East Nashville went West Coast last night, as cosmic troubadour Aaron Lee Tasjan, clad in his now-signature polka dots, made his solo television debut on Conan. Playing “Little Movies” from his second LP, Silver Tears, Tasjan, along with a band that included onetime Milk Carton Kids guitarist Brian Wright, offered a lush rendition of the song’s unique blend of folk psychedelia – a track that was quite appropriately conceived while the singer was “micro-dosing” on LSD.
“If you’re not afraid to look at the ugly parts of yourself, it can be a really rewarding experience,” Tasjan told Rolling Stone Country. “The same goes for creativity. If you’re not afraid to tear down the idea of what you think the perfect way to write a song might be, those mind-altering substances can allow you to explore some other avenues without feeling normal inhibitions. It’s all a big effort to hit that big switch that cares about what other people think, and just turn it off.”
Tasjan, on Silver Tears, clearly eschews any need to cater to expectations, high or sober: with a glam-rock past in his back pocket, he gets his thrills from blending his ace guitar playing and emotive lyrics with heavily textured orchestral arrangements, often stopping for a moment of John Prine-esque humor to remind that the sincere needn’t always be so serious.
On the road through June, Tasjan will play Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium next Saturday with Shovels & Rope before setting sail on the Cayamo Cruise.