Posted in music | pictures on April 11, 2009

words & photos by Jacob Blickenstaff

Kurt Vile

(It was this photograper's first Todd P show in NYC, I guess I'm quite late getting on the bandwagon, but oh well.)

I checked the address a couple times before opening the door of the unmarked building across from an auto salvage, somewhere in the back of my head asking 'what would Liz Lemmon do in this situation'.

An hour after doors was apparently still a couple hours early to get there. The three bands on the bill from Philly (all except Gary War) were delayed by the crummy spring rain storms that befell the region. Todd P paced around, making eclectic selections on his iPod and announcing to the small crowd distributed on the couches that there was a rain delay. It was cold and damp, wind blew in through the open and broken windows and a resident orange tabby climbed in and out making its way over to a Fender amp to use its grill as a scratching pad. Spirits picked up for Todd and his crew when the pizza guy arrived.

Expecting unhinged DIY bacchanalia, the vibe turned out to be subdued and mellow. The opening band, Birds of Maya, was the last to arrive. There were reports they had gotten lost in the no-man's-land of outer Bushwick/Ridgewood. They set up quickly and played a short set, hard rock riffs with impressive 'dee-da-lee dee-da-lee waaaaah' guitar solos. Next was U.S. Girls consisting of Megan Remy and a red suitcase containing a cassette recorder and a couple pedals. Her voice and reminded me of Cindy Lauper even through the distortion and chant-like structures of her songs. Gary War was third with a three-piece outfit playing fast-paced punk stuff with some kind of underwater/Aquaman sounding effect on the vocals.

Now to Kurt Vile - I liked this guy. Underneath the codification of his music as psych, lo-fi, bedroom music, etc. is a very good singer/ guitarist/songwriter. Kurt played acoustic guitar, run through a bit of effect and echo, and sang. He started and ended solo, and had two additional guitar players with him, one of whom also played a mean harmonica on one song. Led by the guitar and the lyric, the music was much more direct than anything I had heard of on his recordings. Some of the songs did have a cyclical, drone structure but there was movement within it, and the lyrics and delivery pulled me in like Lou Reed singing a Leonard Cohen recording with the Band in the basement of Big Pink. The guitar work owed a lot to John Fahey (and I mean that as a compliment) with the finger picking, echo effect and alternate tunings. I hate to throw such big names around, but there is something special to Vile's songs and music and I hope the music world will see it all come together soon.

More pictures from the show below...

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

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Comments (30)

should i not leave queens? is queens becoming hip?

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 12:12 AM

I'M NEXT TO YR AMP
 
 
 
 
 
GETTIN ALL UP IN ITS GRILLE

Posted by KITTAH | April 12, 2009 1:05 AM

Seriously, you couldn't take a picture of the tabby?

Also: The name "Kurt Vile" <-- I see what he did there

Posted by Mack the Knife | April 12, 2009 1:07 AM

First time at a Todd P show? Who is this young Bernstein?

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 1:10 AM

^^"words & photos by Jacob Blickenstaff"

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 1:19 AM

Shows a Silent Barn never start when they say they're gonna. You can show up 3 or 4 hours past doors, and still be the only douche standing around. That's 3 or 4 hours of your (NY) life (ie - 20 days or so in the midwest) that you'll never get back. Effin' weak. For this reason alone, I never go to shows there anymore.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 1:25 AM

is that todd p's kitchen?

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 2:03 AM

hey 1:25, this show was over at 12:30... so shut the fuck up you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 1:07 PM

is that a tiny guitar or a huge dude?

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 1:07 PM

http://epictheatre.blogspot.com/2009/04/4309.html

different photos of the same show, with many photos of the cat.

here he is, if you're lazy:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_e5FlSy0LEqc/Sdew5XYRm2I/AAAAAAAABnQ/rP6PwiXVSVc/s1600-h/049.JPG


Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 1:11 PM

My first trip to the Silent Barn was marked with failure and dischord. After some "latin" gentlemen coerced me into their poisonous latin-like-food, wallet discreetion service, and van I found the address I saw on the website across from a "business". Having grown up in the more isolated regions of the tundras of Cyberia, I was completely unaware shows could be in houses. Go figure! I waited patiently at the door for some one to open it and when I realized whites were inside I jumped right in. My initial reaction was: I wonder what these guys got their bachelor's degrees in? Graphic design? Web design? Fine arts!? The art was amazing! It was like a trippy psychedelic nightmare in the mind of a lunatic. Just then a young man walked up along side me and told me his friend made it. Before I could ask him which piece he was referring to about two more people turned to me and shouted that their friends made it! After engaging in a lengthy conversation of whom knew "DJ Chef Hospital" the most intimately, one admitted to have blown him and the three digressed to the bar downstairs to solve their problems with drinking. Later that night, I found out that was the opening act. How avante-gardae! After drinking what the forteen-year old boy at the bar explained to me was "cranberry juice and vodka" I meandered back up the stairs to see that where the bands performing was a kitchen. Whaaaat! A refrigerator? A table? A stove? Didn't these crazy coconuts consider what would happen if the amplifiers ignited the gas from the stove?! It would be slaughter mayhem! Their were couches and everything. It was like people REALLY lived there! After some mustard seed finished getting the public address system to stop ringing a guy with 14 delay pedals made it ring even louder! After some latently homosexual DJing (the Andrews Sisters, the Chordettes, Leslie Gore, salsa I could tell was gay) the headliners took the stage! It was the Video Girls, Thou Art Potence, Reg and Kim, and the Dead Set playing all at once, simulatenously! Pott T-shirt had really outdone himself this time! Let me just say, this was the best show ever. All those bands did whatever they do SO HARD! Everyone was jumping around and shoving each other and it didn't even matter if any of the ipods with the backing track stayed plugged in or not! It was sheer mayhem! Then, at the end of the set they smashed all there stuff and as a surprisel guest, Steely Blues came out and picked up all the beer bottles and swept and mopped the floor. Performance clearly comes natural to this man. As I was leaving, some one handed me something called a "Show Paper". I told him I didn't have any money and he said "it's free". "That's alright," I told him (I do not take trash from strangers). I can honestly say this is the most redeeming experience of my life and that they killed it.

Posted by j | April 12, 2009 1:26 PM

these are great photos.

I don't think you have to hope too hard for the music world to start following Kurt Vile... the record labels and industry folks are starting to circle like vultures actually.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 1:27 PM

1:26. too much time on your hands.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 2:12 PM

1:26 proves it.

on the internet, just referencing shit is HILARIOUS. apparently.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 2:17 PM

A few things:

to the credit of the venue, Todd P, crew, and bands - the show ran on schedule, everyone played short sets and set up quickly - the whole thing was done by 12:30 as reported above.

The Space - From what I can gather, its a functioning artists loft, kitchen in the open space, and 2/3 work spaces.

Not sure, but I think Kurt Vile is just the guys name (pronounced 'ville') lucky coincidence, false cognate to Kurt Weill. He had a bag from a flight with a baggage tag -'Vile/Kurt'

Many pictures from Epictheater (above) with the cat and some of me in my ugly brown raincoat. jesus, am i getting a bald spot or is it the flash?

Posted by jacob | April 12, 2009 2:40 PM

HA HA, dude in 1:11's link is eating pussy!

Posted by Cunning linguist | April 12, 2009 7:24 PM

"should i not leave queens? is queens becoming hip?"

if by "queens" you mean a converted basement that fits like 30 people and is not actually ridgewood but some very dangerous nowhere land between ridgewood and bushwick, then yes, queens is becoming hip.

that said, silent barn does rule. if you go to a todd p show and wonder why the bands are not playing an hour after doors you should probably stick to watching the yeah yeah yeahs on snl.

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2009 11:40 PM

" you mean a converted basement that fits like 30 people and is not actually ridgewood but some very dangerous nowhere land between ridgewood and bushwick, then yes, queens is becoming hip.

Posted by göğüs büyütücü | June 5, 2009 5:52 AM

" you mean a converted basement that fits like 30 people and is not actually ridgewood but some very dangerous nowhere land between ridgewood and bushwick, then yes, queens is becoming hip.

Posted by sexshop | June 5, 2009 5:53 AM

is that a tiny guitar or a huge dude?

Posted by ibrahim saraçoğlu | August 31, 2009 11:14 AM

Seriously, you couldn't take a picture of the tabby?

Posted by saç bakımı | August 31, 2009 11:15 AM

GETTIN ALL UP IN ITS GRILLE

Posted by saç şekilleri | August 31, 2009 11:16 AM

Thanks!!! This site is great

Posted by canli dizi | October 28, 2009 6:55 AM

"The guitar work owed a lot to John Fahey (and I mean that as a compliment)"

how could it possibly be taken as anything other?

Posted by robbie basho | October 28, 2009 8:24 AM

oww so crazzyyy love it :)

Posted by Burç Uyumları | November 11, 2009 1:58 PM

thnaks for all

Posted by erotik shop | November 13, 2009 4:05 AM

Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

Posted by pimapen | November 22, 2009 11:01 PM

Julian Cope on Mac:

"I gots to tell y’all that when I heard the other day that the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch is writing his autobiography, I nearly shat my undies laughing so hard (good job I don’t wear any!); Ian Mac write a book? A man for whom completing a single song on his own is a struggle of Everest the Hard Way proportions is hardly going to write a book. Ian, I’m speechless at your continued arrogance in the face of no evidence whatsoever. In my opinion, you’ve been a dried-up shell of a husk of a man since just after OCEAN RAIN, so don’t embarrass us all with your ludicrous claims that you’re gonna write an autobiography. Two words… No Way. Writing a book involves discipline and hard work, two things you never nailed in the past and never will. As I heard it, you even said in the press that your book will be better than the Bible. Well, in two ways it may well be like the Bible: 1) it’ll be full of half-truths and outright lies, and 2) it’ll have been written by umpteen uncredited writers and you’ll name yourself solely as its author. There you go, dumkopf, I just handed you the map: don’t even bother buying yourself a pen, son; just do what you’ve always done throughout your career; get someone else to do most of the work then claim all the credit yourself. I even have a title already: MAC USER. And with that, I shall sweep off into the Beltane sunset. Yowzah!"

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