Music Review: Belle and Sebastian – Days of the Bagnold Summer

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Belle and Sebastian

Days of the Bagnold Summer

[Matador; 2019]

Rating: 2.5/5

If it weren’t for the film’s IMDb page and a single teaser clip posted to YouTube, it’d be easy to mistake Days of the Bagnold Summer for another proper full-length entry in Belle and Sebastian’s discography. Even the monochrome, vacant-eyed portraiture on its sleeve fits uniformly into the Scottish band’s catalogue, while the forthcoming indie flick’s synopsis reads like one of the short stories frontman Stuart Murdoch slips into his liner notes.

Bagnold, based on Joff Winterhart’s 2012 graphic novel, is a slice-of-life piece about a listless teenage metalhead and his anxious single mother; settings include libraries, shoe stores, and diners. Could there be a more quintessentially Belle and Sebastian concept? The Belle-verse is rife with horny teenage layabouts with lofty ambitions and a lack of motivation. In lyric form and likely on screen (the movie gets its wide release in 2020), Daniel Bagnold is no outlier, save for his decidedly non-twee appearance.

Days of the Bagnold Summer is Belle and Sebastian’s second crack at a movie score, following Todd Solondz’s 2001 film Storytelling. The former arrives amid a saturated market for movie/album tie-ins “inspired by” their source material, many of them dreadful and forced. Did Billie Eilish or Beck really offer any supplementary understanding to Roma? Does anyone want to listen to Rick Ross fumble through Suicide Squad references over Skrillex production? The answer is no on each count.

Luckily, the connection between the Belles’ interpretation of the Bagnold Summer and director Simon Bird’s is not so loose. Blending instrumental scores with the band’s more traditional fare, comparisons to Simon and Garfunkel’s work on The Graduate are inevitable (and conveniently referenced in the soundtrack’s promotional one-sheet). I’ll raise the stakes and say that the Bagnold soundtrack is overall a more listenable experience than The Graduate’s — Bagnold’ s instrumental filler, which exists in a Venn diagram overlap between Real Estate deep cuts and the Napoleon Dynamite score, is infinitely more pleasant background music than Dave Grusin’s martini-soaked lounge dreck, which bookend Paul Simon’s best-loved hits.

The new lyrical offerings here are solid, especially in the soundtrack’s first half. “I’ll Keep It Inside” and “Safety Valve” are charming returns to early form, swimming in reverb and adolescent transgression. “Did the Day Go Just Like You Wanted,” with its throbbing brass section, is one of the better literal retellings of a film synopsis this side of Christopher Cross’s theme for Arthur.

Bagnold’s sterile production, however, doesn’t conjure the same snuggly warmth of records like If You’re Feeling Sinister, which becomes abundantly clear when a re-recorded version of “Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying” sounds dishearteningly skeletal in comparison to its 1996 predecessor, brimming with misplaced optimism and vintage pop grit. On the heels of the genre-splicing How to Solve Our Human Problems EP series, a late-career breakthrough that incorporates drum-and-bass breaks and synth-pop melodies, there’s a sense that Belle and Sebastian played the score a little safely, save for the sparkling baroque-pop standout “Sister Buddha.”

Of course, that’s likely an intentional decision. In the context of the movie, I foresee the beloved tropes of Belle and Sebastian’s first three or four records triggering the growing pains and teen angst I so associate them with. Divorced from that concept, though, Days of the Bagnold Summer plays like a b-sides compilation with a few cuts worth revisiting. Like the Storytelling OST, this one’s strictly for the heads.

Belle and Sebastian to release Days of The Bagnold Summer soundtrack

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One always wants to grow their career opportunities by taking on things different to, but also like, their current job. That’s why I’ve been working on a screenplay apart from my lucrative news writing gig here at the mighty TMT. To give you the basic plot, it’s about a truck driver who woos a country singer and fights bare-knuckle brawls egged on by his orangutan… wait, oh damn you Any Which Way But Loose!

I’ll leave this sort of cross-training handicraft to the experts, like Belle and Sebastian. Not content with being one of the most beloved bands on the planet, the troupe will venture into strange soundtrack land when they release its OST for Days of The Bagnold Summer on September 13 through Matador.

Days of The Bagnold Summer is the feature directorial debut from Simon Bird, star of sitcom The Inbetweeners, and it’s adapted from Joff Winterhart’s coming-of-age graphic novel about a 15-year-old heavy metal fan spending his summer holidays with his 52-year-old mother, Sue.

All soundtracks are new except for reworkings of two Belle and Sebastian golden oldies: the gorgeous “I Know Where the Summer Goes” from the This Is Just a Modern Rock Song EP and If You’re Feeling Sinister’s highlight “Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying.” And there’s also “Safety Valve,” a Stuart Murdoch track that predates the formation of Belle and Sebastian. You can hear those gems when you get the album in September, but you can hear one new song now below, the superb single, “Sister Buddah.”

The sextet is on the road now. All dates are listed below, including The Boaty Weekender Mediterranean cruise that will feature shipshape sets by the hosts, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Camera Obscura, Yo La Tengo, Django Django, Japanese Breakfast, Alvvays, Buzzcocks, The Vaselines, and more. I know someone going to this and have made it clear that if he does not wipe the shuffleboard floor with Mr. Murdoch, he is not to return. Hmm, maybe I should branch out and get work as a tentative bully rather than a terrible screenwriter?

Days of The Bagnold Summer tracklisting:

01. Sister Buddha (Intro)
02. I Know Where the Summer Goes
03. Did the Day Go Just Like You Wanted?
04. Jill Pole
05. I’ll Keep It Inside
06. Safety Valve
07. The Colour’s Gonna Run
08. Another Day, Another Night
09. Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying
10. Wait and See What the Day Holds
11. Sister Buddha
12. This Letter
13. We Were Never Glorious

Belle and Sebastian tour dates:

07.10.19 – New York, NY – Brooklyn Steel
07.11.19 – Charlottesville, VA – Sprint Pavilion $
07.12.19 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer $
07.13.19 – Boston, MA – House of Blues $
07.15.19 – Montreal, QC – M Telus
07.16.19 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall #
07.18.19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Carnegie Music Hall
07.19.19 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues #
07.20.19 – Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
07.21.19 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre #
07.23.19 – Apple Valley, MN – Weesner Family Amphitheater
07.25.19 – Calgary, AB – Calgary Folk Music Festival
11.01.19 – Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
11.02.19 – Mérignac, France – Krakatoa
11.03.19 – Toulouse, France – Le Bikini
11.04.19 – Pamplona, Spain – Auditorio Balaurte
11.06.19 – Lisbon, Portugal – Aula Magma

$ with Ex Hex
# with Men I Trust

Spoon ready best-of compilation, include new song because that’s the sort of thing cool veteran rock bands do

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Gag me with a Spoon…compilation?

That’s right cool dudes and dudettes: Everything Hits At Once: The Very Best of Spoon, the totally bitchin’, all-killer-no-filler Spoon hits comp of your wildest dreams is coming on Matador on July 26.

It’s got all the golden Spoon favorites you know and love from all over: your car radio, the soundtrack to the melancholy Will Ferrell comedy Stranger Than Fiction, and Scrubs. (Speaking of car radios, “Car Radio” is absent from the tracklist, as are any and all tracks from A Series of Sneaks; however, to the “Sneaks-heads” (as ride-or-die fans of 1998-era Spoon shall henceforth be known), read on for a potential panacea, since you’re no doubt totally buggin’.)

But we all know the greatest hit of all is the BRAND NEW hit you just wrote and recorded to be the crown jewel on your band’s career-summing compilation; and yes, this compilation includes a new Spoon song, “No Bullets Spent.”

The comp also has differing cover art for the digital and physical releases. The vinyl cover is a rad photo of Britt Daniel pointing a Telecaster at the camera like a gun, while the digital art is a photo of a boring-ass tambourine—I think I know which one they want you to buy.

And for those of you who already own all of Spoon’s previous all-killer-no-filler albums and don’t feel the need to buy a disc with a dozen redundant tracks just to acquire that one new song, “No Bullets Spent” is also being released as a limited edition 7-inch — and on the B-side of that 7-inch is “Shake It Off,” which a Matador press release describes as “an A Series of Sneaks era track.” Totally buggin’!

Check out the sure-to-be-timeless “lyric video” for “No Bullets Spent” down below, and quibble about inclusions and absences from Everything Hits at Once’s svelte 12-songs-and-“No Bullets Spent” tracklist below. (No “Jonathan Fisk?” No “The Agony of LaFitte?!?” No “Sister Jack?!!?” No “Written in Reverse????!!!” I could do this all day — I’m totally butt-crazy in love with Spoon.)

B-)
:’-(

Everything Hits At Once tracklisting:

01. I Turn My Camera On
02. Do You
03. Don’t You Evah
04. Inside Out
05. The Way We Get By
06. The Underdog
07. Hot Thoughts
08. I Summon You
09. Rent I Pay
10. You Got Yr Cherry Bomb
11. Got Nuffin
12. Everything Hits At Once
13. No Bullets Spent

PSSST. Hey: did you think Spoon, those infamously hard-partying and harder-touring Texans (and actually I made up the hard-partying part) would drop this comp without also dropping a ridiculously huge number of tour dates on the world which I have also listed below? AS IF!

Spoon tour dates:

07.11.19 – Sunlight Supply Amphitheater – Ridgefield, WA *^
07.13.19 – The Gorge – George, WA *^
07.15.19 – Virginia Brewhouse – Reno, NV ^
07.16.19 – Shoreline Amphitheater – Mountain View, CA *^
07.17.19 – Five Point Amphitheater – Irvine, CA *^
07.19.19 – Park Theater – Las Vegas, NV *^
07.20.19 – North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre – Chula Vista, CA *^
07.21.19 – Ak-Chin Pavilion – Phoenix, AZ *^
07.23.19 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater – Denver, CO *^
07.26.19 – Austin 360 Amphitheater – Austin, TX *#
07.27.19 – The Dos Equis Pavilion – Dallas, TX *#
07.28.19 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – Houston, TX *#
07.30.19 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – St. Louis, MO *#
07.31.19 – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island – Chicago, IL *#
08.02.19 – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH *#
08.03.19 – DTE Energy Music Theater – Detroit, MI *#
08.04.19 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center – Indianapolis, IN *#
08.11.19 – Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON *&
08.12.19 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY *&
08.13.19 – Darien Lake Amphitheater – Darien Center, NY *&
08.15.19 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA *&
08.16.19 – Bank of New Hampshire – Gilford, NH *&
08.17.19 – Forest Hill Stadium – New York, NY *
08.20.19 – PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ *&
08.21.19 – BB&T Pavilion – Camden, NJ *&
08.22.19 – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD *&
08.24.19 – Coastal Credit Union Music Park Raleigh, NC *&
08.25.19 – PNC Music Pavilion – Charlotte, NC *&
08.27.19 – Oak Mountain Amphitheatre – Birmingham, AL *&
08.29.19 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL *&
08.30.19 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach, FL *&

* = Beck, Cage The Elephant
^ = Starcrawler
# = Wild Belle
& = Sunflower Bean

Sonic Youth announce new release of old live album

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If you’re the kind of person who reads music blogs, you don’t need to be told who Sonic Youth is. You love and respect Sonic Youth, you played the hell out of the copy of Evol you pirated off MediaFire, you considered buying Fender’s Lee Ranaldo Signature Jazzmaster guitar until you realized owning it wouldn’t automatically make you one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists of all-time. That’s why we’ve selected you — yes you — to receive this special news bulletin.

We’ll tell you right now: this isn’t some random series of Sonic Youth album reviews being posted for reasons no one will ever be able to figure out. No, baby, this here is the real deal. On June 7, Sonic Youth will be releasing Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008 — a new live album — via Matador Records.

Previously only available as a bonus companion piece to the band’s final album The Eternal, this release marks the first time the live effort will be available for standalone purchase and — for all you physical media doomsayers — on streaming services.

Featuring a set that both “spans the band’s 30-year career” but is also 45% made up of songs from Daydream Nation, the live show captured on Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008 comes from — and this may utterly shock you — the band’s show at the River To River Festival in New York City’s Battery Park on July 4, 2008. God bless America.

Upon the live album’s release, Matador will also be putting The Eternal on sale for 25% off, in honor of that album’s 10th anniversary. Who’s the bonus companion piece now? That sale, as well as the release of Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008, will be on June 7.

Take a listen to a live version of “Bull in the Heather” and check out the album’s artwork and full tracklisting down below. You can pre-order Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008 here.

Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008 tracklist:

01. She Is Not Alone
02. The Sprawl
03. World Looks Red
04. Jams Run Free
05. Hey Joni
06. Silver Rocket
07. The Wonder
08. Hyperstation
09. Bull in the Heather
10. 100%
11. Making the Nature Scene

Interpol unveil new EP, A Fine Mess, the title of which does not reflect its contents, out this May on Matador

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Fun fact: Interpol are still around, putting out records and playing shows. Sure, they’re not the same hedonistic twenty-somethings in dapper suits being all “broody” on stage. When I saw the band come through my town on their current tour, I witnessed a professional, polished live show, complete with sick lighting, from a band that gave the crowd what it wanted (a one-two punch encore of “Evil” and “Obstacle 1” – *swoon*). All in all, it was a solid night.

What you may also not be aware of is that their latest album, last year’s Marauder, is not bad at all. In fact, most of their post-Antics discography is kinda “meh,” at worst, and “pretty decent proto dad rock” at best. For a band going on two decades together, that’s a track record I think we can all appreciate!

With the momentum of a renewed focus brought on by Marauder, plus sold-out shows around the world, the band is dropping a new EP, A Fine Mess, with the previously unveiled title track here and the latest single, “The Weekend,” embedded below. For this listener, at least, I’m digging what I hear. Maybe you are, too, Dad?

A Fine Mess EP drops May 17 via Matador.

A Fine Mess tracklisting:

01. Fine Mess
02. No Big Deal
03. Real Life
04. The Weekend
05. Thrones

Stephen Malkmus really is releasing an electronic album, announces tour, shares new video for “Rushing the Acid Frat”

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After unleashing the hottest new move in the club with his video for “Viktor Borgia” — the lead single off his upcoming solo electronic album Groove Denied — Stephen Malkmus is at it again. Yes, the Malk Man hath returned with another new video for another new Groove Denied cut, “Rushing the Acid Frat.”

While not as immediately “electronic” in a “Malkmus lives in a computer now” sense as its predecessor single, “Rushing the Acid Frat” does have a psychedelic, glitchy vibe that feels a part of the same whole. The Robert Strange and James Papper directed clip features an animated Malkmus — an animalkmus — strolling the streets of our planet and beyond, taking in the trippy sights along the way. He even gets the sun to sing backing vocals for him at one point. What a get!

Groovy Steve has also updated his upcoming slate of tour dates, adding more stops, and announcing supporting acts. Some shows will be solo with support from Eleanor Friedberger and Mary Lattimore, dates later in the run will be with the Jicks, and one will just be a conversation at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Basically, whatever your preferred mode of Malkmus — solo artist, band man, guy who speaks — you have opportunities to experience it in the coming months.

Check out the video for “Rushing the Acid Frat,” as well as all of the upcoming Malkmus tour dates, down below. Groove Denied is out March 15 via Matador Records and can be pre-ordered here.

04.30.19 — New York, NY — 92Y In-Conversation with Vanity Fair’s Michael Hogan
05.01.19 — Toronto, ON — The Great Hall ^ #
05.02.19 — New York, NY — The Kitchen ^
05.03.19 — Somerville, MA @ Arts At The Armory ^ # – SOLD OUT
05.04.19 — Ardmore, PA — Ardmore Music Hall ^ #
05.05.19 — Washington, DC — Union Stage ^ #
05.07.19 — Austin, TX — 3TEN ACL Live ^
05.08.19 — Chicago, IL — Art Institute Of Chicago – Fullerton Hall ^
05.10.19 — Portland, OR — Doug Fir Lounge ^ – SOLD OUT
05.11.19 — Seattle, WA — Columbia City Theater ^
05.14.19 — San Francisco, CA — Swedish American Hall ^ %
05.15.19 — Los Angeles, CA — Lodge Room ^ % – SOLD OUT
05.16.19 — Los Angeles, CA — Lodge Room ^
05.30.19 — Barcelona, ES — Primavera Festival *
05.31.19 — Nimes, FR — This Is Not A Love Song *
06.06-09.19 — Helsinki, FI — Sideways Festival *
06.14-16.19 — Mannheim, DE — Maifeld Derby Festival *
06.19.19 — Paris, FR — La Gaîté Lyrique *

* The Jicks
^ Solo
# Eleanor Friedberger
% Mary Lattimore

Music Review: Steve Gunn – The Unseen in Between

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Steve Gunn

The Unseen in Between

[Matador; 2019]

Rating: 3.5/5

As the new album title could suggest, Steve Gunn is among the singer-songwriters who resist overt lyrical messaging, for whom tradition is both a thing to honor and a jumping-off point to something else. This something else is not better or even new necessarily. It’s less experimentation and more curbing the impulse to rep for the old things that inform and inspire us. Instead, these musicians amble, allowing what’s sturdy about beloved touchstones to be enlivened with symbiotic potential. The world is then graced with sounds that are simultaneously nostalgic and grounded, where it isn’t about what’s urgent so much as the quiet pleas for the preservation of reflection. Or perhaps just the graciousness to do what comes natural and soothe the weary world around us.

Even with the continued polish and expanded grandeur of his arrangements (the sweeping strings-and-harmonica moment toward the end of the opener is eyebrow-raisingly vast for the artist), there is a sober, matter-of-fact kind of reassurance to Gunn’s songs that remains consistent. Although a large element of that comes from his unassuming singing, he sounds more soulful on The Unseen in Between, allowing his voice to sustain a bit more. Lead-off single “Vagabond” is likable enough (namely for Meg Baird’s airy backing vocal), but it might be the slightest thing on here. It’s a little too close to that dour but poppy blues rock of the War on Drugs or post-Childish Prodigy Kurt Vile sound, where he already has enough of his own flavor going. But, as with almost every track on this record, it is expertly produced for maximum resonance. Little signature touches, like diminishing little outros or minor textural flourishes, work well to endear each song to even a passive listener.

Who, let’s face it, this stuff is partly destined for. It’s rootsy soft rock built for coffee and reading and conversational volume. How do we watch the water flow, lean into a slack posture, and dream now in this turbulent world without jamming up the change that surely must happen? There is a fatalism that some might miss (“Into the ground is where we’re bound” goes the refrain of “Lightning Field”), but the peace of Gunn’s music is like that. It is with the dead, the missed, the invisible path ahead. Even when we are at our most salient in our daily machinations, there is a liberating notion that we play a small, easily-obliterated part in life. In this sense, watching the water roll by is like communing with life’s impermanence so that it might not bark and bite at us later. The same goes for these nine wistful, worried tunes. They’re soft but weatherbeaten, just like us, and narrowly squeeze their comforting qualities (“Luciano” is particularly cozy, with a wonderful swirling outro) past complacency to something like fortification.

Of course, some of us might wish he’d go back to something more bare bones, but we can go to his Gunn/Truscinski material for this (2017’s Bay Head is a solidly gritty antidote). Actually, upon hearing Gunn perform these new songs with just voice and acoustic on his last Best Show appearance, it’s clear he’s improved considerably since his still-solid 2013 breakout LP, Time Off. Gunn has been decidedly prolific, but he has shown no signs of phoned-in creative stagnation. He might not be making sounds for fighting the many injustices of our current place and time, but Unseen in Between is nonetheless a solid compatriot against the confounding effect of going forward among them.

Premiere: OC & Verde – Korowai

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Premiere: OC & Verde – KorowaiOC VERDE Korowai

OC & Verde are well-versed in the realm of quality dance records — so much so, that Pete Tong crowned them “Ones to Watch” a year after their break in 2016, and “New Names” for the year of 2018. The duo have earned renown for their scintillating brand of techno, and have since earned accolades from the likes of Joseph Capriati, Tale Of Us, Maceo Plex, and more. Not to mention, they also received the high honor from John Digweed in remixing his iconing Bedrock single, “Heaven Scent.”

They’re back on their production grind in 2019 now with a brand new two-tracker on Matador’s RUKUS, “Korowai.” We recently got hold of the A-side, and it’s indeed quite the sizzler. Immediately, listeners can tell it’s a serious production by way of its powerful, stuttered bassline and peppered-in percussion. They lock and load the track in with a bittersweet analog riff, before smacking listeners with their usual huge climax that is built to blow up even the largest setting. OC & Verde have always been experts at forging weapons, and “Korowai” is no different.

 

Pre-order a copy here

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.

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
& RVG