This is meant as the highest compliment. This otherworldly drum and bass/guitar infused lullaby will have you dreaming before you even shut your eyes. The seven-and-a-half minute track was condensed into a four-minute-long video – whether this is a good or bad edit is up to you. Continue reading →
Talk about ringing in the new year the most Philadelphia way possible. Not with fireworks at Penn’s Landing, or the whole mummers hangover on New Year’s day. I mean an epic concert from an acclaimed Philadelphian at an exciting Philly venue.
Today, we got word that Kurt Vile is doing the honors this year, headlining The Fillmore Philadelphia on December 31st. Continue reading →
“No lectures tonight,” Ryan Adams told the crowd at the BB&T Pavillion last night. “Let’s just have some fun.”
In part, it felt like a dig at his fellow Los Angeleno Father John Misty – who played a very polarizing performance at Wiggins Park earlier in the day. It was also a bit of a nod to the admittedly mercurial tone of his own Philly gigs with The Shining in recent years. They always rock hard, no doubt, but sometimes the interaction is minimal. Other times its aggressive, like when an oblivious fan at the Tower Theater insisted on repeatedly shooting flash photos of Adams – who has been very open about his meniere’s disease and how difficult it makes performing with bright lights – and so the singer gave the fan a piece of his mind.
There was none of that last night. For his headlining XPoNential Music Festival set, Adams opened up with that call to have fun and a shout out all the party people in the house – and true to that, he and The Shining seemed to be having the absolute best time up there. Continue reading →
In Time Capsule, we ask artists to revisit songs they may have forgotten: pieces they wrote, released, and packed away—until now. Each month, we’ll pick one band who will pick one song and tell us the story behind where they were and what they were thinking when they wrote it.
It’s not news that Kurt Vile used to drive a forklift for a living; a lot of his work is influenced by a blue-collar attitude — from folky fingerpicking to his gravely voice and lyrics. In this city, to gain any respect, you better have worked a dead-end job shoveling shit, fixing radiators, or some day in, day out task that propels you to dream of something better — and deserve it when you get it.
Kurt spent two years handling a mini tractor, rising its giant prongs up and down, over and over, 9 to 5, between lunch and dinner. He lived in Boston at the time. Then, he quit and moved home.
Which is how “Space Forklift” came about. Continue reading →
For almost as long as I’ve been listening to music, Steve Gunn has been making it. The Lansdowne native first picked up a bass at age 13, and a guitar one year later. Since then, he’s morphed into one of the great—if underrated—American guitarists, capable of evoking a world of emotions, most of them breezy and warm, with a few nimble finger picks.
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, Gunn has done (nearly) it all. He started off playing hardcore punk in the Philly burbs, before discovering folk, alt-country, and classical Indian and Moroccan tunes. He played with the late finger-picking master Jack Rose, released two records with famed drummer John Truscinski, and even logged some time in Kurt Vile’s band, The Violators—all of which undoubtedly shaped his writing today. Since 2007, he’s released more than a dozen splits and solo records and has toured across the globe, sharing stages with the likes of Wilco, Vile, members of Sonic Youth, and more.
Early last year, he signed to Matador Records, who released his latest effort, Eyes on the Lines, this June. A dreamy, wandering record that seems made for road trips and Sunday mornings, Lines is arguably his best record yet, and his ticket to greater exposure. Continue reading →
Kurt Vile got some airtime over the weekend, appearing on CBS This Morning: Saturday. The Philly musician and his Violators band played a handful of songs off of last year’s b’lieve i’m goin’ down in the TV studio, including “Pretty Pimpin,” which hit #1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart in March.
Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile is a favorite here at XPN because of the rockin’ jams he cooks up with The Violators. But today, we get a taste of who he is while not on stage. Vile stopped by Tom Scharpling’s studio for the latest episode of The Best Show podcast. The two talk about The Eagles, Jelloman, stage presence, and eventually get into a live performance from Vile. “Pretty Pimpin” and “I’m An Outlaw” off 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down were his songs of choice. Continue reading →