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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 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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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 →

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Watch Kurt Vile bust out a jam with Tinariwen at Union Transfer

Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

Last night, Tinariwen took over Union Transfer for a night of relaxed jams, and while the Tuareg artists blew away the crowd with tunes and tones from the African desert, they wanted to throw a little bit of this city in.

Out of nowhere, Philly’s own Kurt Vile came on stage (introduced with an endearing “This is our friend…. It’s okay?”), sitting in on their atmospheric song “Tiwayyen”, a tune he guested on on the band’s new record Elwan.

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Matador Records to reissue “long out of print” Kurt Vile EPs this spring

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

While we’re in the interim between b’lieve i’m goin down… and whatever he’s cooking up with Courtney Barnett, Matador is reissuing two “long out of print” Kurt Vile EPs this spring. A blue vinyl So Outta Reach (2011) and opaque colored vinyl Square Shells (2010) will be out on May 19th. The former features songs recorded during the Smoke Ring for My Halo sessions with John Agnello, while the latter is a collection of home and studio recordings. Preorder the records over at Matador and listen to a pair of tracks from the EP below.

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This Just In: A new Kurt and Courtney collab has surfaced (no, not that one but still just as cool)

It seems that the indie rock gods have smiled upon us today, as it has been confirmed that hometown hero, Kurt Vile, and Melbourne grunge star, Courtney Barnett, have been recording together on a collaboration. With a duo as iconically-named as Kurt and Courtney, it’s gotta be a sign that this upcoming release is going to be legendary.

Hints of a collab between the two have been circulating on social media for some time, but the news was officially confirmed this week by Newmarket Studios in their Instagram post you can see above. Continue reading →