Smile Politely

David Vandervelde by word of mouth

Local bands always tip you off to the best bands, be it on Facebook or at a show. I’ve been led to great discoveries such as Gentleman Auction House, Solo Mono and Ohtis in these exact manners. More recently, during our interview with Santah, I was turned on to David Vandervelde. Upon listening, it’s difficult to wrap my head around the fact that he remains a relative unknown, despite having two albums on Secretly Canadian under his belt, as well as collaborating with Urbana resident (and former Wilco member) Jay Bennett at his Pieholden Studios.

A quick spin on “Nothin’ No” on Vandervelde’s Myspace reveals swirling reverb, AM radio-esque production, impassioned vocals and what I suspect is a sitar swirling in the background. In short, not unlike what the offspring of Santah and Common Loon might sound like. It’s striking how much David Vandervelde sounds like a band out of Champaign-Urbana, but perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising — while he currently lives in Brooklyn, he was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, another smallish midwestern college town.

Also on the bill will be Santah (fresh off their trip to CMJ), the always reliable New Ruins and Brass Bed, who hail from Lafayette, Louisiana. Their sound also skews towards fuzzy 70s pop, but there’s also a definite Elephant Six influence in their sound, with darker instrumentation and girl-group refrains. Think if you swapped Black Moth Super Rainbow’s synths for guitars, and gave them a copy of Electric Warrior.

David Vandervelde performs Saturday (November 6th) at Cowboy Monkey with Brass Bed, New Ruins and Santah.The show begins at 9:30 p.m. and carries a $7 cover at the door.

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