Jun 142012

You know David Pajo, or you know of him.

I can barely think of a more Zelig-like character in contemporary rock, swiftly changing identities as he works his way through so much of what we listen to.

[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/13-Good-Morning-Captain-1.mp3|titles=Slint: Good Morning Captain]

Pajo played multiple instruments in various hardcore outfits in his native Louisville, rising to prominence as a founder of the dynamic Slint. He is a restless musician, consistently in the habit of packing his guitar case, and making stops with the likes of Tortoise, Stereolab, Will Oldham, Royal Trux, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Interpol, Mogwai (aka the Scottish Slint Fan Club), and in the ill-advised Zwan.

[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/12-Wedding-Song-No.3.mp3|titles=Papa M: Wedding Song No. 3] [audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/13-Krusty.mp3|titles=Papa M: Krusty]

He is no less chameleonic with his solo peregrinations, recording under the monikers Pajo, Evila, Dead Child, Aerial M, Papa M, and simply M. Depends on the day of the week, and his music can range from lonely corn-cob pipe musings to Math-rock instrumentals to whispered Eliot Smith-style vocals to living-room black metal to acoustic Misfits covers that make you do a double-take with the liner notes.

[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Hex-I.mp3|titles=Evila: Hex I] [audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Attitude.mp3|titles=Pajo: Attitude]

I admire and enjoy the guts in Pajo’s music, and that it is somewhat unclassifiable. There’s a certain kind of hard to pin down nomadic Americana to his sounds. Regardless of the setting he’s playing in, it’s music that has a vibrant force, speaking from an emotional and experiential basis.

Do you hear it?

Here’s Dave Pajo with Tortoise.


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