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Kurt Vile plays slow, murky, and sloppy rock. His backing band, the Violators, looks like a gang of b-listed stand-up comedians. They seem weird and awkward. But Vile is no slouch. Neither are the guys in his band, for that matter. People (well, music critics) have been paying a lot more attention to the Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter since his performances at SXSW last March, and in each profile he’s betrayed some hype-savvy above and beyond your run-of-the-mill DIY nose-picker.
From Dave Malitz’s interview on Post-Rock last April:
“I knew how to make a release weird and good. But I just banged out all these offers and they ended up coming out at the same time. I kind of knew the recordheads would like it. I knew made sure it was weird enough while still sitting on my ultimate full-length for a bigger label.“
From Jonah Weiner’s profile in the New York Times:
“I know the band is going to get real tight the more we play, but I’m nervous, man,” he said, heading backstage to tune his acoustic guitar. “I want people to be able to hear all the different dynamics.”
And in Maggie Serrota’s interview in AV Club, he explains why he’s been comparing his record to My Bloody Valentine’s shoegaze behemoth Loveless:
I said that mainly to hype it up because I was really anxious to get it out there—so I had to say something
Which is great, actually. It seems rare that people who make sludgy, weird music are so open about actually, you know, upfront about wanting people to listen to it. And listen to it they should. The best tracks from Childish Prodigy, Vile’s Matador debut, strikes a sweet spot between hermetic basement grot and the grandeur of the most transcendent Bruce Strpingsteen studio jam. Kurt Vile may not be shy about hyping his tunes, but at least he can deliver on it.
Kurt Vile & The Violators w/ Benjee Ferree, The New Flesh @ Black Cat $12, 8:30 pm 1811 14th St. NW