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.
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)