Worth Your Attention: Kurt Vile, the Appleseed Cast, and Merchandise

While this site has been useless of late, a dark reflection of my own current state (finishing up my MA in English Literature, preparing to move out of my apartment in less than a week, among other examples of general late-20-something paralysis), my Spotify account has definitely not been.


Thanks to my wonderful girlfriend Lauren, I've been listening rather a lot to Kurt Vile's Walkin' on a Pretty Daze, which really does live up to the hype Pitchfork lathered all over it. I might be a little crazy saying this, but I hear echoes of Pinback occasionally in Vile's work—even if they are buried under the wonderful layers of instrumentation and fantastic turns the compositions take in Vile's hands—which only endears it more to me. If you haven't already done so, I recommend acquainting yourself with this fine record.

And as I'm already discussing echoes of my musical past, it only seems fitting that the Appleseed Cast have released an album, and a damn fine out at that. There are even a few arguments out there that Illumination Ritual is the band's finest outing to date, and while I'd need to spend a little more time with their catalogue to really weigh in on that debate, I surely understand where the sentiment comes from—Illumination Ritual is one hell of a record. While many of their contemporaries have faded into the haze of the late-'90s and early-'00s—that wonderful moment in indie rock history—the Appleseed Cast seem just as immediate and relevant today as when they were churning out their lauded multi-volume epic Low Level Owl.

And to round out this piece: Merchandise's fantastic Totale Nite. If you haven't already heard Children of Desire, track that album down. (It used to be available as a free download through Katorga Works, and you can find a few places out there still offering it.) And then once you have enjoyed the post-punk, shoegaze, New Wave madness of Children... (especially "In Nightmare Room," still my favorite song of theirs), give Totale Nite a spin. Truly fantastic, inspiring stuff.

So far, April's not been too shabby. I imagine these three records will make their way onto the next Quarterly report. (If you missed the first one, you can find it here.)