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Date: Jan 26 2004


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Singer-songwriter John Vanderslice is a musical genius. He’s not a big star, but he is one of the most interesting and inventive music makers in the world. His new album, titled Cellar Door, is considered by many people to be the best new release of 2004.
If you’re interested in music that’s different than the ordinary music being played on pop radio stations around the world, read on to learn more about John Vanderslice.


1. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

John Vanderslice has been a well-known and well respected member of the San Francisco music community for many years. He owns a recording studio in the city where bands such as Beulah and Sun Kil Moon make their music, and he has helped several indie bands create their albums.
Before Cellar Door, Vanderslice’s own music was somewhat strange. It was artistic and interesting, but it wasn’t accessible to many people. It was filled with very complex ideas and sounds, which made it somewhat difficult to listen to.
Cellar Door, however, is much different. It’s an album filled with stories about real life. The characters in the stories aren’t always happy, but they are honest and real. The song “They Won’t Let Me Run” is a good example. Check out some of the lyrics:
I was born
a couple miles from here
my family rented me this house
so my family keeps me near
from 1909
my family’s run the town
you step out of line, poor sap
family council will sit you down
I got dead drunk
and packed up the pickup truck
got way out of town, I thought
but sheriff tracked me down
they dragged me home
and the family sat me down
they kept me cuffed up and they roughed me up and said:
“we’ll never let you run.”



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John Vanderslice’s music isn’t for everyone. But if you like bands like Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, Eels and the Flaming Lips then you’ll definitely enjoy his unique sound. I encourage you to download some of the mp3’s from his website:
Rock on,


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