There’s this song David Bazan sings, that may or may not be autobiographical. It’s about this guy who’s pretty disillusioned with being on tour across the country. One night in a convenient store he tries to pick up a cashier, gets rejected, and sets a car on fire in the parking lot. At least that’s how I hear it. I’ve never been on tour, I’ve never tried to pick up a cashier at a convenient store, and I’ve never set a car on fire. But, dammit, when I sing along with David Bazan all sad and matter-of-fact, I fell all the self-loathing and regret that one would presumably feel, gas can in hand, standing in a wet parking lot in front of a blazing Honda.
That’s a songwriting gift.
This weekend I got to see Bazan play live in a living room with thirty other people. At eight o’clock, he walked in the front door, nodded to a room full of strangers, sat down on a stool, pulled out his guitar and started singing. It was pleasantly surreal.
A few songs in he greeted the audience and asked if anybody had any questions. That was the rhythm for the rest of the night. Few songs. A little conversation. Few songs. More talking. It was really fun. Bazan is incredibly warm and amiable. Afterwards Sara and I told him how much we enjoy what he does and I got a picture with him.