A great dual headline show just popped up on the Philly radar: Kurt Vile and Dr. Dog, 3/2, Rotunda. Penn students only, but I’m hoping to duck in on the heels of the one I’m shacked up with.
Kurt Vile has been a mainstay of Philly’s freakfolk/noise scene for a Philly minute. Although I’m most in love with his work as guitarist in The War on Drugs (who, despite having one of the worst names outside of Dramatic Oil Company, had one of my favorite albums of 2008 in Wagonwheel Blues), his solo tracks are pretty fantastic. His sound is very much attached to the whole northeastern Port Fishington neighborhoods: lots of distortion and PBR, a new Philadelphia fitfully emerging from one of its historically troubled but proud spots. “Space Forklift” is from his 2008 (pre-Matador signing) Constant Hitmaker. He worked a forklift for Philly Brewing Company, so next time you’re drinking a Kenzinger, think how much better it’d be if it had been brewed in space.
Dr. Dog are about to release their sixth album of Beatles-esque pop. And they couldn’t be more West Philly: rough city meets Penn, anarchy meets boho, and everybody hanging out on Victorian porches. “Shadow People” dropped via Stereogum last week, and even though I’m a little iffy on the track, Shame, Shame is still one of my most anticipated albums of 2010. Plus, their guitarist taught me how to open beer bottles with blunt instruments, so Matt and Cyd, we’d’ve been screwed at Miller Park without them. And to please those of you who don’t hate Australians, I’m also including their fantastic cover of Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart It Races.”