It was a full house at Union Transfer on Saturday night as Philadelphia welcomed home Kurt Vile & The Violators for the last show of their U.S. tour. With strong openers and a career-spanning set list from the hometown hero, the night was jam-packed with stellar performances and a lot of love.
There’s an image of a couch and a heart on Vile’s now infamous Fishtown mural that reprises the line “There’s a place in my heart for all of my friends” from Wakin On A Pretty Daze’s “Goldtones” and that seemed to be the sentiment the Lansdowne native was going for during his set. An intangible sense of community could be felt between the crowd and the frontman, despite minimal verbal interaction. It was the clear the audience was well-versed in Kurt’s discography as they welcomed each eclectic twist and turn of the set list with claps and cheers. As Vile stood on the stage dressed in all white, surrounded by a hazy fog with a scaled-down version of the mural behind him and Technicolor lights bouncing around, the effect was similar to that of flying through the clouds during a sunset when the light cuts through just right – transcendent, magical and rare. Continue reading →
Philadelphia native / New York resident Steve Gunn is coming home to celebrate the release of his new LP at Johnny Brenda’s on June 22nd. Having worked with several duo / trio line-ups over the years like GHQ and the Gunn-Trucinski Duo, Time Off marks the guitarist’s return to solo material (though several of his friends appear on the album as well). With a playing style that has been likened to John Fahey and inspired by Jack Rose, Gunn is at the forefront of the modern acoustic guitar music world and was recently signed to Asheville, NC label Paradise of Bachelors (which, like Gunn, has roots in Philadelphia).
Tickets and information for the 21+ show will be available here. In the meantime, catch Steve at Union Transfer on May 18th where he’ll perform a solo set and back-up Kurt Vile. Information for that show can be found here. Stream “Water Wheel” from Time Off here and watch a performance of “Old Strange” for Fader TV below.
New York based guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn releases his new album, Time Off, on June 18th on Bachelor Of Paradise records. He’ll be touring this summer opening for Kurt Vile, and playing in Kurt’s band, the Violators. Gunn, who was raised in Philly (Lansdowne), cites Jack Rose and the Grateful Dead as several of his influences is an extraordinary guitarist who draws on a a variety of musical styles and plays at Union Transfer on Saturday, May 18. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Listen to a new song, “Water Wheel,” from Gunn’s forthcoming album here. Go here to pre-order the record in all formats. Below, listen to a beautiful mix that Gunn put together for The Liminal music web site including songs by Bob Dylan, Sandy Bull, Bobby Charles, Jim Sullivan and Fleetwood Mac.
Steve Gunn, the Lansdowne, PA native who has since become a mainstay of the Brooklyn experimental / singer-songwriter scene, will release his Paradise of Bachelors debut on June 18th. Titled Time Off the album follows-up Gunn’s 2009 solo full-length Boerum Palace (Three Lobed Recordings) and joins the musician with longtime collaborators and friends John Truscinski (drums) and Justin Tripp (bass, formerly of local indie rock band Aspera). From PoB:
Time Off deploys Gunn’s signature virtuosic guitar style, framed by the most commanding vocal performances he has yet committed to tape. These six songs showcase his oblique character sketches and story-songs about friends, acquaintances, and denizens of his Brooklyn neighborhood.
In addition to the impending release, PoB has announced Gunn’s new role as a Violator for the upcoming Kurt Vile & The Violators tour, for which Gunn will also be an opener. Tickets and information for that May 18th show at Union Transfer with Angel Olsen can be found here. Tonight, Steve Gunn will play a set at AKA Music in Old City for the record store’s First Friday event, presented by Philebrity. More information for the free show can be found on the Facebook event page here. Below, watch Steve Gunn perform “Old Strange” at the Kensington Picnic and then check out Time Off‘s track list.
Huge news out of Kurt Vile‘s camp: the local rocker will be playing Union Transfer on May 18th with Steve Gunn and Angel Olsen. The date follows the release of Vile’s upcoming album Wakin On A Pretty Dazeon April 9th, which Matador Records has announced will be a 69-minute double LP. In addition to a full tracklist and U.S. tour dates, Matador has also shared a free download of lead track “”Wakin On A Pretty Day” here. On first listen it’s clear Vile has stayed true to what he does best, namely playing warpy, bright guitar riffs and singing poetic lyrics with strong imagery. Check out the track below. After the jump, watch last week’s documentary on the album’s cover art below, featuring appearances by local street artist Steve Powers and Mr. Vile himself. Tracklist follows. Tickets and information for the all-ages hometown show will be available here.
Gunn is a Philadelphia native currently based in Brooklyn who blends beautifully intricate, raga style guitar compositions with Americana / singer-songwriter sensibilities. Following up 2009′s Boerum PalaceLP, he will be releasing Time Off this spring with trio bandmates John Truscinski and Justin Tripp (formerly of Aspera) through his new label Paradise of Bachelors.
Mining an all together different, and much louder, quarry of virtuosic guitar playing, Paul Sukeena jumps effortlessly between the fuzzy, scuzzy noise rock of Philly buzz band Spacin’ and his own distorted, looping organ arrangements. Spacin’ released their debut record Deep Thudslast April. To RSVP for this free event go here; more information can be found here. You can also catch them at Johnny Brenda’s on February 23rd when Steve Gunn performs with Light Heat and Spacin’ (tickets and information here). Below, watch Gunn perform “Old Strange” for Fader TV.
The bill for Johnny Brenda’s February 23rd show is a deep one, with three local mind-melting acts taking the stage to quite literally blow us away. First up we’ve got Spacin’, a new jammy fuzz-rock band in the vein of a marginally restrained Birds of Maya (which makes sense since it’s the project of Birds’ Jason Killinger). Spacin’ might be considered a good entry into the world of Philly lo-fi power rock (Purling Hiss included), with their superfuzz served-up next to a side of accessible melodies and in significantly shorter bursts than Birds of Maya’s cornerstone Ready to Howl LP.
Next on the docket is Steve Gunn, a Philly native who is often mentioned in the same breath as John Fahey, Jack Rose and Michael Chapman. Where Spacin’ melts with amps and noise, Gunn takes a stripped back (though still totally blissed-out) approach with intricate acoustic guitar compositions that weave together the schools of Indian Raga and American Primitivism (checkout the epic “The Lurker (Extended)” to get a sense of what this guy can do with six strings). Gunn’s most recent solo release is 2009′s Boerum Palace, but he also works prolifically with drummer John Truscinski as a duo and released the well-received Ocean Parkwayearlier this year.