Last week when the Meredith line-up was announced I honed in on just one name. Kurt Vile. It was with school-girl glee that the next few hours passed. I’m surprised I pulled off ‘normality’ at work. Finally the international act I’d most wanted to tour for the last few years was coming to our shores.
My discovery of the aural pleasure that is Kurt Vile’s music came about around two years ago. That part of your brain that grabs a hold of something at first sight/listen/taste came out to play hard and there was no point fighting it. I can pretty much pinpoint when it started to the community radio play prior to ‘Childish Prodigy’ being released. It made me seek out anything else this Philly wonder may have laid his hands on. My hunting did not go unrewarded as my local indie record store was able to source his (mini) album ‘God Is Saying This To You’ but the earlier ‘Constant Hitmaker’ was to provide more of a challenge with my own internet scouring required for satisfaction. Then ‘Childish Prodigy’ was released and in the space of a few months I had three albums to flood my mind and my ears.
Putting this into context 2009 was still a time when music was at the top of my obsession heap. Film got to fight for number one spot during obvious times of the year (MIFF anyone?) but generally speaking music still took the crown. And since I’d been earning a wage with a weekend job at high school buying music consumed a fair portion of my disposable income. Bring on uni and throw gigs into that music spending mix, not a lot had really changed over the years in that sense. 2009 though was a little different in that music really jumped up a notch. I devoured more music that year than any other year I can recall. I also saw more local live music than ever before. Strangely it’s not all a total blur. There were a few artists that stood out for me that year and Kurt Vile was one of them. Two years down the track he continues to do so.
In late 2009 Kurt Vile supported Big Star in Brooklyn. You know how sometimes you just wish beyond all reason or reality that something insane could happen and you’d miraculously be teleported to another place or time? This was one such moment. I was happy to step away from reality for the night and be dropped off at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple then picked up 6 or so hours later and reinstated with real life. Not only Kurt Vile & The Violators but Big Star too. The words. They still fail.
At the start of last year there were the usual “who would you love to tour” questions floating around on social media, the same again this year. Both years Kurt Vile has been at the top of my list. In 2010 I knew there was little to no chance of this happening so I had to be content with the release of the Square Shells EP to tide me over. This year with a new album due for release I had hope. When ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’ came out I wished for news of concert dates but nothing eventuated. I kept reading reports of great overseas shows, additions to well-known festivals, so many good reports, and of course his hair! It is hard to miss the hair, there’s a lot of it.
So now I wait. The Sydney show was announced, went on sale and by all accounts is close to sold out. In Melbourne with Meredith at centre stage we need to practice patience, although if I can read Mistletone’s twitter feed correctly tomorrow may be the day the all important news arrives. That news being – when and where in Melbourne does one go to see Kurt Vile play? (and when do the tickets go on sale!)
For the time being, here’s some soothing sounds to get you through the long wait for summer and the tour to hit our shores.
EDIT: So you wanna catch Kurt Vile at one of his Australian east-coast (Melbourne/Sydney) side shows? Click for Mistletone’s updated tour news!