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roar, Pedro the Lion

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:13 pm

I saw Pedro the Lion with Half-Life Souvenir and Viva Voce last night at Slim’s. Chris Atwell went with me.

We got there during the last couple songs of Viva Voce. The first of which was a sort of Low-like steady-rhythm, slow-build song and the second of which was ‘Tonight you belong to me’ (which I know because Steve Martin plays it on ukulele in the beach scene of The Jerk (and Bernedette Peters’ character pulls out a trumpet out of no where and does the solo)). I ended up buying their album, Heat Can Melt Your Brain, which is odd and goes from one idea to another quickly, but is pretty good from first listen.

Half-life Souvenir is promising. Rosie Thomas (who’s recorded with Damien Jurado) sings in this. The guy and her sing an octave apart, which I’ve heard in other bands before but can’t think of specific examples. The drummer was solid; he ended up playing keyboards and aux percussion with Pedro. Anyway, they have some of Low slow-changing-chord stuff, some Album Leaf or Ms. John Soda electronic-indie stuff and some of their own sort of sound. It’s hard to describe, but I’ll be keeping an ear out for their future stuff.

Pedro was good. He had a four-piece: (Pedro is not a guy, but David Bazan, who is basically the band, is, so I refer to Pedro the Lion as he.) he and TW Walsh (drums), of course. A bass player that I recognized but don’t know the name of and a keyboard/ aux percussion guy named James. He played a lot of early stuff and a few songs each from Control and Achille’s Heel. He did solid versions of ‘Magazine’, ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Criticism as Inspiration.’

They were out of my size of the Pedro Lion’s tail shirt, but I ended up getting a Pedro scarf, which is pretty rad and good conversation starter with the cute girl standing next to me.

I’m trying to figure out how many times I’ve seen Pedro, so here’s my list:

  • February 14, 2001 w/ Low at Sommerville Theater
  • September 16, 2001 w/ Seldom and TW Walsh at the Middle East Downstairs
  • May 4, 2002 w/ Damien Jurado(?) at the Middle East Downstairs*
  • November 3, 2002 w/ Seldom at the TT the Bear’s
  • May 5, 2003 w/ Stratford 4, Alan Sparhawk (solo) and Ester Drang at the Middle East Downstairs**
  • February 27, 2004 w/ John Vanderslice and the Advantage at Great American Music Hall
  • June 2, 2004 w/ John Vanderslice at Bottom of the Hill
  • December 7, 2004 w/ Half-Life Souvenir and Viva Voce at Slim’s

*one of my few two-show nights. I went to Belle and Sebastian at the Orpheum (early show) and then went across town for Pedro. I’m not convinced that Damien Jurado was at this date, or maybe I just missed him while I was at the other show.
**this show was probably the best, I think. He was working out some new songs so he did a chunk of great songs with the band and then the new ones solo acoustic, including the ‘Poison Makes’ and ‘Backwoods Nation’, which he’s basically refused to play live since.

So, I guess that’s eight. That has to be a record for bands that I’ve seen. I’ve seen a bunch of bands three or probably even four times. I think I counted six times for the Mates of State. Eight is just ridiculous. I started liking him early, he tours often and I just kept going to shows. I’m looking forward to the Low/ Pedro date at Great American in March. Should be good.

One Response to “roar, Pedro the Lion”

  1. ipickmynose: an SF-centric indie music blog » Mark Kozelek, David Bazan @ Palace of Fine Arts: photos, review Says:

    […] Bazan came on a few minutes after they flashed the lights in the lobby. I’ve seen him so many times by now that it’s hard to say something different about his shows. But the thing is […]

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