John Vanderslice: Cozy Right At Home
Just mere blocks away from his local Mission residence, John Vanderslice took to the stage showcasing his brand spanking new album Romanian Names. Officially available yesterday, and the first to be released under Dead Oceans’ label, Vanderslice called upon Bay Area sweethearts The Morning Benders to open up his warmly welcomed and nearly sold out show at the Rickshaw Stop.
In true Vanderslice fashion, the set was filled with manic mishaps and amusing banter for the masses. At one point, Vanderslice even kicked out a pedal that he decided to sign and hand to a fan instead of plugging back in. Now that’s what we call improvisation. Denouncing big labels and still brave enough to high-five any fan who was willing to give one up, not to mention his entrancing voice and high-energy personality completely stunned the crowd.
Despite the playful antics, an impressive showing of Vanderslice fans showed up to sing and bop along to the witty lyrics, gorgeous harmonies by the guest band, and perfectly placed Moog presets by infamous Bay Area keyboard extraordinaire, Ian Bjornstad. The set was littered with new tunes that somehow the entire crowd knew, but not even Mr. Vanderslice himself was perplexed by the clear amount of illegal downloaders present in the room.
Beyond the amazing new songs, John Vanderslice is the kind of guy can’t help but fall in love with. For the founder of a very successful SF recording studio (see Tiny Telephone, also housed in the Mission), producer for big names like Spoon and The Mountain Goats and not to mention a list of accomplishments longer than the Rio Grande, this guy couldn’t be more down to earth.