David Vandervelde was only 20 when he was introduced to ex-Wilco jack-of-all-trades Jay Bennett, who at the time was still putting together a solo career after leaving his former band on less than amicable terms in the aftermath of the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot recording process. Though Bennett was initially signed on for mere production duties on Vandervelde’s upcoming debut record, the two renaissance men hit it off creatively and Bennett invited him to spend some time at his Pieholden Studios in Chicago. One can only imagine the brilliance of the pairing was as blatantly obvious to each man back then as it to everyone else with the benefit of hindsight; already a gifted multi-instrumentalist, Vandervelde had no problems getting the sounds bouncing around his head out into the ether. With Bennett’s funhouse of instruments and recording equipment at his disposal, he was able to faithfully put to tape the whimsical flights of multi-dimensional fancy that gushed from his mind like a font in the two-plus years he lived and worked at the studio.
Vandervelde’s full-length debut, filled with layers of decadent instrumentation behind glam-ed out, John Gourley-through-a-delay pedal vocals, was a delightful revelation for the same reason Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (which still rings’ with Bennet’s influence despite what the narrative of I’m Trying To Break Your Heart may lead you to believe) is a true masterpiece: both records unflinchingly capture immensely talented songwriters boldly experimenting with their creations to the brink of destruction, manically adding to and subtracting from their compositions until the finished product sounds as ambitious as it does timeless. His 2008 follow-up, Waiting For Sunrise, as well as the series of singles he’s been steadfastly putting out over the last year explore the mellower side of the classic rock influences he holds so dear; and with a backing band that holds nothing sacred, his live show can run in any number of impressive directions.
Joining Vandervelde on Friday night is Caddywhompus, a band that needs no introductions around these parts. The masterful tear they’ve been on has yet to show any signs of fatigue, and in their first local show in two months, they are sure to come out swinging. Ex-Tulsa guitarist and songwriter Carter Tanton opens the showcase at Chickie Wah Wah, a beautiful music club that is making a welcome effort to pepper their schedule with the more of the exciting indie-rock New Orleans has to offer.
10.15: Off! + Cerebral Ballzy + Retox + Classhole – Siberia
10.16: Sleeping In The Aviary + In Elevators – The Saint
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks