Among that certain cadre of orchestral-pop troubadours -- Leonard Cohen descendants like Rufus Wainwright, Tom Waits, DeVotchKa's Nick Urata, sometimes Billy Bragg -- John Vanderslice stands out for sounding the most like all the others combined. In these Depression 2.0 times, that may seem like a bargain -- it's like hearing a half-dozen singer-songwriters for the price of one! -- but let's not be quite so cynical. Vanderslice isn't a pop composite as much as he is a musical Zelig, having rubbed shoulders in recording studios and on stages with the likes of Death Cab, Spoon, Okkervil River, The Mountain Goats and Sufjan Stevens. The fact that he remains relatively under the radar means that the lush arrangements and striking lyrics off his latest album, Romanian Names, can be enjoyed in a more intimate setting alongside fans who, like you, are in it for the music. With Pink Mountaintops and Mimicking Birds.
Thu., Sept. 17, 8 p.m., 2009