November 8, 2007

Your eyes make a circle :: WAZ & “I Will Follow”

In my estimation, the covers that are really worth their salt take a song that you think you know, and then go right ahead to completely re-imagine it. My favorite revisions unearth a hidden nugget of emotional truth, or get at something that you might have missed the first time around. As The Bangles say, “I see you in a different light.”

WAZ is a musician from Southern California who first rose to prominence as the guitarist for Pete Yorn during the musicforthemorningafter era, but now has a solo career in his own right. Waz is a shortening of his last name (no it’s not Mike Wazowski) and everyone ‘cept his momma calls him that. His cover of U2′s “I Will Follow” is bittersweetly intimate and stopped me in my tracks.

I never knew that this song was originally written about the death of Bono’s mother; it has such a huge anthemic blazing image to me, as does much of the U2 from that early era. The original is majestic and almost defiant; it wants to be sung from a thousand enormous arenas. But this version aches, a meandering confessional in front of a backdrop of delicate strings. I love what WAZ does here to reach a different place with this song.

I Will Follow – WAZ

WAZ just opened for Frank Black of the Pixies on some solo shows, culminating at the rad Hotel Utah in SF. More tour dates are anticipated in 2008 to go along with the self-release of his full-length album coming out at the end of January. That album will be released without this track due to some legal wrangling, but he gives his blessing for you to enjoy it here. So do.

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  • pretty.

    Kev in St. Louis

    Anonymous — November 8, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

  • Thanks yet again, Heather. That cover is brilliant. The song wasn’t over before I started e-mailing my friends about WAZ.

    HCJoel — November 8, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

  • waz is not only one of pete yorns oldest and closest friends but he was yorn’s guitarist for the first five years..hes all over the live at the roxy promo….about this time he put out his first release a five song ep produced as with yorns debut by r walt vincent. its a beautiful thing..great passionate songs superbly played and sung and all who heard it have been waited since then for a full length debut…pete hooked me up with waz a while back so ive been lucky enough to have a advance of the album for quite sometime and it is a glorious creation that easily sits in my top ten of the year except now that its coming out next year but im still confident it will be in my top ten of next years instead…
    mick d

    Anonymous — November 8, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  • I came across your NYC blog which was great and now i’m checking out Waz…..Wow! Great find.

    He’s amazing.

    Do you know when he is going to release something on iTunes?

    Thanks for sharing Heather!


    Anonymous — November 8, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

  • I’ve heard that song so many times.Its swirling storm of anger hid the beauty beneath.


    This is a heartbreakingly inspirational love song.I never knew that.

    It aslo adds new lustre to the lines from New Year’s Day;’Though torn in two we can be one’.



    russell — November 8, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

  • He’s got to do something about this name though

    russell — November 8, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  • As soon as you mentioned Pete Yorn, I knew I would be hooked.

    Do you know when the EP will be available in the US? Every link that he has on my space and his official site leads me to iTunes but it is not available for the US.

    Anonymous — November 8, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

  • Interesting that he changes the lyric from mother to lover just as Bono does in the live version now. Did you have a conversation with him about this song? As far as legal wrangling, could he not get permission from them to release this?

    c — November 9, 2007 @ 8:34 am

  • heather,

    you are, once again, an angel of music.



    Anonymous — November 9, 2007 @ 10:46 am

  • I like the song. Thanks!

    surfed onto your blog through a link from somewhere … glad I found it!

    bizzle — November 9, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  • I was lucky enough to get a copy of Waz’s “Mine to Remember” EP from a mutual friend when it came out. It is definitely one of my favorites. Since I’m at work right now (hmmm… oops!) can’t wait to get home to hear this!!!

    wakeboarder69 — November 9, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

  • Dammit! I am also being stumped in my quest to obtain (legally or otherwise) some of WAZ’s recordings. Damn iTunes. It’s not available in Canada either. Someone hook us up! If we can’t buy it, should we feel bad about copying it? Because I don’t. Please drop me a line, anyone who has the EP or other songs.

    HCJoel — November 9, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

  • this is such a beautiful cover, and i could not agree with you more on the makings of the favorite covers of mine.

    i love when an artist/band takes a song and re-imagines it, crafts it anew…and i loved the inclusion of the bangles lyric.

    thank you for the song.

    lucy — November 10, 2007 @ 10:32 am

  • re the name:in the uk to take a waz = going for a pee;a wazzock is a fool withiut a hill and to get wazzed means to, in that lovely geordie nomenclature, ‘get mortal’i.e. royally drunk.

    Love the cover!

    russell — November 10, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

  • when i first mentioned him to pete yorn, pete pronounced his name Woz…i kept saying no its Waz and you know what waz means in english (as above go for a pee) pete didnt know this , said he’d tell his friend this bit of unfortunate info and laughed saying..all the more reason to prononce it Woz then…..
    but as i noticed a few days later if you look at the behind tray photo on the first ep…waz is pictured legs astride facing a wall with a puddle near his feet… yes hes having a unless this is just a ridiculous coincidence it seems that the man already knew the unfortunate conotations his name holds over here in britain….but this holds no fear for him it seems….
    mick d

    Anonymous — November 10, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

  • So in that line of thinking, should we question what the liquid is in the glass in front of him in the picture that Heather posted?

    Anonymous — November 12, 2007 @ 8:27 pm

  • I discovered his music a couple days ago actually, and I already want to have his children, if in fact I had a womb.

    Anonymous — November 12, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

  • Heather,
    So cool of you to spread the word about WAZ. I’ve been a fan of his for a while. Just waiting for the world to wake up and notice this artist.

    It seems your blog caught Rolling Stones attention. I noticed they mention WAZ and link to this page.

    Best Wishes,

    Anonymous — November 14, 2007 @ 12:29 am

  • A friend sent me his “Mine to Remember” EP years ago and I thought it was absolutely spectacular. For those of you who don’t have it, you can still order it at CdBaby.

    As for Waz’s full length album, “Sweet Bye and Bye”, it will be out in January on ITunes in Canada and the US. We’ll just have to wait until then!

    cricket — November 16, 2007 @ 3:14 am

  • Met up with Waz in Dublin on his european tour recently….cool guy…great tunes and loev the ‘She’s Gone’ video…amazing..!

    Anonymous — November 19, 2007 @ 11:08 am

  • Heather, I just received a copy of WAZ’s full length record. I love it. Are you going to review it?

    Anonymous — February 4, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

  • Woww..lovely buddy.

    Wide Circles

    Anonymous — July 27, 2008 @ 4:00 am

  • WAZ is really a great musician. I like his guitar play very much. I got a luck to see his performance last month. Really it was splendid performance. He impressed everyone with his guitar and his marvelous voice.

    Wide Circles

    Anonymous — July 27, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  • Ya..I heard about this.Thanks,Nice information.


    Williams — August 29, 2008 @ 10:25 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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