January 03, 2006

*Sixeyes Favourite Record of 2005

I don't make lists (grocery and shopping lists don't count here). Does that make me a bad person? What is the great interest in these year-end 'Best Of' lists? What is a list? Well... it could be a ship leaning to one side. Or it could be: "...a text string beginning with an open parenthesis and ending with the matching close parenthesis..." (what the hell that means, I'm not sure). Or it's: "... a recursive data structure consisting of pairs (whose tails are lists)." (again... what the?)
This list thing is much more complicated then I had thought. Maybe that's why I don't care for them... I'm a basic, uncomplicated guy (with a number of neuroses).

So after all that, my list, *Sixeyes year end list... the FAVOURITE OF 2005 list... is consisting of only one item. Sooo... it's not a list at all, now is it?... and it's not the opposite of list, which after a quick search I've learned is... forget?

This is my favourite record of 2005. The word favourite instantly imbues the whole proceeding with a warm and fuzzy, 'I, me, mine', glow. Much more personal and much less kinglike than 'Best'.

*Sixeyes favourite of the year is...

Pixel Revolt by John Vanderslice.

This is what I said previously about the record (in this review) and I still stand by it:

Vanderslice's fifth release, Pixel Revolt, shimmers and sways, breathes upon the listener with perfumed breath, lulling you into the world of a man of many passions; passions which blend to create music that is without category, somewhere between indie pop/rock and cutting edge indie film. That is a broad category with many influences to rub off on the artist while moving from one end to the other. While moving from the first track to the last of Pixel Revolt which seems a much more personal affair than previous efforts. Themes of love in its many stages permeate a variety of songs. A self-acknowledged film junkie, again he offers up an ode to a cherished film; this time it is Lars Von Trier's, Element of Crime, in the song, "Continuation". Fourteen songs are Pixel Revolt and this album is as collaborative as the process of film. If the small crew of a short art film set about to record an album, it would be much like the process of Pixel Revolt.

A work like PR is, or can be, overwhelming. You could spend hour upon hour deconstructing, deciphering, decoding, what is embedded on that little plastic disc in your CD player. When you come right down to it, Pixel Revolt may be a love letter from John Vanderslice to persons and things unknown, unknown to us and perhaps to it's author. But since the majority of evidence suggests that Vanderslice is an extremely generous person, I will say that this album is a love letter to everyone who listens to it. It's imagination, intelligence, talent, and generosity. It's hugs and kisses from John. But what these songs are, is brilliant, tiny films, coming down the line from a tiny telephone. A tiny telephone clutched in the fist of Mr. Vanderslice, so turn down the lights and pop the popcorn... the show is about to begin.

Listen to JV
from Pixel Revolt 2005...
+ trance manual
+ exodus damage
from Cellar Door 2004...
+ pale horse

Some live JV from this past November. These mp3s have been linked on his homepage, but his site has exceeded it's bandwidth, so I'm posting (not hosting) some mp3 links for anyone interested.

This is a zip file of the entire performance:
Live at The Independent, San Francisco, Nov. 5th 2005

Letter To The East Coast [live]
Time Travel Is Lonely [live]
Up Above The Sea [live]
Promising Actress [live]
My Old Flame [live]
Radiant With Terror [live]


  1. I just wanted to take a second to celebrate Pixel Revolt. I think it's a fantastic album and I'm shocked that such a great album has been overlooked by so many of my favorite music blogs and websites. Bravo for *sixeyes finally giving Vanderslice and Pixel Revolt some much deserved recognition.

  2. this is jv's best album since time travel.... i'm really looking forward to the live to 2-track version they're working on as well as seeing them on tour this year.

  3. Marianne10:25:00 AM

    I just discovered this album (i.e., someone burned it for me and I neglected it for many listenings of Sunset Tree) and have to stop myself from burning myself out on it via constant repeat. It's addicting.