Winners Never Quit

Following a critically acclaimed debut album for Made In Mexico, singer/songwriter David Bazan returned to his Seattle home studio to craft the bulk of Winners Never Quit – a haunted collection of new material that traces the fictional story of a man who vows to maintain his good name despite a slew of devious activity and malicious intent. Stripped down to a voice and a guitar, Bazan is a modern-day folk champion. Behind a band, he loses his timidity and commands attention with an impassioned voice and a compelling narrative. In either sphere, Bazan is an accomplished artist and unique talent.

David Bazan: All Instruments

Recorded October 1999
Released March 2000

Engineered by Blake Wescott at Spectre & by David Bazan at Control
Mixed by Blake Wescott at Spectre
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side, NJ
Illustrations by Steve Ruetschle
Layout by Jeremy Dean

1. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
2. Simple Economics
3. To Protect the Family Name
4. A Mind of Her Own
5. Never Leave a Job Half Done
6. Eye on the Finish Line
7. Bad Things to Such Good People
8. Winners Never Quit

It’s Hard to Find a Friend

The re-release of PEDRO THE LION‘S critically acclaimed debut album has been remixed, remastered, and repackaged with a brand new layout and lyrics for the first time. Upon its release in 1998, the album was an instant hit, propelling singer/songwriter David Bazan into the consciousness of newfound fans around the globe and topping many critics’ lists, making it a must for any PEDRO THE LION fan.

David Bazan sang, played guitar and drums. Jonathan Ford played bass.

Recorded 1998
Released October 16, 2001

Recorded by David Bazan at Casa Recording Co. in 1998 with the assistance of Blake Wescott, Cameron Elliot, and Jonathan Ford.

Mixed by David Bazan and Casey Foubert at Control in 2001
Mastered at RFI

Songs (c) 1998 Juan the Owl

Photo taken by James Morelos
Layout by Andy Myers and David Bazan with assistance from Jeremy Dean

1. Of Up and Coming Monarch
2. The Longer I Lay Here
3. Big Trucks
4. Suspect Fled the Scene
5. Bad Diary Days
6. The Longest Winter
7. When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run
8. Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives
9. The Bells
10. Secret of the Easy Yoke
11. The Well
12. Promise

The Only Reason I Feel Secure

The follow-up EP to PEDRO THE LION‘S debut album was originally released in 1999 and hailed by critics and fans alike as further proof of singer/songwriter David Bazan‘s genius. Remixed, remastered, and repackaged with a brand new layout and lyrics for the first time, the EP also contains 3 extra tracks that originally comprised Pedro’s first single.

David Bazan sang and played guitar.
Ben Brubaker played drums.
Josh Golden played bass.

Recorded 1999
Released October 16, 2001

Tracks 1-5 were recorded by Blake Westcott and David Bazan at Casa Recording Co. in 1999.
*tracks 6-8 were recorded by David Bazan at Casa Recorded Co. in 1998.

Mixed by David Bazan and Casey Foubert at Control in 2001
All tracks mastered at RFI.

Songs (c) 1999 Juan the Owl

Photo taken by Ben Brubaker
Layout by Andy Myers and David Bazan with assistance from Jeremy Dean.

Track list:
1. Criticism as Inspiration
2. I Am Always the One Who Calls
3. Invention
4. Letter from a Concerned Follower
5. Be Thou My Vision
6. Big Trucks
7. Diamond Ring
8. Invention

Achilles’ Heel

Simply put PEDRO THE LION have made the album of their career.  After the huge crossover success of 2002′s Control (JT1072), it was only a matter of time before David Bazan and company would fully realize their potential swansong.  Beautifully achieved, Achilles’ Heel (JT1095) is crafted as a scathing glance into the crosshairs of the American dream, a heartbreaking sketch of husbandhood and ultimately an exploration of faith as told through eleven perfectly textured vignettes.  As sonically mature as it is emotionally complex, Achilles’ Heel is imbued with the hopeful sadness that only PEDRO THE LION can, and do deliver.

Engineered by David Bazan and TW Walsh. Mixed by Chris Colbert. David Bazan sang and played guitar, drums, synthesizer, bass, and percussion. TW Walsh played bass, drums, synthesizer, and guitar, James McAlister played percussion, drums, and synthesizer. Casey Foubert played guitar on Keep Swinging. All songs written by David Bazan except for Keep Swinging by David Bazan and TW Walsh and Start Without Me by TW Walsh. Art by Jesse LeDoux.

1. Bands With Managers
2. Forgone Conclusion
3. The Fleecing
4. Discretion
5. Arizona
6. Keep Swinging
7. Transcontinental
8. I Do
9. A Simple Plan
10. Start Without Me
11. The Poison

 

Control

PEDRO THE LION are back and armed with a ten-song arsenal that heralds another beautiful progression within the band’s sound and lyrical vision. A deepening complexity to their songwriting mirrors the complexity of messages and lyrical content. Anchored by trademark rolling, indelible hooks and Dave Bazan‘s vocals, which swing from sweet indictments to mournful mocking, PEDRO THE LION digs deep to examine the vast disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

Performed by David Bazan and Casey Foubert.
Recorded by David Bazan, Casey Foubert, and Aaron Sprinkle at Control and Compound Recording.
Mixed by David Bazan, Aaron Sprinkle, and Casey Foubert at Control and Compound Recording.
Mastered by Troy Glessner at Spectre.

Options was written with TW Walsh, Penetration and Second Best were written with Casey Foubert. Aaron Sprinkle sang harmony on Rehearsal.

Layout, design, and illustration by Ryan Clark for Asterik Studio.

1. Options
2. Rapture
3. Penetration
4. Indian Summer
5. Progress
6. Magazine
7. Rehearsal
8. Second Best
9. Priests and Paramedics
10. Rejoice

Stations

Recorded while the band toured in support of Achilles’ Heel, the iTunes Exclusive Stations EP (JT1104) features radio station versions of an assortment of PEDRO THE LION hits. “Big Trucks” off the band’s watershed It’s Hard to Find a Friend along with “Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives,” and “I Do” were recorded as part of a live broadcast on WLUW-FM in Chicago on June 30th 2004. CBC Radio recorded the remaining tracks live in Toronto at the Horseshoe Tavern on June 24, 2004. The entire show was broadcast a few weeks later as a part of the CBC Just Concerts Series.

Tracks 1-3 recorded live at WLUW-FM in Chicago.
Tracks 4-6 recorded live in Toronto by CBC Radio.

1. Big Trucks
2. Of Minor Prophets
3. I Do
4. Never Leave a Job Undone
5. Political Science
6. Start Without Me

Tour EP 2004

Recorded live in-studio while the band toured in support of Achilles Heel, the now digital only Tour EP 2004 (JT1120) features an assortment of PEDRO THE LION originals, in addition to three diverse covers. Tour EP 2004, originally self-released in July of 2004 by the band, culls from the extensive PEDRO THE LION back catalog, featuring new arrangements of ‘Transcontinental,’ ‘I Am Always The One Who Calls,’ and ‘Slow and Steady Wins The Race,’ juxtaposed against unique cover ballads from Randy Newman, Cat Power and Radiohead. The end result captures the fundamental nature of PEDRO THE LION; averting conjecture over solemn swells of emotion, coaxing the angst from everyday life, but ultimately, never losing sight of a distant hope.

1. Transcontinental
2. I Am Always The One Who Calls
3. Slow and Steady Wins The Race
4. Political Science (Randy Newman)
5. Metal Heart (Cat Power)
6. Let Down (Radiohead)

David Bazan to Perform Pedro The Lion’s “Control”

To celebrate the remastered vinyl reissue of the Pedro The Lion catalog, Dave Bazan will embark on a six week tour performing the 2002 album Control.

David Bazan - Control – 2012 Tour Dates
Thu, November 01 – Boise ID – Neurolux
Fri, November 02 – Salt Lake City UT – Urban Lounge
Sat, November 03 – Denver CO – Hi Dive
Mon, November 05 – Kansas City MO – Record Bar
Tue, November 06 – Minneapolis MN – Fine Line Music Cafe
Wed, November 07 – Milwaukee WI – Cactus Club
Thu, November 08 – Chicago IL – Metro
Fri, November 09 – Grand Rapids MI – Pyramid Scheme
Sat, November 10 – Ann Arbor MI – The Blind Pig
Sun, November 11 – Toronto ON – Horseshoe Tavern
Tue, November 13 – Allston MA – Brighton Music Hall
Thu, November 15 – Brooklyn NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Fri, November 16 – Philadelphia PA – Johnny Brenda’s
Sat, November 17 – Washington DC – Black Cat
Sun, November 18 – Carrboro NC – Cat’s Cradle
Mon, November 19 – Knoxville TN – Pilot Light
Sat, November 24 – Nashville TN – Exit/In
Sun, November 25 – Birmingham AL – The Bottletree
Mon, November 26 – Atlanta GA – The Earl
Tue, November 27 – St. Augustine FL – The Original Cafe Eleven
Wed, November 28 – Orlando FL – The Social
Fri, November 30 – Houston TX – Fitzgerald’s
Sat, December 01 – Austin TX – The Parish
Sun, December 02 – Denton TX – Dan’s Silverleaf
Tue, December 04 – Albuquerque NM – Low Spirits
Wed, December 05 – Phoenix AZ – Rhythm Room
Thu, December 06 – San Diego CA – Casbah
Fri, December 07 – Los Angeles CA – Troubadour
Sat, December 08 – Santa Ana CA – Constellation Room
Mon, December 10 – San Francisco CA – The Independent
Tue, December 11 – Sacramento CA – Blue Lamp
Thu, December 13 – Vancouver BC – The Biltmore Cabaret
Fri, December 14 – Portland OR – Mississippi Studios
Sat, December 15 – Seattle WA – Neptune Theatre

Pedro The Lion Vinyl Reissues Arrive October 30, Pre-order Now

Pedro the Lion Reissues Available for Pre-order

Jade Tree is proud to announce that the entire Pedro The Lion collection will once again be available on vinyl. Each title has been remastered for vinyl from the original sources by TW Walsh (except Winners Never Quit, remastered by John McCaig). All five Pedro The Lion titles will be released on October 30th and are available for pre-order immediately.

Winners Never Quit (JT1046) Order LP
It’s Hard To Find a Friend (JT1063) Order LP
The Only Reason I Feel Secure (JT1064) Order LP
Control (JT1072) Order LP
Achilles’ Heel (JT1095) Order LP

Order all five records for $65

Premium pre-order package available for a limited time only: [No longer available] The premium package is no longer available, but all 5 records can be ordered together for only $65.

Pedro The Lion Premium Pre-order Package

  • All 5 Records
  • Limited edition custom screen-printed Pedro The Lion turntable slip mat 
  • 10″ x10″ art print signed and numbered by David Bazan

Slip mats and art prints are only available with the 5 record pre-order package and will not be sold as separate items. Premium package will only be available for pre-order until August 31st.

Order premium package [No longer available]

Each album comes with a digital download of high quality MP3s. Original album art printed on high-quality uncoated paper.

US Pre-orders will be shipped to arrive on or before October 30. Customers outside of the US should expect delivery 2-3 weeks later depending on delivery times and customs in your region.

Albums will be available in stores on October 30.

Paste’s Best of the Decade List Includes Pedro The Lion’s Control


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We were pleased find that Paste Magazine has included Pedro The Lion‘s Control (2002) in it’s "Best of the Decade" list. Check it out here:

[Paste Magazine]

| | | |

Also, now is a perfect time to pick up the catalog because the Jade Tree Store is currently offering 10% off of all Pedro The Lion items!

[Jade Tree Store]

10% Off Sale on Pedro The Lion Catalog and Merchandise


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Dave Bazan is getting ready to head out on tour in support of his solo album "Curse Your Branches" and we thought it would be a great time to offer 10% off of all Pedro The Lion items in the Jade Tree Store for the next month. If you aren’t aware of the whole Pedro story, now is a great time to fill in the gaps.

[Jade Tree Store]

All Pedro titles are also available from our site as

And of course, as always, the Pedro catalog is available through , , and most digital music stores.

Fluxblog Interview With Andrew Beaujon!

I recently read Andrew Beaujon’s Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside The Phenomenon of Christian Rock on the glowing recommendation of a friend who grew up as part of that scene. It’s a fantastic book, especially for a reader such as myself who had only a passing knowledge of the music as I started in on the first chapter. I liken the experience to when I bought the Spin Alternative Music Record Guide when I was a young teenager – suddenly there was another canon to explore from yet another parallel musical universe. In addition to making artists like Pedro The Lion who I’d barely given much thought seem utterly fascinating, Beaujon approaches Christian culture with a sensitivity and curiosity that is quite rare for a secular music writer without sacrificing his critical judgement. I recently caught up with Mr. Beaujon to discuss his book, and share some songs by artists featured in its pages.

Matthew Perpetua: As an outsider to the world of Christian music, how did you come to write a book about it?

Andrew Beaujon: Well, it started with a conversation. My friend Jim Coe had just graduated from seminary in Richmond, and we were talking over dinner about his Christian-rock past. I talked to more friends about it, and I found out it was a really common experience for a lot of them – getting really into Jesus as a teenager, attending a festival or two, and then usually getting out of it during college. Jim mentioned that the Cornerstone Festival was a big one, so I pitched a story to the Washington Post about it, and they liked the idea. And that’s really how it started. While I was prepping for the article, I couldn’t find anything written about Christian rock that wasn’t by Christians who loved Christian rock or Christians who loathed it. And being the enterprising sort….

MP: Was there much written about Christian music by non-Christians?

AB: Nothing I could find. The odd sneering article taking that "Planet America" tone, you know what I mean?

MP: Reading the book, I kept running into mentions of acts that I had no idea were Christian. I did not realize how many of the promos I’ve been sent over the past two years of so had been Christian bands. I’ve definitely written about a fair few bands without knowing that was part of their past. It’s become amazingly mainstream in the last five years, was that part of the interest?

AB: Definitely. I had a similar experience when I was doing a piece on P.O.D. for Spin. I guess I knew they were Christians, but I’d never really given it much thought. But when you look at the numbers of Evangelicals in America, it’s really striking how many people have this cultural background.

MP: Was Pedro The Lion at that first Cornerstone Festival you attended?

AB: Yeah. Bazan was drunk as a skunk.

MP: Were you familiar with Pedro before that show?

AB: Not really. I think the beard kept me away! You know, you’re sorting through promos, you see facial hair…

MP: I don’t have any idea what David Bazan looks like, actually. I just remember Pedro The Lion being on some decidedly secular mixtapes that I got from a friend back around 1999.

AB: He’s interesting, because he does what a lot of Christian artists wish they could. He supports himself on the secular scene; he only does a couple Christian events a year, and I think he does them to mess with people. Not in a mean way — I think he genuinely wants to shake the foundations of Christian kids’ faith, to get them away from the literal take on the Bible.

MP: Do you think he would be able to work so freely outside of the Christian scene if he didn’t have so many philosophical differences with the Evangelical movement? Or maybe not able so much as eager and willing.

AB: I dunno. I mean, it doesn’t seem to hurt mainstream alternative acts, but on an indie level? I think those kids like their religion ironic.

MP: How much involvement have the Danielson Famile or Sufjan Stevens had in the Christian scene relative to Bazan?

AB: Danielson has played Cornerstone. Dunno about Stevens. I saw both at a conference about faith and music. I think Stevens is pretty uncomfortable with that whole scene, but he went to a Christian college, and I’ll bet he knows a lot about it. Bazan is like an alien.

MP: How so?

AB: In that he has almost no grounding in pop culture, and you don’t have to have grown up Evangelical to like his music. One time we were walking through a parking lot, and someone’s car alarm was going off, and I mentioned to him that it sounded like the start of Elton John’s "Philadelphia Freedom." He’d never heard the song.

MP: Is there any particular song by Bazan that you find especially interesting or moving?

AB: I really like "Foregone Conclusions.”

Pedro The Lion "Forgone Conclusions" (Click here to buy it from Insound)

MP: If I recall, that’s the song with swearing that the Cornerstone people had been freaking out about?

AB: Yeah, that’s the one.

MP: What’s going on in that song lyrically?

AB: Well, it starts out "I don’t want to believe that all of the above is true.” It’s about confronting absolute certainty. Christians are obsessed with absolute truth.

MP: How did you come to discover Larry Norman?

AB: It was just part of the research. He’s such a big part of Christian music history.

MP: As of right now, I’ve only heard "I Wish We’d All Been Ready," which is a pretty amazing song. Is that representative of his catalog?

Larry Norman "I Wish We’d All Been Ready" (Click here to buy it from Cross Rhythms.)

AB: Kiiiinda. Some of the stuff is great. A lot of it is really average rock music, but there’s always his crazy voice and the hectoring lyrics. It’s sort of like hearing Pat Buchanan front an acid-rock band.

MP: He’s become something of an outsider over time, is that right?

AB: Yeah, as I understand it he’s pretty difficult to work with. He really dislikes the Christian music industry, and I get the impression the feeling is mutual. A couple people told me off the record that he’s somewhat shunned.

MP: What tends to be the breakdown in the denominations of Christian acts? Are they primarily Evangelical?

AB: Yeah, I think it’s pretty rare to have, say, Episcopalians doing Christian rock. That said, Sixpence None the Richer are Episcopalians. But in mainline Protestant and Catholic churches, I don’t think you’ve got the same orientation toward end times. American Christians, especially, are oriented toward getting their spiritual houses in order before the world comes to an end, and people who feel that way tend to associate mostly with one another.

MP: So is this the prime market for "worship music"?

AB: No, those are different markets. Worship music is pretty much strictly marketed as a way to "do church.” Most Christian rock is a lifestyle accessory.

MP: For people who’ve never heard worship music, how would you describe it?

AB: The best description I have is that it’s rock music for church.

MP: As in, actual services.

AB: Yeah. A lot of it sounds like adult contemporary. On Wednesday nights, a lot of American churches have "worship services.”

MP: I appreciate the way that you describe in the book trying to enjoy worship music, and largely failing. But you did find some songs that you eventually liked, right?

AB: Yeah, and I really like David Crowder Band a lot.

MP: That’s the one you compared to Dave Matthews?

AB: I like Dave Matthews, though. I have terrible taste! Crowder’s also pretty influenced by Radiohead, Bjork, that sort of thing.

MP: Which is also the case for Mute Math, right?

AB: Yeah, definitely.

Mute Math "Control" (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

MP: Mute Math are one of the bands that I had the promo, and just had no idea about their Christian roots.

AB: Did you hear they’re suing Warners?

MP: Really? What is the suit about?

AB: They’re shocked, shocked that they’re being marketed as a Christian rock act. I mean, come on, they’re on Word!

MP: Why do you think they are so paranoid? I mean, at this point in time, it doesn’t seem to hurt your chances of doing well in indie or mainstream rock, whether you’re Sufjan Stevens or Switchfoot.

AB: I agree. I think Mute Math don’t want people to think they’re lame. You know, it is pretty serious. Very few acts can survive the Christian rock label.

MP: It seems like the people who do, it’s mostly because they are obscuring it as much as they can. Like your friend, I was totally amazed to learn that Underoath was a Christian band.

AB: The interesting thing about that band is they don’t downplay their Christianity. When I asked them about it they were like, "Heck yeah, we’re a Christian band!"

MP: Do you think that if U2 were coming up now, they would have a better chance of being embraced as a Christian act? I mean, let’s say that All That You Can’t Leave Behind was their first album.

AB: I don’t think so, because I don’t think U2 make the same mistakes Christian bands do. They are who they are.

MP: The smoking and drinking and swearing taboo is that strong?

AB: Well, definitely that, but I think it’s more that they sing about doubt. Doubt is not kosher.

MP: Well, isn’t that the same for Pedro The Lion?

AB: I think he gets grandfathered in! He’s sort of the house cynic. You know, the guy at work who’s like, "This place sucks" and never gets fired?

MP: There also seems to be a general unease about European Christianity among Evangelicals, which I was aware of, but have never really given much thought.

AB: Well that’s exactly the difference between U2 and Pedro, in terms of the Evangelicals’ acceptance. Bazan grew up in Evangelical Christianity in America. He knows the language.

MP: Do you think the Christian record industry will ever see itself as a mainstream part of the music world? Or would that have to entail the obviously secular acts vacating the general market?

AB: I think there’s probably going to be a lot more middle ground. I think Underoath are probably the model.

MP: How so?

AB: They’re unabashedly Christian, but they don’t only court Christians.

MP: Why them, and not, say, Switchfoot?

AB: Well, I think the trouble with Switchfoot is exactly why they’ll never be U2. They try to relate to two different groups of people at the same time through lyrics that could be taken one way or another. They’ll try to have choruses that mean one thing to Christians and another to alt-rock consumers.

MP: How obviously Christian are the lyrics of Underoath’s songs?

AB: I don’t know, I can’t understand them with all that screaming! They’re pretty emo. I think their music is more informed by faith than focused through it.

MP: I suppose that in terms of the general market, having barely discernable lyrics that are quite open about faith is roughly the same thing as having lyrics about faith that are vague to the point of seeming like they are about something else entirely.

AB: You may well be correct!

MP: The Evangelical population is constantly growing, right? To a certain point, the mainstreaming of Christian pop culture is inevitable.

AB: At a certain point, you have to wonder which is the outside culture. I mean, I think it’s a lot more normal to grow up Evangelical than to grow up in New York!

MP: In terms of statistics in America, definitely. I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, so there were always religious people, obviously, but it’s just nothing like the Evangelical culture. It seems that even religious Catholics, Jews, and Protestants in the northeast tend to have some kind of divide in their lives between their cultural consumption, identity, and their chuch activities. The church is a lot more peripheral to social activity. It’s somewhat hard for me to relate to growing up in a place where the church was the main hub of social activity for people other than old ladies.

AB: Well, that’s the divide. When I was pitching this book, a lot of publishers (in New York, natch) were like, "Why would anyone want to read about this?" And then the election of 2004 happened.

MP: Is the assumption that people only want to read about their own lives?

AB: I think it’s more insidious than that. I mean, I get probably two or three anti-Bush books a week which are really anti-middle America books in a lot of ways. The subtext always seems to be "what a bunch of rubes these people outside the cities are, how could anyone with any brains vote for Bush/be a Christian/etc., etc,. etc."

MP: Right. In fairness, it seems that people in "Middle America" are often equally dismissive of the Blue State people.

AB: Agreed. My feeling is, though, that if you can’t understand where people are coming from, you can’t find any middle ground.

PEDRO THE LION "TOUR EP 2004" DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (JT1120) OUT TODAY


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Jade Tree is pleased to announce the digital release of PEDRO THE LION‘s now out of print (JT1120). Recorded live in-studio while the band toured in support of , the now digital only features an assortment of PEDRO THE LION originals, in addition to three diverse covers. The EP, originally self-released in July of 2004 by the band, culls from the extensive PEDRO THE LION back catalog, featuring new arrangements of ‘Transcontinental,’ ‘I Am Always The One Who Calls,’ and ‘Slow and Steady Wins The Race,’ juxtaposed against unique cover ballads from Randy Newman, Cat Power and Radiohead. The end result captures the fundamental nature of PEDRO THE LION; averting conjecture over solemn swells of emotion, coaxing the angst from everyday life, but ultimately, never losing sight of a distant hope. The curtain may have been called on PEDRO THE LION as a full band earlier this year, but these songs are an erstwhile reminder of the expansive allure that once was PEDRO THE LION.

1. Transcontinental
2. I Am Always The One Who Calls
3. Slow and Steady Wins The Race
4. Political Science (Randy Newman)
5. Metal Heart (Cat Power)
6. Let Down (Radiohead)

The EP is now available through and . The EP will soon be availble through additional online outlets such as Yahoo, Virgin, FYE, and HMV.

PEDRO THE LION "TOUR EP 2004" (JT1120) TO BE RELEASED AS DIGITAL DOWNLOAD


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Jade Tree is pleased to announce the digital release of PEDRO THE LION‘s now out of print Tour EP 2004 (JT1120). will be available through digital outlets on May 9, 2006. Recorded live in-studio while the band toured in support of , the now digital only features an assortment of PEDRO THE LION originals, in addition to three diverse covers. The EP, originally self-released in July of 2004 by the band, culls from the extensive PEDRO THE LION back catalog, featuring new arrangements of ‘Transcontinental,’ ‘I Am Always The One Who Calls,’ and ‘Slow and Steady Wins The Race,’ juxtaposed against unique cover ballads from Randy Newman, Cat Power and Radiohead. The end result captures the fundamental nature of PEDRO THE LION; averting conjecture over solemn swells of emotion, coaxing the angst from everyday life, but ultimately, never losing sight of a distant hope. The curtain may have been called on PEDRO THE LION as a full band earlier this year, but these songs are an erstwhile reminder of the expansive allure that once was PEDRO THE LION.

1. Transcontinental
2. I Am Always The One Who Calls
3. Slow and Steady Wins The Race
4. Political Science (Randy Newman)
5. Metal Heart (Cat Power)
6. Let Down (Radiohead)

The EP will be available through and among many others.

PEDRO THE LION HOLDS HURRICANE RELIEF AUCTION ON EBAY

In an attempt to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, PEDRO THE LION is holding a benefit auction on eBay. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army in the winning bidder’s name and Undertow Music (Pedro’s management company) will also match the winning bid with a donation of their own. Included in the auction is pretty much every Pedro the Lion and Headphones (Pedro the Lion’s side project) CD, tour posters, t-shirts and a hand written thank you note from David Bazan. Bazan will also autograph the items in the auction upon request. Here’s a to the auction and a full list of everything that’s included in it:

It’s Hard To Find A Friend – CD
The Only Reason I feel Secure – CD
Progress EP – CD
Winners Never Quit – CD
Control – CD
Achilles Heel – CD
Headphones – CD
Headphones – LP
Headphones t-shirt (specify style and size after auction)
Pedro The Lion t-shirt (specify style and size after auction)
Pedro The Lion Winter 2004 tour poster
Pedro The Lion Spring 2003 tour poster

We’re sure many of you have a lot of these items already, but this is a good chance to fill out your collection, get stuff to give away as gifts, replace lost, worn out, or damaged items, and, most importantly, to help people in dire need of relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The auction ends on September 14.

We here at Jade Tree would also like to urge you to support the efforts of the American Red Cross as they attempt to give some relief to the victims of this tragedy. You can donate to help their cause .

Thank you.

PEDRO THE LION GOES TO SUMMER CAMP

In a valiant attempt at revisiting the glory days of summers gone by spent sleeping in bunks, drinking bug juice and playing capture the flag, PEDRO THE LION will play the first annual Summer Camp festival this Saturday, August 6th, in Bend, OR. The one-day festival also features indie rock heavyweights Death Cab for Cutie, Built to Spill, The Decemberists and Viva Voce. This show promises to dominate just like color wars or the end of the summer bonfire, and you know how much you love those events, so don’t miss out on this one.

Complete details for this show can be found on the Pedro The Lion .

NEW PEDRO THE LION DEMO ONLINE


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While working diligently on their 5th full-length album, PEDRO THE LION has given us the chance to get a glimpse of the progress so far. Take this opportunity to whet your appetite for the 2006 album with this sneak peak at what will surely prove to be another work of songwriting genius.

MP3:

It doesn’t end there! An acoustic demo of the song has just been added to our MP3 podcast. If you haven’t subscribed to the yet, now’s the time!

Studying the Smart Set

5 Breaking Out:

Arcade Fire — The Canadian quintet’s debut album, ”Funeral," followed the deaths of many of the band’s loved ones, and a brave, elegiac intensity fuels their songs, which are primal and melodic, whimsical and mournful all at once. Like any good catharsis, the music transcends the maudlin with the sheer romance of its emotional assault.

The Decemberists — With titles like ”Eli, the Barrow Boy" and ”The Mariner’s Revenge Song," the Decemberists’ third album, the exceedingly well-titled ”Picaresque," is a marvel of theatrical storytelling and folk-rock invention, brimming with weird, warm flavors made of pedal steel guitars and theremins, nautical lore and mythology.

The Shins — A witty, affecting guitar pop group with a twist: surreal yet resonant lyrics (who doesn’t dream of burying the remains of relationships in the yard?) and deceptively breezy melodies that bob and weave among the shifting, intricate structures of ”Chutes Too Narrow," the band’s classic and surprising second album.

Death Cab for Cutie — Eleven picture-perfect indie lullabies, variously epic and mellow, make up the Bellingham, WA, band’s fourth album, ”Transatlanticism." Chief Cutie Ben Gibbard is a lost soul and master craftsman, the ideal combo in a pop songwriter. The result is unpretentious, unrestrained, and unabashedly poetic.

The Postal Service — Named for the method by which its members trade sounds and ideas, this duo (a collaboration between Death Cab’s Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel and Figurine) cobbles Tamborello’s cool synths and Gibbard’s bittersweet singing voice into delicious juxtapositions — we’ll call it poignant new wave — on ”Give Up."

5 That Should:

John Vanderslice — Best known for the media circus surrounding his 2000 song ”Bill Gates Must Die," Vanderslice is a studio whiz kid with a gift for shambling chamber pop and enchanted indie rock. Last year’s ”Cellar Door," on Barsuk, was an impossibly imaginative assemblage of marginal characters and their corresponding sounds.

Pedro the Lion — David Bazan plumbs the depressing depths of the daily suburban grind and finds poetry on ”Achilles Heel" (Jade Tree), an album that’s not unlike a Vintage Contemporary novella set to quivering, folk-inflected indie rock.

Aqueduct — Essentially a one-man band, David Terry makes fond use of Casio keyboards and battered drum machines in his quest for the perfect lo-fi pop nugget. He nails it nearly every time on ”I Sold Gold" (Barsuk), which wastes no time getting to its off-kilter appraisal of modern love with an opening track titled ”The Suggestion Box."

Beulah — Charming, bright, and elegant, ”Yoko," the fourth album from San Francisco’s Beulah, is a breakup record, which could explain the inspiration for the album title as well as the profound sense of melancholy that infuses even the powerhouse pop-rockers.

Okkervil River — This Texas band marries delicate folk-rock and explosive alt-rock on a bed of desperate lyrics in the three albums they’ve released on the Jagjaguwar label. Sample title: ”The Velocity of Saul at the Time of his Conversion . . ."

VOTE FOR PEDRO

Okay the headline is a really bad Napoleon Dynamite reference, but Seattle homeboys PEDRO THE LION and THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES are up for some awards via the Seattle Weekly. As democracy sweeps Iraq it has also taken the Pacific Northwest by storm as best witnessed here in your ability to for PEDRO THE LION in the best Indie Rock/Garage Rock category, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES as best Punk/Hardcore, and finally our boy Ryan Fredricksen as the state’s best guitarist.

Please consult the Pedro The Lion for current dates.

Please consult the These Arms Are Snakes for current dates.

Pedro the Lion at the Bowery

Pedro the Lion braved the Bowery Ballroom on two sold-out nights in NYC. Along with opener Ramora, a loud and abusive one man guitar noise project, and headliner Low, Pedro the Lion was locked tightly with the crowd. They sped through their set, the audience dancing and singing along. The songs stopped only twice for brief Q&A sessions, where David spoke of new guitars, his baby, and how his band drives around in a van and solves mysteries. Guitarist Alan Sparhawk from Low came out for cover song whose name I don’t quite recall, but it was an impressive time. I was only a casual listener of Pedro the Lion over the last few years, but this performance was enough to get me picking up more of their music. They’re on tour until the end of March, so try and catch them if you can.

Mp3s of the Week: live Low & Pedro the Lion

Saturday night’s Low & Pedro the Lion show at the Somerville Theatre was just what I needed after a relatively long personal live-music drought. There’s always that dry spell in December & January, with both touring bands & show-going students on holiday break, so with the blizzard blowing a couple shows I’d planned on (and with me skipping last Thursday’s Arcade Fire show), it had been too damn long since I’d been out.

This was probably the 4th or 5th time I’ve seen Pedro, and while their latest disc is maybe my least favorite of the four full-lengthers (but hey, still good), this was by far the best I’ve ever seen ‘em play. The rhythm section that David Bazan has pulled together was so right on, Frank Lenz the perfect fit on drums (as he was with Starflyer 59), and Ken Maiuri playing bass and adding ace backing vocals. TW Walsh filled it all out beautifully with second guitar, the occasional keyboard line, and a little shaker-action. It all just worked for me.

The live versions of the recent stuff made me appreciate the album much more, they skipped the clunkers, and even the older stuff had well-chosen minor tweakings that fit in really well. Throw in a Neil Young cover (with Low’s Alan Sparhawk guesting on tasteful guitar-wankery), and I got the full-on live-music head-buzz. After some recently faded enthusiasm, I am wholly back in the PTL booster club.

The setlist, and a few downloadable songs from the night…
Pedro the Lion
Live at the Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA
February 5th, 2005

1. Penetration / Never Leave a Job Half Done
2. Magazine
3. Foregone Conclusions / I Do
4. Keep Swinging
5. Start Without Me
6. Bands With Managers
7. Transcontinental
8. I Am Always The One Who Calls
9. Simple Economics / When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run
10. Revolution Blues (Neil Young cover with Alan Sparhawk)
11. A Mind of Her Own

I’m loving the new Low album, and as much as I was glad to see them again, there was a little something missing. Maybe it’s this new-Low, the occasionally-louder, more dynamic Low experience that threw things off… of the many times I’ve seen them, they’ve never failed to take me to another place, to transport me somewhere I wouldn’t mind living full-time, lulling me into some kind of half-asleep-but-totally-not-bored trance. I missed that Saturday night, although older songs like ‘Shame’ and ‘Violence’ nearly got me there. I suppose I have to separate those previous experiences, leave them behind, and just judge the new material, the new live Low, on it’s own.

That said, they sounded great, Alan’s guitar-work has come a long way, or maybe the rockier songs allow him to show off a bit more… thinking back, though, it was I Remember, one of the quietest songs, where I really noticed. It’s not just Def Leppard he’s getting his tricks from.

Their setlist, with some more songs for ya, including a new one with my guess at the title…
Low
Live at the Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA
February 5th, 2005

1. Death of a Salesman
2. Monkey
3. California
4. (That’s How You Sing) Amazing Grace
5. Shame
6. Everybody’s Song
7. Silver Rider
8. Walk Into the Sea
9. Dragonfly (new)
10. Laser Beam
11. Pissing
12. I Remember
13. Broadway (So Many People)
14. When I Go Deaf
15. Sunflower
16. Violence
17. Cue The Strings
One thing about the Low recordings… their huge swings in volume definitely presented a challenge for my sensitive little Archos, so some of the quiet moments are a little hissy, punctuated by the occasional cough (and by the clutz in front of me who dropped her cell phone three times during the set). I swear, at one point you can actually hear the kid next to me and his nasal breathing. I really wanted to hand that guy a kleenex. Yuck.

And another thing… both bands gave the crowd ample opportunity to speak up between a few songs, and this was decidedly not a good thing. Interactivity can be fun and all, but it’s been a long time since I’ve heard such inanity from an audience, whether invited or not. Dunno if it was the whole Saturday-night thing, maybe a bit too much of the alky-hall, or if they were just naturally retarded, but yeesh. Why don’tcha just yell out "Hey, guess what everyone, I’m an idiot!". Lucky for you, I edited most of that out. We’re all better off.

Other Low & Pedro related bits…

PTL was still selling their 2004 Tour EP at their merch table, and it’s well worth the measly five bucks. It’s a six-song live-in-studio affair, three of their songs and three covers: A Randy Newman song, a Cat Power song, and my fave, a cover of Radiohead’s Let Down. If you can’t grab the EP at a show, you can order it here.

If you can’t wait to hear that Radiohead cover, you can check it out over at Pure Volume, who are hosting a whole bunch of Pedro tracks, including an entire live set recorded last year in Omaha.

While it’s not necessarily news to many, Suicide Squeeze Records has officially announced the signing of David Bazan, TW Walsh, & drummer Frank Lenz’s new non-Pedro (and more-electronicy) project, Headphones. Their debut self-titled full-length will be out in May, and they’ll appearing at this year’s SXSW festival (do let me know how they are, Frank).

The long-standing, and always-complete Low site at Chairkickers.com is undergoing it’s first facelift in years. Lots of content is forthcoming, but for now you can check out a super-cute little video of Alan & Mimi’s daughter Hollis Mae, alternately holding a sharpie and a cookie, and signing copies of the new album at a Duluth record store.

If you catch any of this tour’s remaining dates, while you’re at the merch table you’d be wise to pick up the first release on Low bassist Zak Sally’s new comics publishing imprint, La Mano. It’s a collection of John Porcellino’s King-Cat comics & stories called ‘Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man’, and it includes work from the late eighties up through stuff he finished up just last year. Read it yesterday, and it’s worth ordering if you can’t pick it up yourself. Here’s hoping that Mr. Sally puts out some of his own stuff (including his two Recidivist mini-comics) somewhere down the road.

Pondering the Many Shades Of Desolation and Despair

Thursday was introverts’ night out when Low headlined a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom along with Pedro the Lion, and Aarktica. None of the three bands bothered with much stage action. They were busy contemplating their instruments, the music’s textures and the steadfast desolation of their songs.

Low turned a concept into a sound when it formed in 1993. Its rigorously understated music was akin to the deliberation of Velvet Underground ballads, the purity of Appalachian lullabies and the Americana of John Fahey’s guitar solos. The style was soon labeled slowcore, and for most of the last decade, Low’s songs have been determinedly slow, sparse and calmly desolate. The band can silence a club with the austere concentration of its music: a few guitar chords from Alan Sparhawk; a steady and rudimentary drumbeat from his wife, Mimi Parker (who stands up at a minimal drum kit); and a modest underpinning from Zak Sally on bass. Mr. Sparhawk sings with thoughtful determination; Ms. Parker harmonizes like a sympathetic wraith.

Quiet means little without the possibility of loudness. Every so often, particularly on stage, Low’s songs begin to surge. A patient but unstoppable crescendo builds from within, fills out with reverbed and distorted guitar, then falls away to make its original hush seem even bleaker.

Slowcore isn’t so slow anymore. Low’s new album, "The Great Destroyer" (Sub Pop), includes some midtempo songs and thickens the arrangements. On stage the new songs didn’t break the mood. Low extended them and pared them down to basics, not rocking out but rocking inward.

Pedro the Lion’s despair arrived in more upbeat form: consistently melodic, precisely constructed songs laced with the instrumental counterpoints of new wave rock. But David Bazan’s droopy, long-suffering voice doesn’t conceal what his lyrics describe: a culture suffused by greed and relationships that hinge on power and betrayal. In one of the set’s most buoyant tunes, "Transcontinental," the narrator is bleeding to death after a gruesome accident. There’s no ironic smirk in the songs, though; somehow, they end up endearing, paradoxes and all.

Aarktica, which opened the show, was more meditative, erecting dense noise superstructures around serene loops of guitar. There were hints of South Asian music with the drone of a harmonium and vocal lines suggesting the modes of ragas or qawwali. These were urban, not pastoral meditations; one song, with a rhythm defined by bursts of static, was dedicated to the man who designed the lights of Times Square, as Jon DeRosa sang, "city planning is anatomy/ in your blood electricity."

Pedro the Lion Go Electronic, on Tour

There are folks here at Pitchfork who seem to dislike Pedro the Lion; it’s these writers’ humble opinions that such people are knuckleheads. And for those of us who can admire David Bazan’s gorgeous, brutal songwriting without getting bogged down in ooooh-he’s-Christian nonsense, the good times keep on rollin’, first with an iTunes-only live EP featuring five career-spanning Pedro tunes with a set-ending Randy Newman cover. The facts:

01 Big Trucks
02 Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives
03 I Do
04 Never Leave a Job Half Done
05 Start Without Me
06 Political Science

Furthermore, the tour just keeps on rollin’, as the band hits most of the country (again), firstly with Earlimart opening and secondly as openers for Low, who will be heading out in support of The Great Destroyer. A few details:

01-21 Ft. Worth, TX – Ridglea Theater *
01-22 Austin, TX – Emo’s *
01-23 Houston, TX – Mary Janes *
01-24 New Orleans, LA – Twiropa *
01-25 Birmingham, AL – Zydeco *
01-26 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder *
01-27 Orlando, FL – The Social *
01-28 Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse *
01-29 Mt. Pleasant, SC – Village Tavern *
01-30 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle *

02-01 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom #
02-02 Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero #
02-03 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom #
02-04 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom #
02-05 Somerville, MA – Somerville Theater #
02-07 Washington, DC – Black Cat #
02-08 Lexington, KY – Singletary Center for the Arts #
02-09 Newport, KY – Southgate House #
02-10 Columbus, OH – Wexner Center OSU #
02-11 Chicago, IL – Metro #
02-12 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue #
03-24 Seattle, WA – Neumos #
03-25 Seattle, WA – Neumos #
03-26 Vancouver, British Columbia – Richards on Richards #
03-29 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall #
03-30 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall #
03-31 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre #

* with Earlimart
# with Low

As if the musical lives of Pedro The Lion’s two principal members– Dave Bazan and Tim Walsh, who collaborate in one another’s respective outfits like Rob Harvilla and Rob Mackey pool resources on Pedro The Lion news stories– weren’t already intertwined enough, they’re set to unveil yet another project: The Headphones. The band’s self-titled debut is due out via Suicide Squeeze May 10, but don’t expect a single angsty guitar chord, or any of those tastefully arpeggiated Bazan-style promonades. "It’s really similar to Pedro the Lion, except instead of using guitars we’re playing on keyboards," Bazan told Pitchfork last week. "But it’s very much like a rock band. It’s real drums, no sequencing. It’s not electronic music at all. It sounds like Pedro The Lion and Depeche Mode, kind of … if you saw Depeche Mode and they were all actually playing the parts and there was a real drummer." Well, ok then. How about a tracklist:

01 Gas and Matches
02 Shit Talker
03 Hot Girls
04 I Never Wanted You
05 Major Cities
06 Natural Disaster
07 Hello Operator
08 Pink and Brown
09 Wise Blood
10 Slow Car Crash

PEDRO THE LION DROPS EXCLUSIVE ITUNES CD & TOURS


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Itunes music store released the exclusive Stations EP today; the downloadable record features radio versions of an assortment of PEDRO THE LION hits. Including songs off of this years Achilles Heel and tracks like Big Trucks off the band’s watershed It’s Hard to Find A Friend.

In other PEDRO THE LION news, the band has just announced dates throughout January with and a full tour with slow-core veterans and Sub Pop newbie’s rounding out February and March.

Track listing:
01: Big Trucks
02: Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives
03: I Do
04: Never Leave A Job Half Done
05: Start Without Me
06: Political Science

Tracks 1-3 recorded live at WLUW-FM in Chicago.
Tracks 4-6 recorded live in Toronto by CBC Radio.

MP3:

Please consult the Pedro The Lion for current dates.