Episode 296: Damien Jurado

30Sep

Backstage at the Murmrr theater, the band is about to sit down to eat some fancy local Brooklyn pizza. It’s a strange space — a plush 700-seat theater that also serves a synagogue, the occasional Star of David on the wall the remind you that you’re a holy place. Damien Jurado seems eager to talk, in spite of being at the tail end of his East Coast tour (in a few days, it will be the same thing all over again up and down the West Coat). We launch into chat about Shabazz Palaces, a brilliant hip-hop duo from his native Seattle. Then it’s Billy Bragg and Beck and the Mountain Goats, all by way of explaining how he made the jump from Minor Threat-inspired hardcore frontman to earnest singer-songwriter. It’s been a long and fascinating journey for the musician, including a few unexpected pitstops along the way. But in spite of some personal struggles, Jurado says without hesitation that this year’s The Horizon Just Laughed is both his most personal and best album to date.

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