Paul and Storm
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Paul and Storm


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"NJ Concert Preview"

Paul & Storm leave 'em laughing
By Robert Hicks

Special to the Daily Record

Music and comedy come together in unexpected ways in the comedy duo Paul & Storm, an offshoot of the award-winning, a cappella comedy quartet Da Vinci's Notebook.

Taking its cues from sources as diverse as 1950s rockabilly, 1970s folk music, contemporary movie themes and commercial television jingles, the duo combines low and high humor to create brilliant parodies, spoofs and comedy songs.

Paul & Storm will join the folk comedy trio Modern Man in a double bill at Sanctuary Concerts in Berkeley Heights on Saturday.

"We try to stay loose and unpredictable in our live shows. That's something that we've carried over from Da Vinci's Notebook," said Paul Sabourin from his home outside Philadelphia.

Sabourin, 35, and Greg "Storm"DiConstanzo, 35, debuted as a duo comedy-music act at the Jammin' Java club in Vienna, Va., in January 2004.

"Storm and I decided, 'Let's give it a shot doing this duo thing.' We wanted to do all new material. We didn't want to rest on all the Da Vinci's Notebook songs we had done, and we didn't want to give people the impression that we were going out and singing Da Vinci's Notebook's greatest hits," Sabourin said.

Da Vinci's Notebook arose from the tradition of music and comedy a cappella championed by The Bobs and from the innovations of Tom Lehrer and Weird Al Yankovic. When Sabourin and DiConstanzo [sic] started writing original songs for Da Vinci's Notebook in the mid-'90s, they wanted to expand upon those traditions.

"We weren't so interested in writing yet another song about love and missing your significant other. We had more fun and were more interested in doing songs that would make people laugh and challenge ourselves and make each other laugh,"Sabourin said.

Likewise, the duo has stuck to similar goals with the addition of musical instruments in Paul & Storm. Prior to their debut concert as a duo, Sabourin (piano) and DiConstanzo [sic] (guitar) had very rarely played their instruments in any public performances. They honed their playing skills during their first year together and began opening for other bands in spring 2004. The duo began to tour regularly in summer 2004.

Paul & Storm recorded its debut CD, "Shame and Cookie Dough," on its own label, Murray Has Records, in July 2004. The CD consists of seven songs, plus audio commentary versions of those songs in which the duo provides humorous insights into the making of their original material.

Among the songs are "Six Guys, 10 Teeth," a countrified mockery of rednecks who party all night and cause trouble in the style of Hank Williams, Jr. "The Ballad of Eddie Praeger" is a spoof of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.""Why, Baby, Why?"is a short song about a boy with a high-pitched voice whose ex-girlfriend, with one swift kick, nearly destroyed his manhood. The album concludes with short parodies of commercial jingles for Twister, Necco Wafers and Pillsbury Cookie Dough.

For its forthcoming CD, "Opening Band," the duo decided to do more of the same, plus parodies of musical styles. The new recording features new versions of some of the old songs from the duo's debut CD as well as new parodies, new spoofs of movie theme songs and new rejected commercial jingles.

"Epithet" is a parody of songs from the 1980s movie "Schoolhouse Rock.""Shake Machine" pokes fun at 1950s rockabilly, R&B, doo wop and Elvis Presley. There are also parodies of songwriter Randy Newman via the movie themes for "Seabiscuit,""The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "The Passion of the Christ."
- Daily Record - Morrisville, NJ

"Musikfest 2007 Concert Review"

Paul and Storm, onstage at Liederplatz Sunday, nursed an awkward pause. They’d be starting their next song any second now. Aaaaany second now ...

“The tension is building,” Paul Sabourin stage-whispered.

“I hope the song’s good!” answered Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo.

“Apparently, we’re at the ‘directors’ commentary’ portion of the show,” Paul continued.

“He should have started the song two minutes ago,” Storm said.

The song turned out to be hilarious — a ballad called “Ten-Finger Johnny” that chronicled an Irishman’s self-dismemberment through his pathological love of fireworks. But the banter that preceded it was just as funny, and that’s the essence of Paul and Storm.

The act, new to Musikfest this year, rivals goofball Canadian group The Arrogant Worms (who played here last weekend) for the ’Fest’s title of Best Comedy Act. Paul and Storm’s offerings ranged from short fake advertising jingles (“Well, that’s Necco Wafers: The candy that nobody likes!”) to ditties that turned conventional songwriting on its ear (“My love is a butterfly, floating sweetly through a summer field ... And your love is an entomologist ... taking me home, jabbing a pin through my guts and mounting me on your wall”).

I laughed so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair during a ribald sea chantey about a woman’s house in which every inch was covered in pirates — only instead of “pirate,” they used an unfortunate synonym for “sailor” that would get me fired in three seconds if I actually repeated it here.

If you think this all sounds silly and sophomoric, the kind of thing you’d hear on a morning radio show, you’re exactly right. Paul and Storm, both veterans of a capella group Da Vinci’s Notebook, started writing goofy songs as a duo for the Bob & Tom radio show about two years ago. Then they took the show on the road.

Paul and Storm are both veteran performers, and they put together some inventive and tight harmonies, but the newness of their act shows in their not-quite-polished musicianship. Paul seems to wear his guitar mostly as a prop (though he used it to great effect as a prop during a Beatles impression). Storm usually carried most of the instrumental weight, but I wouldn’t recommend that he take on The Arrogant Worms in a guitar duel. The weakest parts of the Paul and Storm set were their cover songs, including Men at Work’s “Land Down Under,” which inspired a few chuckles but mostly highlighted their weaknesses.

But while The Arrogant Worms are stronger musicians, Paul and Storm just might beat the Canadians in a comedy competition. The Worms offer a concert of funny songs; the Paul and Storm experience is more like a standup act by guys with instruments. Sure, they play some full length songs, as when they mined the twisted depths of sibling rivalry in “(Mommy and Daddy are Making) A Better Version of You.” But unlike the Worms, they don’t lock themselves into only playing full-length songs — they’re smart enough to realize that some jokes are funnier when they’re not beaten to death.

Some of Paul and Storm’s funniest musical bits consisted of only a line or two, like a series of increasingly wacky musical impressions (what James Taylor would sing if he were on fire, what Bob Dylan would sing if he were hiding at the bottom of a well, what James Taylor would sing if he were on fire at the bottom of a well, and so on).

Paul and Storm are hoping to get back to Bethlehem again soon. Check them out, because they’re already hilarious and will only get better from here. - Bethlehem Star Online

"Atlanta Concert Review"

3/22/08 - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta

I was at the show last year when Paul and Storm and Jonathan Coulton hit Atlanta for the first time. It was pretty much a packed house at a smaller club called the Five Spot, which was an excellent venue, seeing as how you couldn’t be more than fifty feet from the stage, it seems.

The success of that show brought them back to a larger venue, the Variety Playhouse, and from what I could tell, they filled more than 2/3 of the seats. This will no doubt increase on their next visit: during a show of hands as to who had seen them at the previous show, enough people raised their hands that I swear the entire audience from that first show came back and brought friends. So by that math, within four years time, and given a show every six months, a Paul and Storm/Coulton show will be on a scale that even Hotblack Desiato would find impressive.

Paul and Storm and Coulton (which is this close to sounding like a demented law firm) make for a great team. Coulton’s songs have a surprising amount of sadness in them. Not to sound like one of those over-analyzing pricks who try to ruin everything, but I mean, damn, “Shop Vac,” for all of its bouncy fun, is about two profoundly miserable people who bought into what they figured was the American dream only to get to their destination and say, “Um.” I mean, honestly, “You can cry and I probably won’t hear you because it’s loud with the shop vac on.” We laugh at the song but we also understand where the characters are coming from. Perhaps a little too well.

Some songs stay at that level of almost what we would call morbid whimsy, but some start off with a great profound message and then veer into the profoundly silly. “The Future Soon” is a geek revenge anthem that goes from the standard geek alienation to dreaming about the future and when we’ll be able to change ourselves however we want to…killer robots stomping over mankind. Is there a single man in that audience who wasn’t nodding on some level and thinking, “See, Laura, this was all your fucking fault.”

That’s not to say Coulton is a somber individual. Far from it. He’s a crapload of fun, even when jetlagged from flying back from London. And there’s no other musician alive who can have, at the previous gig, people singing along perfectly with a song called “Mandelbrot Set.” This time around, two young ladies got up and spontaneously danced up towards the stage left side of the house.

Yes—dancing to songs about fractals. People wearing animated pong shirts and the animated reacting-to-sound-levels shirts and distracting the musicians (where, at any other gig, they would have asked politely, would you please turn that shit off). The guy with the animated sound shirt was using the light of it to sign Paul and Storm’s mailing list signup. Coulton can get a laugh at a line about a “taxonomical hit and run.” Or “Laugh it up, vertebrates.” A song about Pluto and Charon (the planets, mind you) is actually an excellent love ballad and goes over perfectly with the crowd. Welcome to the audience for one of these shows.

Update: Well, somebody had posted a song from this show, but then they had to go and freaking remove it. Weasels. Here’s something from another show that makes me feel fan-fucking-tastic.

Here they are now. Doing that singing thing.

What was I saying? Oh yes, teamwork. You see, Coulton is great, but for a “nerd” musician, his songs are surprisingly deep. Paul and Storm make a great counter to that.

Now—before I get anybody pissed off at me, I’m not saying Paul and Storm crank out nothing but fluff. But they are a Comedy with a capital C duo, and they know what’s funny. Putting Bob Dylan down a well is funny. Jingles about kitty litter are funny. References to “Storm Juice” are funny. Sea chanties that inspire the audience to bring along a visual aid (letters spelling out ARRR!—and yes, somebody was holding up an exclamation point). That’s pretty goddamn funny.

So together they’re…well, they’re the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of nerdcore music. You got your peanut butter in my…wait, I don’t have to explain that reference with this crowd. Anyway.

(Although for future reference, folks: you missed a golden opportunity to turn the damn ARRR! around to make RRRA! for “Re: Your Brains.” I mean, come on.)

Paul and Storm actually open with a song called “Opening Band” which caused a pantystorm to erupt from the audience. The line is “And, sad to say, as of today, no panties have been thrown,” which was quickly updated to be “eleven panties.” (Atlanta now holds the record.) They play with the audience well, and get lots of response to songs like “Nun Fight” (well, it’s a gregorian chant, but that counts).

They also played a song I hadn’t heard live before, called “A Better Version of You.” This song relates the story of parents breaking it to their five year old son that he’s going to be a big brother soon. “Thanks to the five years we’ve had you to pr - Quickstop Entertainment

"Washington, DC Concert Review"

The duo attacked with both high and low humor...a lot of the fun sprang from the duo's energetic, quick-witted harmony vocals...Sabourin's "Short People"-influenced piano lines and DiCostanzo's mannered vocals aimed their Randy Newman parodies right at the bull's-eye.

-- Pamela Murray Winters - The Washington Post

"Cambridge, MA Concert Review"

From the "Faith"-y sing-along "Three Days" to the Lightfoot-ed "Ballad of Eddie Prager" and tributes to Randy Newman, the pair kept the audience off guard and occasionally off their seats with laughter. Even Vance Gilbert could not stop commenting!

--Matthew S. Robinson - Soundcheck Magazine Online

"Album Review (Shame and Cookie Dough)"

Two genuinely funny people...Their brand of humor should appeal to people that actually have healthy senses of humor.”

--Matt Sussman

"PA Concert Review"

If you hear of them performing anywhere, definitely check them out. Their "Six Guys, Ten Teeth, One Brain" is worth the price of admission. I knew I was gonna like it when the first verse included details about the cook-out such as not remembering where they buried the pig.

--Rollye James - The Rollye James Show

"Opening Band CD review"

"Opening Band" is the title track of the new CD of music and comedy from Paul Sabourin and Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo. The song documents the sad realities that have faced innumerable warm-up acts for generations, realities that Sabourin and DiCostanzo had all but forgotten while touring the country for much of the last decade as members of Da Vinci's Notebook, the widely popular Arlington-based a cappella group.

With Da Vinci's Notebook on indefinite hiatus, Sabourin and DiCostanzo have rediscovered the joys of starting over -- "six hours on the highway for 50 bucks, and half price on cheese fries and free Miller Lite on tap" -- as they perform new music as Paul and Storm, "probably not the band you came to see tonight," as they sing in "Opening Band."

If laughs translate into fans, it won't be long before Paul and Storm are headlining at all of Da Vinci's Notebook's old tour stops. The duo has already made believers out of Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold, hosts of the nationally syndicated "Bob and Tom" radio show, who frequently play Sabourin and DiCostanzo's goofy tunes and have them as on-air guests.

Highlights from the new CD include a series of "rejected commercial jingles" and the maritime satire "The Ballad of Eddie Praeger," which sounds like any number of Celtic-tinged folk tunes about shipwrecks or lost battles fought valiantly but is actually about a sanitary soap cake in its last throes before the final flush.

"Opening Band" includes "Epithets," an ode to the part of speech that "Schoolhouse Rock" forgot, and "Six Guys, Ten Teeth," which vividly portrays the Friday night paycheck-blowing rituals of "Skeeter, Cooter, Billy Ray and Bobby Ray and Billy Bob."

Then there is the series of short songs (actually, one song with five different sets of lyrics) answering the question, what if songwriter Randy Newman had composed for such films as "Scarface," "The Passion of the Christ" or the "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"?

"Go, Hobbits, go!"

- Washington Post

"Opening Band CD review"

Opening Band
Paul and Storm
Music from Murray Has Records
Release date: 28 June, 2005

Half of something is not always a bad thing. Many people would pay to see Paul and Ringo perform together. The Rolling Stones only have half of their motor skills left. Even Def Leppard's drummer got by with one good arm. And we still love them all.

The glass is half full in this case as well, when Paul Sabourin and Greg "Storm' DiConstanzo -- of the inactive Da Vinci's Notebook quartet -- form the duo Paul and Storm. In their first full-length CD Opening Band, the duo replace their departed DVN colleagues with less vocal band members: musical instruments.

The CD's comedic theme hinges on their ability to perform a wide range of genres: country, folk, love songs, oldies rock 'n roll, TV commercials and the imagined works of Randy Newman.

"Opening Band" starts out with the song of the same name. The reflexive tribute pines over the inattention given to the opening band, used to warm up the crowd (if they've showed up yet) while the headline performer stays back and gets hammered. (And if you doubt their singing ability, time the note they simultaneously hold at the end of the song.)

The album also features a few enhanced studio versions of songs that appeared on their 30-minute-long album "Shame and Cookie Dough." (Although they'll probably tell you it was technically "fun size" or something.)

The band has two running bits going for them.

The first is the commercial ditty campaign. Nine of their 32 tracks are jingles, and even they range from classic corny tunes to a brief Andrew W.K.-style punchline about Domino's Pizza. Their signature commercial jingle, a minute-long ballad on Pillsbury Cookie Dough, is restored with additional frilly instruments, amplifying just how decadent cookie dough can be to the human gullet. They also take well-spirited shots at Necco Wafers, Denny's, Twister (the game, not the weather disaster), Cheetos and Ex-Lax.

The second bit is the endless legion of Randy Newman parody songs. Long story short: Paul and Storm show us what it would be like if he wrote songs for all the movies in the world, such as "Lord of the Rings" and "Passion of the Christ." And the ongoing punchline is that it's the same melody every time. So, since the thought of Newman singing makes everyone smile, the fake Newman songs get the job done vicariously.

One song didn't sit well with me: "Tonight, I'm a Parrothead," only for the shallow reason that one of the singers, in a song about Jimmy Buffett, sounded way too much like James Taylor to get me confused.

The disc wraps up with a theme from their "Cookie Dough" offering: audio commentary of selected tracks. With any non-mainstream band, additional knowledge about the songs becomes a pleasant and deepening experience ... or at least it's neat to know about stuff. Plus, they wrap up with track No. 32 with a commentary on one of their commentary tracks.

These guys have written a number of different songs and hopefully everyone who listens will have a different favorite. That is a sign of a healthy comedy album. If one awesome track has to carry the entire disc, it will develop over time a hernia and be stuck in tiny comedy bandages for the rest of its comedy career. Which isn't very comedic.

I still think they have better days ahead of them. Having followed these dudes since their involvement with DVN, right around when "Brontosaurus" came out, they've never ceased to conjure up new creative ways to make fun of the outside world and themselves. As a former humor columnist I know the rigor of making people laugh consistently. I never did it. Hence the "former." These guys do that. And with so many brands of cheesy pop songs rolling out from the factory each week on MTV, Paul and Storm have a vast world of prime targets to shoot with their military assault rifles of happiness.

But if you want the real Randy Newman, well I linked to that too.


Gumbo Pants (2007)
- 30 tracks of road-tested material, including their popular "What If" impressions of James Taylor, Bob Dylan, They Might Be Giants, and more.

News To Us (2006)
- Hand-picked selections from the first nine months worth of current-events-inspired songs written for the "Bob and Tom" syndicated morning radio show.

Opening Band (2005)
- P&S's first full-length CD

Shame and Cookie Dough (2004)
- 5-song EP; no longer in print

New songs and other tidbits magically appear quite often at



"Energetic...quick witted" -- Washington Post

Paul and Storm have been writing and performing funny songs together for a long, long time, starting with their stint together in a cappella band Da Vinci’s Notebook. Their music tends to make people laugh and feel good, and Paul and Storm believe that this makes their pursuit noble, right and just.

BONUS: their live show is better than 1,000 Fonzies, and more spellbinding than Mr. T on a unicycle.

Anyone with ADD will appreciate the broad range of territory that Paul and Storm cover in their music... Chicken nuggets. Love. Boxing nuns. Relationships. Pirates. Friendship. If James Taylor were on fire.

Catchy melodies and well-constructed music underpin the comedy, and in live performance their harmonies draw comparisons to the Everly Brothers, while their stage presence evokes the Barenaked Ladies. They will do nearly anything to win the hearts and minds of their audiences, and often throw Twinkies, Moon Pies and/or other snack cakes into the crowd to help seal the deal. Occasionally, panties are thrown back.

All of their music is available from their website ( in CD format or as downloadable mp3's.

Paul and Storm's music is often heard on the "Bob and Tom" syndicated morning radio show, and has been heard on “The Drew Carey Show”, Comedy Central, XM Satellite Radio's "Dr. Demento" show, and on the popular web cartoon site

Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo proudly plays Martin guitars.