Matt Berninger, Cass McCombs, Andrew Bird, & More Contribute Tracks To Free Songs For Swing Left Compilation

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Songs For Swing Left is a new compilation to raise money and increase awareness of the Swing Left campaign to help flip the United States’ House Of Representative blue in the upcoming midterm elections. It’s a running collection of songs, and it features contributions from the likes of Kurt Vile, Tim Heidecker, Jim … More »

Stream Kurt Vile’s New Album Bottle It In

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Kurt Vile - Bottle It InKurt Vile has had a signature sound for years, but Bottle It In — his seventh solo album, out today — is the first time that sound feels cemented, as if its parameters have been drawn. He’s reached that moment in a veteran career when he understands his strengths and is playing to them, refining … More »

Music Review: Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

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Kurt Vile

Bottle It In

[Matador; 2018]

Rating: 3.5/5

Kurt Vile has a strangely neutralizing way about him. The casual demeanor and nonchalant delivery of his song lyrics possess the ability to temper the profound to the prosaic, and to elevate the inconsequential to the noteworthy. Through him, crises turn to mere botherations, and annoyances rise to the rank of bona fide gripes. In short, Vile’s perspective maintains a certain equalizing property. We see this in 2015’s “Pretty Pimpin’,” wherein the song’s protagonist suffers the Kafkaesque indignity of waking up in someone else’s body only to find that weekdays have lost all discernible meaning and, worse yet, that the two men share the same grooming habits. Filtered through Vile’s distant half-drawl, these two revelations feel equally jarring and likewise irrelevant. “Pimpin’,” like so much of b’lieve i’m goin’ down, utilizes a muscular rhythm section and resolutely finger-picked guitar to apply a sense of direction to Kurt’s otherwise aimless vocals and lyrics.

But on Bottle It In, Vile’s seventh solo album, the singer’s surreal, dreamlike lyrics seem to pull away from his backing band’s alt-country orientation. There’s “Hysteria,” which owes some lyrical debt to Pixies’ “La La Love You” and includes lines about a man contracting rabies from his admirer and later jumping out of an airborne plane. Both songs use humor to undercut the fact that at the heart of these tunes is a genuine romantic suggestion, but in Vile’s case, the band’s metronomic drum machine and smoke-clouded atmosphere detract from the ostensible tongue-in-cheek tone of the song. “Check Baby” features a domineering synth track and hardass guitars to propel Vile’s standoffish voice, even while he uses turns of phrase like “What a whale of a pickle” or “We run like chickens from dickens.” And yet for all the incongruity here, it’s Kurt’s blasé delivery that works to compromise the rift between music and lyrics. He doesn’t care about the imbalance, so why should we?

However, Bottle’s more serious lyrics create a consonance between sound and sentiment that rivals some of Vile’s previous highs. “The mutinies in my head keep staying/ I take pills and pills to try and make them go away,” he explains on “Mutinies” with the defeated contrition of Isaac Brock on a more reflective Modest Mouse song. On the sparse “Cold Was the Wind,” Vile confesses over a bed of unnerving static: “On the plane, I’m drinking red wine/ ‘Cause like everybody else, I’m afraid to die/ Did I mention that I’m afraid of dying?” Here we see Vile wrestling with the rock & roll trope that claimed Buddy Holly and Ronnie Van Zant: the legendary death via airplane. But he walks back rock’s obsession with life’s ephemerality and death’s permanence, instead mollifying himself with a glass of pinot (not hard liquor or pills, as other famously doomed rockers would have preferred). On Bottle It In, Vile has learned how to strike a balance between anxious survivalism and detached fatalism.

The hallowed paradigm of drums-bass-acoustic guitar carries with it an implacable stoicism, which is why genres like country and folk are so easy to parody. There’s an assumed dignity to it, and for Kurt Vile to use this platform to voice his slacker grievances feels almost irreverent. But here on Bottle, he expands his arsenal to push the joke farther. We hear marimbas on “One Trick Ponies” and sci-fi synths on the closing instrumental “(bottle back).” This is an exercise in experimentation, safe though it may be, that compromises neither Vile’s nor his band’s pointed vision of windswept alternative folk. The album’s second half becomes noticeably more lo-fi as it draws to a close, with the band laying down instrumental nebulas into which Vile allows his voice to languidly recline. It’s a hazy ending to a bear of an album, but one that rewards those who stuck with it through the 80 or so minutes. But the paradox continues: Vile’s never sounded more like he’s had nothing to say, which is why it’s never felt more important that we listen.

Hear Kurt Vile On Marc Maron’s WTF

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Kurt VileHave you guys watched that Netflix series GLOW, the one about a real-life women’s pro wrestling production out of the Valley in the ’80s? It stars Alison Brie, and while watching Trudy from Mad Men learn how to piledrivers and shit is pretty weird, what I really can’t wrap my head around is Marc Maron … More »

Watch Kurt Vile Cover Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly”

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Kurt Vile’s new album Bottle It In is out in just two days. In promotion of the release, the folk rocker stopped by SiriusXM today to perform “Bassackwards” and a cover of Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly,” one of the most popular Petty songs among his music industry peers if ourMore »

Kurt Vile – “One Trick Ponies”

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Kurt Vile - "One Trick Ponies"The mumbling prophet of folk rock, Kurt Vile, has returned with one more single leading up to next week’s release of his eighth album, Bottle It In. Last month he treated us to nine minutes of meandering musings with “Bassackwards,” which we deemed one of the bestMore »

International crime syndicate mastermind Kurt Vile announces nefarious new album and headlining world tour!

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Listen up, gumshoes: Kurt Vile, heir to the Villain’s International League of Evil (you know, V.I.L.E.?) leadership, is back at it!

On October 12, he’ll be releasing Bottle It In, his proper follow-up solo album to 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down…

Bottle It In is 13 tracks long, and features guest contributions from the likes of Kim Gordon, Cass McCombs, Lucius, Stella Mozgawa, Mary Lattimore, and more. If the artwork is to believed, Vile will be playing guitar on the album.

We need to act fast. Quick, decode these two songs from Bottle It In, the previously released album opener “Loading Zones,” and the newly revealed, nine-plus-minute long “Bassackwards.” Then, corroborate your findings with Vile’s upcoming world tour dates, which include a newly announced slate of shows for 2019. That’s all below, along with the full tracklising and artwork for Bottle It In.

There must be some clues in all of this, anything to help us track down Vile and bring him to justice for…stealing the Governor’s medallion….or you know, whatEVER crimes it is the villains commit in the Carmen Sandiego games…

Blech. Okay, time to pull the chute on this rough bit:

Bottle It In is out October 12 via Matador and can be pre-ordered here. I’m sure Kurt Vile is a very nice man who would never steal the Governor’s personal belongings.

Bottle It In tracklisting:

01. Loading Zones
02. Hysteria
03. Yeah Bones
04. Bassackwards
05. One Trick Ponies
06. Rollin With The Flow (Charlie Rich cover)
07. Check Baby
08. Bottle It In
09. Mutinies
10. Come Again
11. Cold Was The Wind
12. Skinny Mini
13. (bottle back)

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Kurt Vile?

10.12.18 — Hamburg, Germany — Grünspan ^
10.13.18 — Gothenburg, Sweden — Pustervik ^
10.14.18 — Oslo, Norway — Rockefeller #
10.15.18 — Stockholm, Sweden — Bern #
10.16.18 — Copenhagen, Denmark — Vega #
10.18.18 — Berlin, Germany — Huxleys #
10.19.18 — Munich, Germany — Muffathalle #
10.20.18 — Zurich, Switzerland — X-Tra #
10.21.18 — Lyon, France — Epicerie Moderne #
10.22.18 — Barcelona, Spain — Apolo #
10.23.18 — Madrid, Spain — Teatro Barceló #
10.25.18 — Lisbon, Spain — Lisboa Ao Vivo #
10.26.18 — Porto, Portugal — Hard Club #
10.27.18 — Bilbao, Spain — BIME Festival #
10.28.18 — Bordeaux, France — Theatre Barbey #
10.29.18 — Paris, France — La Cigale #
10.30.18 — Brussels, Belgium — Autumn Falls @ AB #
11.01.18 — Amsterdam, Netherlands — Paradiso #
11.02.18 — Köln, Germany — Kantine #
11.03.18 — Groningen, Netherlands — Take Root Festival
11.05.18 — Brighton, UK — Concorde 2 #
11.06.18 — London, UK — Shepherd’s Bush Empire #
11.07.18 — London, UK — Shepherd’s Bush Empire #
11.08.18 — Bristol, UK — St Philips Gate #
11.09.18 — Birmingham, UK — The Crossing #
11.10.18 — Manchester, UK — Albert Hall #
11.11.18 — Leeds, UK — 02 Academy #
11.13.18 — Glasgow, UK — SWG3 #
11.14.18 — Dublin, Ireland — Vicar Street #
11.15.18 — Belfast, UK — The Limelight #
11.24.18 — Boston, MA — House of Blues *
11.28.18 — Brooklyn, NY — Brooklyn Steel *
11.30.18 — Washington, DC — 9:30 Club *
12.03.18 — Atlanta, GA — Variety Playhouse *
12.05.18 — Oklahoma City, OK — Jones Assembly *
12.06.18 — Austin, TX — ACL Live at The Moody Theater *
12.07.18 — Dallas, TX — Canton Hall *
12.09.18 — San Diego, CA — The Observatory North Park *
12.11.18 — Los Angeles, CA — The Wiltern *
12.12.18 — Oakland, CA — Fox Theatre *
12.14.18 — Portland, OR — Crystal Ballroom *
12.15.18 — Seattle, WA — Moore Theatre *
12.16.18 — Vancouver, BC — Commodore Ballroom *
12.19.18 — Minneapolis, MN — First Avenue *
12.20.18 — Madison, WI — Sylvee *
12.21.18 — Milwaukee, WI — Turner Hall *
12.22.18 — Chicago, IL — Riviera Theatre *
12.29.18 — Philadelphia, PA — The Met Philadelphia %
02.14.19 — Burlington, VT — Higher Ground +
02.15.19 — Montreal, QUE — Mtelus +
02.16.19 — Toronto, ONT — Danforth Music Hall +
02.19.19 — Detroit, MI — Majestic Theatre +
02.20.19 — Cincinnati, OH — Taft Theatre +
02.21.19 — Indianapolis, IN — The Vogue +
02.22.19 — Louisville, KY — Headliners +
02.23.19 — Bloomington, IL — Castle Theatre +
02.24.19 — St. Louis, MO — Pageant +
02.26.19 — Omaha, NE — The Slowdown +
02.27.19 — Kansas City, MO — Truman +
02.28.19 — Denver, CO — Ogden Theatre +
03.01.19 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Depot +
03.02.19 — Phoenix, AZ — TBD
03.03.19 — Las Vegas, NV — House Of Blues +
03.05.19 — Tucson, AZ — Rialto Theatre +
03.06.19 — Santa Fe, NM — Meow Wolf +
03.08.19 — New Braunfels, TX — Gruene Hall +
03.09.19 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall +
03.10.19 — New Orleans, LA — Civic Theatre +
03.12.19 — Orlando, FL — The Beacham +
03.13.19 — Ft. Lauderdale, FL — Revolution Live +
03.15.19 — Birmingham, AL — Saturn +
03.16.18 — Nashville, TN — Ryman Auditorium +
03.17.19 — Richmond, VA — The National +
04.11.19 — Aukland, NZ — Powerstation
04.13.19 — Wellington, NZ — Hunter Lounge
04.15.19 — Sydney, NSW — Enmore &
04.16.19 — Wallongong, NSW — Unibar &
04.17.19 — Canberra, NSW — ANU &
04.18.19 — Byron Bay, NSW — Byron Bay Bluesfest
04.20.19 — Byron Bay, NSW — Byron Bay Bluesfest
04.22.19 — Melbourne, VIC — The Forum &
04.27.19 — Adelaide, SA — The Gov &
04.28.19 — Perth, WA — Rosemount Hotel &

^ Meg Baird (solo)
# Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore
* Jessica Pratt
% The Feelies
+ The Sadies

Kurt Vile – “Bassackwards”

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Kurt Vile’s proven to be one of the more prolific songwriters of this generation, with seven tremendous albums under his belt before the age of 40. In 2017, Vile teamed up with Courtney Barnett on a collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice, that showcased the two riffing off of one another’s loose, … More »

Kurt Vile – “Loading Zones” Video

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Kurt Vile’s last full-length b’lieve i’m goin down was wholly awesome. But that was in 2015, and we haven’t heard much from him since besides last year’s joint venture Lotta Sea Lice with Courtney Barnett. Back in April, when Vile’s longtime label Matador posted a photo of custom VileMore »

Kurt Vile’s Brother “Jelloman” Gets A Documentary

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JellomanKurt Vile’s brother Paul is known around Philadelphia as “Jelloman,” an urban legend-sounding name coined in conjunction with his habit of making Jell-O shots and giving and selling them to bands and concert attendees. He also makes Jell-O artwork and merchandise and is a regular caller on The Best Show. And, as More »