Damien Jurado, David Bazan, See Me River

Wednesday, January 21

There's probably no better songwriter than David Bazan to play a benefit for John Spalding, the 33-year-old Seattle musician who died in November after a long batter with lung cancer. In his decade-long musical career, Spalding played with 90 Lb. Wuss and Raft of Dead Monkeys, and built friendships within the music community. Bazan's lyrics — especially the songs he wrote while fronting Pedro the Lion — are mostly first- and second-person narrative; in short, Bazan sings about a nebulous "you" who is experiencing something poetic, tragic or inspirational. The stories told in songs like "June 18, 1976" or "Slow and Steady Wins the Race" are tragic tales of death, but they are ultimately metaphors for greater emotions like loss and fear. Only Bazan's songs could give voice to the sadness Seattle feels over Spalding's passing.

Wed., Jan. 21, 8 p.m., 2009

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