“It’s….one of the best towns”

October 8, 2009 : Dan’s Silverleaf : Denton, TX

We left Austin after an in-studio at KUT – the session was good, but most of the band were feeling pretty rough from the night before. There was throwing up in a urinal involved, if that helps. We set sail north where we stopped in Taylor, TX to enjoy Louie Mueller’s Bar-b-q. It was pretty amazing, and could maybe best be described as “foreign.” Other than Barnhart, the texas boy of the bunch, none of us had ever tried this odd central-texas brand of bar-b-q which is served completely dry and with lots of fat. It was delicious.

We picked Casey Foubert, Bazan drummer for the duration, up from the DFW airport around 5:30 and headed for Denton. Denton, Texas is a fantastic college town with a general vibe of “it’s all good.” The people are really friendly and enthusiastic in a way that most towns simply aren’t, and the show was a smashing success by all accounts.

Dan’s, a great bar, was totally sold out, and the crowd was quite enthusiastic to be there. Casey played a fine first set, and the incredibly humid bar was singing along and cheering in a way that kinda felt like a hometown show. A dude up front drove from Norman, OK with some money he borrowed from his dad to see last night and tonight’s shows and received a hug from Dave during q&a. After the set, the crowd was pretty demanding of an encore, but Bazan has not played an encore once this tour, and it’s been a calculated move. We’ve talked about it in the van, he’s announced it to crowds, it just hasn’t happened. So imagine our shock when Bazan took the stage with a telecaster and played “I Never Wanted You” and “Harmless Sparks” to an ecstatic crowd backed only by the pouring rain from a Texas thunderstorm. It was a great moment, and one I doubt anyone there will forget anytime soon.

Thanks for the good times, Texas. I’m sad to see you go.

Goodbye, Desert.

Photos by Matthew Barnhart’s iPhone.

October 7, 2009 : Mohawk : Austin, TX

Austin is a great town. The people are friendly, the crowds are loud and into it, and the breakfast tacos? Oh my God, the breakfast tacos. I got to visit El Chilitios and Magnolia, 2/3 of my breakfast taco wish-list, but I’m hoping we can stop by a Torchy’s on the way out of town to complete the trifecta tomorrow after the band plays on the radio for KUT.

Yesterday was a drive day, meaning we spent lots of time in the van. Since there wasn’t much to write about, I hope you enjoyed the video clip. I’ll try to do more media and less six=paragraphs-of-rambling in the future.

We stopped for dinner in Las Cruces, New Mexico at what our GPS and Matt’s iPhone told us was a good mexican restaurant called Andale. We were confused when we walked inside, surveyed a menu and discovered “Andale’s Dog House” to be a mexican hot dog joint….as in, this restaurant served what were essentially hot dogs with enchiladas on top – and nothing else. After some consulting and surveying, we learned that the “Dog House” was just a close-by annex of the straight-Mexican Andale, and were relieved to not have to have a half-pork/half-nitrate stick with cheese, salsa, and ground beef on top for dinner.

Tonight’s show was great – Sunny Day Real Estate’s reunion tour was in town, and I’d imagine there’s a large cross section of fans who would appreciate SDRE and Bazan, but the Mohawk was packed and the crowd, though a bit chatty, was very enthusiastic and into the jams.

It’s 3:05 and we have a 9:30 van call, so I’ll now attempt to fall asleep despite Barnhart’s incessant snoring. G’night, internets.

The Desert, The Gallery Hippie, & The Hotel Congress.

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October 5, 2009 : Solar Culture : Tuscon, AZ

The southernmost stretch of California, and….well, all of Arizona is a lifeless, tan-and-green mass of desert, mountains, cactus and traffic enforcement cameras parked on the side of the road, with the occasional oasis in the desert. One such oasis came when we stopped at In-n-Out for lunch – sadly, the last In-n-Our stop that geography permits – and met Dave’s grandparents for lunch. They were incredibly kind and funny people. Dave’s grandpa quipped that he can always tell how well his music is doing by whether or not he asks them to meet him at In-n-Out or the nearby, and apparently more deluxe, Cracker Barrell. When I reached for my wallet to buy my lunch, Dave’s grandmother’s hand gripped my wrist with a surprising intensity and informed me she would be paying for our lunch. When one of Dave’s relatives want to give you money, you’re physically endangering yourself by attempting polite refusal.

We rolled into Tuscon and parked next to some train tracks the “venue” is next to. “Tuscon, Arizona looks an awful lot like No Country for Old Men,” I couldn’t help but notice, but luckily we caught a cool night in the desert. Solar Culture is an art gallery first and foremost, not a music venue, as evidenced by the old gallery dude who lives upstairs getting offended by rolled t-shirts being on the floor too close to the base of his sculpture. “Yeahhh, sculptures don’t really make good shelves for merchandise.” Yeahhh, well art galleries don’t make very good venues for professional touring bands who bring several hundred guests to your establishment, and since the merch booth at your venue is a folding table with a bad leg, we’ll have to make do and agree to disagree.

Tuscon was a very friendly crowd. Everyone was super enthusiastic, and when Dave mentioned maybe playing Phoenix next time for all the people that drove down from there, he was met with cries, jeers, and taunts. Some nice people invited us to come have free coffee at the coffee shop they work at – the spoils of being big, huge, famous rockstars are only just beginning to pour in.

I write you from the historic Hotel Congress which is impossibly awesome and remarkably cheap. I’d like to move into one of these rooms if it weren’t in Tuscon, and I wasn’t sharing it with Matt. Today is a drive day, as it’s a long way from Tuscon to Austin, which means that we didn’t have to get up early to make it to a 5:30 load-in. Sleeping on tour is really, really, nice.

See you in Austin.

PS: When we swing through Nashville in a few days I’ll pick up my camera so this blog is not so boring.

“what’s the difference between…”

October 4, 2009 : Troubadour : Los Angeles, CA

Just when I was beginning to think San Diego wouldn’t get any creepier, we woke up, got coffee, headed to Home Depot for some stuff, and passed 7 strip clubs. San Diego, you are a dirty and awkward lover. Dave made us all van keys in Home Depot and got us key chains for them – some say “princess” and some have a black and pink heart with a skull-and-crossbones on it.

The Troubadour is a pretty cool place, with a lot of history – a history which they waste no time in telling you about – and a really large, really helpful staff. They actually have people help you with load out (!) and I made fast friends with the head security dude, Michael (Mike, Big Mike, Mikey, and MC were also used throughout the night). He gave me some extra all access passes after the guest list had been thoroughly exercised in case we wanted to “invite some ladies up afterwords.” That’s the sort of club the Troubadour is. A lot of stereotypical, rock n’ roll holdover  stuff from bygone decades going on, but a really well designed space nonetheless.

Both Say Hi and BAZAN played their tightest sets of the tour. The Bazan band seems to be getting better and better every night, and they were never having trouble to begin with. Dave’s voice acted like it was going to go out through soundcheck and the first half of the set and then warmed up just in time for him to belt the last verse of In Stitches like never before and give me chills. The Troubadour was pretty full like all the shows so far, and Los Angeles bought a lot of Merch – thanks, dudes.

Our friends Molly, Steve, and Luis  have been following us around since Costa Mesa, coming to all three SoCal shows, and It’ll kind of feel weird not hanging with them at the merch table tomorrow. I got to see my friend Nathan Phillips tonight for the first time in a long time – Nathan was in an excellent band called The Winston Jazz Routine who played a few shows with Bazan a couple of years back that some of you might have caught. He grew an awesome beard since the last time I ate Thai food with him. Andy’s cousin was at the show (dude’s got family everywhere) and he later told us a pretty horrifying story about her failing terribly at hopping a fence to get to a swimming pool and ending up impaled by a fence post and dangling by her throat. Thanks for the nightmares, Andy’s cousin. Dave’s bro and one-time merch dude and tour manager Cody Cloud was also in attendance. He said he didn’t recognize me because the last time he saw me I was a lot fatter, which is a really backhanded compliment, and gave me some advice on how to be good at being on tour.

We’re staying at the Beverly Laurel hotel, a really rad 50’s motor lodge that’s been renovated into an awesome, affordable hotel in the middle of West Hollywood. The courtyard (see above)  is open from the street and upon walking in it felt instantly familiar. I feel like I must have seen it in some movie. There’s a really good 24-hour diner at the base of the hotel called Swinger’s where we just got done with a satisfying post-show meal. We also got to drive by the coffee shop/restaurant where the coffee scene of the Big Lebowski was shot. Awesome.

“Brains are fuckin’ wierd man”

October 3, 2009 : Casbah : San Diego, CA

Van games are starting to unfold. Today’s was a game where you try to think of celebrity names that are full sentences – Tom Waits, Pete Rose, Ben Folds, Andy Fitts, George Burns, Bill Withers, etc, etc. Blake got kind of upset with himself because he couldn’t think of one for almost the entire car ride, and then once he thought of “Jeremy Irons” he was on a roll – there was no stopping him.

We pulled in to San Diego in time to park (finding somewhere to park a van and trailer when a venue doesn’t have band parking is unpleasant at best) and get some really awesome food at the Waterfront, a bar a couple of blocks away from the venue. After that it was off to the venue for load-in, check, etc. Blake performed some surgery on Eric’s guitar, I set up merch, and we all got to take our time. It was nice.

The show was, of course, fantastic , something which I feel redundant reminding you about. It was another very full room, a few people shy of selling out, and the crowd seemed to be pretty equally into the new stuff and old stuff, which is always nice. Afterwards, a severely inebriated dude and his lady friend told me I looked like “Jim from the Office,” and wouldn’t stop talking about it until Blake came out and they told him that he was the most amazing lead guitar player ever, before asking “that was you on lead guitar, right?” Alcohol is always an interesting catalyst in the conversations of strangers, one that never ceases to amaze me. The venue sound bro also made some pretty-close-to-creepy comments that made Barnhart a bit uneasy. San Diego, stop being so creepy.

A nice thing about the Casbah is that it’s right next to the San Diego airport – as in, one with a powerful arm could hit the landing planes with a baseball, and while that may sound like a classically humorous example of rock club weirdness, it actually makes for A: Something really fun to do while the band soundchecks, and B: Really awesome sound effects. Believe it or not, there are very few applications for  a Jet landing noise that don’t sound awesome in a Bazan song.

Los Angeles is tonight. Let’s see what you’re made of, traffic.

Coast Table

October 2, 2009 : Detroit Bar : Costa Mesa, CA

After a solid eight hours of sleep at the luxurious Crowne Plaza San Francisco, Ozzy guided us to Costa Mesa, California. Along the way, Dave got recognized by fans at both our gas stop and lunch stop, much like a famous rockstar might. It was my first journey to orange county (basically just a bunch of malls), and a long journey it was. The already bordering-on-lengthy drive from San Francisco was made worse when we pulled into L.A. rush hour traffic at 4:30 on a Friday.

Despite this, we had a decidedly more pleasant and relaxed sound check / set-up experience than yesterday. The Detroit Bar is a very odd room in the corner of a strip mall, it was also very, very sold out (“capacity” = 300. Attendance = 362). Out of the 362 people, about 250 of them were having loud conversations, and the club was hovering around eighty degrees for most of the night. Doors were at 8:00 and Say Hi didn’t go on until 10:00.  Besides being odd, this meant that I had to babysit the merch table and didn’t get to go to dinner with the dudes. It also meant a lot of “when does this show actually start?!?!?!?!” from sweaty fans.

The dudes played a stellar set and emerged sweat-drenched from beards to toes. The crowd, when they finally quieted down, was a great one: everyone got excited for the Pedro jams, and everyone knew the new stuff. So far, people seem to be really excited about the Pedro the Lion song “Magazine” on this tour. Dave’s parents were in attendance, and his mom bought his dad a Bazan shirt and got very stern with me when I tried to not charge her for it.

After the show, we spent about 35 minutes trying to back out of the alley behind the club (vans with trailers are really hard to drive), and then headed to the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel lobby to check in there were 4 of the biggest dudes I’ve ever seen standing guard around all the entrances and exits in street clothes, and a posse of about 10 dudes and 7 girls. It looked like a rap video exploded in the Holiday Inn lobby. As it turns out it was the famous boxer Floyd Mayweather who had stopped on his way back from Vegas for some rest but not until he could “hit the Lion’s Den and get some ladies.”I can’t help but think Bazan would seem a lot cooler to people if he traveled with four body guards. Someone needs to do something about this.

Bazan 2009 Christmas Single

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“Happy Xmas (War if Over)” b/w “Say It Isn’t Greensleeves (A Change at Christmas)”

PRE-ORDER NOW FROM SUICIDE SQUEEZE RECORDS

Limited to 1000 copies! This is the sixth installment of David Bazan’s Christmas Single Series for Suicide Squeeze Records. The 7″ single included adaptions of John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” and Wayne Coyne’s “Say It Isn’t Greensleeves (A Change at Christmas)”. The 7″ is pressed on blue w/white haze, gold or clear vinyl.

Pre-orders ship on October 5. The single will be in record stores on November 3rd.

Bazan at Grimey’s Records – October 10th @ 3pm

Bazan will be playing solo at Grimey’s Records in Nashville on Saturday, October 10th at 3pm. This is his only performance in Nashville on this tour. You’ll need to buy “Curse Your Branches” at Grimey’s to secure your spot. It’s like buying a ticket that plays glorious music. The list is filling up. If you haven’t picked up the album yet and hope to attend, don’t delay!

Grimey’s New + Preloved Music
1604 8th Ave. South
Nashville, TN 37203
PH: 615-254-4801

San Francisco 10/1/09: Day one in the books

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October 1, 2009 : The Independent : San Francisco, CA

Greetings,

My name is Caleb, and I will be doing some tour blogging for you. I’ll also be the one selling you things at the merch booth when you come to your city’s show.

After a lot of driving, flying, rushing, unloading, setting up, line checking, sound checking, waiting, eating hummus, and playing music, day one of the first Bazan Band Tour is in the books. I met Matt Barnhart, a seasoned pro at both tour managing and burrito holding, at the San Francisco airport around 2:00 pm. I’d been up since 4:45 to catch my flight out of Nashville, so I ended up sleeping on and off in a booth in the airport pizza hut booth for the hour or so while I was waiting for Matt to arrive. After collecting our bags we visited Aquarius Records, an awesome record store in the mission, and ate what was arguably the best burrito I’ve eaten in my life. Also the biggest. Also it cost $4.50. About 1/3 of mine fell out of the burrito and into the basket. Matt scolded me for this.

We headed to The Independent (a great club, with a really awesome staff) to Meet Bazan and the band around 5. They were originally hoping to arrive at 4, but that got pushed back. They didn’t make it into town, however, until 6. This made for a hectic soundcheck, considering Matt (pulling double duties as sound bro and Tour Manager) had never heard the band play together, and it gave me very little time to open, catalog and set up about 20 boxes of merch. It was the first day of tour.

Didn’t seem to effect the band(s) very much. Say Hi was stellar and sounded nice as a 3-piece (comprised of Eric, Andy and Alex, who will be filling in on drums for Casey until Denton.) The people really got moving to Eric’s jams, and I was psyched to hear “These Fangs” in the rotation.

BAZAN took the stage to the raucous applause of 358 San Franciscans. The opening ambience of Hard to Be was met with even louder cheers. The band tore through a set comprised of 3 Pedro the Lion jams, 2 songs from Fewer Moving Parts, and almost all of Curse Your Branches. The songs from the new record sound incredible with a 5-piece band, and Dave got asked out on a date by a same-sex admirer during Q&A and I think I saw him blush a little. Adorable. Also, someone found a setting on the GPS that makes Ozzy Osborne the directions-giver.

It’s going to be a good tour.

Help Bazan Buy a Van! UPDATE

UPDATE: Sept 28

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David purchased this van with your help and support. We can’t thank you enough!

# # #

UPDATE: Sept 23

We have sold out of the Van shirts! Thank you all for your amazing support. We were able to raise enough money to purchase a touring van and trailer. We’ll post photos of the new van in a few days.

David is very excited about bringing the new band out on tour and you made it possible. Be sure to say hello to David at one of the shows so he can thank you in person.

We’ll be shipping all of the orders out on Thursday and Friday. Watch your mailbox.

– Bob (David’s manager)

# # #

David is about to go on his first tour with a band in four years. The old Pedro the Lion van has gone to vehicle heaven (see below). We need your help to buy a new touring van. In an effort to raise money for the new van we are offering a very limited edition shirt designed by Chris Kro.

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Shirts go on sale Thursday, September 10 at Noon and we’ll take orders until Thursday, September 24 at Noon. After that they are gone forever. No re-prints. We’ll ship all orders on Sept 25th.

Each shirt comes with a discount coupon to save $5 on any merchandise purchased at a Bazan show.

We are offering these package deals:

$20 – SOLD OUT
“I Helped Bazan Buy a Van” Shirt.
$5 Discount coupon.

$30 – SOLD OUT
“I Helped Bazan Buy a Van” Shirt.
Curse Your Branches CD.
$5 Discount Coupon.

$40 – SOLD OUT
“I Helped Bazan Buy a Van” Shirt.
Curse Your Branches CD.
Bazan: Alone At The Microphone DVD.
$5 Discount Coupon.

Or if you prefer to donate a few bucks you can do so by clicking the button below.





Thanks for your support and help. We really appreciate it.

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American Songwriter Reviews Curse Your Branches

AmercianSongwriterIf ever there was a spokesman for those suffering from the God-sick blues, David Bazan is it. As the frontman behind Pedro the Lion for nearly a decade, Bazan has created a virtual trademark on doubt-ridden lyrics, sketching characters constantly slipping to-and-fro on a moral slope, or candidly confessing his own ambivalence toward God and his own faith.

Now that Bazan has dropped that moniker following the band’s split in 2005—a schism that was shared rather openly on the Fewer Moving Parts EP a year later—and released Curse Your Branches, his first full-length under his given name, the ever-dubious songwriter is yet again at the crossroads. Maybe it was the two solid weeks of tending to his newborn son. Maybe it was his newfound sobriety and spearheading a fresh career path. But when American Songwriter caught up with Bazan in his Seattle home over the phone, the man was almost eerily at ease. [ READ FULL ARTICLE ]

December House Shows

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Thanks to everyone who’s helped with the house shows so far! We are planning a few more before the end of the year.  If you live in or near these cities and want to host a show in your living room on one of these days, please read the details below and then get in touch.

Wed Dec 9 – Ann Arbor / Detroit MI
Thu Dec 10 – Cleveland, OH
Fri Dec 11 – Columbus, OH
Sat Dec 12 – Dayton, OH
Sun Dec 13 – Cincinnati, OH
Mon Dec 14 – Indianapolis / Ft Wayne, IN
Tue Dec 15 – East Lansing, MI

Be sure to put “Bazan House Show” in the subject of your email so it gets past our spam filters. Thank you!

Here’s how it works.

1. You have a house or loft space that can comfortably and safely host 30-50 people. A place with a big living room, finished basement or other large indoor space. There would need to be enough parking nearby and your neighbors should be cool. It would be a huge bummer if someone called the cops because of all the extra cars and people coming to your house. If you live in a small apartment with a bunch of uptight neighbors or a cranky landlord… you should probably not do this. We’d done over 70 of these shows over the past few months without any problems at all.

2. The shows will not be open to the public and no tickets will be sold at the door. We will pre-sell a set number of tickets for each show on David’s website before the show. Be realistic on how many people your place can hold. We need to know how many tickets we can sell in advance. Ticket prices will be $20.

3. We will provide you with a detailed list of everyone who will be coming a week before the show. This way the host won’t have to deal with money and will only need to check people off the list as they arrive.

4. The host will get up to 5 free tickets for the show. If you have other friends who want to come to the show you can direct them to the link to buy tickets on-line.

5. We’ll ask people to arrive around 7:30pm. The show would start at 8pm and would be over by 9:30pm. Everyone should be out of your house by 10pm.

7. You don’t need any sort of sound system. All you need is a chair or bar stool for David to sit on.

8. Your home address will not be published on the web and only given to those people who purchase tickets.

9. The shows will not be promoted or advertised anywhere except David’s websites.

10. After we agree on a date and location we’ll ask you to sign a simple performance agreement. READ THIS FIRST!

After reading all of this and you are interested please send an e-mail to:
trey@billions.com and bob@undertowmusic.com

Please include a photo of the space where you would like to have the show and put “Bazan House Show” and the city where you live in the subject line of the e-mail.

We’ll review all requests. Once we have a routing figured out we’ll be in touch with people in the towns we are able to work into the schedule.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Live House Show Webcast Monday 8pm (ET)

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On August 31st, BrooklynVegan will present a performance to the entire world in Bazan’s first and only Online House Show, with a live audio and video feed of the event. To watch, fans can direct their browsers to http://www.brooklynvegan.com/bazan, where they’ll also be able to participate in the event with a live chat and Twitter feed, from which Bazan will take a handful of questions for his customary live question and answer session.

Go Here Monday, August 31st @ 8:00pm EST To Watch And Participate

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/bazan

East Coast House Shows

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UPDATE: These shows are all sold out. Thank you!!!

Thu Aug 27 – Sanbornton, NH – sold out
Fri Aug 28 – Beverly, MA
– sold out
Sat Aug 29 – Long Island, NY
– sold out
Sun Aug 30 – Philadelphia, PA
– sold out
Mon Aug 31 – Brooklyn, NY
– sold out
Wed Sep 2 – Philadelphia, PA
– sold out
Fri Sep 4 – Baltimore, MD
– sold out