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Kurt Vile & The Violators w/ Julia Shapiro

Tue, Oct 25
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Admission starts at: $36.69
Asbury Hall at Babeville • 341 Delaware, Buffalo 14202

Description

Since his earliest self-produced CD-Rs, Philadelphia psych-pop master Kurt Vile has referred to himself as “Philly’s Constant Hitmaker“—and while he gave himself that name with a sly wink, he was also nodding toward the songwriting prowess that would result in him becoming one of his home city’s most celebrated rock artists. “I’m always thinking about catchy music, even though it’s fried, or sizzled, out,” he says. “It’s my own version of a classic thing—it’s moving forward and backward at the same time.”

On his latest album, (watch my moves), Vile pulls his talents as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer in unexpected directions—and the result is a vibrant, yet meditative album propelled by Vile’s laid-back charm and curious spirit. Every lyric has been chiseled down into an aphorism, every bloom of distorted guitar or murmuring synth helping create that “fried” pop. “It’s about songwriting. It’s about lyrics. It’s about being the master of all domains in the music,” he says of his ninth album and first in partnership with a major label, Verve Records.

(watch my moves) comes from a period when Vile, whose touring and recording schedule during the 2010s was seemingly constant, stayed in one place. His mind was always swirling, though, puzzling out pointillistic lyrics, dreaming up spit-shined choruses, and checking in on other dimensions. “My favorite pastime these days is sitting drinking coffee in the morning post-breakfast by the window, reading and listening to Sun Ra, sun shining through the forest trees,” says Vile. “In that moment, it’s all the traveling I’ll ever need. This record encapsulates all that—letting two years roll by and staying in my zone, traveling all the while in my brain, at the piano or in my guitar.”

The album gets its name from an aside in the blissed-out “Mount Airy Hill (Way Gone),” which has cotton-ball-cloud slide guitar and Vile bending his voice into its lower and upper registers as he sings of novelty dances and his view high above an urban sanctuary’s summit. It’s the spiritual and musical centerpiece of (watch my moves), showcasing Vile’s potent songwriting as well as his ability to crystallize moments with his lyrics.

 

Julia Shapiro (of Chastity Belt)

Zorked (adj.) – what happens when you end up thunderbaked, as in extremely stoned–or in any situation where you feel not sober. And Julia Shapiro, of Chastity Belt, Childbirth, and Who Is She?—much like everyone on this earth with a pulse—was zorked on more than one occasion in 2020. In March, she packed up her things and traded Seattle’s late-winter gloom for the perennial sunshine and seemingly endless opportunity of Los Angeles only to be forced into near-total isolation. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, she began working on her second solo album, ‘Zorked,’ On the resulting batch of songs, we’re given Julia’s vision of Los Angeles: a wasteland melting in slow-motion, a place to commune with ghosts and warped legacies.

Her roommate Melina Duterte (Jay Som) transformed their house into a viable home studio, making it easy to fully realize the sound in her head, even at the height of a global lockdown. At the peak of her uncertainty and discomfort, she jumped into the deep end in search of something new—and found power in heavy sounds.

This is evident in the first few seconds of album opener “Death (XIII).” Taking newfound inspiration from the namesake Tarot card, drone metal, and shoegaze, Julia layers walls of guitars, bass chords, and programmed drums. That said, these songs aren’t unbearably sad, nor has Julia become any less of a merciless observer of human behavior. Over fingerpicked guitar, the sense of lost identity becomes all-encompassing.

Though Julia Shapiro found herself in a near hermit-like existence, writing and recording almost all of the album’s instruments herself and struggling to navigate her place in a city and world rendered nearly comatose, she maintains a sense of humor about all of it. At the very least, “It’s funny to force people to have to say ‘Zorked’ out loud. Any other title sounded pretentious.”

Event Organizer:

Kurt Vile & The Violators w/ Julia Shapiro

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Kurt Vile & The Violators w/ Julia Shapiro

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