Philly’s Kurt Vile returned to late-night television this week for a performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. The band rocked a speedy and skittish version of “Yeah Bones,” a song from last year’s Bottle It In that is instrumentally complex (the closest Vile has gotten to math rock, perhaps) but is melodically incredibly poppy. Which is trademark KV: mixing the weird with the widely accessible. Continue reading →
Kurt Vile‘s familiar chilled-out tunes sound great in any setting, but his laid back vibe makes him an outlier at NPR’s Tiny Desk, where most artists experience some degree of nervousness. Vile recently visited NPR headquarters to record his first solo Tiny Desk Concert; he previously appeared behind the desk with Courtney Barnett while promoting their 2017 Lotta Sea Lice collaboration. Continue reading →
There was something decidedly cosmic about seeing Kurt Vile headline the immense space of The Met Philly last night. Cosmic not only in the interweaving, meditative instrumental passages of his songs like “Bassackwards” from this year’s Bottle It In, but in that a set comprised largely of this far-out fare was able to mostly pack the 3500 capacity room, with only a couple sections of open seats in the upper-upper tiers.
To be fair, Kurt is more complex than just a rock and roll mumblecore meanderer; he’s a loud and proud devotee of Petty and Prine with legit pop songs, like the set-opening “Loading Zones” and the encore “Pretty Pimpin’”, hooky and fun nuggets boasting widespread appeal. When he branded himself “Philly’s constant hitmaker” a decade or so ago, the handle might have been steeped in aughties irony, but the dude has legit hits: the jaunty “Jesus Fever” and the beautiful ballad “Baby’s Arms” from 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo are two others that made appearances last night. Continue reading →
Whether you can hear it or not (and it definitely took me a minute), Kurt Vile has always been a huge Tom Petty fan, and takes any opportunity he gets to sing his praises. And sometimes, actually sing his songs. In a new acoustic session recorded for SiriusXMU, Vile puts his spacey drum machine stamp on “Learning to Fly” from Petty’s 1991 album Into the Great Wide Open. Give it a watch below, and catch Kurt Vile at The Met Philly on December 29th; tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →
Philly’s Kurt Vile releases his latest record, Bottle It In, next Friday via Matador, and it’s shaping up to be an expansive and eclectic set in the vein of his 2013 double LP Wakin On A Pretty Daze. While the previously released central tune “Bassackwards” wandered in weird alleyways for nine-plus minutes, his new “One Trick Ponies” is a pop gem with left-of-center quirks. Continue reading →
Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail has gone from casually releasing lo fi tracks on Bandcamp to playing sold out shows, releasing her acclaimed album Lush and touring internationally. To wrap the year, Jordan will trek to Philly to open for Kurt Vile and The Feelies on their December 29 appearance at The Met Philly. Tickets for the gig are on sale now, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Singer-songwriter icon Bob Dylan will be the first artist to take the stage at the newly renovated venue The Met Philly, which opens on December 3rd. The initial lineup was announced this afternoon in a press conference from promoters Live Nation, and it also features Philly son Kurt Vile playing his hometown album release for his new Bottle It In LP on December 29th, and fellow hometown hero Amos Lee headlining on April 6, 2019.
The initial run of shows also includes Toto tribute band Weezer headlining on December 12th, cerebral Bucks County alt-popsters Ween on December 13th, violinist Lindsey Stirling on December 18th, and Germantown rapper PnB Rock on December 28th. Continue reading →
When Philadelphia’s newest concert venue, The Met, opens this December, hometown hero Kurt Vile will be there to celebrate. Vile has just announced that his new album, Bottle It In, will be released October 12 on Matador Records. Following the release, Vile will embark on a lengthy tour throughout the fall, winter and spring that will take him through many of the world’s iconic venues, but playing one of The Met’s first shows will certainly be a highlight. Along with today’s announcement Vile has also shared a new song off the forthcoming album, the nearly 10-minute “Bassackwards,” which Matador calls “the album’s beating heart.” Listen below.
The Met, once known as The Metropolitan Opera House, was built in 1908 but sat dormant for years before its recent rehabilitation, which intends to restore it to its former glory as a key piece of Philadelphia’s cultural scene. The North Broad Street venue will be Philadelphia’s largest non-arena venue and will host a variety of performers; its initial lineup of shows has just been announced and will include performances by Bob Dylan, Weezer, Amos Lee, and several more music and comedy acts. Continue reading →
One might expect a song called “Loading Zones” from such a musician like Kurt Vile would reflect on his extensive touring with The War On Drugs, Courtney Barnett, or with the Violators, loading in and out for shows almost constantly since 2005. Instead, the track is a nostalgic and familiar contemplation of the everyday loading zone, Vile singing of avoiding paying parking by using the loading zones in his hometown streets. “Get my shopping done, laundry too, drop some dead weight, clean my hands of what I need to clean my hands of.” The structure of the song follows suit, never faltering in its churning groove. Continue reading →
Courtney Barnett played a lively, jam-packed 90-minute set on Wednesday night to a sold out Union Transfer, showcasing her entire new album Tell Me How You Really Feel, as well as older hits like “Avant Gardener” and “Pedestrian at Best,” and a surprise guest performance with Philadelphia native Kurt Vile.
Barnett is on the last leg of their mini US tour with Bones Sloane on bass, Katie Harkin leading on guitar and keys, and drummer Dave Mudie, debuting her new album, out Friday on Barnett’s Milk! Records, Mom + Pop and Marathon Artists.
Barnett started their Philly set with Hopefulessness, and quickly after said, “We’re gonna play our new album. It comes out tomorrow, I think? What day of the week is it?”, with her classic bed-head charm. The band played an energetic “City Looks Pretty,” “Charity,” and “Nameless, Faceless,” along with more subdued songs from the album like “Need A Little Time,” and “Sunday Roast.” Continue reading →