Suggested band names for the Vanderslice group

Suggested band names for the Vanderslice group.

Ian Bjornstad: Wurlitzer, Moog Source
Dave Douglas: Drums, Keyboards
David Broecker: Bass, Keyboards
Dan Brennan: Live Sound, Samples

I asked for submissions to help us find a name for my band 1) because they deserve a name (they are my heroes! they are so damn good) 2) so they can be hired out for major cash to other singer/songwriters as a backing band (a la Crazy Horse)

The notice reads…
"I’ve been living in a k-hole" US Fall Tour
(with full band)
please email me with ideas to name the band…
something like John Vanderslice and [….]

John Vanderslice and the Cordial Invitations
John Vanderslice and The Continental Drift(s)
John Vanderslice and the Bonus Kilts
John Vanderslice and London Dispersion Force
John Vanderslice and the Protagonists
John Vanderslice and the Sweet Hereafter
John Vanderslice and the Boosnatches
John Vanderslice and the Like Whats
John Vanderslice and the Andes
John Vanderslice and the Subsequent Months
John Vanderslice and the Identical Socks
John Vanderslice and the Sappy Little Ferrets
John Vanderslice and the Baby Daddys
John Vanderslice and the Routine Procedures
John Vanderslice and the Predominantly Gay Community
John Vanderslice and the Predecessors
John Vanderslice and the Wholesome Bets
John Vanderslice and the Healthy Wagers
John Vanderslice and the Moist Towlettes

– The Trans Fats
– The Pashtuns (eastern Afghani tribe with uncertain history)
– The Kleptocrats
– Gaijin
– The Moabs (as in the acronym MOAB)
– The Beachheads

John Vanderslice and The Operatic Sounds
John Vanderslice and (The) Warming Weather

"John Vanderslice and…"
1. Hemlock
2. Oakgrowth
3. Forest Fever
4. SprawlSprawl
5. Idyll Wyld
6. Proxemics Oath

john vanderslice and the lost companions

JV and the Junior Varsity
JV and the Ketamine Prophets
JV and the Sophomoric Efforts
JV and the Bayonette Mounts
JV and the Minions of Zuul.
JV and the a la cartes
Jv and the Sources of Ignition
JV and the Chemical Burns
JV and your moms

The phonometricians
The diluvian chargers
The teletones or teletonians
The cylinders (yes, even though you did not name the record that I am not giving up on cylinder is some way shape or form, next record? Remixes? Something? )
the Hottentot arpegians  
the quadrumaniacs
the taung children of lucy
the lo-fimedlians
the fantastic fantods
the Dionyisian dowap band (as in Dionysis the Greek god of wine and intoxication because it sounds like this band will be intoxicating)
the Tahitian teloadians
The lilywhite lo-fians
the carpet crawlers (as in the Genesis song “we’ve got to get in to get out”)
the lemurians (as in the lost island of lemuria)
the dreamland lofrickids
the little fugues
the fuguist flyers
the mythic rubicons
the aluminum sugarlibs
the zomiggy stardusters
the well mannered gazers
the panna yardigans (as in panna the cure for delusion)
the what’s what nobleman
the moksha melodics (as in the moksha medicine)
the time travelers  

John Vanderslice and the Missing Digits
JV and mere mortals
JV playing with Intensity
JV plays with Toymakers
He’s Burning His Fingers On the Stove, Featuring John Vanderslice, Feat. Nelly, Feat. Lil’ Kim, Feat. Lou and 50 Cent.
JV with Hellfire and Dirty Laundry.
 JV with the audible scribes

john vanderslice & the microchips
john vanderslice & his imaginary friends
john vanderslice & his DDR troupe
john vanderslice & the commanders-in-chief

John Vanderslice and the Portrait Painters of the North Delta
JV & the Keyser Söze’s
JV & the Delusional Revolutions
JV & the Basement Joints

JV and…
The Bombs That Go Boom
The Uncomfortable Index Fingers
The Hudson Hawks
The Bumstead Contracts
Mister B Lush and the Lush B Misters.

John Vanderslice and the Noisy Competitors.
John Vanderslice and the Noisy Imitations.

JV and The Fury

John Vanderslice and the Forces that Rally
John Vanderslice and the Punchers of Faces

John vanderslice and the incident room

John Vanderslice and the IanDaveDavidDans

John Vanderslice and the Bushnell Scopes
John Vanderslice and the Coalition Guards
John Vanderslice and the Fourtrackers
John Vanderslice and the Red Guard
John Vanderslice and the Teeny Tiny Little Teens
John Vanderslice and the Mighty Bagels
John Vanderslice and the Lady Richard

John Vanderslice and…

…the National Treasures
…the Highly Flammables
…the Vivisectors
…the High Voltage Powerlines
…the Go-To Men
…the Touchy-Feelies
…the Willy-Nillies
…the Covert Operations
…His Royal Highnesses
…the Pillagers
…the Space Cadets
…the Big Band Stars
…the Juicy Secrets
…the Conversationalists
…the Sunday Comics
…the Danger Dangers!
…the Vacillators
…Solid Gold
…the Conquistadors
…and the Coalition of the Willing

John Vanderslice & the Personal Mythologies

John Vanderslice and The Uncalled Four
John Vanderslice and The Maneki Nekos
John Vanderslice and Other Writings
John Vanderslice and The Masters of Moog
John Vanderslice and The Slaughterhouse-Four
John Vanderslice and a guy whose name might lead you to believe that he’s from Iceland
John Vanderslice and The Jicks
John Vanderslice and Moogvillain
John Vanderslice and The Channel Four News Team

John Vanderslice and the Archers of Bhutan

John Vanderslice and the Picture Element.
No? Can’t go wrong with JV & the Predominantly Gay Community,

John V. and the Wily Hermenauts

JV and the pro-tools. or JV and the liquidating analog tape

John Vanderslice & the Heart That Will Save Us All
John Vanderslice & the Sailors
John Vanderslice & the Goodness
John Vanderslice & His Spoons
John Vanderslice & the Pounds of Prozac

john vanderslice and the holy terrors
[i suppose you could make it "holy terrorists" if you felt like it.]

John Vanderslice and the Half-Time Orange Slices

John Vanderslice and the Un-Buried wishes.
John Vanderslice and Free Beer
.. or Free Beer courtesy of John Vanderslice
John Vanderslice and the Butchers
John Vanderslice and the Cutting Edge

ohn Vanderslice & The AE35 Units
John Vanderslice & The Photographs
John Vanderslice & The Instillations
John Vanderslice & The Silence (Bergman reference points!)
John Vanderslice & The Dallow Waters
John Vanderslice & The German Expressionists
John Vanderslice & The Stereotypical Portraits of Native Americans
John Vanderslice & The Projectionists
John Vanderslice & The Steam
John Vanderslice & The Novelizations
John Vanderslice & The Eternal Mix Tapes
John Vanderslice & The Post War Dream

john vanderslice and the strange haircuts

john vanderslice with JOURNEY
john vanderslice with the ID

jv and the mooninites

jv and suburban kids w/ biblical names
jv and wild kindness

John Vanderslice and The Pixel Revolution (probably the most logical)
John Vanderslice and The Monochrome Outfits
John Vanderslice and The St. Lunatics
John Vanderslice and The East Side Boyz
John Vanderslice and The Awkward Silences
John Vanderslice and The Mountain Goa-I Mean… er, Nevermind
John Vanderslice and The State of the Union
John Vanderslice and The Key Demographics
John Vanderslice and The In-Laws
John Vanderslice and The Dangerous Nations
John Vanderslice and The Political Undertones (or JV and The Political Overtones)
John Vanderslice and The Asian Invasion
John Vanderslice and The Happy Accidents
John Vanderslice and The Illinoisemakers
John Vanderslice and The Noise Pollution
John Vanderslice and The Life Cycles
John Vanderslice and Those Angsty Teenagers
John Vanderslice and Those Meddling Kids
John Vanderslice and The Afterthoughts (too harsh?)
John Vanderslice and The Republic
John Vanderslice and The Ensemble of Crunk
John Vanderslice and The Overworked and Underappreciated

JV and:
the Ford Tempos
the Apple II Avengers
the Blanks
the Pomplemousses
the Train Robbery
the Squadron
the Elite Ninja Assassins
the Tri-State
the First Things First
the Prime Numbers
the Omekos

John Vanderslice and The Reason

– the Deft Hands
– the Diction Air
– the Really False Jackals
– the Prime Numbers
– the Prime Evil
– the Small Light
– the Losing Light
– the Fire
– the 4:33
– the Chris Country Squire
– the .doc
– the Drawn Quarter
– the Taut Slack
– the Rife With
– the Act
– the Make It Quick
– the Bearing Loads
– the Bering Strait
– the Bearing
– the Guard
– the Roil
– the Choke
– the Cup, Overflowing
– the Hereby Solemnly Swear
– the Authenticity
– the Tom Wopat, Duke of My Heart
– the Near Numbers
– the Near Colors
– the A-Framus
– the Heavy Lids
– the Arms
– the Beast and Dragon, Adored
– the Tokyu Hands
– the Parco 3
– the Small Ensemble
– the Descriptive Terms
– the Terms
– the Terns
– the Sweet, Sweet Jesus
– the Commandeer
– the Plot Devices
– the Dream Scream
– the Beatless
– the Michael J Foxes
– the Acclaimed Swedish Design Team
– the Ventilation
– the Airy Dare
– the Prospect
– the Did

John Vanderslice and The American Dream

JV and the Powers that Booth
JV and the Filthy Abacus
JV and the Food Stamp Collective
JV and the Gordon Shumways
JV and the Pretty Mouths
JV and the Pace Setters
JV and the Splitting Headache
JV and Top Heavy
JV and the Field Service Calls
JV and the Sadie Hawkins Dance
JV and the Bloodless Coupes
JV and the Presidon’ts
JV and the Halfening
JV and the Boners
JV and Shit Mountain
JV and the Fabulous Bone Structure
JV and the Identity Theft Reports
JV and the Bedroom Fatalities

John Vanderslice and the:
-Tenements of New Haven
-Temple of Doom

John Vanderslice and the Thieving Crooks
John Vanderslice and the Free Bunnies
John Vanderslice and the Megabytes
John Vanderslice and the Open Wounds
John Vanderslice and the Wild Strawberries
John Vanderslice and the Kids in Camouflage
John Vanderslice and the Secret Agency
John Vanderslice and the Broken Code (or Code Breakers)
John Vanderslice and the Enigma Machinists
John Vanderslice and the Experiment
John Vanderslice and the Conspiracy
John Vanderslice and the Wire Tappers (ha!)

John Vanderslice and the Dance Revolution (who would sue you first?)

John Vanderslice and the Wabi Sabi

JV and the Golden Gate

JV and the Polished Paramours
JV and the Gadabouts
JV and the Aural Airmen
JV and the Action Faction
JV and the Red Notes

JV and the Afternoon Smoke Breaks

John Vanderslice and-

the Ostrich Fathers
the Public Relations Firm
His Handlers
the Nites Errant
the Sauerkraut Patch Kids
the Sticky Fingers
the Frustrated Backing Band
the Hottie Hots
the Well-Behaved Guinea Pigs
the Disillusioned Illusionists
the Clashing Hand Towels
the Apologists
the Wholly Modal Founders
the Archipelago
the Chevy Luv
the Touristas
the Free Spaghetti Dinners
the All That’s Good in the World
the Cheeky Bastards
the Semi-Perfectionists
the Stinky Poo-Poo Heads
the Nerd Glasses
the Watch Out!
the Running Sore Losers
the Asian Word Flu
the Non-Haters
the Jesus and Mary Chain Gang
the Potable Waters
the Boom Patrol
the Distant Future
the Cry for Help
the Easy Come Easy Go Band
the Thwarted Lovers
the Martin Youth Singers
the Painfully Obvious
the Hippie Sweat
the Secret Herbs and Spices
the Constantly Touring
His Cousins
the Rinse and Repeats

JV and… the Apostle Spoons

JV and (the) Enemy Combatants
JV and the Aluminum Tubes
JV and the Argonauts
JV and the Pantheon
JV with the Communards
JV and Eponymous Band

john vanderslice and the enemy combatants
john vanderslice and the neon baptists
john vanderslice and the anatomically correct freedom fighters

The Plotting Toadies
The Secretly Brilliant Bullies
The Community College Anthropology Professors
The Reluctant Vegetarians
Tone Deaf, but Well Intentioned
The Malfunctioning Mood Rings
The Former Hand Models

JV and the Shelf Lives

John Vanderslice and the Stylishly Incoherent
John Vanderslice and the Movies
John Vanderslice and the Involvement
John Vanderslice and the Masters of Ease
John Vanderslice and the Western Seaboard
John Vanderslice and the Scene
John Vanderslice and the Inevitable Breakups
John Vanderslice and the Reality Monsters
John Vanderslice and the Advanced Harmony
John Vanderslice and the Flow from Kosovo

John Vanderslice and…
The Heartbreak of Psoriasis
The Commodore 64
The Gas Station Hot Dogs
The Marketing Department
Get the Stuff
The Justice League
Chinese Arithmetic
The Kindercare Contingency
The Undisclosed Location
The Magazine Rack
Those Meddling Kids
The Conspirators

John Vanderslice and The Search for the Holy Grail
John Vanderslice and The Temple of Doom

john and the family slice
john vanderslice and the screeching cormorants
john vanderslice and the tippecanoe four
john vanderslice and the I like Ikes
john vanderslice and the sorbet spectacular
john vanderslice and the bally williams
john vanderslice and team pinball
john vanderslice and the carrot patch
john vanderslice and the wildhairs
john vanderslice and the royal oaks
john vanderslice and the howling rowdies
john vanderslice and the sliced rap scallions
john vanderslice and the grand entrance
john vanderslice and the red carpet

JV and Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
JV and the Super Awesome Villians Forever
John Vanderslice and the Moth-Monster Men
JV and the Mooninities
JV and the Sweet Release of Death
JV and the Harry Birdmen
JV and the Catheters
JV and the Stinkpots
JV and the Tea Cup Poodles
JV and the Slimy Slugs
JV and the Wisdom Cube
JV and the Hungry Hungry Hippos
JV and the Wiggly Worms
JV and the Cliche
JV and the Tetanus Shots
JV and the Cradle Cap

John Vanderslice and The Vain Glories

john vanderslice and the…
eyes of silence
four men around a table
entire city
numerous family
The Elephant Celebes

John Vanderslice and the Unplanned Pregnancies

John Vanderslice and the Entrance
John Vanderslice and the Exit

JV and the Squat Thrusts.
JV and the Cat Sphincters.
JV and the Wolf Whistles.
JV and the Weight of the World.
JV and the Active Cultures.

John Vanderslice and the Robin Eggs

JV and the Foxy Mama’s Thought Box
John Vanderslice featuring Racial Tea Consumption

John Vanderslice and Hot Stenographers

JV and the…

o elaborately constructed artifacts
o hot wet dumpsters
o roller coaster vomit (related to memories of the last)
o burn victims (relates to the last two)
o mesh shirts (related to the last three) (theme parks in the summer)
o X-YY babies (no that’s tasteless)
o special recipe
o eartuft groomers
o electric reindeer
o four other people who are not him
o holy rollers
o branch dividians
o replicants
o i.m.-posters (as in play on costello and icq/aim/whatever im)
o and his running crew
o and his well-oiled leather-bots
o tickley prickets
o entropic schemers
o dancing revolution
o epileptic sneezers
o computer club
o highly skilled contraptions
o soul assuagers
o muddy pilgrims
o muddy bucaneers
o liquid wiffle bats
o porn store janitors
o botched experiments
o time travelers
o burning sensations
o tracers
o regretful next morning
o harvesters of melody
o well being
o enlarged leprechauns (gigantic?, keeblers etc)
o shakes
o payday loans
o post office bombs
o bastards of melody
o other 16 tracks
o golden oldies
o free upgrades
o moneyback guarantee
o squibulent overlords
o aural marauders
o reverberators
o wave jugglers
o new world order
o rest of your experience
o mind numbers for the evening
o golden hope
o his magickal creatures
o undead followers
o zombie patrol
o next big thing
o tastes like chicken (sounds?)
o one man’s president is another man’s terrorist
o yellow cakes
o aluminum tubes
o unicorn samurai
o quantum aural cartographers
o twilight guard
o silent repercussion
o mensural cramps
o kismet

John Vanderslice and Lapides Sui Generis.
John Vanderslice and the Vis Plastica.

John Vanderslice and the Red Broeckers

John Vanderslice’s Calcutta Auction (inspired by singer/songwriter Michael Stanley)
The John Vanderslice Trout Fishing in America Band (taken from poet Richard Brautigan)
The John Vanderslice Trout Fishing Band (taken from poet Richard Brautigan)
John Vanderslice and the Revenge of the Lawn (taken from poet Richard Brautigan)
John Vanderslice and Meditation Suicide (inspired by poet Frank O’Hara)
John Vanderslice and 13th Century Dead Poets
John Vanderslice and 13th Century Dead Serfs

John Vanderslice and the Tranquils
John Vanderslice and the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)

The Iron Maidens
The Slayers
The Avoid Notes
The Finally Jews (which is a band name that a friend of mine was going to use, but I’m sure she’d be honored if you liked it enough to use it)
The McCoy Tyner Afterparty
The Skins
The Shirts
The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton
The 180 Grams
Sexual Chocolate

John Vanderslice and the Mermaid Birds

john vanderslice and
crazy norse
the handlebar moustaches
the four norsemen
the kamp kounselors
the komplete khaos
the under control
the kreepy krawlers
the shrinky dinks
the kinship
the bling kong boys
the fore andrew
the super naive
the sleepaways
the rainmakers
the defenestration
the space windows
the nested infectious
the something obscure
the shame on yous
the applied solipcism
the sonambaulism
the first amendment brass band
the last lemonade stand
the everybody’s waiting (for you)

JV and the Cutter Heads
JV and the Master Lacquers

John Vanderslice and the Vain Heuristics

John Vanderslice and the Excretions
John Vanderslice and his Neckbeard
John Vanderslice and the Golden Cowboy Killers
John Vanderslice and Buzkashi (Buzkashi (from Persian ????? buzkashi, buz "goat" + kashi "drawing") is a traditional Afghan sport, played from horseback . The name translates literally to "goat grabbing", implying that the game originated in the ancient practice of horseback goat-nabbing during the times of Genghis Khan. The Mongols were skilled horse-riders who could swoop up a goat while riding a horse at full gallop. The goal of a Buzkashi player is to grab the carcass of a calf, and then get it clear of the other players, or pitch it across a goal line.)

John Vanderslice and the Defibrillators
John Vanderslice and the Sexy Men That Will Never Die
John Vanderslice and the Pataphysicians

John Vanderslice and the Remedy Brilliant
John Vanderslice and the Robot Constable
John Vanderslice and the Faded Millennia
John Vanderslice and the Clever Ruse
John Vanderslice and Crazy Beats Karate
John Vanderslice and the Best That Money Can Buy
John Vanderslice and the High-Powered Stockbrokers

John Vanderslice and the Teacup Dogs
John Vanderslice and the Font Crimes
John Vanderslice and Wonderful Gazebo
John Vanderslice and Grandpa’s Newsletter
John Vanderslice and his Revenge
John Vanderslice and the Industrial Revolution
John Vanderslice and the Flightless Birds

the gun show featuring john vanderslice
the john vanderlice of americana
john vanderslice presents the freedom valley gospal singers
john vanderslice and his brigade fettered rodents
the john vanderslice unilateral express railway

John Vanderslice and Spender
John Vanderslice and the Swinging Chariots
John Vanderslice and the Potential Investors
John Vanderslice and Esperanto
John Vanderslice and the Coat of Arms
John Vanderslice and the Pragmatics
John Vanderslice and Labrador
John Vanderslice and Sleight
John Vanderslice and Gelid
John Vanderslice and the Polar Ice Caps
John Vanderslice and the Schematics
John Vanderslice and the Sylvan Hum
John Vanderslice and the Huasos
John Vanderslice and Belize
John Vanderslice and Orange Walk
John Vanderslice and Realpolitik
John Vanderslice and the Risky Diets
John Vanderslice and Deixis

John Vanderslice and Baby Shower
John Vanderslice and the Oil Barons
John Vanderslice and the Mutineers
John Vanderslice and Yukon
John Vanderslice and Galleons

John Vanderslice and the Crusades
John Vanderslice and the Canton of Vaud
John Vanderslice and the Miraculous Recovery

john vanderslice and the purveyors of warmth and comfort

JV and the:
pixilated revolution(s)
barbara stanwycks
lady eve
aspect ratio
maximum ernst

John Vanderslice and the Crack Pipes (I have been telling everyone Pixel Revolt is crack, the kind you should smoke)
John Vanderslice featuring Hot Yoga in the Dark
John Vanderslice and John Vanderslice’s band
John Vanderslice and the Two Scoops

John Vanderslice and The…

Stella Dallas Cowboys
Origami Swamis
Cushy Jobs
Budapest Control
Infinite Jesters
Modest Slavs
Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Puppet Regime
Bored Chairmen
Perishable Publishers

John Vanderslice and the Anglocized Aboriginals

John Vanderslice and the Unblinking Eye

John Vanderslice…
… with/and (the)/ and his Hushpuppies
…and Champagne Bubbles
…and the Sorry
…accompanied by the (insert something here)
…and the Famed Names
…and the Particially Complete
…and the Stork
…with his people
…and his people
…and the No Shoes

John Vanderslice and the triskaidekaphobics
John Vanderslice and the Lufegargsids (disgraceful backwards…)
John Vanderslice and the Disgracefuls.
John Vanderslice and the Oxymorons.
John Vanderslice and Los Suenos.
John Vanderslice and the Broken Windows
John Vanderslice and the Ivory Elephants
John Vanderslice and the Parking Lots
John Vanderslice and the Enigmas
John Vanderslice and the de Chiricos.
John Vanderslice and the Silverfish.
John Vanderslice and the St. Dorothys.
John Vanderslice and the Hail Marys
John Vanderslice and the Relics

JV and the Lazy Susans
JV and the Get Down Syndrome
JV and the Other Musicians
JV and the Golden Gated Community

1. the heater coil,2 why i invented the A-Bomb,3. the Jandeks,4.the lethal dose of the truth,5.the comic sensibilities,6.the undeniable truth,7.the magical moustache ride, to ride a bike,9.the free thinkers,10.the sweet spot 

John Vanderslice and the Leftover Crusts
John Vanderslice and the Toasters
John Vanderslice and the Loaded Dice
John Vanderslice and the Deadly Symptoms
John Vanderslice and the Abiding Mystery
John Vanderslice and the Last Resort
John Vanderslice and the Bunker Busters
John Vanderslice and the Hoover Administration
John Vanderslice and the Ex-Hire Kilts

JV and The Sons of Bulba

John Vanderslice & The Snowy Day
John Vanderslice & West Span
John Vanderslice & The Coy Toy
John Vanderslice & The Youthful Regret Band
John Vanderslice & The Throttle Doggies
John Vanderslice & The Class Contract
John Vanderslice & Les Oursins <– (French, sea urchins)

JV and the Area Rugs
……………… G Thirteen
……………… Terra Kotter
……………… the Tall Kids
……………… Eleventy One
……………… Mission Martyrs
……………… Wiggle Wiggle
……………… the New Dudes
……………… Pure Trifecta
……………… Mrs. Sauce
……………… Logarhthym
……………… San Veranda
……………… Sea of Green

JV & the flotillas
JV & the Neccessitites
JV & the Advocates
JV & the Henchmen
JV & the Satellites
JV & the Rally Rounds
JV & the Endowment
JV & the Obligations
JV & the Omissions
JV & the Apostles
JV & the Pioneers
JV & the Spokesmen
JV & the Dogmaticians
JV & the Holy Joe’s
JV & the Revivalists

John Vanderslice and the Heavy Set
John Vanderslice and the Precious Cargo Pants
John Vanderslice and the Gas Station Authorizations (or the Dollar Authorizations)
John Vanderslice and the Soccer Oranges
John Vanderslice and the Debutante Balls
John Vanderslice and the Unexploded Scotsman Disposal Squad

john vanderslice and his….
girls in disguise
scheming dungeon masters
sorry sorry i won’t do it again’s
intimidating algonquins
inhospitable boyfriends
wounded soldiers
naughty naked nurses
aphroditic albatrossi
killer cocoa butter
flexible travelling bamboo pallettes
good friends
english armada
calendar dates
emmett honeycutts
shrinking psychiatrists
good taste in the fine arts
protein shakes
voluptuous valley vets
sophisticated phrases
vivian clover conovers
veritable vulvas
victorious villans
valley girl vaginas

John Vanderslice and the Barb Wire Conspiracy
John Vanderslice and Those Who Dare Play With Him
John Vanderslice and the Slices of Vander
John Vanderslice and the Acronyms
John Vanderslice and the Pseudonyms
John Vanderslice and the Antonyms
John Vanderslice and the Verbs
John Vanderslice and the Nouns
John Vanderslice and the Various Parts of Speech
John Vanderslice and the Name To Be Determined
John Vanderslice and Those Who Shall Not Be Named
John Vanderslice and the Touching Hallmark Moment
John Vanderslice and the Communal Tuber
John Vanderslice and the Free Donuts

John Vanderslice & His Hoes.
John Vanderslice & His Internal Organs.
John Vanderslice and the Hamburgers.
John Vanderslice & the Orgasm.

john vanderslice trips on that little step up into his living room
john vanderslice eats his toast first
john vanderslice and the off the wall calendar
john vanderslice sleeps with the fishes
john vanderslice does the windmill as a dance
john vanderslice asks fans to submit possible band names
john vanderslice owns at air hockey
john vanderslice and the support players
john vanderslice weilds car keys as a weapon in the parking lot for dollar tree
john vanderslice and brass monkey, that funky monkey, brass monkey
john vanderslice thinks of different possible flavors for toothpaste

jv and the grecoroman clusterfucks
jv and the dirty little secrets
jv and the 12 o’clock sugar rush
jv and the import/exporters
jv and the facebooks
jv and the jets (remember that 80s band?)
jv and the bad puns
jv and the olympic naysayers
jv and the investments
jv and the Megans Law advocists
jv and the televangelists
jv and the 7000 club
jv and the imposter friends

John Vanderslice and the Criminally Insane
John Vanderslice and his Moral Support
John Vanderslice and some Dudes on Keyboard
John Vanderslice and his Wurlitzer Orchestra
John Vanderslice and the Twice as Nice
John Vanderslice and his Slander Device

John Vanderslice and the Fucking Whales That Sank My Van
or John Vanderslice and the Whales That Sank My Van
or just John Vanderslice and the Whales.

John Vanderslice and the Apathetic Kidney Beans
John Vanderslice and the Electric Waves
John Vanderslice and the Monikers

John Vanderslice’s Teen Sleuth Mystery Patrol
John Vanderslice and the Future Mrs. John Vanderslices
John Vanderslice and the Future Ex-Mrs. John Vanderslices
John Vanderslice and The Cosby Show
John Vanderslice and the Spurious Correlations
John Vanderslice and the Missing Heiresses
John Vanderslice and the Sailormongers
John Vanderslice and the Mysteries of a Woman’s Soul
John Vanderslice and the Joint and Several Liability
John Vanderslice and the Moral Ambivalence
John Vanderslice and the Fledgling Democracies
John Vanderslice and the Logical Positivists
"John Vanderslice and His Excursions Beyond the Sonic Frontiers"
(Tallahassee Democrat, 03/19/2004)
John Vanderslice and The big musical fun show! (tagline for "Babes in
Arms" starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland)
John Vanderslice and the Blackface Minstrel Routine
John Vanderslice and His Very Private Secretaries
John Vanderslice and His Tax Attorneys
John Vanderslice and the Tort Reform
John Vanderslice and the Irrecoverable Losses
John Vanderslice and His Band Ate My Baby!
John Vanderslice and the Vexatious Litigation
John Vanderslice and the Rape Fantasists
John Vanderslice and the Expedient Divorce
John Vanderslice and the Six Goebbels Children
John Vanderslice’s Inappropriate Reciprocal Self-Disclosure

jv and the spanish subtitles
jv and the 16:9 ratios
jv and the gel cap crackheads
John Vanderslice and The Hasselhoffian Recursion


I am obsessed with the Olympics. Night and day. Did you see the opening ceremony? Holy shit.

I’ve written 12 songs this summer. Scott Solter, Ian Bjornstad, Daniel Hart and Matthias Bossi and I have tracked 10 of them. We have a bunch of days in October at Tiny Telephone. More soon.

Endless touring.

Cincinatti, OH
God what are we doing still on tour? HA! Well, at least it’s a good one, we’re opening for Malkmus and the Jicks. BTW, they couldn’t be a nicer crew and the shows couldn’t be better. It’s a day off. I’m watching Ms. Crawford on TCM and the rest of the Vanderslices are spread out in the Garfield Suites. We’re doing a bunch of headlining after the Malkmus dates, please check the shows page.

We need some merch people for a few shows. You know the drill, you’ll be on the guest list +1 and we’ll fawn over you all night. Please email Erika if you’re interested. We need these shows…
Wed 04/09 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon
Thurs 04/10 – State College, PA @ Chronic Town
Fri 04/11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Andy Warhol Museum
Tues 04/15 – Springfield, MO @ Randy Bacon Gallery
Wed 04/16 – St. Louis, MO @ Billiken Club
Fri 04/18 – Madison, WI @ Club 770 (University of Wisconsin)

Porto, Portugal

The coast here is lined with eucalyptus and pines, it reminds me so much of Northern California. The tour has been wonderful, but we have tons of driving and a fly-in Dublin date in the next week. I would love to stay right here on the coast!

Goteborg, Sweden

We left the club a few minutes ago to hit the hotel for a pre-show crash and we found our Sprinter wrapped up with police tape! There were five or six cops on walkie-talkies…The bank right next door had been robbed (in daylight!) and I guess the Czech plates of our van were a red flag. We’re now waiting for investigators to come from three hours away. The robber had thrown a huge rock into the front window of the bank and walked in with a gun.

ps, There’s a couple, Mary and Ian, that are getting engaged tonight on stage!!! I will do the honors…

Pixel Revolt Recording Diary

JV recording notes

pixel revolt
engineer: scott solter
studio: tiny telephone
recorded on a studer 827 2" 24-track deck and mixed to a Spitz ATR 102 1/2".

so here we are, this is a recording diary. exciting. I will try to keep a detailed and accurate ledger of the losses and gains, additions and subtractions.

dead slate pacific track sheet
plymouth rock track sheet
angela track sheet
new zealand pines track sheet
the golden gate track sheet, string charts 1 2
dear sarah shu track sheet, string chart
peacocks in the video rain track sheet lyrics
exodus damage track sheet
letter to the east coast track sheet
trance manual track sheet
the kingdom track sheet
continuation track sheet
crc 7173, affectionately track sheet
farewell transmission track sheet
radiant with terror track sheet

pixel revolt

1 letter to the east coast
2 plymouth rock
3 exodus damage
4 peacocks in the video rain
5 trance manual
6 new zealand pines
7 radiant with terror
8 continuation
9 dear sarah shu
10 farewell transmission
11 angela
12 dead slate pacific
13 the golden gate
14 crc7173, affectionately


55 minutes
CD/double gatefold 180 gram vinyl

the kingdom will be vinyl only

out august 23 on barsuk

tuesday april 12

well, to wrap things up I thought I’d list some things I learned while making this record. some came easy, some came hard. please note, actual mileage may vary! these are truths for me only and may not make sense, may not work, or be financially feasible for another.

1. one great signal chain is better than 30 crappy ones.
2. one bad performance will undermine everything that comes after.
3. an inferior piece of gear that works 100% of the time is better than an inconsistent, but superior, piece of gear.
4. compression is great for controlling low end and vocals, and especially great for complicated forms of distortion. it is not good as a standard part of your recording signal chain.
5. mix buss compression is not necessary.
6. spend more time on the quality of your source (guitar amps, drums, strings, etc.) and less time on the reproduction of the source.
7. one great mono signal chain on a drum set is better than 14 crappy spot mics.
8. the perfect vocal mic does exist for you. it may be a sm7, it may be a U47. be prepared to rent mics (if owning is out of the question) and record all vocal performances together.
9. speaking of, dedicate the maximum available time to vocal recording.
10. good reverbs and delays are expensive. bad reverbs and delays are the kiss of death.
11. watch out for the high hat.

tuesday, april 5

a few minutes away from leaving to master with bernie grundman in LA. we’re still debating sequence and song selection. and why not, maybe we can keep it going after mastering just for fun. we start early tomorrow so I thought I’d fly in tonight and hang out with graham macrae.

I posted all the track sheets above. more info on the way as it comes, including notes from mastering.

btw, pixel revolt is about 3db quieter than most cds. john darnielle sent me this interesting article about volume wars.

wednesday, march 30

scott mixed high and low in sections. cutting in the quietest post-chorus parts ("I’m only lonely through and through") it allows him to mute all the tracks not playing any music (there is a LOT of noise at 15 inches per second, something I’m starting to dislike). those sections only have one vocal and a stereo piano track. scott is cruising through the mixes; we may end one day early.

monday, march 28

scott mixed pixel revolt. then he nailed the kingdom. three down. the artwork and title debate rages. this is was easier when I was in a totally obscure band. god only knows what justin timberlake goes through.

pixel revolt track sheet
the kingdom track sheet

this is a very good internet radio station.

sunday, march 27

scott mixed "exodus damage." it seemed to sound really good when he pulled up the faders. he did a little eqing, probably some other stuff and… viola. it is done. no mix buss compression, that’s what bernie grundman told us. he also told me to not go over +6 on gp9, because of print through. btw, grundman is a genius.

scott also got close on pixel revolt, but it got late.

tuesday, march 15

tracking is done! the past three days have been a bit of a blur. I remember scott hitting a gong… I remember singing, tonight I did 5 tracks of vocals on “crc7173.” it’s a little sad really, the thought that I won’t be tracking again until next year? crazy. we’ll be mixing starting march 25th. the record will be mastered at bernie grundman’s in early april. so our account here is almost closed out. I’ll post all the tracking sheets and assorted docs.

I’m off to sxsw tomorrow morning.

saturday, march 12

what a wonderful, productive day. we recorded at scott’s 15th st studio. he tracked us live, playing as a trio.
alex decarville: drums (his new rogers kit)
matt cunitz: bass (kustom/ B15)
jv: scratch guitar

I have to admit, the song I brought in was underwritten and a little limp on first run through. but I work with professionals who can cover for my shaky work habits…
after we got a good take, matt played a stellar hammond part. he really takes off in front of a keyboard, he’s absolutely fearless. then he played grand piano and a vako orchestron. the orchestron is really a hi-fi optigon, that produces sound by playing one of eight vinyl records (pipe organ, flute, violins, choir, hammond, french horn, cello, saxophone). matt used choir, to great effect.

the song, btw, is called “crc7173, affectionately.”

friday, march 11

Mr. Rose is reportedly working on the album even now in a San Fernando Valley studio. "The ‘Chinese Democracy’ album is very close to being completed," Merck Mercuriadis, the chief executive officer of Sanctuary Group, which manages Mr. Rose, wrote in a recent statement. He added that other artists including Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder "have throughout their careers consistently taken similar periods of time without undeserved scrutiny as the world respects that this is what it can sometimes take to make great art."

I enlisted one of my heroes (dc berman) to help me with a title, I sent him lyrics and a cd today.

redid vocals for “exodus damage.” the other double tracked version kind of sucked. this time I did a lead, a compressed lower octave voice (with a little dolby 301A signal mixed in) and a super compressed double of the first. much better. it seemed to sound nice when I panned the low voice left, the lead center, and the double hard right, bussing them through a stereo compressor (alan smart). it seemed to do something nice.

the smallest things make the biggest difference when you start paying attention. for instance, changing ratios on a (good) compressor, or lowering the threshold by a hair, it changes everything. sometimes I miss the days of not paying attention.

added high harmonies to “dear sarah shu.” instead of adding a plate, I used scott’s lexicon 200 for room. erased a lot of tracks on same: opening cellos, some drums and percussion in middle break.

redid vocals on “radiant with terror.” spread the mono vocal to three tracks this way: u47 clean, very little compression (1-2db); u47 crushed through a distressor (opto, distortion 3); gated molt of first track through a lexicon 200.

Chinese Democracy!

thursday, march 10

"Most of the stuff he had played me was just sketches," Todd Sullivan (Geffen A&R) recalled. "I said, ‘Look, Axl, this is some really great, promising stuff here. Why don’t you consider just bearing down and completing some of these songs?’ He goes, ‘Hmm, bear down and complete some of these songs?’ Next day I get a call from Eddie" – Eddie Rosenblatt, the Geffen chairman – "saying I was off the project."

erik only has few hours before his flight so we’re in hustle mode. we spend most of the day on “the golden gate.” this is the most inspiring part of our session (which has been phenomenal). erik keeps complicating the ending resolution with unknowable intervals and harmonies. this guy knows his stuff, I’ve never seen someone play against existing tracks so well, and his instrument is not fretted! and he’s playing with tracks that are not exactly in tune. (some things are concert tuning, others are tuned and tempered by ear, some have overtones or intonation problems that fuck everything up).

wednesday, march 9

erik friedlander is here! scott has the flu so I take over the session after he sets up the mic and EQ.

schoeps cmc 65 (in cardioid) > millennia pre (-2 db at 20hz, + 3 at 25k hz)

I am impressed to find erik tours with a schoeps mic. I love him even more, if that is possible.

erik is a wonder; he’s the creative and quick session player I’ve ever seen. we blaze through “sarah shu,” continuation,” “the kingdom,” rock some el matate, continue on with “pixel revolt.”

monday, march 7

holy shit, the new fiona apple album, extraordinary machine, is brilliant. the idiots at sony have indefinitely delayed the release because it (supposedly) lacks a single, or is too weird. more here

and with new albums from geto boys, murs, the game, bloc party, andrew bird, m ward, okkervil river, and spoon, I feel lucky to be alive. how many fantastic records were already released this year? a lot, and think of how few records we all get to hear. what’s happening in senegal? or sweden? or russia? or brazil…

scott played a wonderful counter on hammond b3 to the reich theme on “continuation.” and then more b3, this time two parts, on “dead slate pacific, pt 2.” one mono support, wacked to high heaven with a urei la-22 (a bad ass compressor), the second spatialized with a lexicon 200.

erik friedlander is coming on wednesday and thursday! he is unreal and we are comping tons of tracks on wednesday morn to make room for him.

I first met erik opening for mountain goats in nyc at the knit. he played solo cello and basically ran the room for 45 minutes. you don’t see bands doing that very often, much less a solo performer.

sunday, march 6

scott really knows the endgame of making a record. it’s best for me to provide the right tools for him, steer the rudder a bit now and then, and stay out of the way. we are making major progress this week.

scott wrote a reich-ian motif for the verses of continuation, a 3 over 4 repeating figure made of a baritone guitar and a vibraphone (without vibrato). scott then doubled a previous guitar line.

we were going to drop a gong in the opening of every verse but ran out of time. gongs rule, btw. listen to “june, july,” a drum sound scott’s been asked frequently about. he put a gong on top of christopher mcguire’s snare hits, it adds up to a complicated sound with a strange and beautiful envelope.

friday, march 4

after scott added a hammond spinet, matt greenberg came in and added tons of trumpet on “dear sarah shu.” (I key gated the hammond, using the high hat as a trigger, it makes the organ sound like a pachinko machine.) scott wrote this wonderful harmony line and had matt played it note by note on different tracks. the chorus has one 14-note line, so scott had matt play note #1 and #7 one the first track, note #2 and #8 on the second, and so forth. matt was unflappable and powered through the entire song. on thursday, scott will pan, level, and comp the 7 tracks to a stereo pair, lightly compressing them with the alan smart compressor.
matt also added a “resigned” trumpet solo (my words, I started with a “triumphant clarion call” but that didn’t work).

nedelle came in and sang back ups for “high and low.” we are getting closer! I am doing nothing but the record day and night until april 6th, so if I haven’t called I will…soon.

I have to admit, I am really obsessed with the game. after the recording sessions, I drive home v e r y slowly on the 24th street with my windows open listening to the documentary.

"Coming up I was confused my momma kissing a girl
Confusion occurs coming up in the cold world
Daddy ain’t around probably out commiting felonies
My favorite rapper used to sing ch-check out my melody"

thursday march 3

we worked on a new song, “continuation,” all day. scott doubled the main guitar line, added a beautiful baritone figure in the chorus. matt cunitz, who’s played a lot of keyboards on the record, played a kustom bass through his very nice ampeg b15.

monday february 28

vocal day! yeah a yeahee. I’m stressed out. I sang “exodus damage” and fixed the sharp-as-hell-choruses in “high and low.” why do I talk about stuff that you, kind and patient reader, have no knowledge of? well, it helps me, keeping these notes up to speed. and maybe helps to reduce the weight of the work ahead? anyway, thanks for reading this.

we are aiming for a double album. if I can find someone insane enough (hello ben dickey/post-parlo!), it’ll come out in double 180 gram gatefold vinyl. yeah a yeahee, like I said.

just rented dogville, very excited…

sunday february 27

for the next two days, scott and I are at his fab studio, 15th st, located on the exciting corner of 15th and Valencia in the mission.

matt greenberg came to play on “the kingdom,” a ballad for voice and piano. matt played scott’s grand piano (circa 1840!), I faced him and sang. it felt good: this is how you’re supposed to make music. scott overdubbed vibraphone on the choruses. we did some other stuff that slips my mind.

I then braved another piano song, “farewell transmission,” which scott tracked live. this one came out very nice.

“your dad didn’t know the age of the sun,
but now we know the hour it was born.
how does that help us now?”

the title is from a wonderful jason molina song, “long dark blues.”

scott then went nuts and overdubbed tons of varispeeded pan steel, and vibraphone. I played a delayed guitar line on top.

if you want to find a wonderful amp for under $400, buy an ampeg gemini 1. it blows the doors off a lot of new, boutique stuff I’ve played. I’m sure the ampeg fanatics would prefer I keep this stuff under wraps. but one day, these amps will get their due, and they will get bid up. until then…

piano > schoeps CMCs > millennia mic pre
vocal > u47 > millennia mic pre

everything else, almost always: schoeps CMCs > millennia mic pre

wednesday, february 9

tracked vocals for “trance manual”: one lead and 4 support vocals, 2 of which are falsetto parts. I did that vocal grid system of bringing up the effects on the neve and then mixing and matching levels through the busses. I’ve settled on a 200m delay on the primetime, dolby 301a, and a fully dampened 140 plate reverb. the lead vocal always gets a clean and an effect track, backing vocals are done in mono. I did all of this yesterday as well but scrapped everything after I went home and listened. a year ago that would have really bummed me out, but I am so patient now!
also sang a new song, "pixel revolt," and played two guitar tracks and two wurlitzer tracks.
tele thin line > masco PA head > sm57 > neve 1089 > 1176
wurlitzer > masco PA head > beyer 201 > ampex 351

okay here’s where we are…
finished songs:
dead rabbit
new zealand pines
dead slate pacific
plymouth rock

songs more or less recorded:
high and low
pixel revolt
exodus damage
trance manual
radiant with terror

songs that need to be tracked:
hold on
the kingdom

new piece in mix with scott and I.

thursday, february 3

scott and I devoted ourselves to “radiant with terror,” a song I opened the fall tour with. scott had me sing into a borrowed neumann cmv 563; he had me face the soundboard of the baldwin upright and close miced the resonating strings, gating and highly compressing the signal with a distressor.
we rented tons of percussion and had my wonderful drummer, dave douglas come by. he has a degree in mallet instruments from north texas, so dave knows what to do.
we got: 2 timpani drums, tubular chimes, glockenspiel, and crotales. dave brought in countless other devices, including cookware. dave played on the 20 or so remaining tracks, it is amazing!

came home and watched the kingdom 2 on ifc. brilliant.

sunday, january 30

scott and I are mixing new zealand pines today. I’ve been thinking a lot about tubes lately. here’s a very interesting discussion of tubes vs. transistors from walter sear.

"Why do vacuum tubes sound ‘different’ than transistors in audio applications? Russell Hamm and I published our research in the May 1973 issue of the Audio Engineering Society Journal. We had been curious for years about why transistors sounded so different. Our research, which is often quoted and misquoted, revealed some interesting facts.

"Attack transients (initial wave front information) from a good microphone can hit your mic pre-amp at plus 90 dB. The poor amplifier, whether tube or transistor, can pass about 40 dB. The rest is clipped. Clipping the excess 50 dB results in distortion. When we studied this distortion, we found that tubes would distort in even harmonics (mostly at the octave) and that transistors distorted producing odd harmonics, the 3rd and 13th partial predominating. You didn’t have to be a pipe organ designer to know which distortion was more acceptable to the ear. Through the intervening years, many people have been trying, with varying success, to design transistor circuits that would sound like vacuum tubes. Finally, many manufacturers just went back to vacuum tube circuits.

Another nice thing about tube electronics is that when over-driven (too much input signal on the screen grid), they go into distortion slowly, similar to the way the human ear goes into distortion. With transistors, no such luck. As with digital overload, you hear it instantly when you have gone too far."

an interview with stephen jarvis about minimalist recording techniques.

friday, january 28

scott mixed plymouth rock.
track sheet
damn this is a tough one. I believe it’s a wrap, though. jay pellicci assisted.

then, scott mixed dead slate pacific.
track sheet
aaron prellwitz and nedelle provided moral encouragement.

the sf chronicle wrote up our january 21 session.

wednesday, january 26

scott mixed dead rabbit!
track sheet

sunday, january 23

added a gated acoustic guitar on an untitled song, whose drum beat was shamelessly ripped off from the wonderful dead prez b-side, “hell yea (pimp the system).”

I key gated the acoustic, meaning I sent one of the prerecorded drum tracks (in this case, the high hat) to tell the gate to open and close with the high hat. I strummed on the off beats, so the only sound was the choppy decay of the guitar in rhythm of the song.

acoustic > schoeps CMCs > neve 1089 > ampex mx10 > 1176 > aphex gate

saturday, january 22

like scott doesn’t do enough…today I was pretty laid out with a cold so I reacquainted myself with our very purple couch as scott worked on songs. he multi tracked an ebowed electric guitar (10 times) reinforcing a moog solo on “plymouth rock.” he comped it and flew it in using the ATR 102. I do think that song is done! hopefully we’ll mix it this week.

friday, january 21

guest stars!!

nedelle came in and did millions of backup vocals on “new zealand pines.” here’s how we do it in the analog museum know as tiny telephone: scott submixes the song onto the ATR 102, and dumps the submix on a new 24-track reel. we know have 22 open tracks. nedelle is a trouper! she sang and sang and sang. scott comped them all down to the ATR 102 and flew a stereo track back into the choruses. and by "flew," I mean: he records the stereo out of the ATR, using a grease pencil to time the start of the deck. see, it’s fun being a luddite!
nedelle: sm69 > millennia TD1 > alactronics 1176

keith cary, a hammond wizard from winters, ca, took over after nedelle collapsed form exhaustion. keith brought his 7 foot upright aluminum bass and played some wonderful stuff on “trance manual” and the outro of “dead slate pacific.” he did three runs on “dsp” and then bowed a nice pedal chord through the last half. that upright has an incredible reverb! it literally sounds processed when it hits the mics (schoeps CMCs, btw).

came home and stayed up LATE watching kill bill, vol2, a remarkable and surprisingly somber movie, so different in tone to the first one.

please check out a record called “martial arts weekend” by the extra glenns. it’s brilliant collaboration between john darnielle and franklin bruno; I’m listening to it as I type…

thursday, january 20

“my aim is only true when I’m aiming at you”

I played a four minute acoustic guitar outro on “dead slate pacific,” doubling the song and making room for keith cary’s upright bass (more on that later). scott then quadruple tracked ebowed electric guitar, making a stereo comp. one track was sent through the fantastic lexicon 200 reverb; they were comped in stereo. scott then added some additional landscape guitars.

we then went down the long and winding path of imitating robert fripp’s frippertronics guitar loops. we made a five second tape loop for the revox, and putting electrical tape on the erase head so the delayed signal only faintly disappears with each passing cycle. I played my heart out. better in theory? yes, but some of it may survive.

sunday, january 16

forgot to document a song I did two weeks ago, “dead slate pacific,” an acoustic ballad about the trials and terrors of monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

scott wasn’t around so I was forced to wing it big time: setting compression and gain levels by memory, placing microphones by faith alone (“my son, omni is a far more forgivable pattern as there is no proximity effect and less phasing problems…now go forth unto the world.”)

I used a schoeps 221 for the laravee acoustic (the only one I own), the rented u47 for vocals (millennia > 1176) and a microtech gefell um70 about five feet up and over me, slammed into an 1176 with all 4 ratio buttons pushed down. sometimes you mimic things you read about in tape op or mix (like this button mash) and it’s silly or pointless, other times it’s the shit. this time it worked out.

later I sent to u47 signal into the emt 140 reverb plate and printed to tape. I hard gated the left side so it twitters on and off depending on how loud I’m singing or playing. it’s a very odd and destabilizing effect as it messes with the stereo image. boo ya.

“dead slate pacific” was played live; it’s the only song on any of my records done that way. what is my problem? it was so fun, so FAST. man, I have GOT to do this again. (“my son, prepare your songs at home, fully and completely, and present unto them a 24-track recording machine. so now in full voice and ashen instrument go unto the world…”)

tuesday, january 11

we had the Outer Mission Sambanista Battery in last night to add some white boy I-love-caetano–veloso-can-we-do-something-like-that on “high and low.”
okay OMSB is really alex decarville, scott solter and jay pellicci taking orders from mastermind chris mcgrew. I sat in the control room and marveled. and read motley crue’s "the dirt."

we did three mono tracks, laid out something like this.
track 1: 1st and 2nd surdo
track 2: 12” and 10” repenique
track 3: quica and sanza

using either a pair of microtech-gefell um 70/schoeps cmc6 mics > scott’s SQN mixer w/ limiter

also added baldwin tube organ, HEAVILY processed through an unknowably complicated string of 202s and cinema filters on “ddr.” why? these things have a life of their own… scott played the part. as he often does.

btw scott and I work so quick sometimes we forget to notate the track list and promptly erase what we’ve done. we’re beyond caring.

bill putnam sr, respect!

wednesday, january 5

okay, I’ve figured out something. it took me a WHILE. let’s call it the “VOCAL SYSTEM MATRIX ™” or maybe “let’s buss a lot of crap around until we like how it sounds.” that may lack marketing zing.
so, if you only have two tracks to do vocals, and you have stupid rules like I do (no effects sends in mixdown) then this is useful.

all day today I did lead and backing vocals, so I spent an hour or so setting up all effects that I might possible want to use, assigning them to aux sends and input channels on the neve.

channel 1. clean u47 (millennia > alactronics 1176 (1-2 db compression max, 4/1 ratio)
channel 2. ampex 440 tape delay, 1st input chained into 2nd, running at 30ips
channel 3. dolby 301A noise reduction (we send vocals through this and play it back unencoded. this makes it sound super bright and compressed. you can pull some of the cards out and exaggerate the effects, it can give you this angelic top end on anything you put through it. a very beautiful piece of gear.
channel 4. EMT plate reverb, mono. (compressed through the smart, high and low pass filters on)
channel 5. lexicon prime time delay
channel 6. studer revox tape delay

if I have 2 channels, I will print the clean u47 and mix the others to taste. if I have only 1 (for backing vocals), I’ll combine everything to a mono track.

btw, I used to hate reverb. absolutely terrified me. but I became obsessed with radiohead (ok computer is a study in echo and dimension) and I got an EMT 140, a 8 foot anodized aluminum plate that produces a soft and complicated room effect.

let’s visit one of my heroes: walter sear.

tuesday, january 4

oh so much to report!!
the only maker of analog tape in the WORLD, quantegy, shut down yesterday. so every analog tweaker (like me) has been freaking out for the past 24 hours, sourcing tape, (there is none left), having a crisis of faith (yes the format is dead, we’re just trying to enjoy the twilight years in peace). as tiny telephone is the only studio (that I know of) in the bay area without a digital workstation, we’re in a very precarious position.
so I dusted off an old credit card and bought $7,000 worth.
okay now onto business…

recorded two moog source basslines on “plymouth rock” and comped them to one track through the smart. I’ve said this a few times, but please check out the source if you’re looking for a monosynth. I would even recommend it over an ARP odyssey (I think it has better low end). short of a mini or modular moog, it’s the best bang for the buck.

moog source > millennia media direct input

played an ARP line on “high and low.” comped, moved and erased tracks on songs for a few hours…

thursday 29, 2004

okay let’s change some titles, retroactively (this will happen a lot).

songs I’m doing vocals for tomorrow and friday:
plymounth rock (I lost the reason)
high and low (love you too)
new zealand red pines
the dead slate pacific

in heavy rewriting:
always, almost (imitation of life)

to record later:
radiant with terror
(we did this once, but scott has talked me into trying a more stripped-down version live to tape)

I got the fixed neumann u47 back from jarvis. here’s some info on this marvel of audio engineering.

I borrowed a nylon string guitar from nedelle for dead slate pacific. scott is gone until the 3rd, I’m flying solo down at tiny tele. I am terrified to do a lot without him, but I gots to make progress on this thing!

I listened to time travel today in my car while driving through the presidio. the first thought I had: did I make this? it seemed like ten years ago… the second thought: I hope I can make something like this again. oh if I tell you later that the new songs aren’t autobiographical I’m lying, but I’ll never admit it so just nod your head with me.

more later…
happy new year!!!

friday 10, 2004

scott and I worked on “love you too” at his studio (15th st). I played scott’s old 19th century grand piano, miced up with two schoeps CMCs. then scott dialed up a second track using an ibanzez 202 > allison labs filter (an old measurement passive EQ once owned by UCLA), for a tweaked, dubbed out lead line.

thursday 9 , 2004

scott and I continued with vocals today. after losing the u47 (intermittent pattern switching), steve jarvis brought us a AKG c12 and a brauner vm1. we tried to nail a take on “always, almost” for a couple of hours before bailing. not only was my melody line not there yet, I couldn’t figure out the direction/tone of the delivery. very frustrating.

we were more successful with “plymounth rock,” printing a lead vocal and falsetto support. I added a gated EMT plate to defeat the tail of the reverb and give the backing vocal and unnatural space.
brauner vm1 > millennia td1 > urei 1176
brauner vm1 > millennia td1 > urei 1176 > EMT 140 > kepex gate

later, I added a sub synth line on “dead rabbit” with the moog source. I’ve been experimenting with our new millennia EQ, adding 20db (!) of gain at 30hz and cutting a bit at 250hz, we’ll see what happens…

came home late and stayed up way later, watching douglas sirk’s all that heaven allows and punch-drunk love (for the 10th time). in those pre-dawn hours, I thought about the connection between playing an instrument and learning to love, Barry Egan’s tentative stabs on his “small piano,” and how he sounds the first chord on his harmonium during the very last scene. “here we go.”

wednesday 8, 2004

songs, so far:
I lost the reason
dead rabbit
imitation of life
new zealand pines
love you too
radiant with terror
defense mechanism

scott and I recorded vocals for “dead rabbit” today with a rented neumann u47. there is a reason this mic trades for 6k, it is insanely good! the presence, the low-mids of that thing are obvious and astounding. scott has always commented that it sounds like it’s internally compressing. (is it the circuitry? the vf14? I owned an m49 that did not sound remotely close to this, and while it’s a wonderful mic, it certainly wasn’t flattering on my voice)
well, the thing scott is really after on this new album is a more committed and convincing vocal delivery. I will try! my voice has never recovered from tearing a vocal cord in 1998. listen to “grand canyon” on mk ultra’s original motion picture soundtrack and you will know what I mean. it has caused my much hand-wringing and sorrow but I am probably a better person for going through all that. I was one of those impatient, volatile “artistes” before the tear. I lost two whole notes on the top of my range, not to mention resonance, pitch, etc for two or three years after. boo hoo!!

some rules I am forcing us to abide by.
-24 tracks is the maximum amount of information we can mix, so no effects sends at all. delays, reverbs, etc, have to be printed to tape. this forces us to plan a little more and commit to ideas right away.
-only two compressor sends can be used in mixdown. so we try to track everything with that in mind. in general, scott and I only use compression to destroy a signal, not as a corrective device.
-no mix buss compression.
-no samplers, for any moving of music around, we use the atr 102 or the ampex 440. -no digital workstations.
-remember, it doesn’t matter what your rules are, as long as they work for you.

dead rabbit
-comped matt cunitz’s solo (which is comprised of a mellotron cello line doubled with a celeste, played at once. these are the real instruments, not samples. matt is a genius! and he has a wonderful collection of stuff). he played the melody twice, so we comped them with a EMT plate send of the whole mess, fading out the primary tracks and leaving the plate send up for the final two verses.
-recorded jv vocals, one lead, one double for last verse and chorus.
u47 > millennia media td1
-erased a lot of stuff, my favorite part

scott cut a two-measure drum beat from an earlier session we did, dumped it onto 1/2" tape, cut the tape into a loop. and then, using a mic stand for tension, he recorded back onto 2" tape for later. hopefully it will grow up to be a song.
can I say right now the new (to me today) bright eyes record, digital ash in a digital urn is fantastic. as is the BE ep, lua.

please go buy some hip hop and drive around town. please? how about some king geedorah? or the alchemist?

we have so much to do tomorrow!

Pixel Revolt Users Guide

pixel revolt: a user’s guide
by john vanderslice

one very late night in february, I was watching preston sturges’s 1930’s farce “the lady eve” when my satellite connection got strange. the screen froze, then stuttered, as henry fonda moved in stop motion, barbara stanwyck slowly came unglued, her face distorted by square wave digital artifacts. entire scenes were lost somewhere in that winter sky.

when I woke up I had the title of the record.

1 letter to the east coast

last fall, I fell in love with an elaborately wired home security system. no, that’s not right…

last fall, I fell in love with a magnificent house high on a hill. I camped out below, waiting for a sign the security alarm was off and I would be welcome in that glowing warmth.

people came and went. I waited.

it was a long and cold winter.

a few times I got in, free and clear. inside, the house was all I imagined. but after a few minutes, the red strobe of police cruisers echoed off the walls.

wait a minute.
let me start again.

last fall, I fell in love with an elaborately wired home security system. or was I in love with the house?

title given by david berman.

2 plymouth rock

the strongest convictions can be overturned in a second if real life offers up contradicting evidence. does a tracer bullet count? yes.

a private is shot the second he jumps off a UH-60 helicopter on his first day of battle.

tuwaitha is in central iraq, south of baghdad, and was used for the production of uranium.

3 exodus damage

an erstwhile anti-government militant regrets his shaky commitment to the cause. but is his emotional connection to a mentor about more than politics?

for every dozen michael fortiers, there is only one timothy mcveigh.

title from "black and brown blues" by the silver jews:
"rub out the catlight,
rub out the village
red and white exit light
that’s exodus damage
why don’t people think of who they use?
why don’t you try and come and get me: black and brown blues"

4 peacocks in the video rain

love and desire continue, even if you try to shield yourself from the outside world. sometimes those feelings get projected onto a safe, distant figure. how about a pop singer?

title given by david berman.

5 trance manual

a western journalist makes a meaningful (and metaphorical?) visit to an iraqi prostitute.

6 new zealand pines

a love letter to my ex-girlfriend, terri olson. she’s a brilliant clothes designer and runs two minnie wilde stores in san francisco.

the song takes place at the strybing arboretum, in golden gate park, on a foot path between new zealand and brazil in the temporate gardens.

7 radiant with terror

adapted from robert lowell’s brilliant “fall 1961.”

"Back and forth, back and forth
goes the tock, tock, tock
of the orange, bland, ambassadorial
face of the moon
on the grandfather clock.
All autumn, the chafe and jar
of nuclear war;
we have talked our extinction to death.
I swim like a minnow
behind my studio window.
Our end drifts nearer,
the moon lifts,
radiant with terror.
The state
is a diver under a glass bell. …”
A father’s no shield
for his child.
We are like a lot of wild
spiders crying together,
but without tears."

8 continuation

there are four detectives: thomson, foley, reiger, and me.

there is a serial killer, who has just turned up dead.

the killings continue in the same manner as before, using methods known only to the investigating police.

the detectives are now suspects.

9 dear sarah shu

yes war is dangerous, but our emotional life, especially love, is more so.

an epistolary apology/warning to my successor.

10 farewell transmission

having advance knowledge of your demise doesn’t necessarily help you avoid it. it may be the reason you’re heading that way?

title taken from magnolia electric company’s "long dark blues."

11 angela

if a lost bunny can’t survive these mean streets, maybe we can’t either.

magnolia blvd is located in the san fernando valley.

12 dead slate pacific

no one can save you, but believing that someone can may save you

13 the golden gate

the golden gate bridge, art deco masterpiece, shining symbol of freedom, hope, and the promise of the west, is also the world’s leading suicide location.
almost everyone jumps from the eastern side of the bridge, facing the lights of san francisco.

14 crc 7173, affectionately

better living through pharmaceuticals.

4Tracker Recording Notes

Life and Death of an American Fourtracker
Released May 7, 2002 on Barsuk (CD) and Sea Level (RTI vinyl)

Recorded January-December 2001 at Tiny Telephone, SF
Engineered by Scott Solter, John Croslin, and JV
Mixed by Scott Solter at Tiny Telephone
Mastered with a Pacific Microsonics A/D convertor in HDCD by Paul Stubblebine

Songs were tracked to an Ampex mm1200 2" 24 track at 30 ips (Basf 900)*

Mixed on a Neve 5316 to an Ampex ATR 102 1/2" running at 30ips (Basf 900)
No effect returns were used in mixdown, all sounds were committed to tape.
Smart C1 was used as mix buss compressor.

All vocals recorded with a SM69 FET > Neve 1089 > Urei 1176

1 Fiend in a Cloud
v76 Drums, percussion: Jim Eno
Bass: Alex Nahas
Spectrasonics acoustic: Logan Hedin
Cello: Zoe Keating
Violin: Tony Cross

Scott Solter tracked the strings.

Jim Eno, Spoon’s brutally good drummer, was in San Francisco for a software conference and stopped by to hang out at Tiny Telephone. There was a drum kit and mics already set up (thanks to T- E- B-, who was recording at the time) so we decided to run some tape. We weren’t able to move any of the mics, so I found a Soundelux U99 positioned a few feet in front of the kit, powered it up and switched it to omni. I blew out the signal with a Telefunken V76 into a Urei 1176. So then I was free to fill up the 23 remaining tracks! (One of which Jim played a nice tambourine on)

Logan played a Larravee acoustic track that was absolutely clobbered with a Spectrasonics 610, a 70’s compressor with a bizarre EQ curve and a wicked output stage. We doubletracked his guitar, varying the 610 settings slightly.

Alex played the bass directly into a Neve 1089 > Urei 1176.

Scott discovered a fantastic way of recording strings on a later overdub session with Tony and Zoe. Let’s call it the "Mono Fill." He tracked one take with a U67 on the violin and a SM69 (mono) on the cello and panned them extreme right and left. He then doubled it with a Coles 4038 on the cello and a Beyer 160 on violin, comped them and panned it straight up. By using the softer mono ribbon track in the center, it provided a wonderful compliment to the stereo condenser pair. Brilliant.

I sang, played samples, mellotron strings and flute, and sampled B3.

The opening five seconds of backwards noise took an afternoon of sampling, recording and tweaking. I may need to look into a hobby.

2 Me and My 424
Drums, shaker: Gavin Foster
Bass: Danno Carr
Harmony guitars, backing vocals: Ben Gibbard
Cello: Zoe Keating
Violin: Tony Cross

John Croslin tracked Gavin’s drums. Solter tracked Dan’s bass, strings, pianos, and Ben’s guitars and vocals.

I had Gavin come in one day and play drums alone while the Cros worked his magic. The 424 beat is based on a Lauren Hill song, Gavin accented the hi-hat fills with a shaker.

This is the usual Croslin set up: AKG D12E on kick, SM57 on snare, precisely even AT 4033s on overheads, 421s on toms, U67 two feet behind drummer, Coles 4038 two or three feet in front of kit. He would pan the two room mics out (67 and 4038) right and left and set different compression on them to get a "wacky" stereo image. It sounded fantastic.

Ben Gibbard, who was in town visiting, came by and played the opening guitar harmonics and the lead guitar octaves. He also sang a lovely, cresting "Ahhh" in the chorus, which he doubletracked with a crossing harmony.

I sang, played three piano tracks and doubled the string parts with a mellotron.

3 Underneath the Leaves
Drums: Gavin Foster
Detuned tambourine, speaker drum, Juno 60: Scott Solter

Croslin tracked the drums. Solter tracked my vocals (without compression), distorted piano, and his percussion and Juno.

Underneath the Leaves (which is based on a beat from a Pinback song) was done in the same session as 424.

I had been obsessing over Grandaddy’s "Signal to Snow Ratio" and "Frosty Glass" EPs and decided to tweak the Juno’s arpeggiator until I approximated the genius of their tones. If I record a keyboard that has a sonic edge (like a Moog or ARP) I always use the Neve 1089 as a direct in. Any newer, cleaner synth begs for some grit. With the Juno, I slam it into the Ampex 351 and whack it with an 1176. That will keep you out of 1983 territory…

The bass synth is a white ARP Odyssey; which I had recently bought on eBay. I cannot overstate how good this monosynth is. Please go buy one now. I spent 3 or 4 minutes and hit this very tight, focused bass patch. I know why this synth is all over Eno and Bowie records, not to mention a good deal of the prog catalog.

Solter did brilliant work in the instrumental section in this song. He speed up the 1200 and recorded a tambourine; at normal speed it sounds like a string of seashells hitting a drum. He then double those accents by tapping on the 15" speaker of a bass cab. Scott is one of the few engineers who can regularly create sounds you have never heard before.

All guitars were tracked directly into a Neve 1089 > Ampex MX 10 (line input) > 1176. An Ibanez Phase II pedal was used on the left guitar. The distortion on the instrumental guitars was created by using the MX 10 mic input, jamming to 10, and using the 1176 to pad down the output.

I sang, played Juno 60, Moog Source, Sequential Multitrack, ARP, delay piano, and guitar.

4 Interlude #4
Drums: Jim Eno
Pedal steel: Thomas Heyman
Bass: Alex Nahas

Solter tracked the pedal steel.

Tom Heyman, a member of the great Court and Spark, came in and wrote an excellent, mournful pedal steel part that really glued "From Out Here" together. I remixed the first minute of that song and tweaked some of the tracks for an interlude.

5 The Mansion
Drums: Jon Curtis
Trumpet: Bill Swan

Solter tracked the drums and vocals.

Solter devised a great way of doing vocals during this song. He put the SM69 on my voice and a U67 about 15 feet away in omni, hanging upside down two inches away from the concrete floor. He kept both tracks and in mix down, added the smallest bit of the ambient mic. That mic is brought way up in the mix for the line: "I stole my girl from her backyard."

I tracked the acoustic with an SM2 (in mono), recording the two clean harmonizing parts that are panned center and right. Lowering the Neve 1089 gain, I inserted an Ampex 351 mic pre to fuzz the signal out. That guitar doubles the right channel and is panned extreme left. I did the same thing with Bill Swan’s trumpet, going for a "Savoy Truffle" horn sound. A Coles 4038 slammed through two mic pres (this time I used the more volatile MX 10) produces a thin, buzzsaw of a tone that would sound silly on its own. But stacked on top of two normal tracks, it provides an amazing frayed edge to the horn part.

Scott put up five mics for the drum kit, one of which I later erased for a keyboard (he was mad!) A pair of Schoeps 221s, kick ass small diaphragm mics from the 50’s, were used on overheads. A Beyer 160 was used on the room.

I sang, played acoustic, piano, Source, and Moog subs.

6 Nikki Oh Nikki
Unknowable percussion: Scott Solter
Harmony vocal: Kori Gardner Hammel
Drunken Trumpet: Bill Swan

Solter created the entire real time percussion loop that holds the song together, inventing sounds and new ways of manipulating forgotten junk in our drum box along the way. On one track, he nuked a Schoeps 221 on a tambourine with a Distressor. He had me stand it up and hit the metal rings with a mallet, every third or fourth hit I would spin the rings as fast as I could. The effect is unreal to me: it sounds like a slot machine payout mic’ed in a small metal room.

Kori, from Mates of State, came in and knocked out a stunning vocal track like a session pro. Swan triple-tracked a very cool trumpet line in the third verse. I set up a Coles and he varied his position and distance by take.

I sang, played a Prodigy, Multitrack, Juno 60, and samples.

7 Amitriptyline
Drums, felt hat, goat hooves: Gavin Foster

Solter tracked the drums, Croslin recorded the vocals.

The songs starts with a Rhythm Ace that has been multed out to three tracks, like this:
(1, left) Rhythm Ace > Ampex MX 10 > Aphex gate
(2, center) Rhythm Ace > Neve 1089 > Urei 1176
(3, right) Rhythm Ace > Neve 1089 > Urei 1176 > h3000 Harmonizer (delay patch) > Kepex gate

Scott recorded the drums with four mics: a U87 behind the kick, a RCA BK5 pointing at Gavin (near the rack tom), a Shure podium mic (under a felt hat!), and a Sennheiser 421 (which had goat hooves strung on the stand which Gav was hitting). This is my favorite drum recording ever, thank you Solter.

The reverse vocals you hear on the chorus, after "Amitriptyline," is a sample I used from the MK Ultra song "Dream Is Over."

I played acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Moog Source, Moog Prodigy, samples.

8 Greyhound

Solter tracked both voices and both acoustic guitar tracks. Everything was crunched through a Spectrasonics 610 compressor.

9 Interlude #5
Drums, percussion: Mark Bernfield
Guitar, bass: Ben Barnett

Solter tracked everything.

Mark Bernfield, who plays a lot of shows with me, is a fantastic drummer to record. He later double-tracked distorted finger percussion, which is panned out extreme right and left.

10 Cool Purple Mist
Multitracked drums: Gavin Foster

Solter tracked all drums.

Gavin plays three separate tracks here. The first one follows the phased-out Rhythm Ace and is recorded with a single 160 ribbon mic two feet in front of the kick into an Ampex 351. A second track is a stereo pair on Gavin’s tom rolls. A third part comes in at the choruses and is panned far right.

The blown out drum sound was created by sending a very hot signal off the board into the mic input of an Ibanez AD202 delay and tweaking the regeneration knob until pure chaos is reached.
The backing vocals were sang through a Dolby 301A noise reduction unit, the earliest one of its kind. In playback, the un-encoded vocal track has an angelic high end and absolutely nothing below 800 H. It sounds great if stacked with another normal vocal track.

I sang, played reverb-drenched Juno 60, Source pulses (which were multed and delayed again), delayed Telecaster, and distorted Multitrack.

11 From Out Here
Offset drums: Jim Eno
Bass: Alex Nahas
Pedal steel: Thomas Heyman
Cello: Zoe Keating
Violin: Tony Cross

Alex Nahas, who has toured with me, came in and played a striking, disconnected bass line. For me it glues the entire song together.

Jim Eno asked if he could doubletrack his mono drum part, delaying it by one beat. So what seems like a delayed drumset is really a second take. It’s a perfectly destabilizing effect for our wave-tossed narrator, saying goodbye to the world while getting pulled out to sea.

The call and response mechanical noises panned extreme left and right are snippets from a Webern string quartet that I sampled, reversed, and then slammed them through an MX 10 mic pre. The guitars were recorded direct, stacking both the 1089 and the 351 together. One used an Ibanez 909 phaser.

The high vocals were recorded through a Dolby 301A.

I sang, played guitar, Rhodes electric piano, detuned seagull samples, and mellotron 300 strings.

12 Fiend in a Cloud, Pt 2
Pedal Steel: Thomas Heyman
Cello: Zoe Keating
Violin: Tony Cross

I destroyed the vocals in the last verse by sending a very hot signal into an Echoplex and tweaking the delay time. A Studer 1/4" tape delay was used on the piano and strings.

I sang and played piano, chamberlin flute, and mellotron cello.

The closing music, recorded directly off a turntable, is from Schumann’s great Davidsbundler.

Kyoto Pond (Vinyl Only)
Drums: Jim Eno
Bass: Alex Nahas
Harmony vocals: Carlos Forster

Carlos, who sings in For Stars, is the man to bring in for vocal harmony fireworks. He made "Keep the Dream Alive" and I knew if I cleared out 5 or 6 tracks, he could do the same here.

Jim played drums alone for this one; I fell in love with this beat and wrote a song around it. The drums were recorded with one Soundelux U99 > Neve 1089 > 1176.