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Just Announced: John Prine will be joined by Kurt Vile at Merriam Theater this April

John Prine | photo by John Kurc | courtesy of artist

Not only will legend John Prine grace the Merriam Theater this spring, he’ll also bring Philly hero Kurt Vile along for the wise ‘n folky party on April 14th.

This year, Prine released a songbook titled John Prine Beyond Words through his own independent label, Oh Boy Records, which featured selected songs from Prine’s catalogue and the stories behind them. Kurt Vile has been rocking his incredible tour with Courtney Barnett, which recently brought an intimate-feeling gig to Philly at Tower Theatre. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile bring living room intimacy to the Tower Theater

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Natalie Piserchio for WXPN | nataliepiserchio.com

From the moment it was first announced, there’s been something tremendously appealing about this team-up. Kurt Vile, Philly’s humble hometown guitar hero, and the wry Melburnian riffster Courtney Barnett are two of indie rock’s most beloved, affable slackers, and the notion of the two of them palling around, goofing off and trading drawled vocals and casually sublime guitar licks was worth a bucket of grins. So it is with Lotta Sea Lice, the duo’s goofily-named, pointedly low-stakes collaborative LP, out last month, which, if hardly revolutionary in any respect, is just so abundantly pleasant. And so it was with their sold out Philly date last Friday night: just a couple of friends giving the kind of amiably understated performance that can make a majestic, storied venue like the Tower Theater feel like a big, cozy living room. Continue reading →

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Warm up for Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s show at The Tower with their Colbert performance

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, the passion project that seems to be taking the world by storm, appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night to perform “Over Everything” off of their album Lotta Sea Lice. The countrified, conversational duet with intricately picked guitars, swaying drums, and melancholic keyboard encapsulates the feel of the duo’s first album together.

While Vile has said, “It’ll be an intercontinental country duo for the ages, (minus the country),” it’s almost impossible to disassociate the genre from their sound. Their voices naturally carry that country-blues tone, paired with the back-and-forth vocal style of many other country duets. It’s in the backing soundscape that seems more alternative where the band can distance themselves from becoming too much of a country band. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile take Lotta Sea Lice to the seaside for Pitchfork Live

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

The powerhouse collab that is Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile released their album Lotta Sea Lice earlier this month, and now we can watch a live performance of the duo’s chill and laid-back songs right where they belong — by the seaside. Hometown favorite Vile and Melbourne, Australia’s Barnett teamed up with Pitchfork Live to record a full 50-minute set comprised of their collaborative songs from the new album and some of each artist’s own solo work. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile provide comfort and compassion with their new single, “Continental Breakfast”

 

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

Indie singer-songwriter heavyweights Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile have returned with another teaser of their upcoming collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice, coming out October 13th. The new “Continental Breakfast” is a worthy follow-up to Barnett and Vile’s lead single “Over Everything”; their vocal chemistry is great and they exhibit an ability to mix back and forth lyrical dialogue with seamless harmony-based choruses. Both artists have established themselves as two of the more influential songwriters in the indie rock scene, so this album is shaping up to be a tour de force. Continue reading →

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Listen to Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s album opener “Over Everything”

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s Lotta Sea Live

After sharing album details in Rolling Stone interview yesterday, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile unveiled the opening track to their collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice, out October 13th. It sounds like the perfect synthesis of the two songwriters’ styles — drifting and dreamy guitars and lackadasically cool vocals trading lyrics in a call-and-response style. You can check it out in premiere from Zane Lowe’s Beats One Radio show below — the song begins at the three-minute mark, but it’s adjoined by some pretty informative interviews with Vile and Barnett on either side. Continue reading →

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Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett’s album is called Lotta Sea Lice, features Belly covers and more

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

Back in the spring, we were very excited to hear that Philly’s Kurt Vile and Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett recorded a collaborative album, and were taking it on tour together.

Today, thanks to a new interview in Rolling Stone, we have some details on the record. Continue reading →

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Watch Kurt Vile cover John Prine for Beyond Words

Kurt Vile | still from video

In the grand scheme of American music, of influential musicians and genre-leaders, John Prine is undeniably one of the greats. The living legend recently published an autobiography titled Beyond Words: John Prine’s American Songbook on his Oh Boy Records label that is filled with memorabilia and stories from his childhood to the beginnings of his prolific career as a singer-songwriter, as well as original handwritten lyrics of some of his most famous songs.

The magnitude of the Americana-folk-country singer’s influence is clear, as next-gen (or much-later-gen) musicians come forward to celebrate John Prine. At this year’s Eaux-Claires Festival, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) put together a big-name collaborative set titled “Bon Iver presents John Prine and the American Songbook,” featuring Vernon, Jenny Lewis, Spank Rock, Jeff Tweedy, and Prine himself among others.

Musicians are also celebrating the release of Beyond Words. Watch below as Kurt Vile sings a snippet of the Prine 1978 classic “That’s the Way the World Goes Round,” although his young daughter is much more impressed with the magic of her slinky toy. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile made a record together, are touring together, playing the Tower Theater in November

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

This is just too much good news in one shot, so we’ll do our best to keep our excitement in check.

Remember that story this spring about Philly’s Kurt Vile being spotted in Melbourne’s Newmarket Studio with Courtney Barnett? Yeah, well they weren’t just tracking a one-off single or doing some for-funsies collab…it was part of a full record they recorded together.

Better still: they’re taking the album on tour together across north America this fall.

And they’ve an all-star group of players, or what Vile is terming “A cookin’ band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages-minus the country.” The band will be a revolving cast of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Rob Laakso (The Violators, The Swirlies, Mice Parade) and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sky Larkin and touring member of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts) They’re calling themselves The Sea Lice.

Oh, and they’re playing The Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Friday, November 3rd. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 9th, at 10 a.m. More info at the XPN Concert Calendar. (Phew.) Continue reading →

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Listen to Kurt Vile cover Lou Reed on ‘The Best Show’

Kurt Vile | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

It’s hard to predict what will happen each week on “The Best Show.” Tom Scharpling’s internet radio show/podcast goes live every Tuesday night and travels down a path somewhere at the intersection of music and comedy, but the conversation can stray to really anything. This week, that path took us to Philly’s own Kurt Vile, a frequent “Best Show” guest, covering Lou Reed, Steve Gunn intertwining his own tunes with one of John Mayer’s and plenty of Jersey Shore chatter. Continue reading →