Steven Kalas

Steven Kalas

 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
BandPopAdult Contemporary

Steven Kalas (BMI) and his band, PaperCymbal play everything from driving pop-rock to tasty, acoustic folk guaranteed to hammer you with melody and take you apart with sheer poetry. Steven writes lyrics that are a gaping mirror into the human experience---extraordinary images of ordinary life.

Biography

Steven Kalas

Here's a guy who once traded a Guild guitar for a car stereo. But that car stereo has long since been stolen. Now Steven keeps his guitars, plays them, writes songs and sings with his musician friends. One reviewer said, "Steven Kalas looks at life with a bit of a tilt a collision of humor, pathos, and celebration...a compelling performer." He's entertained folks from quiet coffee houses to parks, theatres, and concert halls.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Steven was graduated from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in Psychology and earned his Masters in Theology at Southern Methodist University. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he works as a marriage and family counselor, bereavement specialist, and behavioral health consultant. Steven writes Human Matters, published Sundays and Tuesdays in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Steven is a former Episcopal priest, turned therapist, free lance writer and published author. He does stand-up comedy, and travels nationally as a professional public speaker. His favorite hobby is songwriting and performing in the band PaperCymbal. His new album Lessons From the Dead is available on his website stevenkalas.com.

Steven is father to three sons: Jonathan, 16, Aaron, 14, and (what was he thinking?) Joseph, age 5. He is a rabid Phoenix Suns’ fan, a crazed Green Bay Packer fan, a Beatlemaniac, and owns DVD recordings of every known work of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In his spare time he grows lettuce.

PaperCymbal
The name emerged one day in rehearsal when the band was laughing about people whose favorite pop group was the Patridge Family  that the ultimate irony of our culture might be that you could REALLY LOVE a band that doesn't actually exist. We wondered if the producers had removed the cymbals from Tracy Patridge's tambourine and replaced them with faux paper cymbals so she wouldn't make a racket during filming.

PaperCymbal is...

Steven Kalas: Acoustic Guitar, Lead vocals
Temple Hall: Backing Vocals, Vocal Arrangements
Kirsten Keilty: Backing Vocals, Vocal Arrangements
David Braun: Waaay doesn't suck Lead Guitar
Andre Brunson: Bass Guitar, Dredlocks
Stacy Henry: Drums, forehead perspiration, taskmaster of excellence
Naldo Pasello: Cello
Dave Romero: Percussion, nice hat on stage
Lessons From the Dead was recorded at Digital Insight Studios, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Recording Engineer: Matt Szpyrka
Mastering: Matt Szpyrka
Taking all our money: Rob Devlin
Graphic Design: Catherine Dalinis
Photography: Jackie Robinson
Executive Producer: Jackie Robinson / Stavros Entertainment

THE MUSIC

Steven and his band, PaperCymbal play everything from driving pop-rock to tasty, acoustic folk guaranteed to hammer you with melody and take you apart with sheer poetry. Steven writes lyrics that are a gaping mirror into the human experience---extraordinary images of ordinary life.

You'll hear songs that are acoustic, folk laced pop, unique and eclectic; a combination of folk-rock and pop; a voice that's been compared with Cat Stevens and a style that morphs The Beatles, Jim Croce, James Taylor, Crosby Stills Nash, Paul Simon, Matchbox 20, Maroon 5, Rod Stewart and well...Steven Kalas.

If it's real, then art is about the risk of being wholly oneself. The journey is costly beyond imagining.

For me, Lessons From the Dead records a particularly intense leg of that journey. In the near two years since this CD project was begun, my entire life has burned down and begun again.

You will hear songs celebrating love, and songs witnessing the helpless, inexorable unraveling of love. There are songs holding on for dear life against the onslaught of darkness and stupidity, and songs which smile, celebrate, and laugh. If you find any of these songs kicking your ass, rest assured they were written to first kick my own.

Unless otherwise noted, you have only me to thank or blame for the lyrics and melodies you will hear on this album. But some credits are due:

An End to the One Man Band, co-authored with me by Paul Taylor and D.R Wilke, was inspired by the work and legacy of the late Wes Frensdorf, Episcopal Bishop of Nevada. The title song was conceived from a parable told in Belden Lane's book "The Solace of Fierce Landscapes." Here Inside the Crucible (with you) emerged from the work of marital therapists David Schnarch and Ruth Morehouse and David's book "Constructing the Sexual Crucible."

The melody and story of Mary Said was made possible by Temple Hall's writing and arrangement of simply the bitchinest guitar riff and cord changes I've ever heard. But I want to dedicate the song to the actual 'Mary.' La-la-LA-la, Lovely Linda. You are my treasured friend.

My favorite love song on the CD is also the most ironic: I Wonder If You Know. Turns out she did not know.

Paul Taylor composed the clever alliteration in the verses of You See Better, And Mr. Jack Paper is of c

Lyrics

True and Beautiful

Written By: Steven Kalas

I tend to be fluid
Eager to please
Happy to help you
Some see the forest
Some see the trees
Everyone’s welcome

But one thing I won’t ever say
One thing I will never do

I won’t call ugly ‘beautiful’
Whatever the advance
However long the band plays lies
I won’t get up to dance

I like living hopeful
A little naive
Wanting to understand
Offer my life
As a transparency
No weapon in my hand

So let’s find what’s true and beautiful
Or leave me to go my separate way

I won’t call ugly ‘beautiful’
Whatever the advance
However long the band plays lies
I won’t get up to dance

© 2005 Music and Lyrics by Steven Kalas (BMI)

You See Better

Written By: Steven Kalas (BMI)

You See Better

Too often I see
A tired empty eloquence
Yeah I see
A clever crippled confidence
Yeah, I see
The vacuum of my common sense

I like what you see better
I like what you see better

Too often I see
A heart of simple selfishness
Yeah I see
A vision bathed in bitterness
Yeah I see
Another day of wasted breath

I like what you see better
I like what you see better

Everyone inside of my head has spoken
They're all in agreement here
They tell me I should see myself as broken
To be embarrassed by the man in the mirror

But in your eyes another path is opened
A choice between the voices loud and cruel
To see the man you see is what I'm hopin'
Self-hatred breaks the rules

I like what you see better
I like what you see better

I like what you see better

But still I see
A man who's quite ridiculous
And you see
A man who brings you happiness
He's here, the echo of my thankfulness

I like what you see better
I like what you see better

Now I can see me better

© 2007 Music by Steven Kalas and Paul Taylor; Lyrics by Steven Kalas

To Be Loved

Written By: Steven Kalas (BMI)

To Be Loved

It pays you to love me
It costs you to love me
A train wreck of angels and lye
I push you to panic
I offer you solace
The wonder is that you still try

You slay me, you save me
A ruthless beloved
Provoking the tears that you dry
An anchor, a catapult
In the same dress
Renders me helpless to lie

Is this how it’s done?
Is this how we run?
What’s less romantic than love?
The peace, the unrest
Of course we are blessed
Some days it just hurts to be loved
To be loved (repeats)

Can I hear my own refrain?
Love is real, at times insane
Sets you free to wear a chain
All the joy and all the pain
(all repeats as “the joy and pain”
overtakes and builds to crescendo)

You are here to wake me
You come to take me
Away from my greeting card life
Now it comes clear to me
The source of our agony
Love is the name of our strife

Is this how it’s done?
Is this how we run?
What’s less romantic than love?
The peace, the unrest
Of course we are blessed
Some days it just hurts to be loved
To be loved (repeats)

© 2007 Lyrics: Steven Kalas – BMI

Where the River Goes

Written By: Steven Kalas

Where the River Goes

Wonder, full of wonder
How the river knows the way
How the water longs to take you
To the banks of each new day
Your heart’s desires empty
Next to what the river knows
If only you will learn to trust
Where the river goes

So thrash the water with your will
Cling to shorelines fearful still
But the invitation’s yours to just let go

Before you swim the river
There is something you should know
You’ll be dashed and broken sometimes
In the rapid flow
The river means to polish you
To make you something more
To shape you into someone
Whom you’ve never met before

So spin in eddies of your will
Dam the water, fighting still
But the invitation’s yours to just let go

Wonder, full of wonder
Let the river flow today
Life is so much better
Now that I’m out of the way
Is it hard to swim the river
That’s what people want to know
Only if you’re swimming where
The river doesn’t go

If only you would learn to trust
Where the river goes

© 2004 Music and Lyrics by Steven Kalas - BMI

Carpet Fragments

Written By: Steven Kalas

An errant frisbee started dialogue
Coincidence
Your disdain, my arrogance, a randy fog
I couldn’t keep from calling you
But never did we follow through

Our last supper eaten chaste between the taunts
What do you want
Italian take-out from Campises’s restaurant
I took the plunge into your eyes
I was swimming for my life

Your love has left me carpet fragments scattered here
And all you’ve ever done for me is buy the beer
Your skin malingers, pouring from unbuttoned lace
We take turns gettin’ in each others face

Other girls have asked how I remember you
Did I love you
I am quick to tell them we were never two
A footnote on the bye and bye
It seems to me a harmless lie

Your love has left me carpet fragments scattered here
And all you’ve ever done for me is buy the beer
Your skin malingers, pouring from unbuttoned lace
We take turns gettin’ in each others face

© 2006 Music and Lyrics by Steven Kalas (BMI)

Discography

STEVEN KALAS PUBLISHES FIRST BOOK and audio companion CD!!

HUMAN MATTERS is Steven's first book. Published by Stephen's Press it is a compilation of articles and essays from his two popular columns..."Wise and witty counsel on Relationships, parenting, grief and doing the right thing." It's available at www.HumanMatters.net.

The companion CD, "Steven Kalas Speaking Of Human Matters" features eleven of his personally narrated articles.

NEW RELEASE ! - - - "Lessons From the Dead"

Unless otherwise noted, you have only me to thank or blame for the lyrics and melodies you will hear on this album. But some credits are due:

An End to the One Man Band, co-authored with me by Paul Taylor and D.R Wilke, was inspired by the work and legacy of the late Wes Frensdorf, Episcopal Bishop of Nevada. The title song was conceived from a parable told in Belden Lane's book "The Solace of Fierce Landscapes." Here Inside the Crucible (with you) emerged from the work of marital therapists David Schnarch and Ruth Morehouse and David's book "Constructing the Sexual Crucible."

The melody and story of Mary Said was made possible by Temple Hall's writing and arrangement of simply the bitchinest guitar riff and cord changes I've ever heard. But I want to dedicate the song to the actual 'Mary.' La-la-LA-la, Lovely Linda. You are my treasured friend.

My favorite love song on the CD is also the most ironic: I Wonder If You Know. Turns out she did not know.

Paul Taylor composed the clever alliteration in the verses of You See Better, And Mr. Jack Paper is of course a sequel to Peter Yarrow and Leonard Lipton's song "Puff the Magic Dragon." That's their words and melody which appear in Jack's dream.

For me, the CD's most powerful and important song is True and Beautiful. It was inspired by a woman who was neither. But I owe her a paradoxical `thank you` for the way her darkness forced me to face my own darkness, forced me to claim my highest truth, my deepest values, and the wholeness of myself. Only cost me a vocation, a course of anti-depressants, and my soul mate. I see you, Katharine.

PaperCymbal is Stacy, Andre, Temple, David, Kirsten, and me. The prodigious talents of my bandmates are overshadowed only by the value of their friendship.

That's it. See you on the other side.

-- Steven Kalas

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“Finally Here”
Produced by Steven Kalas at Digital Insight Studios
Released through Stavros Entertainment
Distributed by Stavros Entertainment, Las Vegas, NV
Released 20 April 2005

"Finally Here" was conceived on the day I decided to quit music altogether. My "I quit" speech was interrupted by a phone call from Fred Migiliore and Fast Forward Artist promotion. Fred invited himself into my life. Finally Here is the result of my accepting that invitation.

Fred changed my life. He was the missing ingredient. He promotes my career, yes – but more importantly he transFORMED my understanding of myself. For so long I was a man casting about in the musical universe, trying on styles and identities like so many suits off a rack. Fred helped me find a form, a place, a niche, and a real identity. What’s ‘finally here’ is me – one singer/songwriter instead of many.

Finally Here was recorded at Digital Insight recording studios in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was remixed and mastered at SoundWard Studios in Titusville, Florida by Mark Brasel and Fred Migliore. Together, they coaxed and shaped a quality of sound I had never before achieved. What’s ‘finally here’ is a Steven Kalas I had never heard before.

So give a listen. Buy my record. Tell your friends. Invite us play for you.

Until we meet,

Steven

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“Something to Say”
Produced by Ken Gold at Digital Insight Studios
Released through Standing In My Bathroom Records
Distributed by Stavros Entertainment, Las Vegas, NV 2002
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“PaperCymbal”
Produced by Rich Cheney, Road Company Music
Released through Standing In My Bathroom Records
Distributed by Oarfin Records, Minneapolis, MN 2000
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“Accidental Universe”
Produced by Steven Kalas and D. R. Wilke
Wide Range Productions Tempe, Arizona
Distributed by Stavros Entertainment, Las Vegas, NV,1999
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Online sales at:
www.CDBaby.com/kalas4
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“The Star”, EP
Produced by Ken Gold at Digital Insight Studios
Released through Stavros Entertainment
Distributed by FastForward Artist Promotions, Cocoa FL, 2003 and 2004
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Singles

A Different Kind of Hero
Lessons From the Dead
Mary Said
If Not For Teachers
Move Like Water
You See Better
Serenading Juliet
The Cat Song
Your Balloon
Just A Guy
Carpet Fragments
Accident

Set List

*R*e*a*l*l*y* *B*i*g *S*h*o*w*

Two-hour Steven Kalas and PaperCymbal Show

Set 1:
Five to seven mid- to up-tempo originals performed by the full band

Set 2:
Three to five acoustic ballads with smaller ensemble...usually two-three voices, two guitars, bass and cello: Steven, Temple, Kirsten, Andre and Naldo

Intermission

Set 3:
Five- to Nine-song, all out, rock-out, knock-out full band finale. May or may not include covers.

AND

~ ~~ ~Singer/Songwriter Acoustic Gigs~ ~~ ~

~ Two 30-40 minute sets ~

Steven performs at smaller, more intimate venues with one or more band-mates from the larger PaperCymbal ensemble. As with the larger show production, the majority of songs will be originals, primarily written by Steven. However, covers and co-written music may also be showcased.

Play lists vary...will be selected from the following originals written by Steven Kalas (covers not listed...a