I am so mad at me that @johnroderick ‘s hat and I were not in Seattle for this show.
Chills. Wow wow wow.
Also for the record: Dave Bazan has one of the most expressive voices in rock.
That David Bazan guy? Yeah. First name basis. Just sayin’.
(I’m just super honored to have the (entirely insignificant and wholly fan-to-artist) relationship with Dave that I do have. He really is a hero to me and his music resonates within my soul.)
David Bazan - Of Up And Coming Monarchs
So swim with me
And we’ll escape all the troubles of the present age
"David Bazan discusses guitars after living room show"
Remember four months ago when David Bazan played a show in my living room - otherwise known as one of the greatest nights of my life?
After the fans had left, he popped his head into my guitar room where he and I proceeded to have this nice 15+ minute conversation about guitars, which my friend Saby (thankfully) captured on video. The light is weak and the audio is quiet, but I’m glad this exists. It’s a great memory that I’ll carry through my life - talking shop with my favorite musician, in my house, with my guitars.
David Bazan Band. (Taken with Instagram at The Ottobar)
David Bazan - Strange Negotiations (live in my living room)
Over 24 hours removed from this performance, from that night, and I’m still struggling to come up with the appropriate words to describe just how special it was. That night I simply tweeted: “Perfect.” I suppose that’s all that really needs to be said.
There are some common events that people traditionally hold as mile markers on their path through life: the day of their wedding, the births of children, the death of parents and other loved ones, etc. I’ve yet to experience any of those (and in the former two cases, I’m not optimistic that I ever will), and so the night of September 16, 2011 will certainly stand as one of the most important, meaningful, memorable, and powerful of my life.
As I wrote that morning, David Bazan’s music and words speak to me on a level that is fundamentally deeper than any other person. To have him in my home was truly an honor and a privilege, yet, no matter how many times I thanked him for stopping by and performing, he insisted that I was the one who deserved to be thanked, as I was the one who graciously provided him with a venue in which he could play. Without hosts like myself, he wouldn’t be able to financially support himself and his family by making these living room tours.
The performance itself was excellent. It was everything I’ve come to expect from these types of shows: moving, emotional, intimate, raw, imperfect, inviting, and cathartic. He played songs spanning the length of his career. He conversed with us through his traditional between-songs question: “Does anyone have a question at this point in the show?” and he answered all questions earnestly and patiently.
We watched him struggle to perform the fingerstyle contrapuntal breakdown of “Slow And Steady Wins The Race" - because he had started the song with the capo on the wrong fret. I could see the gears grinding in his head as he worked out the conversion and within seconds he had locked in the change and he performed the second half without dropping a single note. He shared with us that - just that afternoon - he had finally learned how to correctly play the ‘boom-chicka’ section of "Please, Baby, Please" after listening to Ed Helms playing banjo on WTF with Mark Maron, as well as a performance by Nick Lowe - we were the first audience to ever hear him perform it the way he always intended it to be played.
Following the set he passed out free tour posters to all attendees and spent about 90 minutes hanging out with everyone in my kitchen. We had guests from Toronto, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, DC, and Raleigh, among others, all of whom were polite, courteous, and respectful of my house and each other. While casually chatting in the kitchen, Nicky asked him how he was showering on this tour, as he is literally living in his van. He gave his answer and she and I both insisted that he take a shower at my place before he hit the road - he paused, considered the offer, and declined. 45 minutes later, as the last of the crowd had dispersed, she extended the offer once more - he paused, considered the offer, and accepted. David Bazan took a shower in my house. After the fact he admitted that he now felt like a million bucks and he didn’t know what he was thinking when he initially declined.
Exiting the bathroom and walking back towards the living room, he passed my music room, into which he stuck his head and paused for a moment. Someone commented: “Pretty impressive, isn’t it?” and he replied with a somewhat impressed chuckle “Yeah, man!” Over the course of the next 20 minutes, he and I talked shop about my guitars, his guitars, our tastes, and techniques. Much of that conversation was captured on video - a video that I’ll surely cherish for a long time to come. It was the perfect way to end the evening. He gathered the rest of his things, said his goodbyes to the few friends that remained, and made his humble exit.
David Bazan - The Fleecing (Live, somewhere in Nebraska on I-80)
From ‘94 through ‘01 I was among the world’s biggest weezer fans. The local radio station dubbed me “weezersteve.” I was one of under 250 people who were original members of an elite message board called the Rivers Correspondence Board (RCB) where Rivers Cuomo himself would frequently post (username: Ace) and leak demos of new songs. Much of the production for their Maladroit album was quite honestly performed by members of this board as Rivers bounced ideas off us and we provided brutally candid feedback.
By late in 2000 my friend Brent was spending every day wearing the same hoodie. It was blue and had an orange and brown lion on the front. He extolled the virtues of the band Pedro The Lion to me, but I was too obsessed with weezer to pay much attention. Then one day in 2001, at a now-defunct independent record store (Fantastic Records) where I used to spend, quite literally, hours browsing through the used CDs, I stumbled across a promotional Pedro The Lion CD that had both their first two releases combined on one disc. I bought it for $1.
In 2002 I was in the beginning stages of what would be a 6-year relationship (that would not end well) and we’d spend hours driving around listening to the CD on repeat. We soon invested in more PTL albums and eventually made our way to Buffalo to see the band play several shows over the course of the relationship. One night we even spent time with the “front man” after the show outside the venue, where he proceeded to pull ou this MacBook and show us the ultrasound pictures his wife had just sent him that day. He was positively beaming and it was clear that this man was someone to be respected and admired.
Flash forward to 2009. By that point I was a full blown worshiper at The Church of David Bazan. Even though PTL’s original primary fanbase was of the devout Christian rock variety, that was never my thing. I’d always appreciated his ability to write songs that, while obviously Christian in nature, were never overtly praise songs. Then Bazan dropped the bomb that shook his fanbase to the core and finally convinced me that I could now, without any hesitation, describe him as my favorite musician of all time. With brutal honesty, his first solo album, Curse Your Branches, describes his loss of faith and the repercussions of that experience. I immediately identified with what he was saying and drew many parallels between his words and the emotions I’d felt in my own life as I lost faith (though I never had it to the extent that he did) and struggled with how to deal with that while not completely breaking my mother’s heart. Only one album has ever had such an impact on my life before, weezer’s Pinkerton.
And so finally, we arrive at today. David Bazan is on the road somewhere right now, driving towards Rochester. In a few short hours he’ll be pulling his van into my driveway. He’ll enter my home to find ~35 fans, nay friends. He’ll pull out his guitar and perform an acoustic set of his music - just his voice and his guitar, maybe some foot stomping, and a room full of friends quietly whispering the songs along to themselves. I’ve had little success in my life when it comes to love, I don’t necessarily enjoy what I do for a living, friendships have come and weakened and disappeared through the years, and my own music career never took off in the way that I always dreamed it would, but tonight, if even for just one night, I will feel like the most successful man on Earth. Nothing could mean more to me right now than to invite David into my home to celebrate love, and loss, and life - and above all - music.
Interview: David Bazan
Every time I read a new Bazan interview I find another story or quote that reaffirms why I like the guy so much - not just as a musician, but as a human.
Only $3.99 for one of the best albums of the year.
You’ve heard me preach about Bazan time and time again. Now reward yourself by dropping a few bucks in his pocket.
Click here to buy it from Amazon. Sale ends tonight.
David Bazan - Strange Negotiations (live on Austin City Limits - Satellite Sets)
I still can’t believe my favorite musician will be performing in my house in less than a month. I’ve driven to DC/Baltimore three times to see him play, and five times to Buffalo, and now he’ll be driving to Rochester to play for me and 30 other fans.
How sweet it is.
September 16, 2011 Buy now. Only 20 tickets remain!
My living room.
September. (The date is confirmed, but I can’t go public until he does).
Limited to 30 tickets. (To be sold only via his website. Stay tuned.)
(Nothing is confirmed, but still, HOLY CRAPS! HOLY FUCKING CRAPS!)
I will definitely not link to any leaked versions.
I’ve already paid for the album which is why I feel no guilt in downloading a leaked copy for myself. However, I will not make it easy for people who haven’t paid for the album to just mindlessly steal it.
Yes. I will absolutely listen to a leaked copy as soon as I can find one and I will not feel any guilt or disrespect for it.
My CD will be delivered on May 24th and I’m anticipating those who pre-ordered will be given a chance to stream it online a few days before the release date, just as Barsuk provided for Curse Your Branches. If it leaks before then it will almost certainly be the final product, so why wait? Bazan won’t be making changes.
Bottom line: if I have a chance to hear new music from my favorite artist, I’m going to take the first chance I get.
Yes. It’s 2011. All important albums leak.
Please don’t steal David Bazan’s music.