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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vanderslice plays in the Andy Warhol Museum gallery

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Offbeat and engaging. That’s John Vanderslice. Anyone who counts a pillowcase as one of his featured items of merch has to be cool. But I didn't truly appreciate him until I saw his show at the Andy Warhol Museum on Friday night.

After a superb 60-minute set inside the concert room at the Warhol, Vanderslice migrated the 200-person crowd into the gallery lobby, something I don't ever remember an artist doing.

In the gallery, John gave a 5-song performance that was literally unplugged - no mics or speakers. He sang and played guitar while his bandmates played a single drum and a violin. Playing in the gallery was a genius move - if you're going to play at the Warhol, might as well take advantage of your surroundings, right? "Numbered Lithograph" sounded particularly compelling in this environment.

Vanderslice proved more personable than I expected, sharing random commentary about his current obsession with orange Tic Tacs and how this was only the second city they've visited on the entire tour that had warm weather. "We were fantasizing about playing the show in cargo shorts," he said, before immediately doubting himself. "Was that the fantasy? That’s kind of a limited fantasy..."

"Kookaburra" and "White Dove" were additional highlights.

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MP3: John Vanderslice - Me and My 424 (from Life and Death of an American Fourtracker)
MP3: John Vanderslice - Bill Gates Must Die (from Mass Suicide Occult Figurines)

4 comments:

BNAC said...

I was blown away by him! We had a great time. I'll be writing a review later. I don't have sweet pics, though. So I might have to steal one of yours (with credit of course). :)

Did you like the opening act?

Scott said...

Funny that you ask... I was going to include them in the review, but I didn't want to be mean.

I think they might've been the worst band I've ever seen. I love the quirky instruments they played, but the lyrics were laughable and the singer's voice was awful. He has such a soft voice that it sounds like he's always off-key. It's not a singer's voice. He reminded me of myself, if I was a lead singer. I actually felt embarrassed for him.

And it was disturbing how they moved to NYC and then immediately wrote a song about life in NYC, as if they'd been living there all their lives. That's such a poser thing to do. You can tell they only moved to Brooklyn for the street cred.

When I do my list at the end of the year where I rank all the bands I saw, they are going to be dead last.

FYI for those not in attendance, the band was Spanish Prisoners.

Scott said...

Oh, and another thing! Their banter was embarrassing! They'd tell these stories that were completely pointless and had no ending. So they couldn't even redeem themselves by having winning personalities.

HughshowsRedux said...

The lead singer has a wicked stutter in conversation.