David Bazan, Cotton Jones | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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David Bazan, Cotton Jones 

When: Wed., June 8, 9 p.m. 2011
Price: $15
If you were given to understatement, you might call David Bazan's 2009 full-length solo debut, Curse Your Branches, a heavy record. A musical account of his apostasy from the Christian community he was born into—a community that's been responsible for much of his success as a professional musician—the album is a harrowing affair, even taking into account the occasional ray of hope that shoots through. As astoundingly good as that album is, it's a relief to see Bazan lightening up a little with its follow-up. The new Strange Negotiations (Barsuk) is Bazan's first recording with a full band since Headphones' 2005 self-titled album—he's backed by the group he toured with following Branches—and the pleasure the musicians take in the meaty, muscular guitar rock they're laying down is palpable. Bazan being Bazan, the lyrics are fraught and minor chords are plentiful, but album opener "Wolves at the Door" is the first song of his that you could conceivably toss into a DJ set without nose-diving the whole party. —Miles Raymer



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