It might not be a known music genre, but when Bryant Keith Bayhan was asked to describe .paperman, he said “glitter wave” best captures his sound.
“I don’t know what else to call it,” Bayhan said. “So I decided to come up with my own label for it.”
The glitter describes more than just his look, he said with shimmering eyes and cheeks before his set opening for Sure, Sure at KCPR’s 50th Birthday Party at SLO Brew Rock on Friday.
It’s not quite a Duran Duran-esque vibe, he said. Not dark wave, either. Imagine a “lighter, sparkly sort of sound to the music.”
A Morro Bay native and former Cal Poly student, .paperman started in the San Luis Obispo music scene at 18-years-old, playing at “DIY concerts” out of houses. Years later, even as he plays for larger crowds and loves every minute of it, he said those smaller venues are still some of his favorite shows.
“My heart is really with playing in houses,” he said. “It’s a very intimate, safe, comfortable environment for everyone. People are there to enjoy the music and enjoy their friends. I feel like people are really caught up with the idea of going to festivals right now, and they forget that there’s really cool people that just show up someone’s house for some music.”
DIY shows like the local Chlorophyll Cave make for a low-price night of entertainment — usually around $5, he said. But they also shed light on the smaller pockets of the music scene in San Luis Obispo.
“It also encourages those new bands or bands that don’t want this big thing — bands that just want to play music and do interesting things.”
Find .paperman not just at DIY house shows, but at other unusual venues, too.
“I did a show at Urban Outfitters a couple years ago,” he said. “It was me and another local band called Pleasantly. It was actually one of my favorite places to play, because the sound was really good. It was this huge room and it wasn’t just a big box like some venues. It sounded great. That was really fun.”
What most influences .paperman’s music is not necessarily other musicians, he said. It used to be more important to him to pull inspiration from other musicians. Now that he is learning the ropes, he said, he has become more experimental.
“I tend to be more inspired by movies,” Bayhan said. “I’ll watch a movie, then I’ll listen to sounds and I’ll think, ‘That’s going to work really well.’ So during live sets, I’ll mix in bits of movies that I like.”
Although “glitter wave” used to be a way he described only his own music, it is now a sound he can hear in other musicians’ work.
“I hear artists release things and I can hear the glitter wave sound in it,” he said.
A longtime listener, collaborator and friend of KCPR, .paperman said he was proud to celebrate 50 years of the station that brought the community’s sound to the stereo.
Watch .paperman perform at Shabang Oct. 20 at Laguna Lake Park.