John Vanderslice – Time Travel is Lonely
Barsuk, 2001 (2009 Reissue)
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2015
Jenny got me $40 in Love Garden gift certificates for my birthday and for me, the gift isn’t the records I get, but getting to spend two blissful, allergy attack laden (the mix of dust and adorable cats brings out the worst of my allergies but so worth it) hours flipping through vinyl. Since leaving Half Price Books, I’ve quit buying records. I was beyond thrilled to go in and buy whatever the hell I wanted and make the most of my $40. First off, I found a few safe picks that I would grab in case Jenny and Rosie got done early with their thrifting. After that, I buried myself in the alt-rock vinyl and when I looked up, I’d snagged a few must haves. One was this reissue of Time Travel is Lonely, a huge album from my high school years. Transitioning from listening to nothing but punk rock to a world that was changed by Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was the greatest musical time of my life. Everything was new and exciting and I approached it all without prejudice. I’d discovered JV through the Mountain Goats and fell in love with his gorgeously photographed tour diaries. I saw him play at the Bottleneck on the Cellar Door tour. He played for pretty much no one and the young openers, the then relative unknowns Okkervil River, played for an even smaller chunk of the crowd. In addition to Time Travel is Lonely’s title track, I particularly latched onto his sonic interpretation of Robert Lowell’s “The Old Flame” (here “My Old Flame”). The consummate producer and engineer, JV’s albums are fun just to hear the man delight in crafting sonic landscapes.