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Z Berg and Ryan Ross premiere video for dark Christmas ballad, “The Bad List,” via AP ahead of all-star LA Holiday show on 12/15

Tickets for 12/15 show at Pico Union Project feat. Jackson Browne, Ryan Ross, Pearl Charles & more on sale now!

VIDEO: “The Bad List” –
 / AP

Today Z Berg shares “The Bad List,” her new holiday single featuring Ryan Ross (formerly of Panic! At The Disco) – the music video premieres via Alternative Press – watch it here. Z and Ross also spoke to AP about the song / video and their history together. The single will be available everywhere on 12/18 via Metropolitan Indian.

“The Bad List” is a Christmas song for the less than jolly.  In the vein of “Fairytale of New York” or Tom Wait’s “New Years Eve,” it’s not your traditional cheery holiday celebration.  It’s a story of the end of an era, the end of a relationship, the beginning and the end of a downward spiral, a cry for help, a desperate plea, and a last ditch effort to return to life. It just happened to take place on Christmas eve.  It was produced by Ethan Gruska at Sound City and is a very sad and very honest duet between Ryan Ross and Z Berg about their past.  It’s also one of the first musical offerings we’ve seen from Ryan Ross in many years and marks the beginning of much more music to come.

The video is intended to be a bit of a companion piece to Z Berg’s first solo single this year, “I Fall For The Same Face Every Time,” which featured a Laura Palmer-esque dead Ryan Ross packed in the trunk of her car.  This time, they’ve passed the corpse.  Imagine Weekend at Bernie’s as a tragedy instead of a comedy, it is an exploration of loss and grief and the difficulty of letting go.  Directed by Drew Fuller and Z Berg, it is presented with humor and honesty and a little tragic magical realism.  We all drag our ghosts around.  Sometimes it feels more honest when we can see the body.

This single is in advance of a special Z Berg Holiday Show, presented by Sid The Cat, at the Pico Union Project in Downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 15.  Tickets are on sale now. Special guests include Jackson Browne, Ryan Ross, Pearl Charles, Aaron Embry, Alex Greenwald, Ethan Gruska, Allie Crow Buckley, The Chances & more!

Z Berg is a true Angeleno, born and bred, and her music reflects the contradictions of the city. The beauty, the anxiety, the idyll encroached by asphalt, the utopia always one gust of wind away from being swallowed by an inferno, one drop of rain away from drowning in mud.

Her acid wit and preternatural talent fueled her first band the Like, who made dreamy new wave and spiky mod pop, anchored by Berg’s world weary romanticism and fierce intelligence. The band would work with Wendy Melvoin (of Prince and The Revolution) and Mark Ronson before their untimely demise.

Next up was Phases, an exercise in pure pop exuberance formed with a group of dear friends including Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet and Jason Boesel of Rilo Kiley and Bright Eyes.

Her stunning new solo songs are yet another departure, a sort of Gothic-Romantic neo-classical folk-tinged chamber pop, influenced by Nico, Nick Drake, Henry Mancini, Leonard Cohen, Francoise Hardy, Gillian Welch, Tom Waits, the Shangri-las, and Nancy Sinatra.

She was assisted in recording by a cast of LA musical luminaries, including (producer) Ethan Gruska, Blake Mills, Patrick Warren, Johnathan Rice, Madison Cunningham, and Phoebe Bridgers to name a few.

She describes her sound as such: ‘If Laura Palmer didn’t die… And Roman Polanski made a movie about her twenties, scored by Andre Previn, with lyrics by Scott Walker, sung by Dusty Springfield. Her literary influences are also on strong display. Shades of Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Goethe, and Amis, all figure strongly in her devastating lyrics.


12/15 Los Angeles, CA – Pico Union Project (tickets)