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Preview: Kurt Vile and the Violators in New Orleans on April 17 

The band comes to Republic April 17

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Photo by Marina Chavez

My favorite Kurt Vile story goes like this: Mid-concert last fall at San Francisco's Fillmore, the crowd thought it a good idea to start clapping along to "He's Alright," a bonus track on the 2009 LP Childish Prodigy. Vile, literally without missing a beat, shook his head and silently mouthed the word "No." He wasn't being a jerk — simply letting the clappers know this particular song wasn't the clap-along song. It's an easy mistake to make, given Vile's deadpan delivery and the way he buries crucial details in throwaway lines chewed up and spat out the sides of his mouth. On b'lieve i'm goin down..., Vile's latest volume of ellipsed lowercase sapience, "Pretty Pimpin" — the opening song, lead single and one of his grooviest melodies ever — is actually the gut-check mirror stare-down; and "That's Life, tho (almost hate to say)," which sounds improvised on Quaaludes, is the detail of a certified badass out for a night on the town, hang-gliding into the valley of ashes as all hell freezes over far below his feet. "I scrape my face on the clouds every time I get out / But that's daytime," he sings on "He's Alright," one verse after singing this: "Sometimes you cry like a child, still get up in the morning / I was a geezer just last night / Watching TV, no not understanding anything." Sometimes clapping just won't do. Motel Radio and Purling Hiss open. Tickets $22 in advance, $25 day of show.


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