David Bazan was the songwriter and driving force behind the acclaimed band Pedro the Lion, building a dedicated following and selling a few hundred-thousand albums based in large part on his extraordinary melodic sense and erudite, theologically-themed songs. After a decade helming the project, he ditched the moniker in favor of his given name and has since released several critically-acclaimed albums.
As much of a follow-up to 2005’s synth-heavy Headphones album as it is to last year’s Blanco, Care (2017) finds Bazan getting back to the calm minimalism of early Pedro The Lion. Produced, recorded, and mixed by Bazan and legendary Oregon-based producer Richard Swift, bare synthesizers dominate the tracks, giving Care an intimate, personal sound. The vocals are close, mirroring the experience from the front seat at a house show. Steady, sparse beats tie the ten tracks together, thrumming a boom-tap, boom-tap like a thread.
Care creates vignettes with characters that are both diverse and intertwined. The title track is the anthem and mission statement for the album; a plea for empathy drawn as much from the state of the political world as the personal one. It reminds us that as we get older we can be more careless, that as we grow we can also retreat into ourselves and forget the simple truth that other people matter. It is a call to the simplest route to fidelity – to care more.
As Bazan moves forward with a new chapter as a solo performer and a solo artist, this record is a ballast against what would be so easy to do – to isolate. It is a ringing commitment to see things for what they are and to protect what is left. To love better. Even if it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Rana May’s deadpan delivery, punk rock sensibility, and fascination with science make her comedy stand out like a shoe on a pizza. Rana was persuaded to try stand up comedy after doing “informational speeches” at backyard barbeques and in basements for a year or two. Her background is in social work, dog rescue, and used book stores, where deadpan is considered a strength.
Rana has been featured locally in the City Pages, Star Tribune, Minnesota Daily, MPR, and was picked as one of five comics to watch in 2016 by Growler Magazine. You can see her performing all over the Twin Cities producing and hosting PSSY CTRL, Donut Party! or performing as a cast member for Boy Kisses Comedy Show. She’s opened for Maria Bamford, Kyle Kinane, Jonah Ray, Mary Mack, Tim Harmston, Neil Hamburger, and others.
Rana is the winner of the House of Comedy 2014 Funniest Person with a Day Job Contest and in 2015 performed in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Crom Comedy Festival, Chicago Comedy Exposition, Hell Yes Fest, and 10,000 Laughs.