13 essential kurt vile songs

The price of honesty is vulnerability sometimes followed by the necessity to overcompensate. And if you are unsure what I mean by that than you missed the last list of essential’s that I brought to discussion last week. 

Regardless, allow me to overcompensate: ​

That was from strummers August 2016. For whatever reason my wife agreed to spend her birthday at a bar to see my current favorite musician. (My wife is seriously the best and I am still trying to figure out how I got her.)

Now that I got that out of the way, allow for me to continue. Whether your honesty is the confession of a lonely heart, a revealing of your guilty pleasure, or opening up about the most specific detail of an opinion you consider to be at the core of what makes you who you are it doesn’t matter what the honesty is driven from. It seems that it always has the same outcome of susceptibility to random acts of helplessness.

Coincidentally (as I’ve recently discovered) this becomes especially true when you write about what you believe to be essential songs from a punk rocker turned alien-chaser. (Oops! Oh well. I do this for me. Remember?)

But shouldn’t the personal lives of celebrities be avoided when evaluating their contributions to art, though? (Refer to Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Christian Bale, and Kanye West).

Last week I wrote about Tom DeLonge, and it may be self-righteous of me to assume that you probably are still recovering from the laughter.

Now, allow me to redeem myself:

Since 2015 I have been known to listen to what some might call “too much Kurt Vile”, but when something is as good as Vile and the Violators no amount of songs ever seems to be enough.

Seriously, though. Go listen to Freak Train.

The controversially titled Pretty Pimpin’ was the gateway song into a library of Vile’s work dating back to 2008 that I can’t seem to get get tired of. I’m a bit of a late bloomer with the Vile scene, but I’m making up for some lost time. And at the same time, I’m allowing my kids to think that Vile is saying “pretty pancakes” (see what I did there?) as they perform air guitar to the spinning vinyl in the living room.

See. Daddy knows good music. And my wife would even second that statement.

(Really. She would. Honest. I’ve asked, but the answer was quite different not too long ago or if I reference anything pre-2008.)

Although, the concentric circles representing my wife and I’s taste in music has only recently begun to eclipse into a larger representation of our overlapping tastes. We manage to agree on several current favorites and I’m learning from her as to what was actually good music in the past rather than the straight no chaser genres of punk rock and 90s radio-grunge that I often overlistened to as an aging Gen-X late-bloomer.

Here are the 13 recommended songs that I’ve grown to enjoy from a songwriter that will never get old.

13 | wakin’ on a pretty day

wakin’ on a pretty daze

12 | i wanted everything

square shells ep

11 | can’t come

god is saying this to you

10 | space forklift

constant hitmaker 

9 | freeway

constant hitmaker 

8 | baby’s arms

smoke ring for my halo

7 | pretty pimpin

b’lieve i’m going down…

6 | wild imagination

b’lieve i’m going down…

5 | breathin out

constant hitmaker

4 | wheelhouse

b’lieve i’m going down

3 | kv crimes

wakin on a pretty daze

2 | jesus fever

smoke ring for my halo

1 | freak train

childish prodigy


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