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LITERATURE» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
MUSIC» The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
MUSIC» Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
LAS: What is the first song you learned to play?
John Vanderslice: "Eight Line Poem," from Hunky Dory, by David Bowie. I was in 7th grade.
I know you're a fan of good cinema, can you tell me which movie (or movies) have influenced you the most?
Well, the work of Godard in the 60's is pretty big for me. The mixing of high and low culture, absurdity and dead seriousness, and his belief that you can create art on your own terms (Made In USA is unreal!). There are countless movies I've seen more than a dozen times: Punch-Drunk Love, Rushmore, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind…
How much time do you get to spend with those you love?
Probably more than most people, because my schedule is more flexible. Touring is very social and you make two or three stops in dozens of towns a year. Sometimes it's absolutely strange to me you can have a friend in Vienna or St Augustine or Norman that you see often.
If you could write an album with any rap star, which would you want to write it with and why?
Eminem. He's an incredibly good writer and hasn't tapped into everything he could do.
Where is the most beautiful place on Earth?
The coast of Northern California. The road to Hana in Maui. Thailand. Tokyo.
Wyoming. A lot of the US is incredible.
Who is winning the 'I have a better studio' contest between you and Jim Eno right now?
Oh, Eno won a long time ago. He's got more income, guile and motivation. I would love to make a record there. But Tiny Telephone has a lot of things Jim doesn't have: a grand piano, a Hammond B3 and tons of keyboards.
What is the worst album in your home library?
Well, that's a tough one as records change as the context of listening to them changes. A prefab sprout record alone is not the same record when played at a party. There are records that are ruined because of a bad recording or mastering job, those are the ones that make me crazy.
In my opinion, your albums keep getting more amazing with each one you release, but you started your solo career with an A-caliber record; why is it you haven't gotten the recognition and notification you deserve?
Well, those are nice words! I don't take anything for granted so I'm a little shocked at how many records I sell and how many people come to shows. I am very aware of how many excellent records come out EVERY WEEK. It is hard to have any kind of career, and that's a good thing, we live in a very competitive and musically overabundant culture, which is a good thing… So maybe I look at these things differently?
What is a personal superstition of yours?
I am wracked with anxiety while flying. I was in a 747 that dropped a few hundred feet over the middle of the Pacific and I haven't recovered.
If you bought a new puppy today, what would you name it?
Nowadays, a lot of independent artists are selling their songs to TV shows and advertisers in hopes to get more exposure. In what medium, or for which product would you consider selling one of your songs?
Hilton or Marriott hotels, Apple, Josephson Microphones… I'm sure you see where I'm going with this!
What's the worst way your name has been spelled?
Vanderslic - So close, yet so far!
Where do you hope to be a year from now?
Exactly where I am now, but with more gold bullion. SEE ALSO: www.johnvanderslice.com
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he's afraid of really growing up.
See other articles by Bob Ladewig.
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