Pedro the Lion no longer, David Bazan has opted to shed the indie-tastic guise and continue on as a singer/songwriter, plain and simple. Don't worry—his name may have changed, but his songs remain complex, shot through with as much hope and melancholy as wit and ire.
On the new self-released Fewer Moving Parts EP, Bazan is as fiercely wise as ever. "Selling Advertising" takes on critics who dwell on his Christianity, mocking their self-satisfaction and reminding them how they get paid. "Backwoods Nation" charts the evolution of frat boys and rednecks to presidents and soldiers.
The five songs are first heard in full one-man-band mode, with keys and drums and distortion, before reappearing in acoustic form. The first batch shines brightest, since Bazan's sleepy delivery and deadpan lyrics work better against crunchy rock (see Pedro the Lion's Control).
As Bazan comes to terms with his name, he introduces us to another, bringing Micah P. Hinson along on tour. The British press drooled over Hinson's 2004 album, Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress, but the stateside momentum is only now starting to build, thanks to a re-recorded version of his 2000 EP The Baby & the Satellite and a second album due in October, both on Jade Tree. There's also The Late Chord, his atmospheric 4AD-signed collaboration with the Earlies' John Mark Lapham.
Hinson is famous for capturing grizzled life experience despite his youth (he's now approaching his mid-20s), and rightly so. The Baby & the Satellite is a moving showcase of his spooky writing and smoky, world-weary voice. It goes without saying he's one to watch.
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David Bazan with Micah P. Hinson at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 629-0377; www.theglasshouse.us. Sun., 7 p.m. $10-12. All ages.