Photo by: Autmn de Wilde
To celebrate our one hundredth episode of The Bay Bridged Podcast, we wanted to do something a little special, so this week we feature San Francisco’s John Vanderslice. Vanderslice is known in the Bay Area indie music scene as a jack-of-all-trades: an internationally-renowned musician and songwriter, a well-respected album producer, and owner of the popular recording studio Tiny Telephone, which lures local and national acts alike to its vintage analog gear and its cadre of skilled engineers.
Despite his lengthy musical CV, however, Vanderslice is also known to many in the Bay as one of the nicest and most grounded people in indie rock, a reputation we were able to confirm when we sat down with him a few months back to discuss Emerald City. The 2007 release, his sixth album in eight years, demonstrates the latest refinements to his winning balance of detailed melodic landscapes and emotional, character-driven stories. This time around, Vanderslice examines feelings of powerlessness and longing drawn from his experiences with a nightmarish, unfeeling bureaucracy that still threatens relationships he holds dear. What results is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a terrific album.
While we quite enjoyed talking with JV about his music, we also enjoyed learning his take on the place of the artist in the changing music economy. It’s clearly a topic he has given quite a bit of thought and it’s an interesting and relevant conversation whether you’re in a band trying to make it or simply a music fan adjusting as a listener and consumer. While Vanderslice might be known as a lover of analog, he is keenly understanding of the impact of the digital world.
JV is currently touring Europe, but he’ll be back in the US in March, opening a number of dates for Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks before headlining a bunch of others. You can find all of the details over at his web site and MySpace page, where you can also hear more music. Vanderslice’s albums are available from Barsuk Records and on iTunes.
Thanks for listening!
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