It's safe to say that, to varying degrees, I'm a fan of everything David Bazan has ever done: All those ace Pedro the Lion albums (I was on board from the moment I heard "It's Hard To Find A Friend"), last year's "Fewer Moving Parts" solo EP (which got re-released yesterday courtesy of the wonderful Barsuk, his new label), even the guitar-free diversion that was the Headphones' 2005 debut. The guy (and his collaborators) rarely lets me down, either recorded or in person, and his opening performance for DCFC's Ben Gibbard here in Boston a couple weeks back was no exception.
Like Gibbard, Bazan's set pulled from all over his personal back catalog, including PtL, Headphones, and solo songs, along with a couple covers: A Dylan tune and his mesmerizing version of Radiohead's "Let Down", which he referred to as "the best song ever written" from the Somerville Theatre stage. And hearing him play it, it's kinda hard to dispute that.
If forced to file one complaint, I s'pose it'd be the absence of new material in his set, but given the abbreviated time slot of an opener, can't fault him for that. Looks like we may have to wait until the fall for new stuff, when he'll head out again for a tour of his own before he ventures back into the studio to record his first Barsuk full-length, due sometime in 2008. Maybe he'll use that autumn opportunity to road-test the studio-bound songs? Here's hoping. Oh, and word is that David has decided go back to using a band name, while still letting people know that he's involved by releasing that next album as "David Bazan's Black Cloud". Which has an amusingly appropriate ring to it.
Courtesy of NPR, listen to David's performance from the 9:30 Club in DC a few days after the Somerville stop. You can either stream it or download the set as a single Mp3 file. Here's what David played that night:
David Bazan at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on May 10th, 2007: Backwoods Nation, Cold Beer & Cigarettes, The Man In Me, Transcontinental, Shit Talker, When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run, Foregone Conclusions, Let Down, Selling Advertising, Of Minor Prophets and their Prostitute Wives, Of Up and Coming Monarchs, Bands With Managers.
Video: Bazan and PtL live clips are all over YouTube, but there's been a noticeable lack of 'official' video output from him over the years.
the post-script... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.