What a great opportunity to ask the former Pedro the Lion lead singer about the difference between this album and his last—Bazan’s first solo full-length album, Curse Your Branches, was a direct address to God, in which Bazan argued with the idea until he left it, dead and bleeding on the ground. Strange Negotiations is, in some ways, a continuation on that theme, but Bazan’s not frustrated with God this time—he’s frustrated with people, specifically Americans, specifically tea-partiers, specifically reckless, feckless capitalism and whatever other evils he sees as plaguing our society.
NPR ran a piece on Bazan last night in which the artist admitted what a struggle it was to write about such controversial subjects—especially when it put his fan base at stake. "I'd rather be in Spoon than be writing about religion," Bazan said.
But at least someone's tackling the difficult stuff. Props to Bazan for not writing an album about breakups, getting-back togethers or deciding what to do on a Friday. Maybe tonight Bazan will be able to connect with the people who felt abandoned by the disillusionment and anger of his first album, as well as explain his ideas behind the second. It is, by the way, an excellent rock record, and if you want to get a taste of Strange Negotiations, you can download the first track "Wolves at the Door" on Spinner and listen to the full album here.