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Show Preview: John Vanderslice – April 7, 2006 – Neumos
by Katie Sauro

Now that Ben Gibbard and company have finally moved on, it’s time to crown the new king of Barsuk. My suggestion? A battle of the Johns! Roderick and Vanderslice will duke it out and the last man standing will be glorified with ceremonious fanfare! 

John Roderick and his band of misfits, otherwise known as the Long Winters, may have the local vote, but they’ve fallen by the wayside a bit, not releasing a full-length since 2003’s
When I Pretend to Fall and not playing nearly as many shows as fans demand. They use the excuse that they’re “recording a new album,” and that these things take time, but my money’s still on the charming San Franciscan and perennial hero of Noise Pop, Mr. John Vanderslice. He’s on his second U.S. tour in support of his widely-acclaimed fifth album (in five years!), Pixel Revolt, released last year, and he’s gaining more and more notoriety as a musician and songwriter.

Vanderslice writes gorgeous indie-pop songs and has a gift for formulating lacerating lyrics that make it difficult to discern fact from fiction. His music translates well from disc to stage, and he puts on undeniably incredible shows, recruiting musically-inclined friends to form his backing band. Even better, his playful banter with bandmates and with the crowd is enough to make even the toughest kid in the room grin like an idiot.

Along for the ride once again are local boys Crystal Skulls, whose high energy set will include a lot more new stuff this time around. Their second album,
Outgoing Behavior, will be released next month on Suicide Squeeze, and will be chock full of bouncy rhythms, jangly guitars, and enough pop to make your head spin.

Essential Info.
The Venue: Neumos
The Support: Crystal Skulls, Kelley Stoltz
The Date: April 7
The Time: 8pm
The Price: $10 advance