Kurt Vile

Best of 2013 (So Far): Thor's Picks

10. The Front Bottoms  - Talon Of The Hawk

This is something I was shocked I liked, usually the ingredients of rambled lyrics, pop punk guitars (especially acoustic ones) and horns in an indie context and a fan base with an extreme amount of 13 year olds would make me cringe, but something about the likability of this New Jersey rock and roll band has me coming back for more. Their live shows will soon be infamous for their energy, and their lyrics speak to the 13 year old in us we didn’t know still existed.


9. Toro Y Moi - Anything In Return

Toro Y Moi has slowly but surely been finding his niche in the music world. As one of the forerunners of the genre known as “chillwave” he has gracefully moved on from the buzzed genre to becoming a solid electronic pop artist that understands the importance and smoothness of ‘80s artists like Hall and Oates  and comes out the end with a more and more refined sound.


8. The Men - New Moon

The Men have been shifting and morphing ever since they started on 2011’s Leaving Home. Starting out as a noise ridden punk band the Brooklyn rock band has evolved to something much more mature and on their latest they retain the energy of their live shows but crash land in Neil Young/Crazy Horse mode. They didn’t sell out and go soft, they just went somewhere else, and I can’t wait to see how this bands discography looks in five years from now.


Best Of 2013 So Far: Madelyn's Picks

10. Cayucas - Bigfoot

Still searching for the best soundtrack to your summer? Bigfoot is it. From happy-go-lucky opening track “Cayucos” to eponymous album closer “Bigfoot,” Cayucas present eight catchy, summery tunes sure to make your next vacation playlist. And hey, they might put you in such a good mood that you’ll forget about the sweltering heat!

9. Rhye - Woman

Three months after its release, Woman's sensual, eargasm-inducing first track "Open" still blows me away upon each listen. "Open," along with about four other tracks, including "The Fall" and "3 Days," serve as the album's highlights while the remainder are forgettable. Yet, Woman is such a short album that it is easy to listen to on repeat before realizing you have been doing so for hours. With the seductiveness of Woman and their mysteriousness, Rhye have made an impression on the music world, but only time will tell if they stick around long enough to do it again with a second release.

8. Savages - Silence Yourself

This is not yet an album to which I can sing along word-for-word (as tends to be the case with my favorites), but Savages’ debut is almost too in-your-face and harsh for that. Savages are more about the statement they are making through their music and live performances. Between writing manifestos and mandating no phone usage at shows, the ladies of Savages are sure to calculate the band’s each and every move. One thing’s for certain – their abrasiveness has taken the music world by storm and provided a necessary, refreshing realness.

LIVE MUSIC: Kurt Vile @ The Black Cat - 2/6/12

Photos: Andre Radloff

Redemption.  That’s why I went to the Black Cat on Monday.  I needed to see Kurt Vile perform in a great venue in front of an appreciative crowd to see just how well the material from his excellent 2011 album, Smoke Ring For My Halo (one of the last, and most painful, cuts from my top-10 list [link]) played in concert and to exorcise the memory of the godawful show he played at the Rock and Roll Hotel last year. Thankfully, Mr. Vile did not disappoint, proving once and for all that the venue, not the man, was to blame for last fall’s debacle.

So.Many.People.: Kurt Vile and the Violators @ The Rock and Roll Hotel (sort of) - 8/10/11

This review is going to be a lot shorter than we had hoped, but sometimes bad situations can't be avoided. 

First off let me say that across the board, the ChunkyGlasses team considers Kurt Vile's Smoke Ring For My Halo to be one of the very best this year. It's poetic, moving, entertaining and downright sublime when it wants to be. And given the quality of the release and the reputation that preceded Vile, it was unclear why he would be playing a room as small as the Rock and Roll Hotel, but who are we to question the potential for an intimate performance from one of our favorite artists?

Which is why it hurt that we had to leave the show after only 4 songs...

New Releases 2.8.11 - Charlie Pride?


So this week brings us couple of good (hopefully) releases, a couple of your typical weekly entries into the pop-o-sphere and one giant turd a new release from one of rocks most revered bands, R.E.M. (read the review here). I've heard a lot of good things about Kurt Vile's new album, Smoke Ring For My Halo, so excpect a review of that to show up shortly. Also be on the lookout for review of Wye Oak's latest effort, Civillians, which I am listening to RIGHT NOW! While I'm finding it a bit more refined than the bands previous efforts, I gotta say that I'm really digging it and I'm very much looking forward to seeing them Friday night at The Black Cat playing with fellow Baltimore natives, Lower Dens. So that's about it....except for a brand spanking new Charlie Pride record. Yep. That exists.

Until next week, get out there and put this stuff in your earholes.


Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata - The Hills Are Alive (Canal, March 8, 2011)

Buffalo Tom - Skins [MP3 Download] (Scrawny/The Orchard, March 8, 2011)

Exene Cervenka - The Excitement of Maybe (Bloodshot, March 8, 2011)

Bruce Cockburn - Small Source of Comfort (True North, March 8, 2011)

Dinosaur Bones - My Divider (Dine Alone, March 8, 2011)

Early Winters  - Early Winters [MP3 Download] (Early Winters, March 8, 2011)

Riley Etheridge Jr. - Powder Keg (Rock Ridge Music, March 8, 2011)

Sara Evans - Stronger (RCA Nashville, March 8, 2011)

Aaron Gillespie  - Anthem Song (Tooth & Nail/BEC Recordings, March 8, 2011)

Jag Panzer - The Scourge of the Light (SPV/Steamhammer, March 8, 2011)

Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullaby (RCA, March 8, 2011)

Matt Lowell - Swan Lake [MP3 Download] (Matt Lowell, March 8, 2011)

Lupe Fiasco - LASERS (1st & 15th/Atlantic, March 8, 2011)

Ian Moore and The Lossy Coils - El Sonido Nuevo (Spark & Shine/Burnside Distribution, March 8, 2011)

Morning Teleportation - Expanding Anyway (Glacial Pace Recordings, March 8, 2011)

Alex Murdoch - Towards the Sun (Zero Summer, March 8, 2011)

Charley Pride - Choices (Music City, March 8, 2011)

Raekwon - Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang (Ice H20, March 8, 2011)

R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now (Warner, March 8, 2011)

Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip [MP3 Download] (Sonic Unyon, March 8, 2011)

Rival Schools - Pedals (Photo Finish/Atlantic, March 8, 2011)

Lee Rocker - The Cover Sessions (leerocker.com, March 8, 2011)

Starfucker  - Reptilians (Polyvinyl, March 8, 2011)

TRUSTcompany - Dreaming in Black and White (E1 Music, March 8, 2011)

Various artists - Glee: The Music, Season Two, Volume 5 (Columbia, March 8, 2011)

Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo (Matador, March 8, 2011)

Wye Oak  - Civilian (Merge, March 8, 2011)