David Bazan Band plays Pedro The Lion's Control

David Bazan Band plays Pedro The Lion's Control (10:00 PM)

Stagnant Pools (9:00 PM)

Fri, December 7, 2012

8:00 pm

Adv tix $16.00 / Day of show $18.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

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David Bazan Band plays Pedro The Lion's Control - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
David Bazan Band plays Pedro The Lion's Control
David Bazan was, for many years, the songwriter and driving force behind the acclaimed indie band Pedro the Lion, building a dedicated following and selling a couple hundred-thousand albums based in large part on his extraordinary melodic sense and erudite, theologically-themed songs. After a decade helming the project, he found himself embroiled in a major personal philosophical and spiritual cataclysm, wrapped in a growing drinking problem. Bazan got to work exorcizing both his demons and angels, ditching the Pedro moniker in favor of his given name and producing two incredible pieces of work in the Fewer Moving Parts EP and the 2009 full-length Curse Your Branches (Barsuk).

Alongside his tremendous line-by-line lyrical deftness, Bazan’s greatest strength has always been his ability – a skill that runs deep in the best writers and other observers of humankind – to distill complex ideas to their essence, to connect us to his ruminations on Big Issues with an economy of language, and to communicate his conclusions (or lack thereof) with concise elegance that never loses its general human resonance.

Branches is considered by many to be a legitimate masterpiece. Charting Bazan’s increasingly skeptical struggle with the precepts of the evangelical Christian world in which he was raised, the album covers some pretty serious ground. NPR called it “an album of great music and great humanity” – and we called it a masterwork by a modern American poet at the height of his powers.

While Branches documents an intensely personal and complex struggle, Bazan’s new album Strange Negotiations focuses his energies toward the external, centering on his disappointment in the current state of accelerating American and global social fragmentation.

Negotiations is about delusion – or, rather, about trying to avoid the self-delusion that paves the way toward participation in mass delusion, and the deep impulse to dismiss those in ones life that subscribe to mass delusion. It’s about the troubles that come from being a member of an insane culture; it’s about the conflict between our love for humanity and the repellence we all are apt to feel about so many of our fellow humans. About the frustration that comes from realizing that refusing to participate in the delusion, while not dismissing the deluded, is the only way forward.

Musically, most of Strange Negotiations sounds like a great rock band playing songs they’re beyond intimate with – and Bazan is audibly excited by the opportunity to play with great musicians who can match his spirited vocal delivery and fiery-but-loose lyricism. Drawing inspiration from a broad group of musical heroes ranging from Fugazi to Tom Petty, the grooves sit in the pocket, the tempos are up, and, for lack of a better word, the music swings. It’s the first full length he’s recorded with a band – the same band with which he toured relentlessly in support of Curse Your Branches – and in spite of the dire messages the album delivers, the joy that he, Andy Fitts (bass), and Alex Westcoat (drums) take in playing these songs is beautiful.
Stagnant Pools - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Stagnant Pools
Following the release of their debut full-length Temporary Room in the fall of 2012, Stagnant Pools embarked on several high profile tours supporting the likes of David Bazan, Maximo Park, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and more.

All that time spent on the road exposed brothers Bryan (guitar/vocals) and Douglass Enas (drums) to a world outside their Indiana-based upbringing and introduced them to a slew of like-minded people. The experience of playing so many shows also gave the sibling duo a fresh perspective on their strengths and weaknesses as a band, feedback the pair took to heart while spending last year working on a new material.

Inspiration, they soon discovered, came in bursts -- sometimes five demos would be recorded in an afternoon, sometimes months would pass without playing a note. Eventually, though, the itch to return to the touring life became too strong and plans were made to enter the studio and turn the collection of songs they had amassed into their next full-length.

And so, in January the siblings traveled two hours from their hometown of Indianapolis to the Champaign, IL-based studio run by Hum guitarist/vocalist Matt Talbott -- a short trip that quickly grew hazardous when a blizzard blanketed the region with snow, temperatures dipped further below zero than they had in decades, and roadsides became littered with stranded vehicles.

After braving this grueling display of nature to arrive intact, the band hunkered down to finish their sophomore release, Geist. Four days later, they emerged having spent two days recording and two days mixing the record -- all completely analog.

The result is ten songs that refine and expand on a shoegaze-meets-noise pop sound that has previously drawn comparisons to Joy Divison, Sonic Youth, and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Lead single "Intentions" continues in this tradition of pushing droning guitars barely over the edge into melody and amping up the fuzz and distortion without becoming submerged in it.

Geist is anchored by "Filed Down," a track that showcases increased vocal variety and spastic drumming, and highlighted by "Dots and Lines," where a sunny guitar line shines brightly on a soaring chorus and persistent drum beat.

Recording the album live to tape will surely prove to have been good practice, because now that the album's complete all that's left to do is pile back in the van and hit the road again. "There's something affirming about touring a lot," says Douglass. "It's kind of a concrete way of knowing that you are in forward motion."

Despite what their name might suggest, it certainly appears that Stagnant Pools aren't looking to stay in any one place for too long.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change