Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile made a record together, are touring together, playing the Tower Theater in November - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

This is just too much good news in one shot, so we’ll do our best to keep our excitement in check.

Remember that story this spring about Philly’s Kurt Vile being spotted in Melbourne’s Newmarket Studio with Courtney Barnett? Yeah, well they weren’t just tracking a one-off single or doing some for-funsies collab…it was part of a full record they recorded together.

Better still: they’re taking the album on tour together across north America this fall.

And they’ve an all-star group of players, or what Vile is terming “A cookin’ band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages-minus the country.” The band will be a revolving cast of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Rob Laakso (The Violators, The Swirlies, Mice Parade) and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sky Larkin and touring member of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts) They’re calling themselves The Sea Lice.

Oh, and they’re playing The Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Friday, November 3rd. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 9th, at 10 a.m. More info at the XPN Concert Calendar. (Phew.)

While we don’t have any music yet to share with you, a press release from Vile’s label, Matador Records, gives some insight into the project:

Barnett, on the origins of the collab:

“In 2014 I scored a support slot opening for Kurt at the Abbotsford Convent [outside Melbourne]. We met briefly after the show but I was a bit nervous and didn’t wanna bother him, just grateful for the gig. Years later we started bumping into each other on the festival circuit all around the wide world and we became friends. He hit me up when he was coming to Melbourne next and said he thought we could work together.”

Kurt’s perspective:

“I just love her voice in general… great lyrics of course… I love all her music but the song that really hit me was “Depreston”-I know it’s popular but her voice is so good in that song and it’s so pretty and sincere… i’m a sucker for that kinda song: instant classic.

It started out as, maybe we’ll do a split 7″ together but then I figured let’s make it a 12″ so it doesn’t get lost in the world, shoot for 5 songs. It wasn’t until i had another KV tour booked for the following summer in Oz that we thought we should record as much as we can, just see what happens, no major goal to make it a full length, but it came together that way ’cause the vibe was so strong with everyone.”

Barnett continues:

“I’m a huge Kurt fan. Smoke Ring was one of my first purchases on vinyl. I was getting over a big break-up, unemployed and drifting and I would just lie on my bed and listen to ‘Peepin’ Tom’ on repeat. One of the most beautiful and luscious albums I ever heard. Me and Jen fell in love to that album.”

The duo will donate $1 from every ticket sold on the tour the ACLU; full tour dates are below. The album — which was recorded over eight days in the studio spread out across 15 months when their tour schedules aligned — will be released later this year by Matador Records, Marathon Artists and Milk! Records.

Tour Dates:
10.11.17 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
10.14.17 – The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church – Los Angeles, CA
10.15.17 – Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
10.18.17 – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA
10.20.17 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – Portland, OR
10.21.17 – Moore Theatre – Seattle, WA
10.22.17 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA
10.25.17 – Palace Theatre – St. Paul, MN
10.26.17 – Rockefeller Chapel – Chicago, IL
10.27.17 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL
10.28.17 – Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
10.30.17 – Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI
10.31.17 – Massey Hall – Toronto, ON
11.1.17 – Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
11.3.17 – Tower Theatre – Upper Darby, PA
11.4.17 – Orpheum Theatre – Boston, MA
11.9.17 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
11.10.17 – McFarlin Memorial Auditorium – Dallas, TX
11.11.17 – ACL Live at the Moody Theater – Austin, TX

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