Tag Archives: Pedro the Lion


Rocky Votolato Celebrates Anniversary at Mercury Lounge on Friday

September 19th, 2016

Rocky Votolato – Mercury Lounge – September 16, 2016

Perhaps unknown to some, Rocky Votolato has been making music for more than 15 years. He honed his craft in the Pacific Northwest during an era when punk and indie-folk artists collided in a musical hotbed. He found a delicate balance between both, collaborating with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Pedro the Lion. His seminal album, Makers, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and fittingly the singer embarked on a tour to perform it in its entirety. Friday night at Mercury Lounge, Votolato’s faithful fans were quickly treated to longtime favorite “Portland Is Leaving” as the flood of nostalgia encased the room.

It’s a different show when everyone comes for an artist who’s left an indelible mark on their memories. A perfect example of this lasting impression was the dedication of “White Daisy Passing” to Tony, a fan who had shared the story of how the song accompanied him while he had been traveling years ago after a loved one had passed. Votolato joked that he wasn’t in the music business for fame or riches. He has neither, but in seriousness, the value was the family and community he has built with his songs.

Formerly a “one-man wolf pack,” Votolato is joined by guitarist and lap-steel player Matt Batey, a drummer and a bassist for this celebratory tour. The normally intimate tracks sounded bigger thanks to the musical additions—and even a sampled drum effect was afforded for “Where We Left Off.” Oh, how times have changed! Votolato remarked on how 10 years ago he had flown to New York City upon Makers’ release to open for Nada Surf at Mercury Lounge. He also added that the title track was written here and was inspired by an Allen Ginsberg poem. After covering the full album, the Left Coaster added older material from Suicide Medicine, plus “Boxcutter,” off his latest, Hospital Handshakes. The cozy venue offered little escape for Votolato, who encored with a pair of songs, including “Montana,” leaving no fan unsatisfied. —Sharlene Chiu


David Bazan Brings New Album to Music Hall of Williamsburg

July 6th, 2016

David Bazan first rose to acclaim fronting Seattle’s Christian-themed Pedro the Lion. But as he began to stray from a religious influence, Bazan (above, doing “Wolves at the Door”) did a one-off with the band Headphones and then started working on his own. In 2006, Paste magazine labeled him the No. 85 living songwriter and proclaimed, “If crushing truths perish by being acknowledged, David Bazan is the grim-news reaper…. He chronicles the subtle forms manipulation assumes, and the moving target of his satire is the brainwash we often administer unto ourselves.” His first solo full-length, Curse Your Branches (stream it below), came out to raves in 2009. “Albums about breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend after a long relationship are pretty common; albums about splitting with God after a lifetime together are rare,” wrote the A.V. Club. “It’s heavy stuff, to be sure, but Bazan is such an astute chronicler of his own emotions—no matter how ugly—that even his darkest moments ironically offer serious inspiration. Like the subject matter itself, he’s a rarity.” Since then, the singer-songwriter has worked with others and released a host of singles, and a couple of months ago, he put out his third LP, Blanco (stream it below), which is heavy on samples and keyboards. Exclaim! called it “a poignant reflection on the hardships of a touring musician spending most of the year away from his wife and kids…. It requires, and deserves, an attentive and patient ear.” Give the new music a listen live when David Bazan plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night. Another notable singer-songwriter, Laura Gibson, opens the show.


David Bazan – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 15, 2012

November 16th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Matt Karp