Our pals at (((Folk Yeah))) continually provide us with amazing opportunities to get outdoors. Not like you need much reason to breath-in the redwood-ed aroma of Big Sur, but adding to the magnetism of this costal heaven is another round of great shows. We’ve recently had a giveaway to see Beach House at the Fernwood Resort on October 23rd, and now, we’re offering a second giveaway for the next day’s show with new man on the scene Kurt Vile & The Violaters. He just played a wondrous show recently at the Henry Miller Library, and now you can catch him at the Fernwood Resort on Saturday, October 24 with Sparrows Gate, Persephone’s Bees, Birds Fled From Me and Sam Flax & Higher Color. Not to be missed.
Kurt Vile is a lo-fi indie rock singer/songwriter from Philadelphia who made his commercial recording debut in 2008 to much critical fanfare. Based in Philadelphia, Vile grew up outside the city in the nearby town of Lansdowne. His passion for music was encouraged by his father, a bluegrass aficionado who bought him a banjo. Vile eventually advanced from the banjo to other instruments, primarily guitar, and began writing songs that he would record at home. These lo-fi home recordings often featured drum machines and other one-man-band, lo-fi adornment. Comprised of home recordings previously released on CD-R, plus new material (most notably the stand-out studio recording “Freeway”), his debut Constant Hitmaker was at first something of a sleeper hit in the indie rock underground. While some online publications were quick to champion it as one of the more notable albums of the year, it wasn’t until 2009, when Constant Hitmaker was reissued by the label Woodsist, that Vile began garnering widespread accolades.
With a slack-singing style reminiscent of Lou Reed or Alan Vega, and his vocals doused in slap-back reverb, the songs on his new release Childish Prodigy shift between gritty numbers driven by guitar fuzz and steady ballads backed by one-key baritone drones. If this sounds a bit derivative of the Velvets, well, it is and it isn’t. Vile and his backing band the Violators are knowledgeable students of the CBGB school of rock, circa Son of Sam, but just when you think you have them pegged as leather-clad street hoodlums on “Freak Train,” a shuffling Roland 707 groove topped with a distortion wall and tense yelps (“I’ve never been so insulted in my whole life! Shit!”), they double back the other way with the mellow, fingerpicked circles of “Blackberry Song.” The ’70s New York scene makes up a big chunk of this album, but Vile’s unique as a visionary with his own sound and a wide range of voices that turn from rambunctious to innocent in a blink. Childish Prodigy is split between drunken caterwauling and quiet hangover-recovery sessions, and both sides of the spectrum are fantastic. The band’s spirit is captured perfectly, courtesy of Jeff Zeiglar’s open-sounding recording style, and the indie underground rarely seems this fresh and free.
A winner will be selected Tuesday, October 20th. Tickets are available here.