Butch Bastard (photo by Andrew Knaup)

Butch Bastard (photo by Andrew Knaup)

There’s a lot you can learn about yourself while waiting for your frozen food to be cooked in the microwave. Take it from Ian Murray, who records and performs under the name of Butch Bastard. Previously part of Poor Man, a project with his brother Peter plus Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott of Fleet Foxes, he moved from Seattle to Los Angeles two years ago to live on processed food of questionable nutritional value and ponder his life choices.

In “Waiting for a Hot Pocket,” he ponders friends dying, religion, existence, life strategies, imprisonment and freedom from choice, the daily grind of a working stiff, insomnia and living in Los Angeles.

“I try to get sleep as the boogeymen dance on the roof
I’m jaded and bored and a little bit long in the tooth
I feel out of place as I bury my face in the food
I think I’ve got something but I don’t really have any proof.

I’m trying to remember, I wonder if I ever felt this estranged in my youth
Los Angeles makes a nice place to let go of the truth.”

– Waiting for a Hot Pocket

This charming little ditty of existential dread is from his forthcoming album, “I Am Not A Man.” The songs were recorded almost entirely at his home studio and he plays most of the instruments. It was finished at Jonathan Wilson’s Fivestar Studios in Echo Park with drumming support from Mitch Rowland and Josh Tillman (Father John Misty).

Regarding the inspiration behind ‘Hot Pocket,’ Mr. Bastard states:

“By the time I had put the Hot Pocket in its cardboard sleeve, popped it in the microwave, waited for the cook cycle, popped it out, let it cool, filled a small ramekin with Ranch Dressing, and eaten it while watching the last 15 minutes of an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I had done enough soul searching to compose this piece.”

Goodness knows what this talented musician would have come up with if all he had was a toaster oven! Alas, we may never know.

“Magnolia,” another track from the album, was recently premiered on L.A.’s BuzzBands. Here’s the live version of the song, and be sure to read all the pop-ups for the full effect.

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