NEM#213: Paul Chastain (Velvet Crush): Flavors of Brightness

Illinois singer/bassist Paul had his first release in 1985 and joined with drummer Ric Menck to form a band that was eventually called Velvet Crush, which released six studio albums from 1991-2004. He has since played a lot in Matthew Sweet’s band and has now released two albums with drummer John Richardson under the name The Small Square.

We discuss “Can’t Let Go (Oh, Tommy)” by The Small Square from Ours & Others (2023), “California Incline” by Velvet Crush from Stereo Blues (2004), and “Flower Field” by Choo Choo Train from Briar Rose EP (1988). Intro: “Hold Me Up” by Velvet Crush from Teenage Symphonies to God (1994). End song: “SML” from The Small Square (2015, remastered 2023). More at and

Hear all of “Hold Me Up,” and watch Velvet Crush play it on Conan. Here’s another, mellower live track called “Why Not Your Baby.” Watch some of a live reunion show. Hear Paul’s first single “Halo” (1985). Watch Paul harmonize with Matthew Sweet (with Ric in the band too), and accompanying Matthew and Susanna Hoffs on guitar on an interesting cover tune.

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