Aug 01 2007

John Vanderslice – Emerald City

Published by at 5:19 pm under MP3's

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Last Friday & Saturday, I went to the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, and while there were several artists I was looking forward to seeing, John Vanderslice unquestionably topped the list. His 2005 release “Pixel Revolt” is still one of my favorite albums, and having missed his tour through Chicago, this was a big show for me. Vanderslice’s new album, Emerald City, released last week and after listening to an advance copy for about 6 weeks, I must say the album doesn’t do as much for me as Pixel Revolt did, however, I haven’t been able to stop listening to several tracks including Kookaburra, The Parade, White Dove, and the last track on the album, Central Booking. I’ve also been listening to Tablespoon of Codeine and Numbered Lithograph. Given there are only nine tracks on the album, and I liked a good portion of them, I consider this to be a good album.

Vanderslice wrote most of Emerald City while dealing with legal issues trying to get his French girlfriend a visa to come to the states. The flawed systems of our country filled him with frustration, and therefore, his songs revolve around this anger and alienation, and at the same time, the loss and loneliness he’s had to go through. His feelings towards the visa situation are most notable on Central Booking, as he surrenders to the idea that “September has won once again,” alluding back to September 11th. Unfortunately, the problem with his girlfriend has yet to be resolved.

John Vanderslice is from San Francisco, and has been performing with his own band ever since breaking up with mk Utlra in 1999. He has his own record studio in San Francisco called Tiny Telephone, where he not only records his own albums, but produces albums for other artists, such as Spoon (Gimme Fiction). Some other bands that recorded there include: Beulah, Death Cab, Deerhoof, Mates of State, and the Mountain Goats, who John has done a lot of collaboration with. John Vanderslice is a great guy; he interacts with his fans more than any other artist you will find. He is one of those guys who feels like a music fan first, musician second. He reads music blogs (he’ll find this one soon), and offers mp3’s on his site, including a full-length of his 2000 release, “Mass Suicide Occult Figurines.” I highly recommend you watch an interview John did on the Merlin Show to get a better idea of just how cool he is. I just saw on his site that he told everyone he was going to be at the Sonic Boom General Store in Seattle last Sunday cashiering—I’m so sad I didn’t read that when I was there, because John Vanderslice is one of those guys who I would really love to shake hands with. Some day. If you’ve heard Emerald City, what are your thoughts?

Emerald City (2007) Click HERE to stream full-length album:

John Vanderslice – Kookaburra

John Vanderslice – White Dove

Pixel Revolt (2005):

John Vanderslice – Exodus Damage

John Vanderslice – Trance Manuel

Cellar Door (2004):

John Vanderslice – My Family Tree

Life and Death of An American Fourtracker (2002):

John Vanderslice – Underneath The Leaves

John Vanderslice – The Mansion

Store | JV’s site | Tiny Telephone| Myspace| Tour

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “John Vanderslice – Emerald City”

  1. Thomason 06 Nov 2007 at 2:03 pm

    I heard the song Exodus Damage last year and it was the first I had heard the music of Vanderslice. I fell in love with the song, and his music. I am a visual artist and have found Exodus Damage to be an auditory muse. I noticed a song you listed as Numbered Lithograph. I have not heard this piece, but my educational background is in printmaking and now have a new appreciation to his artistry.

  2. nateon 01 Apr 2008 at 9:08 am

    Kookaburra was the first I ever heard of his stuff. Blew me away, I was driving at the time. Going to see him on April 9th. Few artists bring together a unique voice, haunting melodies, and engaging lyrics in the way Vanderslice does. I’m looking forward to his future work.

  3. bardulfwooon 03 Apr 2009 at 2:09 am

    emitted processes volunteer years project

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