John Vanderslice; Bishop Allen

Emerald City, the latest disc from San Francisco singer-songwriter John Vanderslice, was born from troublesome circumstances, mostly having to do with his French girlfriend being denied a visa. Apparently, Vanderslice's psyche was affected by the legal limbo, as its tumultuous aftermath reverberates in the album's skittish melodies and sense of disconnect. Given his knack for quirky discourse and obtuse imagery, the guy has never been the most accessible artist, but his lilting tunefulness and self-effacing charm have proved increasingly endearing over the course of half a dozen outings. Lately, though, you'll notice that despite an occasional glimpse of optimism, a darker demeanor prevails. With Bishop Allen.
Mon., Oct. 8, 8 p.m., 2007
 
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