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The iJamming! Thanksgiving Download: “Bless This Mess”


I first heard David Bazan’s “Bless This Mess” a couple of months back on a podcast, and misplaced it before I could get permanent hold of it. Then KEXP had the good sense to make it their Podcast “Song of the Day” for Thanksgiving and, seeing that the song is freely available from Barsuk Record’s web site, I’d now like to do the same.

As you listen to “Bless This Mess,” you can’t help but suspect that Bazan is a man of faith, and some quick research into his biography reveals that his former group, Pedro the Lion, was in fact formed while Bazan was at a Pentecostal Liberal Arts College. But “Bless This Mess” is the kind of song that atheists, or certainly agnostics, can equally easily identify with. (I imagine the God of the “God bless…” as anything I want it to be.) Besides, the real beauty of the song comes in the lines that initially pass over that much more quickly, those of an alcoholic parent:

“through a darkened mirror
i have seen my own reflection??
and it makes me want to be a better man
after another drink.”

Ouch. Bazan’s biography suggests that he is now fully sober, a lot less certain about his faith, and that he can be found playing “Bless This Mess” and other songs from his new album Curse Your Branches in living rooms across the country. If his live performances carry anything like the emotion of “Bless This Mess,” those must be some spiritual gigs. Music, after all, suffices as many peoples’ religion.

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Use the play button above to listen to “Bless This Mess.” You can download it directly from? http://barsukmusic.blaireau.net/DavidBazan_BlessThisMess.mp3.

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