I'm going to see Pedro the Lion play at the Bowery Ballroom tonight. The band -- which kind of was just lead singer / songwriter David Bazan anyway - "broke up" over a decade ago and David went out on his own, but they've toured in recent years, I remember seeing them play their seminal 2002 album Control live a few years ago (maybe way back in 2012?) and they're on tour again this summer, playing mostly their classic hits from nearly 20 years ago along with a few Bazan solo efforts. I have been a longtime fan and can't wait for the show but anytime they spring back up into my life I always think about religion, partly because so many of their songs have religious themes and partly because Bazan publicly discussed (and on his solo albums, wrote about) losing his faith and becoming an atheist (I think). Which is interesting to me, perhaps because it parallels my life but also because his early songs - while having a ton of religious themes and imagery - always seemed to be questioning religion, questioning faith, and as an outsider trying to read his mind through song lyrics, seemed to indicate he was on a path to abandoning religion, which he eventually did (causing much strife in his family).
Anyway, the opening track to their first full-length from way back in 2000 is supposedly the track they are opening with on tour this summer and hopefully tonight. It is - awesomely - categorized by iTunes as "Spiritual and Religious"... which yeah, maybe it is. And maybe it was a clue that hey, Bazan saw something wrong with both blind faith and overly religious people whose only goal is "to get to Heaven" while ignoring their fellow man on Earth. I'm sure he wasn't writing about Mike Pence in 2000 but...
Car Seat Headrest have recently released a completely remastered version of Will Toledo's Bandcamp solo project "Twin Fantasy" from back 2011, an album I had never heard before, despite the band releasing my #2 favorite album of 2016 (Teens of Denial) and occupying a permanent spot on my weekly playlists since late 2015 when I randomly discovered "Something Soon" off of previous masterpiece Teens of Style (2015). I saw Will and the band three times in concert I believe, all in 2016/2017 and their show at the Bowery Ballroom in 2016, I still remember being my favorite show of the year, which is shocking because he looked so young (he's 25... I'm old) and the band seemed so young but their performances are so secure, with so much style and energy and CONFIDENCE, for such a young band... I've definitely been impressed by Car Seat Headrest and had high hopes for their followup to Teens of Denial.
Everybody died and Trump became president.
It's been a real shitshow. Let's all have a happy new year and start this one over again.
There was a movie in 1980 called "Midnight Madness" that featured some kind of scavenger hunt on a college campus or something. I think I saw it. Variations on the theme have persisted for years but at the very least things like Amazing Race are more modern incarnations - teams solve clues that lead them to a new location where they solve clues that lead to the next location and on and on until the final puzzle. And that was the basic theme of an event held in West Orange and surrounding locales (mostly the Livingston Mall) that I reluctantly participated in a few weeks ago. Wait -- that's not the right word. What's the word for "god I can't believe I spent a Saturday night riding around in a minivan in Livingston NJ taking pictures in front of Manhattan Bagel" -- oh, right "sadly". That's the word.
This blog belongs to Bill Elenbark.
Lover of songs. Writer of wrongs.