john vanderslice part 2: interview

May 19th, 2009

[This is Part 2: the Interview. See also Part 1: the Garden Tour.]

After the tour around the garden, John and I went inside and chatted while he changed his strings. It veered much more toward conversation than interview throughout the hour. It’s strange interviewing someone you know on a personal basis. Here’s some of what we talked about.

The Interview

Adrian Bischoff: How was the tour with [the Mountain Goats’ John] Darnielle?

John Vanderslice: It was probably the best tour I ever went on in terms of ease and fun.

AB: Did you guys just go around in a van?

JV: It was just me and him and [Mountain Goats tour manager] Brandon [Eggleston] in a minivan. It was as easy as it gets. It was perversely simple.

AB: So [keyboardist Ian Bjornstad’s] the only one in your band from the last record, right?

JV: Yeah. We have a new drummer, Matthias. And we’re going to lose Matthias immediately after we do one tour with him, so we’ve already rehearsed with the next drummer.

AB: Wow. Who’s the next drummer?

JV: Jason Slota, who’s incredible. Man, I hate to say it, but one thing that’s cool–it’s like when your favorite band breaks up, there are so many other bands. That’s the cool thing. There are so many musicians. It’s a bountiful world. The Bay Area is a very good place for musicians. There are just shitloads of people here. There are a lot of drummers. There’s a lot of stuff happening here. It’s kind of awesome.

AB: So where’d you find these guys?

JV: It’s weird. I found a lot of them through Matthias. Do you know Matthias? You met him, right?

AB: I think I met him.

JV: Yeah, the new drummer I’m playing with, he’s awesome. He’s a total badass.

AB: I met the guitarist, right? What’s his name? Sil–

JV: Silvain is awesome. He’s really, really good.

AB: And then you have a fifth, right?

JV: Yeah, there is Jamie Riotto, the bass player. He did some of the arrangements. I met him because he works with the Magik*Magik Orchestra. A lot of these people are really connected to the Magik. They’re on a different level than me as far as how they play. They’re all really good musicians.

AB: So why did you switch labels?

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you’re not fooling me, budweiser

February 6th, 2009

So, I saw this commercial during the Superbowl.

Hey, Budweiser, who do you think you’re fooling? Your commercial’s start is set in “Scotland, 1933”. You might think to use Scottish bagpipes, then, in the soundtrack. Or at the very least Scottish smallpipes.

Those Irish (uilleann) pipes aren’t fooling anyone! Didn’t you learn anything from Braveheart?

bon…iver…is that correct? good good….winter?

December 13th, 2008

As things get more wintery, Bon Iver only gets more necessary.

This time with three drummers and a really pretty resonator guitar.

By the way, his forthcoming EP Blood Bank is now available for pre-order. I can tell you one blogger with an ascii arrow that’s going to pre-order it–>this author.

kanye makes fun of himself wholesale…and I just wish it wasn’t so catchy.

October 1st, 2007

[Note: if you want to see the same post with different words, check this out.]

Kanye isn’t known for his restraint. On this week’s SNL he makes light of that in a pretty hilarious way.

“Those frickin cameras!”

Also this year’s D**k in a Box or Lazy Sunday is Iran so Far. More so than either of those, the tune to this one is very catchy. I’ll be really embarrassed if this ends up as my song obsession for this week but I’m not ruling out the possibility.

[Update:] Looks like NBC took down the video. Here’s a version someone else uploaded.

Also, videos of Kanye performing on SNL have surfaced. It looks like he did two medleys: Stronger/ Good Life, and along with a ipickmynose fav in Champion/ Everything I Am. He freestyles for a big chunk of “Everything I Am”. Pretty sweet. He performs with a very Bjork-like string-and-horn section of women-in-funny-outfits.

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars documentary on KQED (PBS) tonight

June 26th, 2007

A documentary about Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (myspace) premiers tonight on PBS. Check your local listings! Okay, I did: it’s showing on KQED at 10pm (till 11:30pm) as part of the P.O.V program.

I love Ted Leo for what he does here

May 19th, 2007

Ted Leo recently moved up a bit in my estimation. His performance of Me and Mia (you may have to click on the specific video. I can’t figure out the direct link) on the Human Giant 24 hour marathon makes me love him more. What a class act!

come on, conzie!

May 1st, 2007

Conan’s filming in SF all week. His musical guests? Arctic Monkeys, Chris Isaak, Bob Weir and Ratdog, Tom Waits. So what passes as local representation is Bob Weir? (And I guess Chris Isaak is from Stockton, so that sort of counts.) Really? That’s the best you could do? I know JV’s on tour, but how about Rogue Wave, or Kozelek/ Sun Kil Moon or Jonathan Richman or, really, any number of other bands?

Steve Martin/ Bela Fleck/ Tony Truschka on Letterman

April 28th, 2007

If you didn’t know, Steve Martin’s a serious picker. The other night he, Bela Fleck and Tony Truschka were on Letterman all playing banjo on a tune Martin wrote for Tony’s last album. I was pretty blown away by it. Those three and the flat-pickig guitar player all do great solos, but Bela Fleck’s is even a notch up.

we live in an indie rock world: Late Show w/ Andrew Bird, Hold Steady

April 12th, 2007

I don’t know if you saw Andrew Bird rock “Plasticities” on Letterman last night (Tuesday night). If you didn’t sand is overrated points to the youtube (and has the mp3):

He loops his violin pizzicato, plays guitar and then later plays glockenspiel while whistling. Pretty good stuff.

I’d heard pretty good things about the album, but that song makes me want to buy it.

That was the obvious indie rock on the Letterman show last night, but did anyone notice the music under Biff’s Yankee spring training video? Yes, that’s right: the Hold Steady’sYou Can Make Them Like You.” And speaking of baseball and the Hold Steady, they recently did their own version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (stereogum has the mp3).

And if you didn’t know, Pitchfork lists all the upcoming interesting bands on TV programs each week. The rest of this week’s list looks like this:

Thursday, April 12:

NBC: “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”: Of Montreal

Friday, April 13:

NBC: “The Today Show”: Lily Allen
IFC: “The Henry Rollins Show”: Peaches
NBC: “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno”: The Shins
NBC: “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”: Joseph Arthur
CBS: “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson”: Cold War Kids

Bonus Andrew Bird video after the jump.
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