Compare and Contrast: Vanderslice’s ‘Too Much Time’

I’ve already gushed about John Vanderslice‘s fantastic new album Romanian Names a few days back, (I’m also in the midst of writing a piece for NPR Music about Vanderslice, so stay tuned for that). But I came across a few videos on YouTube that really show off one of my favorite songs off the record, “Too Much Time.”

On the album, the song takes on a much darker tone, a bit of a mix of electronic and new wave perhaps; almost Cure-like.

But as you can hear in these various versions below, Vanderslice has obviously toyed around with the arrangements for the different live settings. I always find it interesting to hear how a song progresses from its beginnings to how the production ends up on the final album. Take a listen:

Striped down, acoustic version for KEXP

A less striped down version with violin:


A fuller version with The Magik*Magik Orchestra:


Best Song I’ve Heard All Day: Reminds Me Of Flotation Toy Edition

The Antlers

(part 611 in a 1001 part series)

The first thing I listen for when I put on a new John Vanderslice album is the production. Sure Vanderslice is a great songwriter, great arranger and all that, but his sense of crisp pop production is phenomenal… he’s one of the best out there. Vanderslice’s new album Romanian Names — his first on Dead Oceans, after six on Barsuk — very well could be his best. It’s full of catchy melodies, swirling analog synths and computerized beats and yet still fairly melancholy.

This song here really reminds me of a great band we haven’t heard from in a long time, Flotation Toy Warning.*

“D.I.A.L.O.” by John Vanderslice

*Note: This is NOT, as our very own Aryn Crowley thought, Flotation Toy Warning, but John Vanderslice. The song just had certain qualities that reminded of the other band. For those who did love Flotation Toy Warning’s 2004 album, they reportedly are set to finally release a followup later in 2009.