Kurt Vile and the Violators

The Echo Presents

Kurt Vile and the Violators

The Fresh & Only's, Steve Gunn

Tue, May 7, 2013

8:00 pm

Echoplex

Los Angeles, CA

This event is 18 and over

**Tickets purchased on day of show at the door will have $1 facility fee applied **

Kurt Vile and the Violators
Kurt Vile and the Violators
Kurt Vile has a way of tying time in knots. You can hear it on his new album Smoke Ring For My Halo from the get-go – the pinwheeling guitars and reaching atmospheres of ‘Baby’s Arms’ are as strange as they are familiar: a demonstration of how Kurt can put worn methods and sounds through himself and end up with something that isn’t emotionally or sonically obvious. Instead we’re left with a record that contains traces of the past but doesn’t waste precious time in the now being reverent.

Once compared to Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Psychic TV, and Animal Collective in the same review (for 2009’s Childish Prodigy), Kurt can bring to mind anything from Suicide to Leo Kottke to My Bloody Valentine, Bob Seger, Nick Drake, and Eastern ragas. Still, he pieces together these disparate elements so seamlessly and unpretentiously that such reference points are rendered pointless by the singularity of his sound. Kurt Vile might belong to a long lineage of classic American songwriters, but he’s the only one who’s alive and in his prime today.

This is the fourth time Kurt Vile has put an album’s worth of songs together and stuck a name on it, but in a sense Smoke Ring For My Halo is his first real album – every flinching guitar arpeggio and vocal wander was made to be here, made with this record in mind, to sit alongside another in situ and in sequence. It seems weird saying this given the amount of ground he’s covered already, but Smoke Ring For My Halo is the perfect way into the music Kurt Vile makes. It’s tender and evocative, elusive but companionable, tough in the gut and the arm but swollen in the chest and giddy in the head. It’s a record that is perfect for any given day during whatever season, to satisfy all moods in every possible scenario – be that first thing in the morning or last thing at night; today, tomorrow or five years from now.

In short, it’s real. Kurt Vile isn’t just the loneliest of ten siblings born to parents on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the former forklift truck driver who makes rock band guitar songs in the solitude of his bedroom. Smoke Ring For My Halo brings all of that together, marrying the introspection of the nocturnal stoner with the exploration of a troubadour frontiersman to arrive at a record you know is so much more than the sum of his and its constituent parts because often he sounds like he doesn’t know how he got there himself.
The Fresh & Only's
The Fresh & Only's
This has been a decisive year for San Francisco's the Fresh & Onlys – including invitations to play All Tomorrow's Parties and then they joined Deerhunter for a UK tour, extensive treks throughout the US, and standout performances at the Woodsist festivals in NY and Big Sur. Keeping with their notorious urgent pace the Fresh & Onlys released a handful of exclusive 7" singles, and Captured Tracks issued the lush and anthemic August In My Mind EP. Now to cap off the year, Play It Strange arrives from the infamous In The Red Records with a tour supporting Clinic across the US to follow. Play It Strange is the third full length album recorded in just over two years since the band's inception with previous albums out on Woodsist and Castle Face. This newest album is also the first recording done outside the band's own analog home studio. Hot on the heels of touring and arranging these new songs live, Play It Strange was furiously recorded and mixed in one week with Tim Green (Fucking Champs, Comets On Fire) at Louder Studios in order to better capture the muscularity and depth of the band's live performances. The Fresh & Onlys newest is a shimmering pop record full of infectious melodic hooks, led by singer Tim Cohen's hazy romanticism, and the incessantly propulsive rhythms of Shayde Sartin and Kyle Gibson. Play It Strange has an evocative moody swagger that jangles with 80's guitar pop like the Go-Betweens, Jacobites, or early R.E.M. and a provocative rawness ala Iggy Pop or The Gun Club. The record is saturated with guitarist Wymond Miles sonic textural sprawl full of desert guitar-noir phrases that call to mind Morricone/The Bad Seeds. Play It Strange is an addictive record that will establish the Fresh & Onlys as a band that effortlessly laces together threads of great guitar bands from decades past. They may not be your favorite secret to keep much longer.
Steve Gunn
Steve Gunn
Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning nearly fifteen years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings. His albums with GHQ and longtime collaborating drummer John Truscinski represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. A voracious schedule of international performances has cultivated a fervent fanbase for Gunn’s music throughout the world.

Mining the catalogs of Basho, Bull, Chapman, and Sharrock, among other titans of stringed-things and record-session royalty, Steve has steadily processed these inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Friendships and collaborations with Jack Rose, Tom Carter, Meg Baird, and Michael Chapman colored the disciplined evolution of the discursive, deconstructed blues sound, at once transcendent and methodical, that is now Gunn’s signature. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions.

Gunn’s 2009 solo masterpiece, Boerum Palace, demonstrated a fully realized power for songcraft. Steve started to sing more and developed a commanding vocal style equal to his guitar practice. His acclaimed instrumental duo recordings with Truscinski, Sand City (2010) and Ocean Parkway (2012), cemented his place among the top of his peers, both present and past. These documents display Gunn’s compositional penchant for charting musical travelogues that ramble through city and wilderness alike. Dispatches home are not merely descriptive but corporeal; the evocative, rhythmic power of his writing and phrasing carries the listener along bodily. Steve builds songs as exploratory vessels, opens them up for mechanical tinkering, and lives in them through ceaseless improvisatory permutations.

Paradise of Bachelors is thrilled to release Time Off (2013), his first album as leader of a trio including longtime friends John Truscinski on drums and Justin Tripp on bass, and a record on which Steve’s compelling singing features more prominently than ever before. The album features his oblique character sketches and story-songs about friends, acquaintances, and denizens of his Brooklyn neighborhood, using the trio band format to launch his compositions into new, luminous strata. This is Gunn at the top of his game, writing his most memorable tunes and lyrics, utterly unique but steeped in traditions both vernacular and avant-garde.
Venue Information:
Echoplex
1822 W. Sunset Blvd
The Echoplex is located below The Echo, enter through the alley at 1154 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90026