A Living Room Full of Questions, and Answers
Prior to the release of his new record Curse Your Branches which arrives later this year, at the request of his label, David Bazan has been keeping a relatively low profile. But a man’s gotta eat and support his growing family. So they made a deal that Bazan could do smaller house shows, which would limit his promotional reach. This is the kind of intimate opportunity we’re always on the lookout for, but few established musicians seem to want to do them, so attending this show was a no-brainer. The setting for our living room concert was Rosewood Manor, a stately home in Bazan’s hometown of Edmonds, a metropolitan suburb of Seattle just a few exit’s north on the 5. The show’s set up was delightfully simple: no amp, no microphone, and about 25 mismatched chairs and couches for the audience. We arrived early and grabbed seats in the “front row,” with Bazan singing within an arms length of us.
Playing a mix of Pedro the Lion, Headphones and his solo material, Bazan spent the majority of the evening playing songs from the aforementioned new album he’s finished for Barsuk Records. Surprisingly, much of the material was brand new to me. Memorably I don’t think I’d heard the title track (captured above on video), a new one called “Stitches,” or one of my favorite songs of the night, “Priests & Paramedics.” This next video of that song comes from another house show that went down in Denver a little while ago as a part of this same “house tour”:
Just as interesting as the new songs though was the question and answer session that Bazan stopped for, every other song or so. This audience was clearly knowledgeable about Bazan’s complete career, and he affably fielded questions of every type about old and new stuff. There was even “that religious guy” who each time Bazan stopped for questions had to lead an interrogation about his faith or relate how he would sing some Pedro songs to razz fellow church goers at the bible study he led. Bazan answered each barrage unblinkingly, and even played an old Pedro song–”Slow and Steady Wins the Race”–to better demonstrate a point. Among the interesting nuggets learned from the Q+A were that Headphones is to be resurrected, in time, and the name of Bazan’s soon-to-be born child. His wife was due the next day, and David worried he’d get in trouble for sharing the not yet newborns name.
During the intimate Q&A, Bazan told the audience that the singer-songwriters and artists he loves the most, are those whose music left him with chills. We feel the same way, and we left his set with shivers.
Dave answering questions ::: Photo by Abbey
David Bazan ::: Photo by Josh
The stage ::: Photo by Abbey
Bazan, now safely past the birth of a new child, has recently added to his schedule another group of four shows to happen two weekends in a row in mid-July in the Puget Sound area, and a couple of Oregon dates the weekend following that. Shoreline, Marysville, Woodinville and Olympia all get a piece of him. Go to davidbazan.com to see if there are any spot’s left in your neck of the woods. (As of this writing, all the shows with the exception of a Portland show appear to have spots.)