RSVP HERE: Lubo Smilenov of Amalgamy Streams via Instagram + MORE

Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE. Due to live show cancellations we will be covering virtual live music events and festivals.

If you’re thinking of learning a new exotic instrument and/or how to become an electronic music producer while in lockdown, look no further than Lubo Smilenov for inspiration. For his musical project Amalgamy he plays every beautiful instrument you’ve never heard of including Kora, Kaval, and Gadulka. He is a one-man band and electronic music producer who can play guitar, bass, keys, program drums and is an Ableton Push master. In 2018, Lubo teamed up with cellist Bryan Wilson on Amalgamy’s debut album Cynefin. The album is full of film score-esque textures, homages to various world musical traditions and electronic soundscape experiments. It’s the music you would imagine playing before an ancient battle.

The next chance you can see Lubo shredding his Ableton Push and playing anything from the Kora to Bulgarian bagpipes is Saturday, May 2nd at 8pm. We chatted with Lubo about how he approaches his sound, his practice routine and the $5 key to his live stream set up.

AF: The music you’re performing live these days is a departure from your first album with Amalgamy. How would you describe it and how are you are approaching it?

LS: My approach to music has been so impromptu lately. It can go in any direction at any moment. One second I’m pursuing music fit for film scores. The next I’m putting break core beats over auctioneer samples and archaic goatskin bagpipes. I’ve recently embraced an anything goes approach more than ever.

A lot of the electronic music I’ve been making lately has been done through my Ableton Push launchpad. I really enjoy having a hands on approach to electronic music. Everything is I do is triggered by my fingers the same way it would be with a piano or guitar. It feels just like a sound palette. I just dip a brush into one of every sixty-four buttons and trigger an intended statement of sound. However, the culmination of all these statements creates something that was previously unintended. Sometimes it’s the idea within an idea that we’re looking for.

AF: What is your set up for live streaming?

LS: I plug a dual 1/4” TS to 1/8”TRS cable into my interface’s main output. The 1/8” side goes into a Radioshack Stereo Jack Adapter, and that piece goes into my cell phone. That adapter is the $5 key to this setup. Thereafter, I mix the audio by recording videos on my phone while playing and listen back to how it sound after I’m done. I make adjustments and repeat the process.

AF: You have a large collection of world instruments. Where did you get them?

LS: I’ve been very fortunate to have earned the trust of a few prominent luthiers whom I admire very much. Most of my instruments come from the the village of Kameno, Bulgaria. We’re talking about bagpipes (Gaida), flutes (Kaval), and bowed lyres (Gadulka). My Kora is from The Gambia via Sona Jobarteh’s website. No matter how rare the instrument I’m looking for, I always find it with the help of other musicians. Musicians in NYC generally have each other’s back with these things. It’s amazing.

AF: What is your favorite instrument? Which do you practice the most?

LS: I can’t seem to stick to one thing and it’s so liberating. What I usually do is spend 15-20 minutes a day picking up different instruments around the house at random. If I do end up practicing something disciplinary like scales, I always reward myself with improv at the end. I’ll play at least one bowed instrument, one regular string instrument, and one wind, before moving onto music production.

AF: Where do you think music and technology are going in the next decade? Do you think an extended quarantine will have an effect on the future direction of live music, or music in general?

LS: There are talks of a budding music renaissance based on the current influx of purchases made on music retail sites. Most of these purchases have to do with electronic music via keyboards, synths, beatmakers, etc. It’s still too early to say anything in confidence given the morbid reality we are facing. However, I do think that the role of the bedroom producer will become more prominent in the coming year(s). It really is becoming more important for people to express themselves through creativity. Remote recording and file sharing will certainly increase without a doubt. Cloud servers that host plugins and resources are going to be utilized more than ever.

Extended quarantine will certainly have an effect on the future direction of live music. Music is made differently when musicians prepare for a live show together vs. when they are alone at home. Music made at home has less restrictions. There’s no one to push back at your crazy idea. Suddenly, you have to fill the role of the drummer, singer, bassist, producer, songwriter, video editor, and marketer all at once. Live streaming has never been more valuable as a tool for musicians. As far as performance goes, it’s all we have now.

RSVP HERE for Amalgamy’s set on Instagram Live Saturday 5/2 at 8pm.

More great live streams this week…

5/1-5/3 Love from Philly: Kurt Vile, G. Love, John Oates, Man Man + More via YouTube. 12pm est, all donations benefit Philadelphia’s Entertainment Community. RSVP HERE

5/1 Foxygen via Pickathorn Twitch. 4pm est, RSVP HERE

5/2 Live From Here: Chris Thile, Watkins Family Hour, Sylvan Esso via WNYC. 6pm est, RSVP HERE

5/2 Remote Utopias: Tame Impala, Weyes Blood and more via NTS App. 5am est, raising money for Gloval Foodbank Network RSVP HERE

5/2 Nap Eyes via Baby’s TV. 8pm est $5, RSVP HERE

5/3 Bang On A Can 6-hour livestream. 3pm est RSVP HERE

5/6 Breathwork with Kimi Class via Instagram. 7pm pst, RSVP HERE 

5/7 Alkaline Trio via Riot Fest Facebook. 7pm est, RSVP HERE

5/7 Tori Amos via Murmrr Theatre YouTube 2pm est, RSVP HERE

 

NEWS ROUNDUP: Princess Nokia a Soup-er Hero, Music Industry Assault Allegations & More

  • Princess Nokia Stands Up To Racist, Goes Viral 

    This week, a viral video showed NYC commuters standing up to a drunk guy on the train when he started yelling racist insults at a group of teenagers. At the end of the video, as he’s pushed out of the train car, someone launches a container of soup at them, covering them in yellow goo. It gets better: the hero in this story is rapper Princess Nokia, who tweeted, “Although painful and humiliating we stood together and kicked this disgusting racist off the train so we could ride in peace away from him… [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][I’ll be] damned if I let some drunk bigot call a group of young teenage boys racist names and allow him to get away with it.”

  • Women Speak out About Sexual Assault in the Music Industry

    No doubt encouraged by the bravery of the many women who have come forward to share their harrowing experiences with powerful film executive Harvey Weinstein, women are coming forward to call out men in other industries who they say have engaged in inappropriate behavior up to and including harassment and assault. Allegations have surfaced in the last week involving Matt Mondanile (a.k.a. Ducktails) who parted ways with former outfit Real Estate over the allegations last year; The Gaslamp Killer, and Alex Calder. A few of the labels and publicists who have worked with these artists have spoken out as well in a show of solidarity. 

  • Other Highlights

    Watch Beyonce’s video for “Freedom,” listen to an unreleased Bob Dylan song, an early listen of Bully’s Losing, Radiohead songs translated through Spongebobit’s the release day for St. Vincent’s MASSEDUCTION as well as Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s Lotta Sea Lice and Beck’s Colors, watch the new Neil Young video for “Hitchhiker,” Japanese Breakfast directed Jay Som’s “The Bus Song” video, Marilyn Manson discusses his onstage accident, Taylor Swift is starting her own social network, Joan Baez is retiring from touring, Sharon Jones’ posthumous album to be released next month, and read this: The Story of Jud Jud

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NEWS ROUNDUP: Northside Festival, Metal + Politics & More

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via NorthsideFestival.com

  • In Case You Haven’t Noticed, Northside Is Happening
    You may have already seen 20 amazing shows! Or you may be like me: someone who bought tickets to one event and won them for another, but went to neither because they managed to get deathly sick in June (thanks, universe). Before you head out this weekend, make sure you check out AudioFemme’s guide to the festival! We’re also hosting our very own showcase Saturday at noon at the Knitting Factory with our friends from Glamglare; hope to see you there!
  • Meet The Transgender Metal Musician Changing Politics
    Via Noisey: Danica Roem is many things: Transgender, a journalist, a musician in the metal band Cab Ride Home, and a groundbreaking candidate in Virginia politics. After gaining some notoriety by fighting anti-LGBTQ  policies in schools, Roem is running as a Democrat for Virginia’s House of Delegates, against an opponent that has a bathroom bill similar to North Carolina’s. Read the whole article here.
  • The Fall Announce 5-Night Run at Baby’s All Right this September
    Mark E Smith’s volatile personality and penchant for wild experimentation made Manchester punk act The Fall both legendary and influential. With their 32nd album, New Facts Emerge, slated for release and in July and a scheduled date at Cropped Out Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, The Fall have blessed Brooklyn with a five-night run of shows at Baby’s All Right. These, along with the festival set, will be the band’s first stateside concerts in over a decade. Most shows are sold out, but you can still get tickets for Wednesday, 9/13.

https://soundcloud.com/castle-face-1/oh-sees-the-static-god

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BEST OF 2015: The Year In Lyrics

2015

Words are pretty weird. One alone is easy to understand, almost impossible to misinterpret. But string a bunch of them together, and it gets more complicated (as well as beautiful, descriptive, romantic or hurtful). One line can make you remember a song forever, or dismiss it entirely. Out of all of the thousands, maybe millions of lyric that were recorded this year, here are some that stood out the most.

Father John Misty – “I Love You, Honeybear”

When a cynic finds love, they become an optimistic, cheerful person. Or, they recognize that “til death do us part” and “in sickness and in health” don’t quite cut it in a time of war, economic instability, and global warming. On I Love You, Honeybear, Josh Tillman examined many aspects of modern love, but none were as realistically romantic or sincere as on the title track: “But don’t ever doubt this, my steadfast conviction/ My love, you’re the one I want to watch the ship go down with.”

Hop Along – “Horseshoe Crabs”

On Painted Shut, Frances Quinlan wrote two songs about musicians that suffered breakdowns and faded into obscurity; one was the jazz cornetist Charles “Buddy” Bolden, and the other was the folk musician Jackson C. Frank. His first record was produced by Paul Simon, but his depression prevented him from pursuing a music career. “Horseshoe Crabs” is sung from Frank’s perspective. As well as being the first time I’ve heard of the songwriter, it contains what’s possibly my favorite line of 2015, which is beautiful, crude, sad and funny: “Woke from the dream and I was old/ Staring at the asscrack of dawn.”

Eagles of Death Metal – “I Love You All The Time”

The saying is that even bad press is good press, but no band wants the kind of publicity the Eagles of Death Metal received on November 13. Even sadder is the fact that the band is seriously passionate about and appreciative of their fans- I saw them play in Philadelphia this fall, and Jesse Hughes walked through the line of concert-goers waiting outside the venue, shaking hands and giving out hugs. “Now I know every one of you motherfuckers,” he proudly proclaimed later onstage. “I Love You All The Time” is actually a song about a man’s love for a woman despite her disinterest, but it happens to have a section of lyrics in French. After what happened at Paris’s Bataclan, and because the band has encouraged other artists to cover the song so they could donate the publishing rights to helping the victims, the line “I love you all the time” takes on a deeper meaning: the connection we have to music, no matter what else is going on in the world.

Girl Band “Paul”

A lot of the lyrics on Girl Band’s Holding Hands With Jamie are indecipherable, though Dara Kiely’s delivery of the words contains more meaning than they ever could themselves. This is, after all, an album inspired by a psychotic episode Kiely experienced a few years ago. Though it may seem odd to include a song that is more understood in a more visceral way, one line from the middle of “Paul” has always stuck out: “How many bulbs does it take to screw a light in.” It sounds like the setup to a bad joke, but turn it around in your mind enough and it’s about the confusion and frustration of not being able to do something right. You’re trying and trying, but glass is falling down around you, and the light still won’t turn on. It’s kind of sad, yet somehow funny in the right state of mind, and that approach to such a heavy topic makes the whole album so amazing.

Shilpa Ray“Burning Bride”

Burning brides after the deaths of their husbands is a banned Hindu practice, which was actually a scheme to ensure there was no one left for the husband’s wealth to go to except for the priests who carried out the ritual. On Shilpa Ray’s “Burning Bride,” the lyrics can also be applied to the oppression of women in modern times, challenging those who want to kill the spirit of a woman “Up dancing, ‘cause she’s wild” with the chilling line, “You’ll be lucky when she runs out of desire.”

Kurt Vile“Pretty Pimpin”

It’s easy to lose yourself in Kurt Vile’s “b’lieve i’m goin down.” After all, you’re following the thoughts of a man who’s lost himself. This is clear from the first track, “Pretty Pimpin,” where though Kurt admits the man he sees in the mirror looks pretty pimpin’, he doesn’t recognize him. In this song, he’s lost track of time, and himself, but no one knows it but him: “He was always a thousand miles away while still standing in front of your face.”

Ava Luna “Billz”

“I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.” That’s a cute song, but not very practical, and obviously not an Ava Luna song. Because while romance is nice, it’s still just a distraction from buying groceries, paying rent and staying alive. Love does have its own payoff, but it takes a lot of work to get there, and it won’t keep your heat on: “I’ve made up my mind, I will find one small moment and I’ll text you/ And I’ll fact-check every reference that I make, learn the language to impress you/ Cause I’m yours, and if you tell me that you’re mine, you’re the one I’m getting next to/ But our love ain’t gonna pay my bills.”

Krill“Torturer”

2015 was a big year for Boston’s Krill. And then they broke up. If you’ve ever found yourself crying your eyes out to dumb pop songs after a breakup, you know that when something major happens, even the sappiest of lyrics can suddenly seem to apply to you personally. Krill didn’t play dumb pop songs, and their lyrics weren’t sappy, but at their last show ever, every word somehow seemed to point to the band’s eventual end. This was most obvious with “It Ends”(“It ends/ Same way it begins/ On a whim”), and a little more subtle in “Torturer,” a track where Jonah Furman has a conversation with a mysterious character (“I asked, what did you come here for?/ And you said, whatever you need me for”) before wondering, “Is it time to go back inside?”

Mini Mansions – “Death Is A Girl”

The title of this song is a dark, mysterious statement, perfect to drop as a piece of advice and then walk away with no explanation. But the real gem in the song is the line “You gotta live in a world where there’s only one day.” Living your life as if actions don’t have consequences can be freeing, dangerous. And it can be hard to tell which: “Death is a girl and she’s only one dance away.”

Destroyer – “Times Square, Poison Season I”

For someone that lives in New York, taking the line “You could fall in love with Times Square” out of context seems like a jab, a suggestion that you’re inauthentic and easily impressed with shiny things. When Dan Bejar prefaces it with “You can follow a rose wherever it grows,” it’s more of a suggestion to lighten up a bit, and a reminder that if you look hard enough, you can find beauty almost anywhere. Even if it’s just in the people that recognize it where you don’t.

TRACK REVIEW: Kurt Vile “Wild Imagination”

Kurt-Vile

There is no epic heartbreak suffered by Kurt Vile on his latest album b’lieve i’m goin down, no great struggle he has to overcome. There’s just everyday malaise punctuated by moments of deeper sadness as well as happier feelings. This is why b’lieve i’m goin down is so relatable – these feelings could happen to anyone, except they happened to the Philadelphia singer-songwriter, who is also a former member of The War On Drugs

He sounds tired and jaded, frustrated that even the life of a recording, touring musician eventually lends itself to its own brand of monotony.  On “All In A Daze Work,” he sings that he’s “Strummin’ unsuccessfully, but moreso  just pressing keys.” You may not write songs for a living, but you can empathize when something you’re good at – something you love – seems so far away from what you can and want to do at the moment.  On both “Pretty Pimpin” and “That’s Life tho,” he sings about the disconnect  he feels with his own image: Not recognizing himself in the mirror and therefore brushing a stranger’s teeth, and coming across as a “certified badass” when he goes out, though he admits to us that he took pills beforehand to take the edge off.

But one of the album’s best moments comes at the very end, on “Wild Imagination,” when he aims his frustration and sadness at the disconnect created by our lives online. It’s summed up neatly in the easy, folk-y song’s first verse: “I’m looking at you, but it’s only a picture so I take that back/But it ain’t really a picture/It’s just an image on a screen.” We live in an age where pictures are no longer cherished, personal memories to flip through. Now they’re social currency, and their worth is based on the reactions of others. So he goes on to ask, “You can imagine if I was though, right? Just like I can imagine you can imagine it. Can’t ya?” This is a scene that’s played out on iPhones everywhere, when we click  the little heart next to a friend’s Instagram photo because we know it signals to them that we see them, we like them, they are valued. 

Getting trapped in this world is just as depressing as being removed from it, but knowing it exists. Vile is definitely living in his own world, and while it’s one that isn’t perfect, it’s one that he made himself, offline. These days, doing that can be a little terrifying. But like he says on “Wheelhouse,” “You gotta be alone to figure things out.”

Though there’s no link specifically for “Wild Imagination,” you can stream b’lieve i’m goin down here and watch the video for “Pretty Pimpin” below.

 

AudioFemme’s Best of 2013

Best of 2013 Graphic

From elaborate roll-outs to surprise releases, 2013 was a banner year for comebacks, break-outs, break-ups, and overnight sensations.  The fact that the most oblique content could cause rampant controversy to reverberate through the blogosphere turned every song into a story and made every story seem epic.  At the heart of it all are the sounds that defined this particular calendar year, from electronic pop to punk rock  to hip-hop to hardcore and everything in between.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_testimonial company=”AudioFemme Staff” author=”Top 50 Albums of 2013″ image=”http://www.audiofemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/01MBVmbv-300×298.jpg”]

After much debate, we’re proud of our little list and believe it represents releases that are among the best and most important of the year.  Here are our top 50 LPs in two parts: 50-26 // 25-1

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And check out our Top Albums of 2013 Playlist on Spotify.
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In a given year, thousands of records are released, many of them having upwards of ten tracks apiece.  So it’s actually physically impossible to hear them all, and can be downright daunting to wrangle them into some kind of intelligible countdown.  But we certainly have done our best, here cataloging the tunes we just couldn’t stop playing, and stuck fast in our heads when we finally managed to turn them off.

Here’s our Top Tracks of 2013 Playlist on Spotify.

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Staff Lists:

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_testimonial company=”Lindsey Rhoades” author=”RiotGrrl’s Influence in 2013″ image=”http://www.audiofemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/kimkathleen.jpg”]
Not only are we as a culture stepping up to finally examine sexism and exploitation and appropriation within the industry, there are more acts than ever completely unafraid to do their own thing – be it overtly political (see: Priests) or revolutionary in its emotional candidness (looking at you, Waxahatchee).
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[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_testimonial company=”Carena Liptak” author=”Best Album Art” image=”http://www.audiofemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/sunbather.jpg”]
Let’s all just agree to agree that hip hop as a genre won the album cover contest this year, okay?
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[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_testimonial company=”Rebecca Kunin” author=”2013’s Best Soundtracks” image=”http://www.audiofemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Soundtrack.jpg”]
Music has the ability to make or break a cinematic moment.  Would Jaws be as scary if it weren’t for the theme song? Or would we cry as hard when Leo Dicaprio sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean if Celine Dion didn’t belt “My Heart Will Go On” every five minutes? Probably not.
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[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_testimonial company=”Lindsey Rhoades” author=”2013: The Year in Music Controversies” image=”http://www.audiofemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/musicthoughts.jpg”]In the age of the ubiquitous think-piece, here’s another, and this time, it’s about think-pieces.  In 2013 what think-pieces mean is that no one is about to get away with anything.[/fusion_testimonial]

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_testimonial company=”Kelly Tunney” author=”Top 10 Unexplainable Kanye Moments” image=”http://www.audiofemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Kanye.jpg”]
Mr. West has built up quite a reputation for himself. His musical talent has remained impressive throughout his 6-album career (Yeezus easily made several of this year’s “best of” lists, including our own) but Kanye’s persona has been the subject of parody and scandal for a long time now. This year, though, held several moments of Kanye-crazy that stood out among the plethora of examples from his memorable past.
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At the beginning of 2013, adventure felt overdue — something about going to new places, with no routine or expectations, opens you up to hear music you’d never think to listen to otherwise.
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[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_testimonial company=”Raquel Dalarossa” author=”Top 7 to Anticipate in 2014″ image=”http://www.audiofemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/outkast-reunion-big-boi-andre-3000.jpg”]
Between the exciting festival rumors and anticipated album releases, 2014 is already shaping up to be a pretty amazing year (at least musically speaking).
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LIVE REVIEW: Kurt Vile & The Violators @ Terminal 5

Kurt VilePhiladelphia native Kurt Vile (and his touring band, The Violators) drew in a large crowd for his Friday night show at Terminal 5. Vile plans to begin touring extensively across the US and Europe for the remainder of the year  in support of his most recent album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, released earlier this year through Matador Records. The bill also included Lee Ranaldo and The Dust–consisting of Sonic Youth’s guitar virtuoso, Lee Ranaldo and drummer Steve Shelley–and Brooklyn indie band Beach Fossils.

Vile, who has been a musician since the age of 14, has cited lo-fi legends like Pavement and Tom Petty as some of his major influences. Wakin on a Pretty Daze (Vile’s 5th studio album) has received much acclamation and has been referred to as his most musically solid work to date.

Beach Fossils took the stage first, opening with material off of Clash The Truth, including the dreamy, new-wave song “Generational Synthetic” Joy Division-like post-punk “Shallow,” and the lighter indie-pop melody entitled “Careless.”

Fellow Matador labelmates Lee Ranaldo and The Dust followed, bringing forth material from their most recent work, Between The Time and The Tides. Songs such as “Xtina as I Knew Her” and “Fire Island (phases)” exhibited Ranaldo’s desire to drift away from his signature experimental work in Sonic Youth, and instead hinted a number of 60’s rock influences, such as the Grateful Dead and the blues rock band, Hot Tuna.

The setlist for Kurt Vile and The Violators mostly included material from the Vile’s last three albums. The band started off with the 9 minute opener “Wakin on A Pretty Day,” Vile’s face buried underneath his infamous mangled, brown hair, muttering a quick ‘thank you’ before following with the drowsy tune “Jesus Fever”  from 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo. Vile then resumed performing material off of Wakin on a Pretty Daze, such as the droning indie-psych single “Never Run Away,” as well as the Petty-esque “KV Crimes” and the bouncier “Was All Talk”, the background instrumentals slightly reminiscent of 80’s pop. Vile took a moment to perform a couple of acoustic songs–including the fan favorite “Peeping Tomboy”– while sitting on a tie-dye blanket draped couch near the corner of the stage. The lights throughout the venue dimmed, save for the spotlight focused on him. Vile resumed alongside The Violators after a couple of technical difficulties (“We’re sorry, this is a very blue-collar production we have here” he mumbled jokingly), playing a couple songs (“Hunchback,” “Freak Train”)  off of Childish Prodigy, and was greeted with much enthusiasm.

Though some may argue that Wakin on a Pretty Daze greatly differs from Kurt Vile’s earlier material, there is no doubt that he and his now semi-permanent touring band have the potential to enrapture audiences through live performance.  Kurt Vile and The Violators offer a truly innovative type of psychedelic, lo-fi that will keep ardent listeners talking for years to come.

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