Kurt Vile

Levitation: Kurt Vile Puts Austin in a Daze

  

Kurt Vile takes the stage at Stubbs casually and cool. His presence is always welcome in Austin, looking like someone you might bump into at the grocery store in Hyde Park with his long dark hair in his face and disheveled plaid shirt. His last show in town was December 2018 at Moody Theatre. The set list is similar to the last show here, playing mostly songs off his 2018 album Bottle It In, but it’s always refreshing to float along with his on and on lyricism and dreamy chord progressions.

The band opens the show with “Loading Zones.” Vile stakes his position as “a mayor of some godforsaken town.” The song’s story builds up to a repeated mantra: “I park for free,” because, yes, parking for free is the defining perk and achievement of political office. Imagine parking for free in Austin…I wonder if you can. 

There’s not much chat between songs as the band mellowly eases into each song. Of course, the audience lost it and sang along when Vile played “Pretty Pimpin’,” the hit that earned him significant cred back in 2015.

Wakin’ On a Pretty Day” - the 10 minute ballad of loafing and loving on a pretty day - would have been the highlight of the show if not for the encore featuring the guitar player of Dinosaur Jr. Clouds of smoke puff into the dark atmosphere above, and the audience bobs and sways as Vile’s mumbly articulation of the song draws you into a new state of day: “Wakin’ on a pretty day, don’t know why I ever go away. It’s hard to explain my love in this daze.” Try playing this song first thing in the morning and just see what happens - maybe you’ll have a pretty daze, whatever that looks like for you.

Vile and the band brought up J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr to encore with the song of “Hunchback,” from Vile’s 2009 album Childish Prodigy. It was a playful, dreamy song to close the weekend of shows at Stubbs, with both grown men singing about being hunchbacks “floppin an flippin around like fish on the street/floppin an flippin around like a fish along the sand.” 

The band exits the stage, the stage lights come on and the crew starts breaking down. Some of the crowd will go off to the last of the Levitation shows, but some will go home and get ready for a return to their subjective reality. Levitation is its own reality for scenes and subcultures of Austin, and the Fest was an excuse to show up, look hot, and hear great music.

- Mel Green

   

New Kurt Vile LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Bottle It In, the new full-length album from Kurt Vile, is out now via Matador Records. The songs gently roll down a melodic, slow-burning trajectory - one that feels loose and at ease, yet has the sneaky sense of precision. Sink into those conversational drawls, which accompany Vile's intricate guitarwork and grooves. You can find Kurt and The Violators headlining The Met Philly on Saturday, December 29 with The Feelies.

   

Ticket Giveaway: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile at the Tower Theater

Indie darlings Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett recently dropped their collaborative release Lotta Sea Lice (Matador/Mom+Pop/Marathon/Milk), which you can stream below. The duo will begin taking their new tunes on the road tomorrow, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to their performance on Friday, November 3 at the historic Tower Theater. To enter for a chance to win, send an email to thedelimagazinephiladelphia@gmail.com with the subject line "Best Buds". Please also include your cell number in the body of the message (in case of an emergency). Good luck!

   

Weekend Warrior, December 30 - January 1

A new year represents aesthetically a clean slate, the chance to turn the page and let the past whether, recent or not, behind. Of course, the past may also hold cherished memories that one wishes to carry into the future. Either way, Saturday night serves as an opportunity to celebrate, for some, the year that was and for others the year that one hopes 2017 will be.
 
Now, my first instinct when I enter any environment is to look and listen; if there’s music, that’s typically a solid forecaster of good fortune. With that criteria, here are a few places one should consider spending the last hours of a trying 2016. 
 
The high-octane ragged barrelhouse blues of TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb will be headlining Boot & Saddle, paired with the earnest Americana of Levee Drivers, and the playfully bizarre, eclectic Mercury Radio Theater. If funky R&B and soul are your aspirations, Underground Arts is the destination. The brass beacon of Balkan beats, known as West Philadelphia Orchestra, and the retrograde soul-funk engine of Johnny Showcase once again come together for sweaty, good time. And channeling the silky authoritative dance-inducing vibes of Byrne & Bowie, MINKA enters the fray, which also starts with the funky instrumental slices of Muscle Tough.
 
The spellbinding folk-psych of Kurt Vile brings his mellow/mercury-spiking spectrum to The Fillmore, where he’ll be joined by psych-folk outfit Woods and Nathan Bowles. Ortlieb’s will host the mobile-layered, grooving, melodic sojourn of Mo Lowda & The Humble, as well as the atmosphere-altering, future-traversing experimentation of Air is Human, and a DJ set from Suburban Living, who will be pulling double duty that evening performing at Franklin Hall with Vacationer and CRUISR. BTW: Speaking of DJ sets, Lushlife will also be occupying the decks at Johnny Brenda’s.
 
Wherever you’re headed, embrace the joy and stay safe. - Michael Colavita
 
Other places to spend this last weekend of 2016…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Grubby Little Hands, Tutlie, SAT Kevin Manning/Lushlife (DJ Set)
 
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Oh, Are They? (Record Release), Belgrade, Honeytiger, SAT TJ Kong And The Atomic Bomb, Mercury Radio Theater, Levee Drivers
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Riverside Odds/Momma Hankton, Rexedog, Erik Kramer, SAT Eaten Alive/Fame Lust
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT West Philadelphia Orchestra, Johnny Showcase, Minka, Muscle Tough
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St,) SAT Making Time
 
TLA (334 South St.) SAT Cabinet
 
The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) FRI Louis Futon, SAT Kurt Vile
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Philadelphia Jug Band, The Theologicals, SAT (Upstairs) Phil Nicolo’s Eve of Destruction, Darla / (Downstairs) Marc Silver
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI The Loud Company, Commonwealth Choir, The Last Brontosaurus
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Kingsound, GhettoSongBird
 
Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave.) SAT Vacationer, CRUISR, Suburban Living
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) SAT Mo Lowda and the Humble, Air is Human, Suburban Living (DJ Set)
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Rich Medina, SAT DJ Deejay
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Brown Sugar
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Laura Cheadle Family Blues Band
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Solar Circuit, Naps Past Noon, Max Seidman Band, Los Festingos, SAT Matt Duke, Andrea Nardello, Quixote Project
 
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Chalk & the Beige Americans, Shy Boyz, Dirty Soap Blues Band
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.)  FRI Nik Greeley & The Operators, SAT Start Making Sense, Band From Mars
 
   

New Video: "Wakin On A Pretty Day" (Christmas Version) - Heavenly Chorus (Feat. Kurt Vile)

Kurt Vile stopped by the Public Theater in NYC for a taping of Joe's Pub Presents: A Holiday Special. Leading a "heavenly chorus" that also included Lisa Loeb, Bridgett Everett, and event host Tony Hale, the motley crew got in the holiday spirit with an improvised Christmas rendition of "Wakin On A Pretty Day". Now, we're not sure if you'll hear this version at his upcoming New Year's Eve concert this Saturday at The Fillmore Philly with Woods and Nathan Bowles, but Vile will definitely be pulling out some fan favorites for the hometown crowd.