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Troubling lullabies by Chad VanGaalen

"You’d like us on top of a cake/ But you won’t let me take a bite.”

Chad VanGaalen
Chad VanGaalen

Chad VanGaalen’s got a troubling voice. The Canadian singer/songwriter sounds like a cross between another Canadian named Neil Young and a smoke alarm. He uses that singing voice to bait a listener into simple-sounding little lullabies about a world that both intrigues a listener and, when it’s over, makes one glad that life isn’t really like that. It’s all there in a VanGaalen set list — death, fear, evil, and love, but like this:  “It’s what you said last night/ You’d like us on top of a cake/ But you won’t let me take a bite.” You can’t fix that kind of soul loneliness.

Video:

Chad VanGaalen, "Pine and Clover"

VanGaalen is one of those rare finds that, via some crank planetary alignment, get discovered by larger forces in the music industry that can lift such an individual out of obscurity and put him on a tour. Otherwise, I’d expect that VanGaalen would still be home in his bedroom in Alberta, recording stuff to charm his friends and family with his singular sense of absurdity. Definitely, his stuff seems like the kind of music written with no particular audience in mind.

VanGaalen is also a painter and an animator, and he teaches musical instrument building and art to children. He’s re-inventing the craft of the one-man band, being that he plays all the instruments (and he even invents some of them) on his recordings. But live, VanGaalen travels with one or two sidemen.

Past Event

Chad VanGaalen, NE-HI, QTY

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $12 - $15

Since 2004 when his DIY gig got discovered, he has produced seven full-length albums and four EPs. He is touring at present in support of the recently released Light Information. It is possibly his most accessible work yet: “You know time can’t be trusted/ To move like you want it to move/ It pulls you into its slip stream/ And never lets you go.” By the way, VanGaalen once told a reporter that he hates Neil Young.

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Chad VanGaalen
Chad VanGaalen

Chad VanGaalen’s got a troubling voice. The Canadian singer/songwriter sounds like a cross between another Canadian named Neil Young and a smoke alarm. He uses that singing voice to bait a listener into simple-sounding little lullabies about a world that both intrigues a listener and, when it’s over, makes one glad that life isn’t really like that. It’s all there in a VanGaalen set list — death, fear, evil, and love, but like this:  “It’s what you said last night/ You’d like us on top of a cake/ But you won’t let me take a bite.” You can’t fix that kind of soul loneliness.

Video:

Chad VanGaalen, "Pine and Clover"

VanGaalen is one of those rare finds that, via some crank planetary alignment, get discovered by larger forces in the music industry that can lift such an individual out of obscurity and put him on a tour. Otherwise, I’d expect that VanGaalen would still be home in his bedroom in Alberta, recording stuff to charm his friends and family with his singular sense of absurdity. Definitely, his stuff seems like the kind of music written with no particular audience in mind.

VanGaalen is also a painter and an animator, and he teaches musical instrument building and art to children. He’s re-inventing the craft of the one-man band, being that he plays all the instruments (and he even invents some of them) on his recordings. But live, VanGaalen travels with one or two sidemen.

Past Event

Chad VanGaalen, NE-HI, QTY

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $12 - $15

Since 2004 when his DIY gig got discovered, he has produced seven full-length albums and four EPs. He is touring at present in support of the recently released Light Information. It is possibly his most accessible work yet: “You know time can’t be trusted/ To move like you want it to move/ It pulls you into its slip stream/ And never lets you go.” By the way, VanGaalen once told a reporter that he hates Neil Young.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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