John Vanderslice Just As Good As John VanderSprite, Tours

I've never been able to get a line from John Vanderslice's "Exodus Damage" out of my head. Actually, it's not even the whole line, it's a word. The time of day, of all things, to be specific. It's burned in my memory, and I've often wondered if it was there because of what he says or how he says it. It could be because of both, I suppose, but I feel that it oscillates depending on my mood.
9:02.

It's not from the version off Pixel Revolt; it's from a live version posted on his website. He says it loud and with force, with confidence. It sticks out; it floats above the rest of the line, and all that's left are these giant numbers written in dirty snow in red Helvetica. Yes, September 11 is there, the images of it are unavoidable, but it's how he says it. It's enunciated, it's slow, it's loud. It feels innocent, that he's speaking to a foreigner for the first time, that he thinks if you speak slow enough and loud enough, they'll understand.

Airplanes, too. He talks of airplanes, but those feel subverted, underneath the emblazoned red numbers. For some reason, they all seem to be going to California. Not L.A. or San Francisco, but Sacramento. The Sacramento of Joan Didion, too, a fading city. They're all leaving from the airport that's near my house, the first day planes started flying again after the disaster. The day when everyone stopped and looked up. The day we watched them move slowly and loudly across the sky.

I don't know if that's the effect John Vanderslice wanted, but that's really the best part. It reminds us that songs, intended for everyone, become ours and no one else's. It reminds us that there is value not just in the sum of parts, but the nuance of the parts themselves. John Vanderslice is touring starting on September 6 in Los Angeles, the Sacramento of the South. Go to hear everything, or a line, or just a word, but it will all be worth it

07.28.07 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party
09.06.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
09.07.07 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
09.08.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified
09.09.07 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
09.11.07 - Austin, TX - The Parish
09.12.07 - Norman, OK - The Opolis
09.14.07 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
09.15.07 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
09.17.07 - Orlando, FL - The Social
09.18.07 - St Augustine, FL - Café Eleven
09.19.07 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
09.20.07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
09.21.07 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
09.24.07 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
09.26.07 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09.27.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
09.28.07 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
10.01.07 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
10.02.07 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
10.03.07 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop at Coventry Yard
10.04.07 - Athens, OH - Baker Theater
10.05.07 - Bloomington, IN - John Waldron Arts Center
10.06.07 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.09.07 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
10.11.07 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
10.13.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
10.15.07 - Vancouver, BC - The Red Room
10.18.07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
10.20.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent

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