Summer Living/Summer Listening

I’ve been marinating in my own musky grown-up smells with the ample help of 90 degree 100% humidity weather all summer as I work on reacquiring my foreign language skills.  My bar slouch is turning into a desk slouch.

That’s where I’ve been.

I have managed to listen to just a very few things since I’ve been out here, but they have been very, very good things, and they’ve mitigated the occasional (and trivial) stresses brought on by the very good problem I have had of having to study a lot this summer.

Wild Nothing – Gemini

The strong wash of good feelings and reverb on this record makes me happy to be alone when I am alone.
Wild Nothing – Gemini

LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening



This record about getting older, disillusionment, and knowing what you want warms my fuckin’ heart.  It’s just as though Brian Eno traveled through time from the ’70s to release a dance album about how much I personally came to loathe New York and the culture you get sucked into while you’re in it.

Kurt Vile

I only recently discovered Kurt Vile for myself thanks to a comrade at whatwearelisteningto and was lucky enough that Philadelphia’s constant hitmaker passed through Bloomington this summer.  His music has the looping atmospherics of a Deerhunter or Crooked Fingers and the wry personal lyrical touch of a Paul Westerberg wrapped up in a psychedelic sandwich.

One of the lucky strokes of coming late to the party a musician like this is throwing is that he has an extensive back catalog to comb through and get familiar with, which I have been doing at my leisure.  He is also in Philly’s The War On Drugs, but his solo material with the Violators is far, far superior.  Here’s his record Childish Prodigy for the streaming.

Matthew Dear: Black City


Matthew Dear has a vocal fetish.  Where James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem applied himself to perfecting Brian Eno’s weird choruses, Dear has taken the idea of layered vocals with weird chords outside the bounds of simple harmony, and he’s put deep effects on all his vox.  Voila.  Signature sound.  This is a very visual record whose sounds almost come across as monochromatic, all bright whites and shadowy blacks with the occasional wash of orange.  Am I even making any sense?  Have a listen and let me know.  Dear’s music has departed from its now barely recognizable minimal house roots, focusing more on strange atmospheres and laborious exploitation of tone, reverb, and the stereo field.

Shitty Cell Phone Photos of: Kurt Vile

I’m out here for the summer on the humid prairie, blown to and fro by the hot moist winds.  Bloomington, Indiana is a theme park town about an hour south of Indianapolis that has all the urban amenities you might want as a student or a visiting scholar- nice restaurants, plenty of bars, cheap drink- with none of that access to the outside world you might be expecting.  It’s really in the middle of nowhere.  It also has a hipster venue where all the traveling acts passing through the midwest stop off to dance their jigs for proud townies and college students alike.

Luckily for me, Kurt Vile came through on the 15th and put on a really excellent show.  He’s got a sound that’s a cross between Deerhunter and Paul Westerberg.

I present to you three shitty cell phone photos of that show, one of which is of in the main boring opener Real Estate.

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