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Nov 27th
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Fallen Angel

music DavidBazanDavid Bazan puts church, then state under microscope

 

Holidays with the family can be stressful. But they’re even worse when your parents think you’re a heretic. Such is life for David Bazan, former frontman of Pedro the Lion, a fringe Christian indie band active from 1995 to 2005, who was on his way to the airport in Nashville before flying home to Seattle for Thanksgiving when GT caught up with him.


“The lines get drawn when you think of it as a battle,” says Bazan. “But these are all the people that I’m going to be spending Thanksgiving with. I love them. I’m connected to them, and so just trying to figure out a way forward. There are things that we have in common.”

Pedro the Lion’s split was in large part due to Bazan’s evolving spirituality, which now hovers somewhere between agnosticism and atheism—a controversial decision for the son of a preacher. It’s nowhere more evident than in his work as a solo artist, first with an EP in 2006, then 2009’s Curse Your Branches, a full-length album that critiques the Christian culture he left behind. “It makes me happy and proud,” Bazan says of his journey. “The issues that I have written about are issues from the Evangelical Christian world that it’s hard to have dialogue about, and perspective about.”

In May, Bazan released Strange Negotiations, and it follows in the same vein as his previous solo work: incisive and indicting—social criticism at its best. But this time it expands beyond Christianity, and points the finger at America as a whole.

Strange Negotiations opens with “Wolves at the Door,” a song that condemns the United States’ mess of wars and lobbyist abuses, and the populace that invited them. “Surprise, they took your money/ And they ate your kids, and they had their way,” Bazan sings, later adding with irony, “[You’re] cursing taxes and the government,” in reference to the Tea Party movement.

Despite being a teller of tough-to-stomach truths, Bazan shows he’s open to a dialogue with the opposition by not completely alienating them—no small feat for someone who, in criticism of rampant materialism, sang, “All of the experts say you ought to start them young/ That way they’ll naturally love the taste of corporate come.”

“I am on one side of that divide—pretty squarely—but the lack of ability of people to engage with one another is really sad to me,” says Bazan. “I hope to engage in that discussion in a way that doesn’t shut down communication. I think that honest expression is going to yield good things. That’s what my motivation is.”

Lately, Bazan has followed the Occupy movement, both nationwide and in Seattle, where police recently pepper-sprayed an 84-year-old woman. He believes the movement shares many of his passions. He also sees it as an opportunity for unification with the other side.

“There’s an odd intersection between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement,” Bazan explains. “There are similarities there, and highlighting those is not going to solve the problem, but could get us a little more harmony, or a little more understanding.”

In the prescient title track off Strange Negotiations, he sings, “You got the market its own bodyguard/ And all the people are getting hurt.” It’s a song that many in the Occupy movement have gravitated toward, which pleases Bazan as he negotiates his relationships with his family and a country in need of change.

David Bazan plays at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $12. For more information, call 429-6994.

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Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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