David Bazan & Winston Jazz Routine

Originally in The Oklahoma Daily on September 21st, 2007.

While the name David Bazan might not be familiar to most, his body of work probably is. His main creative outlet for the last 12 years was the highly influential indie rock group Pedro the Lion. Early last year, Bazan announced that Pedro the Lion was done,and that he would continue as a solo act. He will be performing a solo acoustic set tonight at the Opolis. Nashville band the Winston Jazz Routine will also play.

This will be his second time in Norman this year, but Bazan said fans shouldn’t expect the same show as last April.

“I’ll be playing four or five new songs, and it’s going to be a different vibe,” Bazan said. “I think I have gotten my sea legs now with being solo, and I think I am a little stronger. Plus I will be playing a different guitar.”

Bazan recently released his debut solo EP, “Fewer Moving Parts,” on Barsuk records, which happens to be the label Opolis owner Andy Nunez’s band, the Starlight Mints, are signed to, but that connection isn’t why Bazan chooses to play here so much.

“I had played a couple of really great shows here with Pedro the Lion and always wanted to come back, but didn’t get the chance until last April,” Bazan said. “I think it’s going to be a regular thing now, though.”

Bazan has begun work on his new record, which will be under the name David Bazan’s Black Cloud. Originally, tonight’s show was set to be with the full band, but Bazan said that didn’t work out.

“The guy that I was working with on Black Cloud decided that he didn’t want to be involved with it about a month before the tour was supposed to start. He wanted to do his own thing,” Bazan said. “I kind of had to go back to the drawing board, and I just didn’t have time to get together a band on my own, work on this record, and tour.”

Political themes have always been a part of Bazan’s music, both with Pedro the Lion and solo, and Bazan said he is hopeful about next year’s election.

“I am real curious to see what goes on,” Bazan said. “The fact that the nominee looks to either be a black guy or a woman is really amazing. I think this could be the time for a revolutionary vote.”

Also playing an acoustic set tonight is the Winston Jazz Routine. The band had an eventful time when they last played Oklahoma.

“It was a good time, but I mostly just remember the U-haul braking down after the show and getting a free hotel room and pizza, compliments of U-haul insurance,” Winston Jazz Routine’s Nathan Phillips said.

Phillips said touring with David Bazan is a dream come true for the band, as he has been a fan of Bazan for a long time.

“I tried to convince my mother to let me listen to Pedro the Lion’s “Whole” EP back in junior high, carefully withdrawing it from the public library,” said Phillips. “But when she heard the low screaming come on, she thought it might not be a good influence on me.”