NEW YORK - A FEW WORDS WITH PHILLY'S CONSTANT HITMAKER, KURT VILE

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Jun 14 2008, 7:48pm


Tonight, Philadelphia's Kurt Vile is playing at the Cake Shop about an hour before Blues Control, and for some unfathomable reason, a few hours after fucking Tullycraft. We know, it's seriously fucking messed. Anyways, you should go see him play and here's an interview with Kurt by John Sharkey of Clockcleaner from his current residence in Melbourne, Australia—almost literally the furthest point on Earth from his native Philly.

There are four good bands in Philadelphia. Kurt Vile and the Violators are one of them. To be honest Kurt and the boys are probably the pinnacle of what that dog-dicking city has to offer musically at the moment. Kurt unleashes wild waves of beautifully delay-ridden pop from his guitar that doesn’t dance around the issue. He doesn’t hide behind the "Lo-fi" veil of obvious boredom and subject his listeners to soon-to-be-dated trickery. He allows all of the mystery of the beast to sink into your domes. Imagine a sullen wigger preparing a vegan cheese steak for an apple-assed blogger that looks like a lesbian. Kurt is the complete opposite. Extreme volume and ferocity for the mid-period Neil or Dylan fan is what you get here folks. I had a few words with the Cougar and got his feelings on a few banal topics. 

Vice: So Cougar, considering you recorded most of your new album Constant Hitmaker in your bedroom, how come it doesn't sound like a Times New Viking record with Terry Schiavo manning the knobs?
Kurt Vile: Probably cause I've never been to the state of Ohio in my whole sweet short life. I think there's something in the water over there. Although I would like to go sometime. I hear there are lots of cougars...

And you would feel right at home, cute employment of the "callback." If you could kill any musician in Philadelphia, who would it be?
I guess Jack Rose. Then I'd be the number one finger-picker in all of Philadelphia. Or wait... I'd still be tied with Meg Baird, so I'd have to take her out to, then before you know it I got something like Fargo on my hands. Chris Smith might be an innocent bystander who gets swept up in the mayhem.

Are there any bands you feel a special kinship with?
Meg Baird, Jack Rose... um, Watery Love. Also Blues Control, Psychedelic Horseshit, Beat Jams...

OK, that's enough. Street Legal or Street Hassle?
Well, honestly, I love both. They have a lot of similarities now that I think about it. But Street Hassle is more punk in a weird way and avant garde and it hit me first, in my teens. Plus great hilarious album cover, lots of words and cursing, etc. real unique, real Lou Reed, blah, blah... Street Legal is like a cult classic. It’s pretty cheesy at times but you learn to embrace it. The words just keep coming and coming and you're like "How the fuck did Dylan think up all these insane lyrics, and why are the backup singers repeating every single line?" Then before you know it you're hooked cuz there's always another whacked line you missed. Awesome album cover, better than Hassle. That’s actually where I got the concept for the Constant Hitmaker photo.

JOHN SHARKEY III

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