J Mascis, Kurt Vile & the Violators | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fri., April 1, 10 p.m. 2011
Price: Sold out
Indie rock's rekindled love affair with low fidelity continues to smolder, but some of the acts that laid the groundwork for the revival are already [image-2]starting to abandon it. Hearing them do it has been interesting. It turns out that cleaner production highlights the flaws of some acts (Wavves in particular), while others take to it so naturally you almost want them to rerecord their back catalog (like Dum Dum Girls). Kurt Vile's new Smoke Ring for My Halo (Matador) earns the prolific Philadelphia-based musician a spot in the latter category: it's an even stronger set of songs than 2009's brilliant Childish Prodigy, thanks in part to production by indie stalwart John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth). Agnello removes the veil of tape hiss and echo Vile hid behind on previous efforts and frames his voice with lush but simple arrangements, heavy on the acoustic guitars and tastefully touched up with modulation effects. The album leans on Vile's troubadour side, but cuts like "Society Is My Friend" suggest a strange intersection of Sonic Youth and electric Dylan. —Miles Raymer



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