John Vanderslice wrote the bulk of his new album while knee-deep in legal limbo after a visa application for his girlfriend, a French national he met in Paris, was rejected by US Immigration. The songs and themes in Emerald City are fueled by an era of deep insecurity and paranoia; they develop in front of a backdrop of ritualized and mythologized current events. Lyrically, JV's characters and storytellers track Manifest Destiny from burning wagon wheels to two-bedroom homes with full amenities in Bakersfield, California.


Along that rough road, there are bewildered commemorations, peace-lovers and revenge-lusters, psychotic reactions to unnamed episodes, and the grief-stricken and the vengeance-hungry wrapped up in the same skin. Weaving throughout the entire album is the ever present danger of opposition. But at its simplest, and captured with straight autobiography in album closer "Central Booking", Emerald
City is made up of JV's love songs — confused and angry, afraid and defeated.

The red tape tie-up for JV and his girl remains unresolved. Emerald City was tracked quickly, and mostly live at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco. The album was performed by David Broecker, Dave Douglas, Ian Bjornstad, Scott Solter, and JV. The record's title refers to the Green Zone in


Bent Shapes is a noisy indie pop band from Boston that was formerly known as Girlfriends. In spring of 2012, bandmates Andy Sadoway, Ben Potrykus, and Supriya Gunda recruited ex-Whir bassist Zoë Wyner on second guitar, and began playing under the new name. The band is currently recording their debut LP, which will see release later this year.

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