Weekly Download Vol. II No. 22

Peeping Tomboy by Kurt Vile Ok, back to some actual (or at least what passes here as) music criticism.  This is from Kurt Vile’s new album Smoke Ring for my Halo, which is the first new album I’ve acquired in awhile (not counting Things Fall Apart by The Roots and Hunky Dory by Bowie both of which I found on Amazon for $5.  Amazon has a few really good deals like that, so keep your eyes peeled.)  My first impression was that Kurt Vile has a great congruity between how he looks and how is music sounds.

I mean I actually see him in his one room apartment, ash tray heaped over sitting on a couch surrounded by music equipment (a four track recorder Boss/Nebraska style) enrapt in full social anxiety disorder/beating himself up over how he ruined it with the tattoo-sleeved cashier at the hipster coffee shop/bakery between the TV repair shop and the stationary store.  

Regardless of the creepy self-loathing this album can’t seem to escape from, this may actually be my favorite album of 2011 so far.  He is a skilled guitar player capable of beautiful and circular melodies that are intriguing without being distracting.  Lyrically, he’s ….. interesting:  I don’t want to change but I don’t want to stay the same / I don’t want to go but I’m running / I don’t want to work but I don’t want to sit around all day frowning (N.B. Yes you do.)

This track is not fully representative of the entire album, but it’s proven to be my favorite (although the title track is growing on me as well). But I’ve listened to the hell out of the entire album this week and I really like it in the way I used to think singer/songwriters like this were just the bees knees (sorry).  I’ll throw a fairly strong recommendation behind it.  I’d love to hear someone else’s take on it.

OK, a few things I’m working on for the next few weeks (N.B. months) that might at least keep you interested.  (1) an exploration of diegetic music in films; (2) the most underrated/underappreciated artists of all time; (3) ode to Oklahoma City; (4) the definitive list of universally loved movies; (5) a full response to the television series Friday Night Lights; (6) my obsession with Newser.com; (7) something long simmering and at least tangentially related to Tom Waits; (8) ode to David Foster Wallace; (9) something esoteric and ridiculously dorky about baseball; (10) man’s inhumanity to man; (11) Albert Einstein’s short-comings as a father;  and hopefully lucid criticism and analysis of new stuff from TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes, Jane’s Addiction, Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, R.E.M. PJ Harvey, and whatever the Lips come up with.  Ugh, that’s a long list.  Enjoy

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