In 2009, fifty or more young hipsters piled into a Berkeley, CA living room to listen to a man sing, with gruesome honesty, about his struggles with faith and marriage. The 19-year-olds were far removed from anything as real as marriage, and the Bay Area is, for the most part, a godless country, but everyone listened quietly despite the cosmic distance between their young lives and the adult ennui sung from the center of the room. I’m sure it was a magical experience, but I was trapped in a sea of sweat-filled jean jackets in the hallway.
David Bazan had already established indie rock tenure with his band Pedro the Lion years before he began his “living room shows” (which he still does today). Some musicians of his caliber may associate house shows with a darker, and hopefully never to be revisited time in their career, but for Bazan it seems the perfect venue for his uncomfortably intimate music. That is not meant as a knock towards the Seattle native–he just has a penchant for dredging up personal turmoils that some may not be brave enough to even tell close friends, let alone record them for thousands of people to hear. Bazan is a rare kind whose music is startlingly sincere in a time characterized by degrees of detachment or cynicism.
His continued insistence on playing small shows also speaks to Bazan’s dedication to his fans, as well as his bafflingly productive work ethic. The living room tours are only part of his routine of over 100 live shows a year, and he still somehow manages to record new material, releasing a new record titled Blanco this year, not to mention working with another project called Overseas, with Austin’s Will Johnson and Matt & Bubba Kadane of Bedhead and the New Year.
David Bazan came into Studio 1A and played an acoustic performance of some of his new material from Blanco. Check it out at the bottom of the page.