November 18, 2008

CC200: Pedro The Lion's "Bad Diary Days"

Pedro The Lion
We have to listen very hard now to David Bazan as he sings this spare heartbreaker to hear in his voice the overtones of Lou Barlow that caused us to believe that "Bad Diary Days" was a Sebadoh track when we first heard it. This happened as we were cruising northward through the broadcast range of The University of North Carolina's WXYC in the late summer of 1998, and we were transfixed by the voice. "Bad Diary Days" lays bare the narrator's simple but devastating memory of discovering his lover's infidelity. We also have to listen very hard to notice where those extra two beats cap each progression, because the flow now seems so natural. It's a testament to Mr. Bazan's vivid, direct songwriting that "Bad Diary Days" is so sad sometimes you just don't want to listen to it. Even so, the track, from the flawless Pedro The Lion full-length debut It's Hard To Find A Friend (originally released on Made In Mexico, which folded at the tail-end of the 20th century, then reissued on Jade Tree in 2001), is No. 181 on the list of our 200 most-listened-to tracks, also known as the Clicky Clicky 200.

It wasn't until returning to our brick-oven walk-up in South Phildelphia that summer in 1998 that we had an opportunity to figure out who was behind this entrancing song. The track was being spun on Drexel's WKDU and we got the DJ on the horn, who imparted that the band was called Pedro The Lion (at first we thought he said Pager The Lion, which confused the hell out of us, so we asked him to repeat it, which he did with Albertsonian intonation). Of course Mr. Bazan took his band to greater heights over the ensuing eight years until the Pedro The Lion moniker was formally retired in 2006. Bazan continues to record and tour, and his first record as David Bazan's Black Cloud (which is almost as awesome a band name as J Mascis + The Fog, but not quite) will be released on Barsuk in early 2009. More details about the record and its contents are posted at the Wikipedia page for Bazan here. Read all Clicky Clicky 200 posts right here.

Pedro The Lion -- "Bad Diary Days" -- It's Hard To Find A Friend
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[buy It's Hard To Find A Friend from Jade Tree right here]

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