1.23.2007

David Bazan

Throughout the years I've come running back to some form of David Bazan. Yes, there were points in my life where he got me through some stuff, and yes there were times he just made for a good listen. Either way, he's an artist that hardly sees the light of day, especially on music blogs, and this post is all about counteracting that.

The first track that really got me in to David's 'band' Pedro the Lion was this one:
Pedro the Lion - "Bad Diary Days"

Then I came across Winners Never Quit at the Library and it's been one of my favorite albums since. It's short and sweet, and has a on-going storyline throughout the entire album:
Pedro the Lion - "Eye on the Finish Line"

Then I got into more of David's stuff and fell in love with his older songs. That's when I started to really appreciate his angle of songwriting, and where he was coming from. In "Criticism as Inspiration" he sings "Then there's your girlfriend: she opens her legs and gives your life meaning. Is that what you love her for?" He strung in Christian intentions with real life situations without ever making the songs less raw or relateable.
Pedro the Lion - "Criticism as Inspiration"

Once the obsession really grew (for the 10th time) Control came out and blew me away. It was loud, it was powerful, and it had lyrics truer than ever before.
Pedro the Lion - "Magazine"

Once the obsession grew I began driving my own car and put that to use and started going to see David in concert. One day I drove over to Ballard to catch Pedro do an acoustic set at Sonic Boom records (running a red light and getting pulled over on the way there), then heading to Seattle (hitting rush hour) and seeing him play with John Vanderslice. To top it off I ran in to Ben Gibbard and a member or two more of Death Cab at the show. It was definitely a day to go down in the memory bank. During his touring he started covering Radiohead's "Let Down" which sounded amazing, and which he released on a tour EP:
Pedro the Lion - "Let Down (Radiohead Cover)"

Once Control grew thin, and the touring slowed down, Achilles Heel came out and there were so many rumors of it being his last record (it looked like the lion was dieing on the cover, etc). What I loved about this album was he was able to talk about God and drop the "f-bomb" and pull it off. I mentioned this in a paper I wrote on him for English 101 and ended up getting an 'A' on it. I love the last track "The Poison" and particularly the part " My old man always swore that hell would have no flame. Just a front row seat to watch your true love pack her things and drive away". I came across an alternate version of the song which I love even more:
Pedro the Lion - "The Poison (Alternate Version)"

After the release of Achilles Heel he played a solo-electric set at the Showbox in January, in the wake of the Tsunami disaster. I have to mention Ben Gibbard and James Mercer (of the Shins) also played solo that night. David mentioned a new band he was making music with, and played some of their songs, but it was a while after that until actual recorded tracks from his 'sideband' The Headphones started showing up:
The Headphones - "Shit Talker"

After that, besides random Headphones shows, touring stopped, and little was heard about David, and I feared it was the end of him. But then I saw on his Purevolume site, a demo of a new track called "The Ghost is Beating His Wife". He released that, then a second version of it with harmonies, etc came. After that tied me over, I found out about his "solo" cd coming out. "The Ghost..." was on it with the title "Cold Beer and Cigarettes":
David Bazan - "Cold Beer and Cigarettes" (.Mp4 file)

And that pretty much brings us up to date. He's playing a show in Seattle at the Triple Door on January 26th, and I'm dieing to go, but I've got no ride. We'll see what I can do.

5 comments:

Drunk Country said...

you have good ears, my man.

welcome to Drunk Country.

x

Matt Modrich said...

Go to my blog at microwavablemartian.blogspot.com to check out a couple interviews I did with David Bazan.

Anonymous said...

where do you find these alternative songs like the poison. i love Bazan, can never get enough of his lyrics

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Anonymous said...

thanks for posting. Great article.