Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Vile’

Song of the Day by Eric Berman: Top Albums of 2015

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman: Top Albums of 2015

  1. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Kamasi Washington: The Epic
  3. Wilco: Star Wars
  4. Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell
  5. Bod Dylan: Shadows In The Night
  6. Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls
  7. Alabama Shakes: Sound and Color
  8. Kurt Vile: b’lieve i’m goin down
  9. Sleater-Kinney: No Cities To Love
  10. The Sonics: This Is The Sonics
  11. Jason Isbel: Something More Than Free
  12. The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
  13. D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah
  14. Tame Impala: Currents
  15. FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks)
  16. Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
  17. Darlene Love: Introducing Darlene Love
  18. Ryan Adams: 1989
  19. Miguel: Wildheart
  20. Hollywood Vampires
  21. The Arcs: Yours, Dreamily,
  22. Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear
  23. Paul & The Broken Bones: Half The City
  24. Ike Reilly: Born On Fire
  25. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love

Top Reissues 2015

  1. Miles Davis: At Newport 1955-1975
  2. Bob Dylan: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966 – Bootleg Series Volume 12
  3. Velvet Underground: Complete Matrix
  4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: The Ties That Bind
  5. Led Zeppelin: Coda
  6. Beach Boys: Party! Uncovered and Unplugged
  7. The Rolling Stones: Live Vault Vinyl/DVD Concert Series
  8. Todd Rundgren: Live at Electric Ballroom 10-23-78
  9. Yes: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
  10. Neil Young & The Bluenotes: Bluenote Café

Edited: December 15th, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 9/8/13 – “Was All Talk” by Kurt Vile

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Was All Talk” by Kurt Vile

I posted this piece several months ago when Kurt Vile’s latest album Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze was first released. I’m still listening to this record today, and have come to the conclusion that it is one of the year’s very best records. In case you missed it the first time around, I figured I’d change the song and rerun the piece again. (I’ll have something fresh and new for tomorrow to post.)

Kurt Vile’s lo-fi bedroom records from the past have given way to a more produced sound on his latest record called Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze.  While some of the edges have been smoothed out production-wise, the songwriting is as sharp as ever on his most assured collection yet, as he comes to terms with balancing life on the road and raising a family at home.

Vile is married and has two young children and more than on any of his previous albums, the overriding theme of homesickness pops up time and time again. Both “Pure Pain” – “well I want to be with you (when can I?) / I don’t know, well I’m workin’” and “Snowflakes Are Dancing” – “when I’m away out there/ I wanna go home/ when I am home/ my head stays out there,” touch on dealing with the rootless experience of touring versus the stability of family and home.

On the song “Too Hard,” Vile proclaims “I will promise not to smoke too much and/ I will promise not to party too hard” as a pledge of responsibility while away, then a few songs later on “Shame Chamber” he seems to do an about face; “It’s just another day / in the shame chamber / livin’ life to the lowest power / feelin’ bad, in the best way a man can.”

The album opens with a snoozy wake-up call “Waking On A Pretty Day.” There’s no rush in getting things going over this song’s nearly ten minute duration, while crystalline guitar work bolsters come-what-may lyrics like “I gotta think about what wisecracks/ I’m gonna drop along the way today.” And just when you begin to settle into the relaxed pace of the track, Vile jars us into reality with an appropriated riff from Deep Purple’s “Woman From Tokyo,” announcing one of the album’s few rockers “KV Crimes.”

Vile is an artist that gets put into the “low-fi” stoner bag due to his oh, so groovy long-haired appearance, and the fuzzy dreamscapes and mumbled vocals that dominate his recordings. But this record has real production value courtesy of John Agnello who also produced Vile’s last platter. So while he may not be able to fully shake the stoner label sonically, he does come right out and address the issue on the album’s pastoral sun-soaked ten minute closer “Goldtone”  –  “Sometimes when I get in my zone / you’d think I was stoned / but I never as they say ‘touch that stuff… I might be adrift but I’m still alert/ Concentrate my hurt into a gold tone.”

Vile’s band, The Violators is now down to a trio consisting of multi-instrumentalists Jesse Trbovich and Rob Laakso, due to the amicable departure of Vile’s longtime War On Drugs collaborator Adam Granduciel. They will be joined by drummer Vince Nudo and guitarist Steve Gunn on their upcoming tour in May.

Today’s Song Of The Day, “Was All Talk” reminds me of Don Henley’s “Boys Of Summer,” in the best way possible.

Edited: September 7th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/25/13

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Never Run Away” by Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile’s lo-fi bedroom records from the past have given way to a more produced sound on his latest record called Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze.  While some of the edges have been smoothed out production-wise, the songwriting is as sharp as ever on his most assured collection yet, as he comes to terms with balancing life on the road and raising a family at home.

Vile is married and has two young children and more than on any of his previous albums, the overriding theme of homesickness pops up time and time again. Both “Pure Pain” – “well I want to be with you (when can I?) / I don’t know, well I’m workin’” and “Snowflakes Are Dancing” – “when I’m away out there/ I wanna go home/ when I am home/ my head stays out there,” touch on dealing with the rootless experience of touring versus the stability of family and home.

On the song “Too Hard,” Vile proclaims “I will promise not to smoke too much and/ I will promise not to party too hard” as a pledge of responsibility while away, then a few songs later on “Shame Chamber” he seems to do an about face; “It’s just another day / in the shame chamber / livin’ life to the lowest power / feelin’ bad, in the best way a man can.”

The album opens with a snoozy wake-up call “Waking On A Pretty Day.” There’s no rush in getting things going over this song’s nearly ten minute duration, while crystalline guitar work bolsters come-what-may lyrics like “I gotta think about what wisecracks/ I’m gonna drop along the way today.” And just when you begin to settle into the relaxed pace of the track, Vile jars us into reality with an appropriated riff from Deep Purple’s “Woman From Tokyo,” announcing one of the album’s few rockers “KV Crimes.”

Vile is an artist that gets put into the lo-fi stoner bag due to his oh, so groovy long-haired appearance, and the fuzzy dreamscapes and mumbled vocals that dominate his recordings. But this record has real production value courtesy of John Agnello who also produced Vile’s last platter. So while he may not be able to fully shake the stoner label sonically, he does come right out and address the issue on the album’s pastoral sun-soaked ten minute closer “Goldtone”  –  “Sometimes when I get in my zone / you’d think I was stoned / but I never as they say ‘touch that stuff… I might be adrift but I’m still alert/ Concentrate my hurt into a gold tone.”

Vile’s band, The Violators is now down to a trio consisting of multi-instrumentalists Jesse Trbovich and Rob Laakso due to the amicable departure of Vile’s longtime War On Drugs collaborator Adam Granduciel. They will be joined by drummer Vince Nudo and guitarist Steve Gunn on their upcoming tour in May. Today’s Song Of The Day, “Never Run Away” is the also the album’s first single.

Edited: April 24th, 2013

Song Of The Day – 4/26/11

Song Of The Day – “Jesus Fever” by Kurt Vile

Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile has a sound reminiscent of Jorma Kaukonen on this track. His lo-fi bedroom records from the past have given way to a more produced sound on his latest called “Smoke Ring For My Halo.” While some of the edges have been smoothed out production-wise, the songwriting is as sharp as ever.

Edited: April 26th, 2011