A prolific home-studio musician in the tradition of the Magnetic Fields--he claims to have written and recorded 300 songs to date--Osvaldo Paese is an earnest young singer and songwriter with seemingly boundless ambition and a wildly diverse set of influences. Though he's clearly enamored of the Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young schools, he describes his musical goal as evoking "Leonardo the Ninja Turtle singing the songs Britney Spears will be writing in the year 2169."
Nothing I've heard on his new seven-song demo, D.I.Y. album "Definitions" or the online jukebox on his MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/osvaldopaese) is quite that far out. But my favorites in his catalog--"We Dot Com," "Whatever You Want Done" or "If You Had Nothing"--do sport a fascinating Beck-like love of psychedelic surrealism colliding with sudden clear-eyed social observations. "If you had nothing would you start living instead?" he asks amid the otherwise cheeky wordplay in the latter tune.
A versatile multi-instrumentalist particularly adept at Jimi Hendrix-meets-Syd Barrett electric guitar freak-outs, Paese performs solo acoustic at open-mike nights around town. Though he doesn't have any dates listed at the moment, he does offer a bounty of homemade videos on his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/osvaldopaese), which means you can see him perform without even leaving the couch.