threadbare :: issue #9a newsletter for friends & fans of the band black lab

:: hello ::

hey. wow. a year since the last one of these. so much for “shorter and more frequent.”

at least I don’t pester you with black lab email. I’m not giving up yet though…

:: free mp3 ::

it’s christmas, and originally I had planned on having a b-sides disc up for sale by now but, um, didn’t.

to make it up to you and to brighten your holidays, I wanna give you a little sneak preview.

many years ago (back when radio stations actually paid record companies to do insane things like this) some rock station commissioned a christmas song from us, and we obliged with a doom-rock version of ‘what child is this.’ it’s very pretty. I think it’s aged quite well, actually, and I hope you agree. I especially like the “nails! spears!” part.

click to get your free mp3 right here.

happy holidays!

:: shout outs ::

Rachael Yamagata has finally gotten her excellent second record out, called “Elephants… Teeth Sinking into Heart” and it features a single we wrote together called ‘faster,’ which I have always loved (I reused the beat in the original version of ‘this night,’ called ‘all the rage’ [m3m club volume III]) and that I have been hoping would see the light of day. they did an awesome, tom waitsy version on the record and there’s youtube footage of her rocking it on the tonight show right here:


I also want to plug my bff Paul Budnitz’s amazingly insane blog (paulbudnitz.com). you may know him as our in-house photographer/videographer/cd art layouter, but he also moonlights as an artworld celebrity. they’re doing brilliant things over at kidrobot and, as time magazine says, Bud’s the Andy Warhol of his generation (tho — so far — without the wig and the tin foil). check it out.

as I’ve freakishly received three communications this week asking me what I’ve been listening to, I feel obligated to say that the only thing I’ve listened to in the last six months is “In Rainbows.” no wonder I’m feeling strange but beautiful.

hmmm… random: we’re running out of t-shirts and since I make no $ on ’em and they’re a pain you should get one now if you want one b/c I may not make any more (grouchy paul speaks!). buy ’em as xmas gifts for goodness’ sakes.

:: 4 more years! ::

we’re a couple of months in to our fourth year of the mp3 of the month club. this year has a special theme, which is that I’m writing the new black lab record and I’m testing out ideas on club members. subscribers have taken to calling themselves lab rats, which seems tragically appropriate.

anyway, so far I’ve run a few things by them by way of direction, as well as composition. people seem to be enjoying the stripped-down character of the trax as well as my extensive rambling about the state of my process (a sample of which I just posted on the myspace blog). the word so far:
“I love the idea for this year’s M3M. I’m really interested in seeing what does make the final cut and how much our opinions shape the final versions of these demos.”

“Wow. I absolutely f**king loved that. It is exactly the kind of picture painting detail and imagery that I adore in the best song writing. Definite echoes of songs like Gates’, purely for the lush involvement you get with the song when you listen to it. Gorgeous.”

“Under The Ice is honestly one of the most stunning tracks I have heard. it has echoes of Whitley (possibly because of the record quality too…), but the lyrics could be something of Dylan at his best. I would love to hear this on an album re-recorded, just to improve the sound (but that’s not even important), but I wouldn’t change anything else. It has to be one of my favourite tracks, I really can’t get enough of it. Certainly similarities to Gate of the Country, and just as good, perhaps even better. It is textured and totally absorbs you. Thank you.”

“Just wanted to drop a line on “Under The Ice.” I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the 3+ years of mp3s, but this is definitely one of the best. I’ve always kinda dug songs of a narrative nature and this one is tremendous. Fantastic lyrics and a haunting tempo…really grabbed me right away. It would be great to see you move in this direction on a couple newer tunes. As always, keep up the good work!”

“I LOVE this track…loved it on the first time through and it’s growing on me with each progressive time through. I think the title, A New World, works perfectly for it. What works best in my opinion, is the unplugged, raw and sensitive manner it is delivered. The ‘sunburn’ line is at it’s essence…raw and tender and guarded–makes it all that much more personal and real, especially with the unplugged, gravely delivery. And that second line about a stranger making himself home in my bed–damn, that’s good stuff!”

“I think I’ve listened to “a new world” about 100 times now. It’s amazing. I think it’s perfect as is. Pure, no frills, just exactly the way it sounds right now. God. Paul……awesome. Wicked, awesome, cool, kick-ass, and bitchin’. Oh, and sexy.”
of course, good or bad, there’s nothing like that fresh-baked loaf of black lab in your inbox the first of every month. take a sniff.

:: iTunes ::

I hate to try to try to sell you stuff, but if you haven’t picked up our collection of electronica and remixes called TECHNOLOGIE because, well, it’s a techno record, then I have a dare for you:

click here, buy ‘hole in my heart’ at iTunes for 99 cents, listen to the whole thing and then tell me you don’t want the whole album. I mean it, I dare you!

:: the MBA ::

oh, and while you’re at iTunes, pick up our new album!

just kidding (kind of). seems I got bullied into putting up a collection of covers friends and I have been accumulating over the years. seems some of ’em have been used in ads recently (opel; a promo for fox’s ‘are you smarter than a 5th grader;’ that tv show ‘vegas;’ other unmentionables) and people wanted to get ahold of them.

it is not (NOT) a proper black lab cover album, in which we pick our favorite songs and record the twisted versions that have been playing in our heads. it’s more like we got drunk and badgered our buddy into thinking of the stupidest song he could think of and then dared him to make a track of it, which was funny until the next week when we were forced by buddy-law to also sing/play on the thing. bizarre (I’m talking, like, Paula Abdul bizarre, times 2).

anyway, apparently, also humorous/enjoyable/catchy and (god help me) “fun!”

it is called Mirror Ball Associates, and it’s only available at iTunes and Amazon mp3.

oh, and, if you’re there (and, of course, if you LIKE), please leave reviews. I know there’s a budding rock critic inside dying to crawl out your throat. let it!

I would also be remiss, of course, if I forgot to mention what a fantastic present a “gifted” album from iTunes makes. it’s the gift you still have time to give at noon on christmas day! just go to iTunes, match your album with your friend/family/biz associate, and click Gift This Music. it’s a great way to a) show people that you’re thinking of them, b) turn more people on to black lab, and c) support us and keep us making more music for you!

:: free stuff ::

ok, thanks to everyone out there keeping the faith. I’m sticking my hand in the giant rotating bubble and pulling out the laser-carved block with the name —

Amy Ellsworth — shoot me an email with your address and what size (& style – go to website to check availability) of t-shirt you wear, and what free CD you’d like. we’ll get it out to you pronto. congrats!

ok, everyone. take care, be safe, and we’ll see you next year.



yo, another monster newsletter…. here da summary:

** now till 1/1/2008: GIANT 20/20 holiday SALE:

spend $20 or more and get 20% off. awesome!

** that insane cover of the “transformers theme” just hit 2 million views on youtube. insane.

check out this wicked new music video of “ghost in your mind” from one of 2007’s new black lab albums, Passion Leaves a Trace. edited by Scott Chestnut, using Black Hawk Down footage.

cool, huh? check out other stuff at youtube and subcribe to our channel right here!

** the mp3 of the month club is smoking this year. so far:

…an exclusive recording of a new black lab song to be featured in an upcoming documentary (TBA).
…our cracked, punk-pop cover of the classic Wizard of Oz song, “If I only had a brain.”
…the original moment-of-inspiration recording that lead to “This Night” (a behind-the-scenes, Paul-trying-to-write-a-song thing that that may surprise you).
…a club-only webcam video of me sitting in front of my computer, playing “Ghost in Your Mind” youtube-style.
…and this month an unreleased demo from the Geffen sessions, produced the recording of “ten million years” found on my solo album, of a song never heard before — “piece it back together.”


** facebook & iLike, off the hook.

(fav quote so far: “Your debut was such a favorite album of mine that when your follow-ups came out I pretty much refused to listen to them for fear of ruining my perfect image of Black Lab… by the time Technologie came out I finally had to go back and give everything a good listen… Boy was I stupid. The newer material is just as good as the genius of early Black Lab. I can’t even understand how that’s possible, but it’s true and it’s a wonderful thing. How do you crank em out like that?!?”
Mallory Z.)

so don’t forget, we put out two (that’s, like, 2!!!) albums this year. if you’re needing that present for a special someone, or if you didn’t get that special something and you need to treat yourself, now is a great time to do it at 20% off.

thx for everything!


click the link above to see today’s newsletter. of the hook!

we are putting out a new album.


I mean – we just put one out in january, right? it’s july.

why? because we can.

we’ve been writing and recording a bunch of electronic stuff the last few years, and in honor of the transformers movie (and the lovely cover of the transformers theme we had made) we decided to put it out now. check it out.

also check out the more than 300,000 views of our fake transformers trailer on youtube, featuring our cover of the theme. a whole mashup circus going on here.

anyway, read the newsletter, listen to the music, buy it & support us — now you can get it right here, right now via download: 192 mp3s or 256 aacs for only 9 bucks.



so many things to report. newsletter going out tomorrow so if you don’t get it soon check the ‘newsletter’ link above……

meanwhile, Evan Hinthorne has won the video chop contest for Passion Leaves a Trace‘s ‘this night.’ his amazing animation combined with Andy’s and my amazingly vital stage performance took the cake. check it here!

also, finally got some audio from the hotel cafe show in march. this is ‘remember’ with Andy on piano and Kristin from cake or death on background vocals. it’s kinda cool I must say. click here to hear. five other live tracks from this show were offered as downloads in the april issue of the mp3 of the month club, volume II. we’re winding up our second year of the club – click here to read about it.

cake or death featured on ABC’s 6 Degrees, “mine again” song of the day at garageband.com, all kindsa stuff going on.

it’s been a big year at blacklabworld already.

and it’s about to get bigger (more soon…)



after freezing for over 40 hours, the iTunes charts have finally updated.
I wonder where we would have ended up if they would have updated throughout the day on Thursday…

anyway, here are the highs so far:

US Rock – #11
US Overall – #99
Canada Rock – #10
Canada Overall – #53
Netherlands Rock – #2
Netherlands Overall – #15
Sweden Rock – #7
Sweden Overall – #95
Germany Rock – #12
Germany Overall – #73
Norway Rock – #10
Norway Overall – #55
Denmark Rock – #15
Austria Rock – #15
Portugal Rock – #31
U.K. Rock – #71
Australia Rock – #35
Italy Rock – #30
Finland Rock – #43
Ireland Rock – #54
New Zealand Rock – #54



we’re still kind of in shock. what a day yesterday was.
check it out:

#95 Canada Top 100 Singles
#98 Germany Top 100 Singles
#100 Norway Top 100 Singles
#98 Sweeden Top 100 Singles
#38 NETHERLANDS, BABY, Top 100 Singles

#67 in the US iTunes Music Store for Rock
#22 in Canada, Rock
#35 in Australia, Rock
#71 in the UK, Rock
#13 in Germany, Rock
#5 in NETHERLANDS, Baby, Rawk!!!!!!!

and check out our major press. there may be more to come:

The Washington Post
The San Jose Mercury News

we were proud to be picked for this thing and we’re happy to have been able to contribute the the scholarship fund. we’re also psyched about all the new people aboard the black lab ocean liner. hopefully it’ll be as good a ride from here on out as it has been so far.

peace & love,



Click here to help us make history.



ok, only one week to go until the massively insane Bum Rush The Charts campaign initiates. 1 SONG, 1 DAY, #1 on the iTUNES CHART. that song is “mine again,” off of our new album passion leaves a trace. we were chosen from thousands of podcasting bands to be the guinea pig in this major effort, supported by every major music podcast dj and highlighted in a number of mainstream publications, including the BBC, the CBC, the San Jose Mercury News, and others. by purchasing the song next thursday via the affiliate link (which will be available here as well as the bumrush home page), 5% of every purchase will go towards the Financial Aid Podcast’s college scholarship fund. black lab is also throwing in half of everything we make that day, so together we should be able to make an impact.

please visit www.bumrushthecharts.com and check out the circus surrounding this thing, get banners and hear some of the things people are saying. and please remember to use the affiliate link on March 22 to buy “mine again” from iTunes.

what, already own “mine again”? don’t really understand why you should buy it again? we understand. try this — on March 22 use our link to GIFT “mine again” to a friend or two (or five). you’ll be supporting the podcaster’s effort as well as using this unique opportunity to turn people on to black lab.

hope you’re with us next thursday. thanks!



hey check us out, paul & andy rocking acoustic at the hotel cafe on the 7th. thanks to everyone who traveled nationally (and internationally) to be there, sorry to everyone who couldn’t. we missed you.

audio & video to follow soon (I hope). keep checking back in.


so, we’re having a video-shop contest. take the video of Andy and I that can be found right here, chop it up with your favorite footage, and send it back to us. we’ll post stuff we like and whomever makes the best video is gonna be psyched.


also, we’re having a little record release party at the hotel cafe, wednesday march 7 in hollywood. Andy and I will be on hand to say hi, sign cd’s, take photos, whatever. then we’ll do an acoustic set around 9 and be hanging around in the outer bar afterwards. come see us.


the third album, passion leaves a trace, is here. it looks and sounds beautiful and I can’t wait to send it to you. 12 songs of haunting modern rock (with a hidden bonus track), all for $12.


hey everyone, happy new year. 07 is gonna rule!

just wanted to let you know that alternative addiction has got a full-length version of ‘mine again,’ the opening song of our new record, that you can hear right here. please vote & rocket us to the top. yes!

meanwhile, pre-sales of passion leaves a trace are going great, with lots of new people getting turned on by the promo for season 6 of ‘the shield’ and downloading the mp3 of ‘this night.’ awesome!

ok, I’m almost out of exclamation points so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead. I’m serious, though. have a great year!



merry christmas and general holidayishness to everyone.

have a coupla big fat announcements. the first is the our song ‘this night’ is currently featured on FX’s promo for the new season of the shield, and it’s bad assed.

the second announcement is that the third black lab album, passion leaves a trace, is due out january 16.

and the third announcement is that we need your help. please click here to see the promo, hear sample streams of the album, even get your hands on the ‘shield’ track – and please grab that banner and go to work.



omg how time flies. here’s some news:

get your reissues of black lab’s debut now for x-mas. we’ll be shipping within 24 hours of all orders for the next week so get ’em while they hot. to celebrate, check out the sweet slice of the original ‘time ago’ video, now up in the gallery. ahhhh the nineties.

speaking of videos, we’ve been the featured artist over at podshow.com for the last week. they’re featuring our new vid for ‘lonely boy,’ which has been tearing up their charts. if you’re not hip to the whole podcast thing you need to get hip. that’s all I’m gonna say.

keep your eyes peeled for the new spot promoting FX’s season debut of ‘the shield.’ oh, and listen too…

did anyone hear our song ‘good’ at the top of that episode of ‘Numb3rs’ in November? does anyone watch tv anymore?

ok, take care of yourselves.


hi. I’m playing again next week in LA at the hotel cafe, thursday july 21 at 11 pm. probably 21 and up (sorry). Ben and Ian of the band Gomez at 9 and the band Pedestrian at 10.

The Hotel CafĂ© is located at 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood. hopefully post some pics…


man, have I been neglecting the the news page or what?

had a great show the other night. somehow in the midst of the heatwave it felt very warm and relaxed. here’s a rough mp3, straight from the board, of ‘sleeps’ — at the request of someone at the show (I can’t remember who b/c my brain doesn’t function after shows). anyway, here it is: left-click me to download.

what else… oh, check out a few wicked seconds of black lab, rocking the latest techno joint called “River of Joy” in the trailer for a new teen horror movie called The Covenant. right here. the trailer is also available at apple.com AND THE SONG IS NOW AVAILABLE AT iTUNES.

oh, and check this shit out: tommy lee!

black lab rules. certified.


so, check this out. sweet little podcast called ‘the little show’ with scott st. john. just did a fairly extensive interview interspersed with songs, you get to hear my beautiful speaking voice thru my crappy cordless phone.

to download the mp3, click here.
to go to scott’s website, subscribe, and/or check out the whole podcasting phenom, click here.

peace out.


probably should have gotten this up before: cake or death, the story (straight from the newsletter. if you’re not subscribed, you really should, by clicking above on ‘subscribe.’)

cake or death is a side project I’ve been working on for a couple of years. we finally finished our record and it has just become available at blacklabworld.com. I am completely psyched about this thing and thought I’d let you in on the story of the band.

a couple of years ago, three very close friends of mine who live up here came to me and said “hey, herr rock star, why should you get to have all the fun. we want to be in a band too.” and I was like, “whoa, do you really think you can handle the intense fun quotient we’re talking about here?” and they were like, “um, yeah, we think we can handle it.”
none of these people had been in bands before. in fact, quite frankly, none of them played any musical instruments. Joshua, who I’ve known for almost twenty years, had been carting this cheap Ibanez bass around for a decade but had never learned to play. Kristin could sing, fo sho’, but she’d never sung into a mic before and those fourth grade piano lessons weren’t exactly current. Olya grew up in Russia, without running water or rock and roll, and wanted to play drums.

it seemed like something of a challenge. Olya posed a special problem because in order to play the drums, one has to do different things with each hand and each foot. kind of like driving a car except when you’re driving a car your hands and feet are all doing different things which lead to the same thing: maneuvering the car down the road without killing self or others. but with the drums, all the different things are doing both the same thing (as in the horrifically difficult task of hitting things at the same time when they’re hit at the same time, keeping steady tempo) and very different (right hand playing steady 8ths, right foot playing on the downbeat of 1 and the upbeat after 3). not easy. try it sometime. it’s a nightmare. you start trying to play something and your brain instantly jams up like an LA freeway after a shooting.

but Olya is also special in that, as a massage therapist (the best on the planet), she has tremendous control of her various limbs. AND, extra bonus, she is pissed. by which I mean, you could say, she has an anger-based personality. probably why we get along so well. of course, all good drummers are extremely angry, and all great drummers are nothing short of psychotic. dunno about her psychosis level. still sussing it out.

anyway, they had this guy named Andrew (who happens to be my brother) playing guitar, so I said no problem, I’ll teach you how to do this. I showed Olya the torturous drum patterns she would have to pound out for hundreds of hours in order to gain even a passing competency. I made a little chart of the notes for Joshua, showed him how to finger, and basically left him alone to figure out what to do with his right hand. Kristin stuck to the mic and tinkling with one hand on my expensive Roland keyboard. Andrew pretty much knew what he was doing, so all I had to tell him was to play fewer notes.

I worked with them on learning some covers and would check in from time to time. It was cute.
then Andrew had to quit. they had no guitarist, and for some reason (feeling left out no doubt) I agreed to step in.
now, I have never played lead guitar before. I have always had guys who actually knew what they were doing for that. but I thought what every human thinks when offered the possibility of playing lead guitar: cool. I’m gonna get to play solos.

you may or may not know my position on guitar solos. guitar solos suck. they’re a wankfest. they’re uncreative. only geniuses like Michael Belfer should be allowed to play guitar solos and even they should probably play a lot fewer than they do. if you must have a guitar ‘instrumental’ section, please do the decent thing and play a freakin melody. or just do like Kurt, and play the notes of the verse.

of course, these rules all apply to OTHER people playing guitar solos. not me. special rules apply to me: since I can’t really play guitar, and barely get by strumming first position chords (always the same voicings), I have infinite lease to wank away in the vague hope of coming up with something someone would want to listen to. so, guitar solos ‘R us.
additional rules: Olya, since she didn’t know how to play drums, couldn’t play fills. just the beats (which she was quite good at). this is awesome, and something I have wanted from every drummer I’ve ever played with. she didn’t have a problem with it. she just likes hitting things. also: Joshua, who had been dreaming of laying down fat sticky grooves, was not allowed to play anything remotely resembling reggae.

so, long story less-long, we learned covers, and we sucked really bad. this went on for a year. it was strange. we sucked (and I mean hard) but it was fun. like high school. then I went to LA and came back to find they were jamming. yes, jamming. it was kind of cool. I sang on top of it, told Joshua to play something different for the chorus, and it was almost, dare I say it, a song.

this happened repeatedly over the course of the next year. I would go to LA, come back, and make their jams into songs. we were a lot better playing our songs than Tom Petty’s songs, since you didn’t really have to know how to play your instrument to play our songs. it was one of the good things about our songs.

then the songs got better. Olya got better. Joshua started writing bass lines that were unlike anything else. Kristin started bringing some serious melodies with nice phrases dug into them. we worked harder and the songs got even better. at some point, I said, just for a laugh, “we should make a record.” it seemed cool, right? just toss off a record on my protools rig. no pressure, just for fun.

the only problem was — the stuff had gotten really good. Fleetwood Mac harmonies called out for a late 70’s sleaze production treatment. Kristin’s excellent singing alongside mine demanded some decent guitar playing. the lyrics and transitions started to come together and the balance between 80’s melodicism and the pomo aesthetics of right now found a nice balance. it was all too good, actually, for just a toss-off recording process, as I discovered nine weeks in, trying to make the tracks as good as the songs.

I sweated blood I swear. it feels like the best combination I’ve ever gotten of spontaneous, no-pressure songwriting, brute-simple performances, and micro-tweak production. dry, moody, at times pissed or horny or goofy, this record brings a true taste of variety to my thing. I think this shit is tight, and the people so far who have heard it tend to agree. I have a suspicion you’ll like it.

so give it a listen — click here to preview seven songs from the record.

check out the forum — post & read people’s opinions about the new machine.

click here to go the shop and like, buy it (remember the ‘any 3 cd’s for $30’ deal — we ship everywhere!).

there’s even a wicked photo of kidrobot’s new munny figure on the cover. kidrobot.com is a company my friend paul budnitz started that sells awesome urban vinyl action figures, kind of like fine art crossed with anime crossed with hip hop culture (see the article about him in the new time magazine). anyway, he also took the band photo and wrote the meta-hilarious liner notes. he’s a good guy to have around. maybe I’ll start a band with him…


so, my big news is that my side project cake or death is finished and available right here.

it’s a collaboration with some close friends of mine. I sing and play, like, all of the guitar. kristin kelly sings and plays piana. my friend joshua leavitt whom I’ve known for almost 20 years plays bass. and olya mokina hits the drums. I’m actually in love with it, even though making it was brutal. I sing lead or co-lead on half the songs and lend a major wad of harmonies to the rest. we wrote it together, with me and kristin doing the lyric thing, and it’s different and sweeter and somehow more natural than anything else I’ve done before. dunno what it is. we were just relaxed and I didn’t care (at least at first) and we let the fleetwood and the mac flow.

check it.


whoa, we’re #1 this week at Kingsley’s Corner.
not really sure what that means.
go there and find out
(and vote! yeah!).


hey, check it out. I’m doing a little solo acoustic thing in La.

beautiful little club called the hotel cafe, perfect vibe and acoustics.
tues, Jan 31st, 9:00 pm.
with rob dickinson from the catherine wheel
1623 1/2 north cahuenga blvd, hollywood, ca 90028
$10 door.

also, for all those unwilling or unable to sit through blade: trinity, I put up hi-res copies of the scene featuring our tune ‘this blood.’ I’m probably prejudiced, but I think it’s the best scene in the movie (no horrible dialogue, just the lab rocking hard). click here to watch in quicktime or windows media.

hope everyone’s having an excellent new year.


just sent out a new threadbare. let us know if you didn’t get it or subscribe, baby, subscribe. most of the ‘news’ is there in the newsletter. if you don’t get ’em, click the link up in the right hand corner to check ’em out. they’re busting full of good clean fun, delivered straight from my sick mind.

here’s some highlights:

definitely check out the holiday special: any 10 cd’s for $90. we’ll take care of your whole Christmas/Hannukha/Kwanza shopping nightmare with a few clicks. do it here and we’ll send you a free copy of the “I feel fine” ep, including the song “gone,” which is available nowhere else. cool.

iTunes is another good way to gift to your electronically oriented friends, and we’re rocking the new album there right now.

other interesting links:

black lab and the massive battle of the bands on right now at garageband.com.
‘see the sun’ is rocking the planet over there. click this box to check it out:

tell me why‘ burning up the charts at alternativeaddiction.com. vote!

(also, fascinating interview material over there featuring yours truly)

the ongoing myspace project, featuring a sneak peak of a track smuggled in from the Mp3 of the Month Club.

into the purevolume thing? we’re up and at it right here.

also, we’re missing you over at the forum. hurry and become the 200th registered member and do more than just lurk, yeah!

ok, take care of yourselves.


ok, I just sent out the first episode of threadbare, the official black lab newsletter. I know it’s taken a long time but I’m sticking all kinds of new crap in this old dog’s brain so you have to give me some leash. if you didn’t get it, shoot me an email and let me know: contact@blacklabworld.com

also, check this out: a magic form you can use to send messages to your friends, informing them of black lab’s greatness. I know you’ve always wanted to but never before did you have an automated form. well, now you do. check it out by clicking here!

I gotta go now. more soon.


wow. I need a summer vacation.
before I can say anything I’d like to apologize to all the wonderful people who have sent me email the last few months. I have been juggling the building of the site with my regular music writing & recording as well as hanging and traveling with my new son and the reply thing just hasn’t happened. it will, however, happen. very sorry.

ok, all kinda shite goin’ on. here’s the latest:
the excellent Chad over at alternative addiction wants to do an interview with me. seeing as how “without you” is #1 over there (thanks to your rabid voting), it seems like a good time. the catch is that you guys have to provide the questions. which is cool, because I’d like to hear what you want to know. I’m not scared. click here to shoot over and let us know what’s on your mind. you don’t even have to register to do it.

what else. I’ve updated the history page to include a few new things. basically shots of the band when we were on sony, waiting for our record to come out, before Eve got married and Scoty got divorced. I’m hoping to start doing a lot more of this. been looking back through photos from the your body above me tour. would love to put some of that stuff up… hopefully soon.

also, if you’re a friendster person, I got that up and running so come check it out here.

the first issue of “threadbare” should be coming out in a few days and I’m already having my custom-coded perl random number-generator choose who will be receiving a free t & cd. so keep signing up (and give me your address — you never know when I might be in your neck of the woods maybe doing an acoustic show or something and I could let you know. hell, we’re gonna tour again someday! and I don’t want to send you a notice for a florida show if you live in alaska).

and finally, in the shop, we have our first mystery product. check it out.

ok, thanks for stopping by.
see you soon.


oh my god how the time goes. so, we’re rocking, we’re making things happening. got some new stuff going on. got digital downloads of the album now at alternative addiction for all you who need it NOW. we’re on the charts over there and you can vote for “without you.”got a new track or two in an upcoming movie called “lovewrecked.” got the first song out to the Mp3 of the Month Club folks. got the 90 second “see the sun” video up in the images section [remember, please, our resident photographer paul budnitz made this for us on a $10 budget. we bought the camera and tape, shot it, dumped it into the computer, then returned the camera the next day. couldn’t return the tape. sets courtesy of the city of hollywood, ca]. got the myspace thing up and cranking – become a friend and subscribe to my blog right here.

what else… been getting wonderful emails and reviews from people who have picked up the new album. check them out. that’s been very nice after all our sweat and blood. and tears. it’s unbelievable people still dig this stuff as much as it seems they do, especially when sometimes it seems like total crap to us and there are always industry execs on hand ready to confirm our opinion. but your care and attention do provide a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

spent a couple of weeks in LA writing songs, doing lunch (fab!), moving Andy into a new studio (pics soon), going to the beach, seeing ‘batman begins’ (on the IMAX), hanging out with Matt and the other cool guys in Beck’s band.

starting to work a little on radio, on getting the charts up, on getting the street team put together, getting a links section going, etc. etc. etc. I need two of me…

well, it’s late. more later.


hey, how goes it. welcome to blacklabworld, our latest attempt to stay in touch with all y’all. in case you don’t know who we are, we are black lab, paul durham & andy ellis (et al.), the american rock band from hell, releaser of your body above me, “wash it away,” and “time ago” and non-releaser of our second album, see the sun.

but wait, we ARE releasing see the sun. after years with our heads buried in the sand, making music on our computers and waiting for someone to come and save us, andy and I realized that there are other cool things that can be done with computers. like making websites. so after much handwringing and bookreading, we here we are.

if you’ve been hanging around through the agony and ecstasy (mostly agony) of the last five years, you know that we got lost in interscope’s acquisition of geffen records, that I got us a new deal with epic records, and that everyone we knew and worked with at epic got let go in one horrible week at the beginning of the decline of the music business.r>
our brilliant lawyer adam ritholz was able to get us out of the quicksand at sony and we went underground, convinced we could set radio and the rest of the world on fire with “see the sun,” “lonely boy,” and the myriad other hits on our record. alas, it was not to be. we weren’t able to penetrate the big machine of the biz and have therefore stayed underground, writing and producing new music for ourselves as well as for other artists and film & television.

it’s all good, though. we’re coming up for air with see the sun and blacklabworld.com, committing to the business as well as the artistic pursuit of independence. we realized how much fun we’ve been having making music without record companies breathing down our neck and asked ourselves an obvious question: why would we want to court another one? the model of the big record company is broken, and we’re here to kick it when it’s down.

our ultimate goal is to build our audience back up to the point where we can tour again, where we can come to your town and blow the ceiling off the local club. that’s what I miss most…

so please check out the site. there’s free downloads of the new record, or you can listen to 90 second samples of most of the album right now by clicking here. there’s new photos, cool new t-shirts for sale, as well as an awesome idea we had for delivering music to you directly called the Mp3 of the Month Club.

hope to see you back here a lot – there will be new stuff every week, new words and sounds and visions.

let us know what you think.



  • Instrumentals_chill

  • Live at Mercury Lounge

  • A Raven Has My Heart

  • Best of the MP3 of the Month Club

  • Two Strangers

  • Unplugged

  • Give Us Sugar: b-sides

  • Passion Leaves a Trace

  • Technologie

  • See The Sun

  • Your Body Above Me

  • Stray Palace EPs

  • Paul Solo: 10M Years

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