About the music

Inspired by the post-punk and new wave of the early 80s, mixed with the hooks and harmonies of classic power-pop, The Green L.E.D.s’ music is a refined blend of rock and pop, of guitars and keyboards, and of hope and angst. It is the non-comedy music project of comedy musician Rob Paravonian, bringing him full circle to his roots as a bass player in the 90s for the Chicago-area power-pop band The Steppingstones.

At times moody, at times joyous, the sound of The Green L.E.D.s feels like the brisk night of a shoulder season, when the world seems to be going two directions at once. Minor chords and quiet verses burst into choruses with lush backing vocals, just as the cold colored leaves of fall that signal the coming winter also bring harvest festivals and the holidays. The guitars that form the foundation of the sound can be quiet and introspective like a late winter chill or a wall of energy like a spring storm.

Complimenting the guitars throughout are electric pianos and synths, as well as string arrangements and the occasional horn section. Underneath it all is a solid foundation of drums and bass guitar, the latter being Rob’s preferred instrument and the origin of his knack for connecting a melody to a groove.

With The Opposite of Afterglow, the second album from The Green L.E.D.s, the sound is maturing and coming into it’s own while being confident to follow ideas in new directions.

person singing into microphone with vertical mirror effect
person singing into microphone with vertical mirror effect

The musician behind The Green L.E.D.s is better known for making fun of music than for releasing ‘serious’ songs. His videos on YouTube went viral for ranting about pop music’s constant recycling of Pachelbel’s Canon, or for pointing out mindless lyrics in the Friends’ theme. His original comedy songs are well known for bragging about a knack for selling band candy, complaining about particle board furniture, or being terrified by his grandfather’s driving. In fact, as a comedian, Rob Paravonian has toured all 50 states, opened for George Carlin on his final tour, and has released eight full-length comedy albums.

But music was there first. Rob started on cello in grade school, picked up bass in 7th grade, played in rock bands through high school, college, and after. Music fit so organically into his comedy that the solid foundation of musicianship was sometimes overlooked.

As a songwriter, Rob has a well developed ear for melody and structure; as an arranger Rob pulls inspiration from his background playing cello in orchestras through high school, as well as his love for classic pop bandleaders like Henry Mancini and Perez Prado. And as a producer Rob builds on a career of DIY recording, sharpening his skills with each project.

During the first year of the pandemic, when live shows were shut down, Rob started a weekly cover song livestream, playing rock, rap, pop, country, jazz, and more. The shows were a way for Rob to keep playing music and stay engaged during the shutdowns, but they also helped him rediscover his love of playing music outside of the comedy arena.

As he started noodling and writing songs without being hemmed in by a comedy premise, he discovered new reserves of inspiration. When he decided to focus these ideas into an album project he picked up the name he adopted for an 80s-inspired original song project: The Green L.E.D.s. The debut album was released in October, 2021.

The following year Rob returned to writing comedy music and released The American Songbook: Redacted, an 11-song album and live show of satirical songs inspired by history and culture. In the background, while working on the lyric videos and live show that was featured at The Edmonton International Fringe Theater Festival in August of 2023, Rob still noodled with ideas for songs for The Green L.E.D.s project.

At first expecting to release an EP of new songs, the creativity snowballed and the new Green L.E.D.s project blossomed into a full-length new album The Opposite of Afterglow, set to release in November, 2023. The debut single EP, Shake it Down Tonight, came out in June, 2023, with an original bonus track and a fun cover of Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough.

About the musician