Ahead of its gig opening the Nervous Girls farewell concert, Big Sad has released a new video for “Empty Falls,” the third track from the Tampa punk band’s 2019 Rad Girlfriend Records release Send Help.
Shot and directed by Big Sad guitarist and singer Dave Decker (who’s also a Creative Loafing Tampa Bay photographer), the nearly three-minute clip finds the band—Decker, bassist Richie Lawler and drummer Shawn Watkins—back in the practice room after nearly two years in a pandemic hiatus. Also in the clip are rainy day scenes of Tampa’s Heights and Ybor neighborhoods.
In a way, the scenes on screen represent the feeling when someone sits and stares at walls, pondering the human condition, just waiting for answers. The lyrics—rife with allusions to heartless musical chairs, the sticky Florida climes, hunger pangs and the mining of childhood memories—hammer the mood of an impending existential crisis home.
Decker, Lawler and Watkins have played in Tampa punk hall of fame-worthy collection of bands including Clairmel, Tim Version, Too Many Daves, Sandspur City and more. Watkins’ Prescribed Fire project is one of the most intense instrumental outfits playing in the Bay area right now.
Big Sad is Decker’s most collaborative project yet, and in many ways finds him leaning on his bandmates—plus a fourth member, Frank Calcaterra who records the band and plays keys—who collectively bring 10 lifetime's worth of band experience to Decker’s journal entry lyrics.
“Big Sad is like four equal parts,” Decker told CL in 2019, months before he started freelancing for the paper. “If you leave it to me, I’ll write some one-dimensional song.”
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Read his intro letter and 2021 disclosure. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The Daily Beast. Products...
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