>Winners Never Quit

>For several years now, one of my favorite singer/song writers has been David Bazan. Bazan is best known for the music he released under the moniker Pedro the Lion, though he also is the brains behind the all-analog electronic ensemble Headphones and most recently released an EP under his own name.

Bazan’s songs have a philosophical depth that simply is not present in much of modern music. His simple, straight forward lyrics are complimented by minimalist guitar work which together communicate profound and often startling honest themes. One of the most brutal examples is also one of my personal favorites: Transcontinental off of the album Achilles Heel. In the beginning of the song the main character is run over by a train. Bazan spares the listener no detail of the accident, declaring very stoically:

laying back on shoulder blades
cargo rushing past
missing limbs beneath the cars
twitching on the tracks

At the end of the song the singer mourns:

Now I’m left to bleed to death
now all the man i’ve ever been
north am transcontinental

A similar theme is explored in the song Penetration from the album Control:

Have you ever seen and idealist with grey hairs on his head
Or successful men that keep in touch with unsuccessful friends
You only think you did
I could have sworn I saw it too
But as it turns out
It was just a clever ad for cigarettes

Bazan’s usual pessimism is surprisingly absent in the dark though tragically beautiful Headphones song Slow Car Crash:

your purse hit the wind shield when I locked the brakes
airbags inflated, seat belts engaged
a semi was jack knifed because of the rain
a hundred yards up blocking 3 lanes
we knew it was over and we both looked away
right at each other with spare time to say
babe, i love you and babe, i love you, too.

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About mjbutterworth

Coffee. Books. Bicycles.
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