"I've made music under many brand names. It was a dumb idea," David Bazan jokes during his performance at the Tiny Desk, in his own particularly reflective and self-deprecating way. You can find that music filed under his previous "brands" or incarnations as Headphones, Lo Tom (with TW Walsh and members of Starflyer 59) and his own name. But here Bazan returns to the one that first gave him voice: Pedro the Lion, a name he now says he intends to keep.
No matter how dark or disastrous, there's always been an undercurrent of grace to the music of David Bazan. Even in his most righteous anger, empathy seeps through. "When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run" opens the Tiny Desk set with sparse instrumentation — Erik Walters on guitar, Bazan on bass, Sean Lane on brushes and snare — not unlike performances of yesteryear, when slyly clever-yet-quiet riffs put Bazan's sardonic wit front and center. Twenty years after being released on Pedro the Lion's debut album, It's Hard to Find a Friend, the cheeky song about hypocrisy (exposing the toxic male gaze through double standards of beauty) still rings painfully true.
Bazan then introduces "Yellow Bike," from Pedro the Lion's forthcoming Phoenix, as "cheeky in a different way." With a hiccuping rhythm that rolls like a Tom Petty joint down uncertain roads, Bazan recounts the thrill found in childhood bike rides, and the somewhat terrifying price of freedom that accompanies onset adulthood.
So what about all of those songs released as "David Bazan" from the past decade? Those are now Pedro the Lion songs! That includes "Kept Secrets," originally released on 2016's Blanco. Its slow, doleful sway closed out the Tiny Desk with a hidden hope washed in snow, "white with ocean foam."
Phoenix comes out Jan. 18 via Polyvinyl Records.
"When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run"
Producers: Lars Gotrich, Beck Harlan; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Khun Minn Ohn, Beck Harlan; Production Assistant: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR
Pedro The Lion's 1998 debut album is available again after being out of print for years.
+ Remastered for vinyl in 2012 by TW Walsh from the original analog tapes with no digital limiting or compression.
+ Reissued in 2018 by Epitpah Records.
+ Pressed by Indpenepend Record Pressing.
+ High Quality 150g Black Vinyl.
+ High Quality Limited Edition 150g Transparent Red Vinyl.
+ Uncoated jacket and inner sleeve.
+ Each purchase comes with an instant MP3 download.
Upon its initial release in 1998, Pedro The Lion's It's Hard To Find a Friend was an instant hit, propelling singer/songwriter David Bazan into the consciousness of newfound fans around the globe, topping many critics’ lists and making it a must for any Pedro The Lion fan.
We have some really cool new merchandise in the web store. A brand new shirt and tote bag and a few classic Pedro The Lion shirts from the archives. We also have a limited supply of Jason Munn designed screen-printed posters remaining from the December and February tour dates.
directed and illustrated by Daniele Kong
Music by David Bazan
Pedro the Lion is known for its sometimes dreamy lyrics that take on internal conflict, often filled with religious angst.
Even as many of their songs tackled faith, the Seattle-based band, formed in 1995, quickly gathered a wide indie rock following.
A decade later, the band and its frontman David Bazan reached a tipping point — as Bazan questioned his religious beliefs, the band dissolved when he embarked on a solo career.
Fast forward to 2017: Bazan announced that he would start touring again with a group of musicians under the familiar name, Pedro the Lion.
Bazan spoke with NPR's Sarah McCammon about going back on tour and making new music under his old moniker.
Today is the first day back in the studio as Pedro the Lion. After writing and arranging a handful of new songs, then rehearsing and arranging them further with the band, we're ready to record a couple of them for a new album. I didn’t realize what calling my music Pedro the Lion again would mean to me, but it’s re-connected me to parts of myself and my history (both sonic and personal) that I had lost touch with. This re-awakening is making the process so enjoyable and I’m grateful for the chance to do this again.
As a music fan I’ve watched Polyvinyl thrive in a brutal marketplace and grow their seminal roster to include even more bands that I’m downright obsessed with. As a cog in the music business I’ve gotten to know and appreciate their inner workings gradually through mutual friends and colleagues over many years of visiting their offices in Champaign, Illinois. So when looking for a record label for Pedro the Lion I realized pretty quickly that Polyvinyl was a fantastic fit. I am so thrilled to be working with them. - David Bazan
Starting in February, Pedro The Lion will be going on tour for the first time in 12 years! We’re very excited for you to hear and see what we’ve put together for the tour. We’ve done a ton of work to make a great show and production.
Some of you might know, Bazan's tour van was totaled when he hit a deer while on tour in 2013. That van traveled across North America many times, logging over 170,000 miles on tour. It was a tough loss (for Bazan and the deer).
Now we need your help to buy a new tour van. In an effort to raise money for the van, we're offering these limited edition shirts and posters. The poster will have the name of everyone who who contributes.
We'll take orders through February 14. After that, they’re gone forever. No re-prints.
+ Shirts and posters will be shipped together a study poster tube.
+ All orders will be shipped by March 23.
+ Shirt Material: 100% Cotton
+ Shirt colors: Slate Grey. Navy Blue, Olive Green
+ Print color: Light Grey, Medium Grey, Black
+ Printed By: Seen Merch in Kansas City, MO
+ Printed 100% recycled 130lb uncoated paper
+ Size: 11" x 17"
+ Printed by Dixon Graphics in Champaign IL
Thanks for your help! We'll see you soon.
Last spring, after 11 years of performing and recording under his own name, Dave Bazan's growing fatigue with working alone hit a tipping point. "I missed the energy of making music with other people on stage and constantly traveling alone was starting to really sting", Bazan recalls. "I needed to be in a band again".
At that point, assuming this new band would be billed as "David Bazan Band" or similar, he began to set the wheels in motion to make it happen. He rented a rehearsal space again, hired a couple buddies for upcoming tours, and started fleshing out demos for the band to cue off of.
He didn't realize it at first, but by mid-summer something big started to dawn on him: he had stumbled back into the very same process that yielded the first three Pedro the Lion records. "To my surprise, it felt a bit like coming home."
Bazan is very excited to be back playing rock & roll as Pedro the Lion again. The set list for the 6 previously-announced sold-out shows in the Pacific Northwest later this month and the full US tour in 2018 will span every Pedro the Lion record and then some.
with special guest Marie/Lepanto
Feb 8 : St Louis MO - Old Rock House - BUY TICKETS
Feb 9 : Kansas City MO - Record Bar - BUY TICKETS
Feb 10 : Tulsa OK - The Vanguard - BUY TICKETS
Feb 12 : Dallas TX - Trees - BUY TICKETS
Feb 13 : Austin TX - Mohawk - BUY TICKETS
Feb 14 : Houston TX - Rockefeller's - BUY TICKETS
Feb 16 : New Orleans LA - One Eyed Jacks - BUY TICKETS
Feb 17 : Birmingham AL - Saturn - BUY TICKETS
Feb 18 : Gainesville FL - High Dive - BUY TICKETS
Feb 19 : Orlando FL - The Social - BUY TICKETS
Feb 21 : Carrboro NC - Cat's Cradle - BUY TICKETS
Feb 22 : Atlanta GA - Terminal West - BUY TICKETS
Feb 23 : Nashville TN - Exit/In - BUY TICKETS
with special guest David Dondero
May 8 : Vancouver BC - Biltmore Cabaret - BUY TICKETS
May 9 : Portland OR - Revolution Hall - BUY TICKETS
May 12 : San Francisco CA - The Independent - BUY TICKETS
May 13 : Oakland CA - Starline - BUY TICKETS
May 14 : Los Angeles CA - Teragram - BUY TICKETS
May 17 : Solana Beach CA - Belly Up Tavern - BUY TICKETS
May 18 : Phoenix AZ - The Crescent Ballroom - BUY TICKETS
May 20 : Denver CO - Bluebird Theatre - BUY TICKETS
May 21 : Fort Collins CO - Washington's - BUY TICKETS
May 22 : Salt Lake City UT - Urban Lounge - BUY TICKETS
May 23 : Boise ID - Neurolux - BUY TICKETS
May 24 : Missoula MT - Top Hat - BUY TICKETS
with special guest to be announced
Aug 6 : Indianapolis IN - The HI-FI - BUY TICKETS
Aug 7 : Ferndale MI - Loving Touch - BUY TICKETS
Aug 8 : Toronto ON - Lee's Palace - BUY TICKETS
Aug 10 : Allston MA - Brighton Music Hall - BUY TICKETS
Aug 11 : Philadelphia PA - Union Transfer - BUY TICKETS
Aug 12 : Washington DC - Black Cat - BUY TICKETS
Aug 14 : New York NY - Bowery Ballroom - BUY TICKETS
Aug 15 : Brooklyn NY - Music Hall of W'burg - BUY TICKETS
Aug 16 : Pittsburgh PA Mr. Small's - BUY TICKETS
Aug 17 : Cleveland OH - Grog Shop - BUY TICKETS
Aug 18 : Newport KY - Southgate House - BUY TICKETS
Aug 20 : Davenport IA - Raccoon Motel - BUY TICKETS
Aug 21 : Omaha NE - The Waiting Room - BUY TICKETS
Aug 22 : Minneapolis MN - Fine Line - BUY TICKETS
Aug 23 : Milwaukee WI - Turner Hall - BUY TICKETS
Aug 24 : Chicago IL - Thalia Hall - BUY TICKETS
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