John Vanderslice

John Vanderslice

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.

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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
Baghdad.

Bent Shapes

Bent Shapes is Andy Sadoway (drums/percussion, vocals), Ben Potrykus (guitars, vocals), and Supriya Gunda (bass, vocals). Since forming under the name Girlfriends in 2009, the Boston trio has released a string of cassettes and 7"s full of fuzzy garage, frantic jangle pop, and scrappy post-punk on various labels (including band members' own imprints), earning them critical praise from NPR, The A/V Club, Wire, Big Takeover, and Maximum Rocknroll. On August 20th, Bent Shapes' diligence reaches its apex with the release of their debut album, Feels Weird via San Francisco's Father/Daughter Records (Pure Bathing Culture, Levek, Oregon Bike Trails). Feels Weird was produced, engineered & mixed by Ian Doerr and Evan Murphy at Mystic Steamship Company in Arlington, MA and mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering.

The last three years have seen Bent Shapes supporting acts as diverse as Sic Alps, Dum Dum Girls, Grass Widow, and The Bats, with musical comparisons invoking the band's myriad of influences, referencing touchstones like Josef K, The Feelies, Jonathan Richman, Billy Childish, and The Fall. Feels Weird is a class act representation of Potrykus & Sadoway's panache for writing undeniably addictive pop tunes with witty, sharp-tongued lyrics.

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John Vanderslice with Bent Shapes

Thursday, November 21 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Bootleg Bar