June 01, 2007

John Vanderslice: 'Emerald City' Due July 24th

A highly anticipated album for all of you out there should be the new recording from San Francisco's John Vanderslice. Emerald City will be JV's sixth solo album, again on his label of choice, Seattle's Barsuk. Featuring nine songs recorded, for the most part, live at JV's Tiny Telephone studio, it merely continues Mr Vanderslice's upward spiral towards perfection in songwriting and production. The warmth of an acoustic guitar is prominent on several songs and sounds fantastic in the nimble musical hands and ears of JV and it's sonic qualities simply sparkle due to the production prowess of JV and engineer Scott Solter. After several close listenings to Emerald City a number of tracks are beginning to stand out from the rest, namely: "White Dove", "Numbered Lithograph", "The Parade", "Time To Go", "The Parade", and "The Tower". What the hell? That's five of nine! Take my word for it, this record will, after time to grow, surely surpass the brilliance of Pixel Revolt. Vanderslice writes succinctly, taking time to draw the picture as the musical heroes who inspired him might have. But I have to say that lyrics are the last thing I hear. I hear melody carried by the music and voice, the beat, the energy, and then I slowly delve into the lyrics. And Vanderslice is a master at crafting wonderfully haunting melodies and at arranging the songs to their best advantage. His songs don't have hooks like those 3 minute pop songs on the radio, JV songs snag you like an old movie can at 2 am after the third commercial break for "HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead", or a book after fifty pages... it takes a little time. If what passes for music by the band du jour of indie music doesn't kick you into gear like it used to, perhaps you're growing and you need some JV fertilizer. Whoa, that didn't come out right... JV's gonna kick my fertilizer maker. I'll end with this (and some JV mp3s):

Keep your eyes open for this record (cover shot by Autumn De Wilde):

EMERALD CITY - July 24th

HERE are some JV MP3s:
Pixel Revolt
(August 23, 2005)
exodus damage
trance manual
the kingdom (vinyl only)

Cellar Door
(January 20, 2004)
they won't let me run
pale horse

Life And Death Of An American Fourtracker
(May 7, 2002)
me and my 424
the mansion

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