April 29, 2006

John Vanderslice: "Dead Slate Pacific"

You may already know that *sixeyes favourite album of last year was John Vanderslice's Pixel Revolt and I've been revisiting that recording lately. Ever since I spent a great night last week watching John and his band rip through a generous set of Pixel Revolt songs, and some older songs that have recently been added to the setlist ("Cool Purple Mist", for one), I've listened to a smattering of JV music. And to my surprise I have a new favourite, "Dead Slate Pacific". Found on Pixel Revolt this song is simply beautiful in melody, tone, and delivery; one which shimmers in the same manner which the music on the rest of the album shimmers. A shimmer gleaned in no small part by the exemplary work of Scott Solter, who when he isn't polishing the sound as an engineer is adding to it by playing an odd array of accompanying instruments such as H3000 church bells, sky saw guitar, ebowed landscape guitar, and varispeed steel drums (don't ask me what some of these are, I believe they are names John and Scott created for some of the instruments). The surprising thing is that the lovely aching shimmer of "Dead Slate Pacific" is mostly Vanderslice and his acoustic guitar. This is a harrowing song, a tale of a man falling through the crack of a broken heart and seeking help for his depression. "Dead Slate Pacific" is a love song to a love lost and a more apt song title can't be found on Pixel Revolt... unless it's the lovely instrumental coda which follows this song which is "The Golden Gate", with it's title signifying leaving depression behind.

+ dead slate pacific

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Mr Vanderslice is still out on tour!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:34:00 PM

    wow, "dead slate pacific" is an incredibly beautiful (and sad) song. thanks for that!