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New Year’s Eve is a month away. What concert are you going to?

Kurt Vile at #XPNFest | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN

We’re drawing to the close of 2016, and as always, we here at The Key recommend you give 2016 the boot with live music. Spending that special moment that brings us into our annual chance for a new start at a concert with hundreds or even thousands of people who are all on the same page as you — for those few hours, the feeling is exhilarating and even a little magical. Compare this to the cycle of looking at your phone, standing in circles trying to connect with people that you know primarily through Facebook and most times drinking way too much in your quest to achieve that perfect New Year’s Eve moment that movies like When Harry Met Sally have elevated just out of reality’s reach.

Given, I’ve been going the latter route for the majority of my adult life and some of my fondest memories are searching for lost phones or helping my friend figure out the name of the cute guy with the green hat the morning after. BUT I knew that after happening upon a house show on New Year’s Eve a few years back, no party could ever fill me with the same ecstasy as the music and all the people in that basement did in 2013. So, if you’re looking to try something new, check out your Philly-area options for musical New Year’s celebrations. Continue reading →

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Check out Hope Sandoval and Kurt Vile’s dream-inducing video for “Let Me Get There”

Hope Sandoval and Kurt Vile | collage via The Deli Magazine Philadelphia

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try watching the video for Hope Sandoval and Kurt Vile‘s collaborative song “Let Me Get There.”

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 →

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Purling Hiss’ Mike Polizze talks about the band’s career-culminating new album High Bias

Purling Hiss Photographed by Constance Mensh
Purling Hiss Photographed by Constance Mensh

The whir and steady crackle of coffee grinders hard at work fill Higher Grounds, a small trendy coffee shop in Northern Liberties. It is the kind of place that revels in its unique blend of styles. The flea market seating, the posters and paintings and art pieces whose only discernible style is a difficult to define panache. It has a confidence and intentionality that resists coming off as anything but genuine and patiently accumulated through years of collection. Sitting across from me towards the back of the shop is Mike Polizze, front man and songwriter for Purling Hiss, whose aesthetic, and brand new album High Bias due out October 14, feel equally as earned. Continue reading →

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Kurt Vile and Hope Sandoval package bliss on “Let Me Get There”

Kurt Vile and Hope Sandoval | image via Pitchfork (Kurt Vile photo by Erika Goldring; Hope Sandoval photo by Luz Gallardo)

A couple thousand years ago, some Egyptian dude invented the sundial as a means of keeping time, and we’ve been stressed out ever since. Gone are the days when people “got there when they got there,” but on her gorgeous new duet with Kurt Vile, Hope Sandoval aims to change that. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Kurt Vile will ring in 2017 with a New Year’s Eve gig at The Fillmore

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

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 →

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Time Capsule: Kurt Vile on channeling blue-collar blues into “Space Forklift”

Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

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 →

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Watch Kurt Vile talk harmonies, kids and hit records on a CBS live performance

Kurt Vile and the Violators | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com
Kurt Vile and the Violators | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com

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.

Continue reading →

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Watch a G-rated Kurt Vile on Kids Interview Bands

kurt vile
Kurt Vile | Photo by Henry Diltz

Kids Interview Bands is a Youtube Channel where young, impressionable listeners talk to various musicians about their own childhoods, and they’ve spoken to everyone from Slayer‘s Tom Araya to Foals. They recently brought on Philly’s own pimpin’ Kurt Vile for a quick yet humorous discussion that he titled “KV, Rated G.” Continue reading →

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Watch Kurt Vile cover Spacemen 3 with Purling Hiss’ Mike Polizze at KFN

Purling Hiss and Kurt Vile #latergram

A photo posted by Scott Troyan (@sxt) on

You gotta hand it to Philly’s Kurt Vile: he looks out for his friends. On tour in support of his breakout album Childish Prodigy, Vile took fellow Philadelphians Birds of Maya on tour – almost seven years later, Vile is still tight with Birds’ axe-slinger Mike Polizze, and is bringing him out on the road this spring in support of b’lieve i’m goin down… with the solo incarnation of his current project Purling Hiss. Continue reading →