Cairo” after the jump. Paperhaus plays the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage tomorrow, Sept. 19. - Washington City Paper

"Popmatters Paperhaus Album Announcement"

At the end of January 2015, the Washington, DC band Paperhaus—comprised of the trio of Alex Tebeleff, Eduardo Rivera, and Danny Bentley—will release its debut, self-titled album.

Washington, DC indie rock outfit Paperhaus is pleased to announce its self-titled full-length debut, to be released in January 2015.
At the end of January 2015, the Washington, DC band Paperhaus—comprised of the trio of Alex Tebeleff, Eduardo Rivera, and Danny Bentley—will release its debut, self-titled album.

January 27, 2015

01. Cairo
02. Untitled
03. So Slow
04. Wash My Eyes
05. Surrender To The Nigt
06. Misery
07. 432
08. I’ll Send It To You
09. Surrender Outro (hidden track)

You can stream and download “Cairo”, the opening track off of Paperhaus, via Soundcloud below:

As those involved in DIY music culture might have already noticed, Paperhaus shares its name with a famous venue in Washington DC, which is most known for its intimate and DIY ethos. Here We Go Magic, a big influence on the music of Paperhaus, played at Paperhaus not long ago; the video document of the performance of “Over the Ocean” can be viewed below. - Popmatters

"NPR's All Songs Considered 'Helicopters' Single Premiere"

The musicians in Paperhaus live in my hometown of Washington, D.C., so I've seen this dynamic band more than a few times. In fact, they put on some of the best house concerts in the city, over a hundred of them at their own venue, also called the Paperhaus, so I've seen them both in clubs and their intimate living room.

They're about to hit the road on their first major tour with a record and if they come to your home town, go see them. Bandleader Alex Tebeleff is one of the most passionate music people I know, and the group writes great pop tunes: You may hear some of The Smiths and a bit of Television in their music; sometimes there are strong psychedelic sounds. This song is called "Helicopters" from an EP, Lo Hi Lo, that comes out on May 28th, 2013. It was recorded at Inner Ear studios with producer Ivan Basuri, the same studio used for bands like Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Dismemberment Plan and also Q and Not U. - NPR Music

"Washington Post Feature Article"

On its self-titled debut EP released in 2011, Paperhaus introduced itself as Washington’s latest alt-country band. The quartet’s sound drew from other styles, including 1960s Brit-pop and 1980s alt-rock, but most of its songs seemed designed for crying in your fair-trade coffee.

“I was going through a really horrible breakup,” explains singer-guitarist Alex Tebeleff, “and all I was listening to was, like, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Patsy Cline. Just classic .?.?. ”

“Heartbreak country,” interjects drummer Brandon Moses.

It turns out that Tebeleff doesn’t listen just to country. During an hour at the band’s regular hangout, the Petworth coffeehouse Qualia, the musician mentions his enthusiasm for — to mention but a few — Neil Young, Radiohead, Bob Dylan and Television. Bassist John Di Lascio adds Scott Walker, Frank Zappa and pioneering electronic composer Morton Subotnick to the list.

Plus, when they were mere Montgomery County middle-schoolers, Tebeleff and fellow guitarist Eduardo Rivera took lessons from an Ethiopian musician. He introduced them to African grooves, with an emphasis on Nigeria’s Fela Kuti.

And then there’s Can, the 1970s German groove band whose songs include one titled “Paperhouse.”

More of these influences are audible on the band’s second release, “Lo Hi Lo,” which will be available at the band’s show Friday at the Rock & Roll Hotel. The EP won’t be released nationally until May, while Paperhaus undertakes its first major tour. Recently divested of some pesky day jobs, the musicians will travel coast to coast, playing about 50 dates over two months.

“Lo Hi Lo’s” four songs range from “All Through the Night” and “Corazon,” which recall such 1980s bands as R.E.M. and the Smiths, to the neo-psychedelic “Helicopters.” It opens with a trippy benediction, “I saw the world?/?And it was beautiful,” harmonized by multiple voices. The E.P.’s title comes from a line in “Twisted Tumbled,” a seven-minute workout that reveals Paperhaus at its most expansive.

Upon their return from touring, the musicians plan to begin recording their first full-length release, which will showcase even more of their inspirations.

‘This EP is like, pop,” Tebeleff muses. “It’s an introduction to what Paperhaus is, now that we’re mature. And then the album is .?.?. going down the rabbit hole. It’s going to be a bit next level.”

“This will be our first crack at a more in-depth approach,” adds Moses, a multitasker who also performs with Laughing Man, Joy Buttons and other local outfits.

Tebeleff relishes surprising the band’s listeners. “I want people to listen to it and say, ‘What the hell is this?’?” he says. “I like people to be confused at first. Make them think about the music.”

However well the tour goes, home will remain Petworth, where the band runs an informal, nonprofit performance space called the Paperhaus.

“There’s something happening in the city right now,” says Rivera, who grew up a few blocks from Tebeleff in Rockville and has been trading guitar licks with him since they were 13. “The best shows I saw last year were here in D.C. The bands are incredible, and so diverse. There’s a camaraderie now. Something big’s going to happen soon. I can feel it.”

Tebeleff invokes the rallying cry of Los Angeles grass-roots organizer Cameron Rath: “?‘Forget DIY. It’s DIT — do it together.’ That’s what’s happening here, organically. People are really supportive.”

Moses and Di Lascio aren’t originally locals; Moses hails from west Philadelphia and Di Lascio is a New Jersey native who landed in Washington after stints in Russia and Japan. (He came here to be a Russian translator and met the band through his sister, a singer.) But they nod when Tebeleff presents his vision of a potential D.C. indie-rock upsurge as vigorous as the 1980s hardcore punk one.

“We really want to help the music scene in the city,” Tebeleff says, “and help the creative energy grow. We’re not going to New York or L.A. I don’t want to! We’re going to do it here.”

Jenkins is a freelance writer.

From “Paperhaus”:

“Soaring Sets of Song”

“Scarlet Rain”

From “Lo Hi Lo”:

“All Through the Night”


“Corazon” - The Washington Post

"Three Beams UK on 'Cairo'"

A few scatty power chords at the start and OHHH I wasn’t expecting that! Erratic guitars alarming everywhere – you’ve definitely got my attention, Paperhaus. Those serene backing vocals, the rumbling kraut drums, the criss-crossing rhythms… I’m struggling to even string a sentence together. Just listen to the fucking song. - Three Beams

"Paperhaus - Cairo"

Over the past month Washington D.C. band Paperhaus have been on the road sharing their tunes with fans all over the country. They also took the time to release a new single called “Cairo.”

It’s a scorching piece of lively guitar rock that is smart and assured. It knows where its going and doesn’t beat around the bush. If you’re in any of the cities that they still have yet to come to, you’d be smart to check these guys out live.

Find their tour dates posted below, along with a stream of “Cairo.” - We All Want Someone

"Culture Vulture: New Music You Need #6"

Starting out life as the musical duo of Alex Tebeleff and Eduardo Rivera in Washington, DC, they’ve since expanded to a trio with Danny Bentley. All the while they’ve been developing their own sound through EPs and singles, ahead of their debut full length album (set to arrive in January, 2015), they’ve been also doing their best to help develop the music around them in DC. How? Well, they got back to DIY basics and turned their home/practice into somewhat of a venue for local bands and even international bands, they also call this DIY Mecca The Paperhaus. Ever since then, likeminded spirits have been cropping up around DC with similar spaces, and the music scene is thriving there.

As to their sound, well, the band cite influences from CAN, King Crimson and Radiohead to Talking Heads, The Smiths and Real Estate. This mix goes a long way to creating a spiralling and heady concoction of intricate indie and well shined pop with a psychedelic spirit and a punk ethic. - Culture Vulture

"The Ripe on 'Cairo'"

Paperhaus are a dreamy, progressive-garage rock trio from Washington D.C. who systematically tick-over like a krautrock band without any keyboards. They have released a new single ‘Cairo‘, ahead of their East coast tour over the next month.

Paperhaus run DIY shows also under the name Paperhaus and this year they added drummer Danny Bentley to give the band their signature post-punk, impactful drive, that’s now less reliant on a dark rapid bass guitar, commonly found in post-punk.

Despite creating a sound built to immediately grab your attention, the vocal output couldn’t be any more shy. It carries a slight progressive rock element and that’s because each instrument is played more like a weapon than a paint brush. Thankfully the weapons used in ‘Cairo’ are more like fireworks, dangerous but celebrative. - The Ripe

"We All Want Someone 'Cairo'" - We All Want Someone

"DCMD New Music: 'Cairo'"

Today the District is finally getting a taste of Paperhaus’ new album, which is set to be released this January.
Stereogum recently premiered the song “Cairo” that is Paperhaus’ best work yet. Before headlining Comet Ping Pong next month, the band will embark on another tour that will start on August 28 in Athens, Ohio. Listen to “Cairo” below and check out all of Paperhaus’ upcoming tour dates: - DC Music Download

"Insomnia Radio on 'Cairo'"

f you’ve spent much time around the DC music scene for the past five years, you’ve heard of Paperhaus. They’re a band founded by long time musical partners Alex Tebeleff and Eduardo Rivera, and over the course of two EPs and multiple national tours, they’ve worked their way up as one of the most well-known live bands in the city. Danny Bentley joined the band in 2014, adding a new edge and energy to the band with his relentless and powerful drumming.
A new album from the group should be on the way in January. - Insomnia Radio

"Paperhaus Premiere Extreme Cardboard Violence"

Paperhaus premiere a wild new video for "Helicopters". Here, one man's cardboard adventure to save the apple of his eye from an evil indie outfit plays out to a rather lovely batch of psyched-out, indie pop. The song is from the DC band's latest EP, Lo Hi Lo, which you can pick up on May 28th.

- Baeble Music

"Paperhaus, Shark Week, and Young Rapids Show Preview"

Three of the most buzzed-about rock bands in D.C. are joining forces for a must-see bill at the Rock & Roll Hotel. Paperhaus’s new “Lo Hi Lo” EP finds indie-pop harmonies surfing over waves of guitars that chime and jangle, in a way reminiscent of early Radiohead or ’80s college rock. Shark Week fuses surf guitars and charging garage rock into a no-holds-barred show. The Young Rapids are hard to pin down: Their last album was full of fuzzy indie-rock and soul-inspired choruses, but a teaser from their upcoming album is airy, Clientele-ish pop with pitch-bent keyboards. Each act is recommended on its own. On one stage, this becomes a virtual state-of-D.C.-indie-rock address. - The Washington Post

"DCist Three Stars Interview"

Sometimes growth, musically and otherwise, moves slowly and almost imperceptibly. It crawls along over the course of years and might only reveal itself in matured lyricism or complex time signatures. The musical growth of Paperhaus has been more rapid and more visible. Eighteen months ago when they opened for ambient Americana act The War On Drugs, it was easy to play "Guess the Influences," a telltale sign of a new act. While it was easy to appreciate their points of reference—Television and Explosions in the Sky in the guitar riffs and Bob Dylan and Morrissey in the lyricism—it was also a sign that they had not quite carved out their own path.
However, their most recent EP, Lo Hi Lo has an assurance of purpose that Paperhaus did not have in 2011. Singer/guitarist Alex Tebeleff, bassist John DiLascio, guitarist Eduardo Rivera and drummer Brandon Moses can (and certainly will) talk emphatically and at length about the music they love if you give them the inch. However, Lo Hi Lo no longer a connect-the-dots of the bands they love instead painting a picture of the sounds they love.
"Twisted Tumbled" is the most sonically diverse track (although at seven minutes, it can afford to be.) It has a soothing psychedelia that persists throughout the track, but they aren't afraid to switch on a dime to a louder and faster pacing and exploding into bluesy harmonies. It also allows more room for jamming than poppier songs like "Corazon." There's still an absolute optimism about them that I can only hope remains after two months on the road. Then again, touring is a spark for growth as well.
We sat down to talk to the band about the Kickstarter (which ends today) that they set up to fund their current tour, the DIY venue that they call home (literally) and the direction that their music is taking.
Find them online:
Buy their music:

Alex, I’ve caught on that you’re a big Bob Dylan fan...
John yawns.
Okay, so not all of you are?
Alex: Well, I got him more into it. John hadn’t listened to a lot of it. So, I got him a little into it. I got Eduardo more into it.
Eduardo: I grew up with Alex, so... We’ve known each other since 7th grade.
Alex: We’ve been playing music together since we were thirteen.
Eduardo: The first time I met Alex was was on the soccer field. He came up to me in gym class and he said, “Tupac’s still alive.” And I was like, “Who is...this kid? I must play music with him.”
Alex: Paperhaus actually started in freshman year of high school. He’d gone to Churchill, I’d gone to Wootton, so Potomac area of Maryland. And we’ve been playing together for ten years now.
Eduardo: So, through that, he’s gotten me into 90% of my music.
Alex: I don’t think we could stay playing music together if he didn’t get into Dylan because I was OBSESSED. I’m still pretty...
Eduardo: Is. Forever will be.
John: Definitely.
Alex: He’s probably my biggest influence.
But it sounds like you have other influences that you bring to the table that are not Bob Dylan.
Alex: Most music we all listen to.
John: I made kind of a facetious yawning gesture only because I like to bust Alex’s chops about his obsessions. I, of course, respect Bob Dylan a lot. I love Highway 61 Revisited. And his lyrics...I think of him as this guy that came out in a time of history where people were listening to a lot of really bland music. It was the 1950s and this guy comes out and starts singing these deep, prophetic songs. It almost sounds like the Book of Isaiah. He sounds like this crazy Biblical prophet. And I like Bob Dylan but I think my influences probably came more from guys like Scott Walker. He definitely is a huge influence.
Alex: Huge on me as well. Scott Walker is one thing that John and I connect on specifically.
John: I like guys who paint a picture with their music. I’ve always liked Frank Zappa...
Alex: That’s our biggest point of contention.
John: I understand why somebody wouldn’t like Frank Zappa but, again, I just find the way that he paints the picture with his sounds. The way that he uses music to paint the picture that he’s talking about. He paints a very comical circus-like picture of things, but it still impresses me and I like the humor of Zappa. He does get out of hand in the ‘80s when Steve Vai joins the band. But the We’re Only In It For the Money album is amazing. It blows my mind. He liked to freak out, too. The Beatles liked to freak out.
(opening chords to Iron Man play over PA)
Alex: Oh my god!
Eduardo: This is his most recent obsession. When we were on tour we listened to Paranoid like 400 times.
Alex: I’d say between Eduardo and I, Marquee Moon is the album we’ve listened to more than anything else.
John: I’m avoiding it, actually.
Alex: But I love that era of music: Television, R.E.M., Talking Heads, Velvet Underground. I’ve listened to every Velvet Underground album and every B-side four hu - DCist

"The Vinyl District Interview"

Paperhaus, the Washington, DC foursome who reside in the DIY collective space also known as “The Paperhaus,” have released two EPs and have plans to record a full-length album this summer.

Alex Tebeleff, Eduardo Rivera, John Di Lascio, and Brandon Moses will release the second EP, Lo Hi Lo (physical copies only) TONIGHT (3/15) at their EP release show at the Rock and Roll Hotel, presented by DC Music Download for its one-year anniversary. The start of a long two-month tour will be fully funded by their Kickstarter campaign, which has only seven days left and is at 70% of its $10,000 goal.

On a perfect Sunday afternoon in Petworth, we were greeted by a live version of “All Through the Night,” a new song from their upcoming EP. After our private serenade, we nestled comfortably on the sunny back porch and talked about how Paperhaus has become an an integral part of the DC DIY music scene, creating music for the community, their Kickstarter campaign, and their love of vinyl.

Is the Petworth neighborhood accepting of Paperhaus as a space for DIY shows and your music in general?

Brandon: Yeah, we just had a neighbor come over and try to produce an album for us! (laughs) Kids used to come over and play and bang on the drums. Alex, especially, has always reached out to the kids in the neighborhood.

Alex: The neighbors are super supportive. Sometimes when we play, they come by and sit on the grass and listen to the music.

John: We want to have good relations with our neighbors. If we were having fights with the neighbors, it would mess up our chi. If we had to cut everything off at 11, we’d do it, but so far everyone is really great, and the neighbors even come over for our shows. There really isn’t a better place to live in than in Petworth; the people who live here really are a community.

Eduardo: Petworth is a cool neighborhood. Our friends from Lightfoot, Rick, Adam, and Eric, have a studio down the street. That’s where John recorded his solo stuff.

John: It’s still very homey—people just sit around on their porches. There are very few places that get away with being a regular house/show spot.

Brandon: I feel like if your heart is in the right place ,and you don’t try and make it something too defined, it tends to work out. There are these kids that call themselves the Tenley Empire, and they book at Casa Fiesta in Tenleytown. They basically get that space free, and all the money goes to the bands. There’s a natural ebb and flow. As spaces close down, other spaces will pop up.

Do you want other people to know that this is going on? Paperhaus does a really great job of promoting the house, but still keeps it somewhat under wraps.

Brandon: As far as promoting a space is concerned, that’s one thing. Finding ways to have a scene reach a particular audience is the best thing. The best way to have a DIY space is to naturally let the word of mouth happen.

Alex: We are not trying to promote Paperhaus, and we aren’t trying to make it bigger or smaller. Everything happens naturally; that’s the mentality we try to maintain. We book bands that are good, people come, music is played, and it all works out. I think karma protects us in that sense.

DC is not known for its DIY house scene outside of DC. There are good bands that want to come to cities to play houses, but don’t think of DC as one of those places. Recently one band asked if the Fugazi House was still around as a place to play, which shows you how unknown it is. There are enough people in DC who care, but there’s something missing to glue it all together. How do you build the right exposure to promote the scene without compromising the house itself?

Brandon: I’ve done shows for bands from Australia. There’s definitely a worldwide connection, but at the same time Merge Records isn’t asking what’s going on at the Paperhaus this weekend. When Chad Clark from Beauty Pill went to Pitchfork about the live recording of his record at Artisphere, they told him, “Yeah we love your band, but DC doesn’t really have a narrative when it comes to music, so we won’t be able to cover that.”

So, when you look at it from that perspective, compared to New York or LA, the DC scene seems like a more work-orientated lifestyle. It’s going to take a lot of written exposure to create a DC narrative. I feel like the whole blogosphere might help, but right now it’s trending more towards a focus on lifestyle rather than music.

Alex: There is also a certain amount of professionalism that DC lacks.

John: That’s why people have a hard time giving back to DC when they leave—because they may not have felt supported.

Eduardo: Recently over the past two years, I see a lot more bands come out to shows for all local acts. That’s one of the ways to build a scene, other bands supporting each other.

You’ve said that being in DC right now feels like the right place at the right time. You all have the desire to immerse yourselves in our - The Vinyl District

"Paperhaus Interview w/ The Pink Line Project"

Paperhaus is a local DC band co-founded by members Alex Tebeleff (vocals & guitar) and Eduardo Rivera (guitar). Both grew up in the suburbs of DC and have been playing together since their early teens. Completing the four-man band are current bassist John Di Lascio and drummer Brandon Moses. All members play multiple instruments and contribute vocals to the group. The band has been gaining popularity for their mixture of catchy post-punk/blues/rock infused songs. They put out a self-titled EP back in September which you can get a taste for here:

With the rising popularity of DC’s do-it-yourself music scene and need for show spaces, the band decided to start hosting house shows at their home studio where DIY-minded local and traveling musicians play for their friends and anyone who wants to hear original indie music. They’ve named their stage, The Paperhaus.

The DIY sensibility these groups hold run deeper than just dollars and cents. There is no cover charge to get in and although donations are usually taken—they go directly to the bands. The DIY music scene in DC has always been about molding a community of artists and musicians who are passionate about making honest music. Being able to appreciate and bond over this idea and focusing on making music for the sake of being original and authentic might just be what makes this scene so appealing to a public that is constantly fed top-40 hits.

The shows themselves do not rely on a great deal of promotion. Yet they rouse a pretty extensive group of supporters who have made The Paperhaus an indie music lover’s stage for DIY shows, welcoming local and traveling musicians from all over the country. Tebeleff’s affection for the DC post-punk scene grew out of listening to influential DC musicians like Ian Mackaye of Fugazi and Minor Threat fame. This exposure and encouragement of the DIY attitude became a turning point that would eventually begin to shape his future in the DC music scene.

I got the chance to chat with Alex about their band, why they admire DC and the illustrious DIY shows they play and host.

What inspired or motivated you to start hosting house shows for local and traveling musicians in your basement? When and how did this start?

Alex: The DIY scene is a really important part of the history of DC music. I’ve always been inspired by the integrity and honesty of music coming out of here. When I saw what Brandon Moses [of Laughing Man] was doing at the Red Door Studio, I knew I wanted to do something with the community. We did a songwriter showcase here at The Paperhaus about a year ago and had a huge turn out and we’ve just kept going on from there. Bands started contacting us while they were on tour, word spread around DC and now it’s almost too much and unfortunately we have to turn some people away. We are trying to commemorate DC musicians. It’s really about building a community among dc musicians. It feels really cool to start seeing a lot of these bands that support each other and its interesting to be part of that entire scene. We have some amazing out of town bands who get in touch with us and they are like ‘hey can we play ur house?’ We’ve even had metal shows and afro-Cuban bands come.

Describe the background of Paperhaus (the band). Where did the name come from?

Alex: I’ve been playing with Eduardo for about 10 years now. We’ve known each other since we were 13 years old and we’ve been playing together since we were 14. That’s how we started and then after that eventually Paperhaus formed once we were in college. We went through a lot of different band members throughout this time—went into hiatus at one point and then we started jamming with John Di Lascio and Brandon Mosses who plays in two other bands. We used to go over to the Red Door Studio and jam with them all the time. Its important that we all contribute and that we are all writing together. Our best tunes come out of jam sessions and what we come up with together.

How did you come up with your band name?

Alex: Paperhouse is the name of a song from a band called CAN that was active in Germany during the 1970s. We decided to change the spelling of the name to show the German word for house, which is haus. It was intended as more of a tribute to them because we saw them as this non-egotistical band and we wanted to take that attitude with us because we believe great music is made in that fashion. First and foremost we’re excited about making original music that can still reach people. We want to make music that makes people think.

Describe the DIY shows—What can people expect when they come to a show at The Paperhaus?

Alex: It’s pretty laid back and very chill. It can be anything from a small gathering of 15 or 20 friends. Like our close friends just hanging out and drinking home brewed beer, having a good time, to a 100-person house show with crowd surfing. We’ve had all kinds of different bands come through, from - The Pink Line Project

"Diamond Days: One Track Mind"

Standout Track: No. 1, “Diamond Days.” The song kicks off the band’s self-titled EP with shuffling progressions, a solid groove, and a snippet of a soaring, psychedelic guitar solo à la John Frusciante. Guitarist and vocalist Alex Tebeleff says the song fits Paperhaus’ new direction: It plumbs mid-to-late ’60s psych and art-folk, particularly Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, which he considers the best album ever made. The track explores Tebeleff’s feelings about a dead-end relationship, but more than that, it’s a meditation on life after disappointment.

Musical Motivation: Last winter, Paperhaus developed a new sound once former members moved on to work on their own projects. John DeLascio jumped in on bass, and Laughing Man’s Brandon Moses chipped in relaxed drumming and a practice space at The Red Door in Mt. Vernon Square. “The room gave off a certain atmosphere and energy,” and gave way to late-night jam sessions, says Tebeleff.

Powerhaus: While working on the EP (which came out Sept. 24), Tebeleff and Eduardo Rivera got a new lease on their Petworth rowhouse. Space opened up just in time for DeLascio, who was looking for a room, and Moses, who was between studio spaces. At the moment, the band lives together under one roof, which can get intense. “It’s difficult to mix fun, music, and business all together,” says Tebeleff, “but everyone is dedicated and on board.” - Washington City Paper

"Magnet MP3 at 3PM: Paperhaus' 'Cairo'"

D.C.’s Paperhaus announces a fall tour, and with it, a new single called “Cairo.” Paperhaus was founded by long-time musical partners Alex Tebeleff and Eduardo Rivera with the addition of drummer Danny Bentley tis year. The themes of the album Cairo—discovering one’s place in the world, creating a better awareness of yourself and the world around you, achievement of mind expansion—can all be seen in the title track. Download the song below. - Magnet Magazine

"Paperhaus w/ War on Drugs"

When we talked to Adam Granduciel last week, The War on Drugs' singer mentioned that the most important element for their live band was, "just about getting comfortable with the songs and the feel of the songs." This emphasis on the spirit rather than direct recreation of material was clearly apparent seeing them Friday night at Red Palace. Listening to Slave Ambient in advance may have given the audience an idea of the band's jumping off point, but the songs definitely took on a life of their own onstage.
They culled most of their set from Slave Ambient and the songs remained engaging, if not slightly different. "Your Love is Calling My Name" seemed more ambient than on record, where as "Baby Missiles" seemed to pack a harder percussive punch. The band also just seemed to be letting themselves go. Most of them played with closed eyes, as if they had lost themselves in the aural massage that they'd been delivering to the crowd. At one point in their set, Granduciel swayed around with such force that he threatened to fall into the drunk kit. He joked that they wanted to play for 2 hours and 20 minutes with no encore...essentially their entire catalog. The way the Red Palace crowd danced during "Arms Like Boulders", no one would have complained.
Admittedly, the audience had been well prepared by the two openers. Local quartet Paperhaus sound like they're still laying the foundation, but that they're laying it on some good ideas. At their best, they sprinkled Explosions in the Sky-esque guitar riffs and some Television rhythms to give their Leonard Cohen-influenced tunes some depth. While Paperhaus' songs leaned more toward the folk end of the spectrum, Caveman's songs were, according to Granduciel, "dark and vibey." This is to say: the synth lines remained buried beneath the beautifully droning guitars and two very precise percussionists. The result sounded like a crunchier Grizzly Bear or White Rabbits with more new wave sensibilities.
- DCist

"Paperhaus release new single "So Slow""

Paperhaus released a new single, "So Slow", through Alt Citizen yesterday. The third single (the first being "Cairo," the second "Untitled") off their forthcoming album, this one's the prettiest, opening with a gorgeous reverb, and breaking into a mellow island jam, with low background vocals echoing and panning off the main vocal, and then gradually, and oh so subtly picking up with casual "oo-oos" before the fiery lead guitar and an organ lift a chorus out of the chill waves and into a sparkly sky of an indie-rock mid-section. "And if you want to feel emotion, then you need to stop thinking that you're going slow." A life lesson, and an instruction manual to this delicate and intricate track. It's my favorite so far.

The full album will be released Saturday, February 7th, at DC Music Download's Third Birthday and Benefit for DC Punk Archive (with Deli favorites Loud Boyz, and Baby Bry Bry). --Natan Press - The Deli

"New Mix: Songs On Letting Go And Believing In Yourself"

This dizzying new single from the DC-based Paperhaus, led by Alex Tebeleff, is a fierce, propulsive showcase for guest drummer Ian McColm. - NPR Music: All Songs Considered


"Living Is Easy" (EP)-2009

"Paperhaus" (EP)-2011

"Lo Hi Lo" (EP)-2013

"Paperhaus" (LP)- 2015

"Silent Speaking" (Single)-2016

"Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask?" (LP)-2017



"In-depth conversations about the world and our place within await around every corner, in DC at least. Oftentimes these weighty discussions end at an impasse, each side so confident in the rightness of their held position that there is no change. Every once in a while, however, a new perspective on an old belief is born not through entrenched rhetoric, but candid questions. We’ve all heard it, maybe you even said it yourself: “hm, that’s a good question.” Paperhaus don’t have the answers, hell, they’re still looking for the right questions. And that sense of seeking propels their new record—Are These The Questions We Need To Ask?, out Fall 2017 on Pittsburgh’s Misra Records (Destroyer, Phosphorescent, Great Lake Swimmers)—forward, while much of the world is left looking at the past.

Founded in 2006 by Alex Tebeleff (Black Lodge) along with childhood friends Eddie Rivers and Jeff Galfond, and fleshed out by various collaborators over the years—on ATTQWNTA?, Tebeleff has continued the project and is joined by new writing partners Matt Dowling (Deleted Scenes, The Effects, Joy Buttons) and Rick Irby (Den-Mate, Wanted Man, Jau Ocean)—Paperhaus functions as both a band and a creative collective, the latter in the form of their famed house venue (infamously featured on the pilot of HGTV’s DC Flippers). After a tense election season and the loss of a central collaborator to the sun of Los Angeles, Tebeleff felt it was time to change up the project's approach. A steady diet of modular synthesizers, community organizing and collaborative experimentation with aforementioned players emboldened his resolve to ride Paperhaus to its inevitable next stage.

And here we are: now. ATTQWNTA? marks a turning point for Paperhaus. Through a wide palate of psych, kraut, classic pop and noise Paperhaus rips through eight exciting new tracks, each paying service to the album’s whole. The current ensemble shines most on new songs like “Told You What To Say,” “Go Cozy,” and “Walk Through The Woods,” where some of the band’s heaviest guitars mix with a potent, mechanical rhythm section and Tebeleff’s Moog Sub 37, on which many of these compositions were first conceived. The lyrics—penned by Tebeleff and Dowling—reflect the band’s newly matured worldview, infusing their long-held commitment to community with a sense of wide-eyed awe. Settling into a series of studios over the last two years, the final recorded product was expertly engineered & mixed by Peter Larkin of The Lighthouse Recording Studio in Alexandria, VA. All things considered, ATTQWNTA? shows a new band ready to lead their peers out onto the next branch. They haven’t forgotten where they came from, but instead, they’re forging ahead, despite the anxiety of the unknown."

- Peter Lillis

Band Members