David Bazan

The editors of Tympanogram have long and storied pasts that intersect around 2001, when we both worked at a local amusement park for the summer. Needing daily sustenance and being unable to leave the park to find it himself, the manager (Andy) recruited the employee (Dave) to be the delivery person for food runs and through this a friendship was struck. And while the details of conversations have been lost in the beer-induced haze that accompanies summer jobs, we eventually discovered a mutual appreciation for the same bands. Discussing music became a focal point for the remaining few years the both of us spent at the park.

Our respect for David Bazan, while gleaned from vastly different experiences, is also mutual. Andy’s exposure to Mr. Bazan started with the debut Pedro the Lion EP Whole, while Dave’s interest started (due to Andy’s insistence) with Control. And while Dave appreciates David Bazan’s music and use of the phrase “corporate cum,” his attachment is much less of an emotional one than Andy’s, who relates quite often to the worldview presented in much of the lyrics.

Whether it’s as the frontman of the band version of Pedro the Lion, the solo artist using the moniker Pedro the Lion, the solo artist just using his own name, or as the singer of electro-Pedro (Headphones), Bazan sticks to the material he knows best – down-beat rock with sad-core lyrics about faith mixed with occasional swearing. Bazan’s lyrics often present a hyper-realist view of the world, taking relationships to extremes to prove his point – we’re all fucked up, each of us together. He doesn’t offer answers, only a mirror in which to see ourselves.

He’s been rumored to have a new album in the works for a while now. Originally slated to be out at some point last year, it has obviously now become this year. You can get his most recent single, “American Flags,” on iTunes.

As a solo artist he’s on Barsuk, before which he was on Jade Tree. You can find a lot of free schwag in the form of mp3s over at his page on Jade Tree.

The excellent blog It’s Hard To Find a Friend has a great, full concert of his for downloading as well, from November of 2007. Get that here.

And, if you haven’t seen it, what he’s doing in March/April is just kick-ass. If there’s one around here, someone had better let us know.

Pedro the Lion – Simple Economics (mp3) – from Winners Never Quit

Pedro the Lion – Transcontinental (mp3) from Achilles Heel

David Bazan – Backwoods Nation (mp3) from Fewer Moving Parts EP

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