Local Wire

John Vanderslice

Few people have benefited from the Obama administration more than John Vanderslice's fans. Whether you voted for McCain or Obama, you probably agree that the country would be a lot better off if we could come to a bipartisan agreement to stop writing songs for or against the war in Iraq. Lucky for us, the Obama administration has mostly relieved John Vanderslice of his fixation on the dual wars in which our country has been mired. These days, Vanderslice is back where he belongs with his new album, Romanian Names: writing the hauntingly melodic tunes that can't always be distinguished from Death Cab, Bon Iver, or any of the other bands that you play when you're trying to get a new girl in bed. You know how it goes. Vanderslice sings about "eucalyptus piling high and shivering by a flaming fire," and she says, "You know, that's how I feel sometimes." Yeah, baby. I totally get it. Let me rub your neck. This, readers, is the soundtrack to awkward first-time sex. In this setting, of course, tracks like "Fetal Horses" may be better left unplayed.
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Brian Bardwell