When: Tue., May 14, 8 p.m. 2013
The first thing you should know about Kurt Vile is that his real name is Kurt Vile. It’s clearly a sign that the guy was born to play rock ’n’ roll, but it could also be read as a comment on the straightforwardness and honesty of his music. The title of 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo suggests that every stoner and deadbeat deserves a spot in heaven too, and Vile’s recent Wakin on a Pretty Daze is Smoke Ring II, wherein Our Hero keeps on speaking for couch surfers and hired dog walkers everywhere. Like Smoke Ring, Pretty Daze stirs together Fahey-esque guitar picking, shuffle-stomp Neil Young-style rhythms, and slack-jawed singing that recalls early Beck. But while the music of Fahey, Young, and Beck is usually a little rough around the edges, Vile’s is soft and gentle, as if it’s been Instagrammed. Unlike Smoke Ring, Pretty Daze stretches out; the best songs are the longest. The groove of album opener “Wakin on a Pretty Day” struts through twangy guitar, the meditative introspection of “Too Long” is strewn with wailing slide guitar, and the shimmering vibes and casual strumming of closer “Goldtone” make it sound like bossa nova in the parking lot of a Circle K. —Tal Rosenberg Steve Gunn opens.