Arts & Entertainment

From studio to the stage, John Vanderslice does it all

In his 10 years and six albums as a solo artist, indie singer-songwriter John Vanderslice has seen the music industry caught in a state of constant flux.

"This isn't a revelation I'm dropping, but it's clear that it has become incredibly easy and incredibly credible to release your own music independently," Vanderslice said on the phone from his home in San Francisco.

He'll bring his DIY approach to Kennewick with a show at The Red Room at 8 p.m. June 11.

Vanderslice also owns Tiny Telephone recording studio in San Francisco which sports an indie hall of fame roster of artists who have crafted albums there. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, The Mountain Goats and Spoon have all used his space to lay down tracks.

He's also been at the helm of some of those albums as a producer, giving an added level of perspective to the rapidly changing industry.

"The youngest generation I'm getting in the studio (18- to 22-year-olds) is fearless. They don't cater to making music just to get validation from some label. And this has allowed to make some of the most surprising music I've heard."

And in an era where reissues make big big-label news, that's saying something.

Vanderslice just wrapped his latest album Dead Oceans, which he recorded with San Francisco's Magik*Magik Orchestra. The album won't be out until January, but he'll play some cuts off it at the show.

"It's full of big, technicolor arrangements and with the lyrics I stayed autobiographical, writing narrative stories about my own life," he said.

Vanderslice is packing his gear in a rental car and hitting the road for this mini tour. He also plans stops in Seattle and Spokane. It's break from a year in the studio and a chance to feed his need for the buzz live shows create.

"There's nothing at stake in a recording, he said. "It could be the 100th take you're hearing with every chance to get it right. Playing live can be dangerous. The lyrics become more central, the melody becomes more central ... It can be a very intense connection."

The Red Room is at 711 Vineyard Drive in Kennewick. Opening will be Los Angeles band Taller than Trees. Tickets are $8 at the door.

-- On the net: johnvanderslice.com; redrm.net

*Jeremy Dutton: 582-1525; jdutton@tricityherald.com

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