John Vanderslice, with Portastatic, Spain Colored Orange

Maybe it's a trend. Musicians whose day jobs are helping other musicians ply their trades seems to be de rigueur. John Vanderslice runs Tiny Telephone, a studio he uses to help other indie musicians hone their craft, but if you think Vanderslice has embraced the digital age, think again. This is a man who eschews technology (as much as he can, anyway), and spends most of his hard-earned -- and well-deserved -- money on old two-inch decks and analog equipment. His latest album, Pixel Revolt, is a study in contrasts. Co-written with Mountain Goat John Darnielle (Vanderslice helped produce the last two Goats' efforts), the album is full of melodic slices (no pun intended) of Americana -- whether he's singing about soldiers, stalkers, lunatics or simply himself, Vanderslice's ability to weave together the new and the old without sounding stale makes his songs bristle with eccentricity.

Similarly, Portastatic's Mac McCaughan stays busy helping other musicians. And as co-founder of North Carolina's Merge Records and a member of indie champs Superchunk, McCaughan knows a thing or two about what makes a good record. Portastatic's latest effort, Bright Ideas, continues the group's homage to '60s pop and '80s Midwestern rock.

Houston's Spain Colored Orange, the closest thing to ELO since…well, ELO, opens the show. Their EP for Lucid Records should be available soon.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
David A. Cobb
Contact: David A. Cobb