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One Not to Miss: Kurt Vile Tonight at Terminal 5

October 25th, 2013

Lo-fi singer-songwriter-guitarist Kurt Vile cares a lot about his sound. This could be said of most musicians, of course, but anyone familiar with Vile’s work knows that it’s all those little details that make his music so remarkable. All those guitar ditties that weasel their way into your head and never leave end up defining his songs as a whole. A lot of bands tend to leave these nuanced details out of their live show—or bury them sonically so that they’re hardly audible under everything else. But with Kurt Vile, he ensures that all those nuances are accounted for. And with the help of his backing band, the Violators, and a stage littered with effects pedals and guitars of every stripe, there’s an impressive depth to his live sound that’s easy on the ears. Behind swaths of hair and layers of distortion, it becomes noticeable that he comes from the J Mascis school of “let me throw down a huge and searing guitar riff without making it look like it takes any effort at all.” Kurt Vile (above, doing “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” live in studio for KEXP FM) is currently touring behind his fifth full-length, the superb Wakin on a Pretty Daze (stream it below), which NME calls “slacker pop perfection.” And if you don’t see him tonight at Terminal 5, well, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. —Dan Rickershauser