The Bowery Presents
Kurt Vile and the Violators

Kurt Vile and the Violators

Widowspeak, The Young

Fri, November 11, 2011

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Webster Hall

New York, NY

$17 advance / $20 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Kurt Vile and the Violators
Kurt Vile and the Violators
Kurt Vile (real name) has slowly, quietly become one of the great American guitarists and songwriters of our time. Kurt was born in 1980, one of ten children, and raised in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. As a teenager, his bluegrass-loving father gifted him
with a banjo, when what Kurt craved was a guitar – so he played it as if it were.

Bewitched by lo-fi figureheads like Beck, Pavement, and Smog, along with a love for classics like Petty, Creedence, and Neil Young, he
recorded his first songs and self-distributed them on CD-R between 2003 and 2007. These were compiled on 2008’s Constant Hitmaker and the 2009 mini-album God Is Saying This To You… The dreamy and psychedelic tangles of damaged but still-lyrical songcraft announced a major new artist wandering in from the hinterlands.

The Violators (then featuring Adam Granduciel, with whom Vile had co-founded The War On Drugs) debuted on the 2009 EP The Hunchback, coming into their own on Childish Prodigy, Vile’s third album and his first for Matador. More violent, more vivid, more ecstatically ‘rock’ than anything in Vile’s catalogue, the album was a righteous leap forward. The album that followed, the breakthrough Smoke Ring For My Halo, was more reflective, something sun-dappled and sexy in softly strung-out strums like “Peeping Tomboy,” the kindred flipside to barnstormers like “Freak Train” off the previous record.

His fifth album, Wakin On A Pretty Daze, is a 69-minute double LP and Kurt’s defining statement to date. Where previous albums alternated between gorgeous fingerpicking and heavy guitar workouts, this album blends the two in dreamy, expansive songs that gradually unfurl like a massive flag. It is a record that would have sounded great 30 years ago, sounds great today, and will still sound great 30 years from now.
Widowspeak
Widowspeak
Widowspeak is an American band comprised of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, known for its dreamy, western-tinged take on rock and roll. The outfit formed in 2010 and released two singles in 2011 (Harsh Realm,
Gun Shy) followed by a debut album (self-titled) in the summer of that year, all on Brooklyn label Captured Tracks. Widowspeak was praised for its reverential spaciousness, Hamilton's haunting voice, and Thomas's spindly, Morricone-esque guitar lines; both drawing on 1950's pop ballads and 1970's psych, creating languid call-and response melodies. The band then toured extensively, wearing in their warm, nostalgic sound.

Widowspeak began to write what would become their second record, Almanac, at the start of 2012, as popular fears of the apocalypse became imminently close to realization. Though not totally convinced of catastrophic disaster coinciding with the year's conclusion, Hamilton nevertheless began writing lyrics seeped in doomsday imagery, darkness and dread, inspired by the idea of such a universal experience of the end. The two started making demos in their practice space. Thomas shaped the ideas into songs, experimenting with denser arrangements and grander gestures. Black and white became Kodachrome, subdued became saturated. Widowspeak explored Appalachian melodies and desert rhythms, Saharan to the Southwest, as well as incorporated acoustic instruments and slide guitar, stemming from a shared love of Neil Young.

As the compositions were brought to life, they became something new, something unlike the fatalistic seeds from whence they'd grown. These songs were no longer concerned with the end of the Earth, but with the life and death of seasons, youth, love, and the cyclical nature of all
things. The band chose the name 'Almanac' in tribute to those annual tomes which have eternally provided predictions of weather patterns, lunar and solar movement, and astronomical phenomena. But the songs are also about the changing times we find ourselves in: "the good old days" at odds with the hyperactive present, and the sense of loss, but also adventure, which that provides.

The album was recorded by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) in a hundred year old barn in the Hudson River Valley of New York State during the transition from summer to fall. Producing with McMahon, Thomas expanded on the band's demos, crafting layers of guitar, Rhodes piano, organ and harmonium.

Almanac will be released by Captured Tracks on January 22, 2013.

If Widowspeak's first record serves as a collection of postcards, sent from destinations traveled to in that first transformative year, then their second is the guidebook written after they'd found their sonic home and inhabited
it fully.
The Young
The Young
One of the things I’ve learned during my 90 + years in show business is that there’s more than one way for a band’s artistic development to unfold. Actually, there’s exactly two ways, but rather than compare and contrast the DIY approach of Foster The People with the sort of intense media campaign mounted by The Great Kat let’s instead recognize that sometimes, far removed from the rat race, there’s transcendent rock’n'roll being conjured up by characters you’re barely familiar with.

The Austin, TX quartet known as The Young have kept a somewhat shadowy profile since their inception in 2007. Though Guitarist/vocalist Hans Zimmerman successfully morphed a home recording venture into a full-fledged, elite punk unit with the additions of bassist Jason Costanzo, guitarist Kyle Edwards and drummer Ryan Maloney, the band underwent a stylistic shift shortly after the release of the first two sings (for Chicago’s Criminal IQ and Austin’s Super Secret respectively). With little regard for public reception, The Young would soon opt for something far more experimental in nature. On the heels of a 2010 appearance on Matador’s ‘Casual Victim Pile’ Austin compilation, the band would record an astonishing debut full-length for Mexican Summer The ‘Voyagers Of Legend’ LP, characterized by Still Single’s Andrew Earles as ” a masterpiece of exhumation that uses once-dead sonic vehicles to communicate uncalculated, uncontrollable soul, inspiration, sadness, and what can only be called ‘real shit,’ not only captured the imagination of this record label, but staked a claim for The Young being the-next-great-American-psychedelic-wonder.

And that brings us to (ahem), another dramatic stylistic shift. 2011 was a tad less shadowy for The Young. For one thing, they’re sometimes allowing venues to turn up the stage lighting. And over the course of a year+ , sharing stages with the likes of Sic Alps, Kurt Vile, Pierced Arrows, Endless Boogie and other masters of modern rock guitar, it would not be an exaggeration to say their meticulous interplay has become both uncanny and unstoppable. LP #2, ‘Dub Egg’, the product of a week’s recording in an actual-cabin-in-the-woods (see Hans’ notes below) is the sort of shimmering, incandescent, modern approach to classic forms that none of us could’ve imagined from these guys a couple of years ago. There’s echoes of things you’ve heard and loved, sure (including but hardly limited to Crazy Horse, Television, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Karl Precoda’s playing for the Dream Syndicate) but I don’t think you’ve ever heard it all coming together in a manner so crafted or explosive. The only thing quiet about this band is their confidence.
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003
http://www.websterhall.com/