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Baker's Dozen

Psychedelic Meditation: Kurt Vile's Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , November 11th, 2015 13:13

As he starts the UK leg of touring b'lieve i'm goin down…, the Philadelphian singer-songwriter goes from live free jazz to dry-humoured piano sketches in picking 13 albums that steered the sound of his sixth album


Pharoah Sanders - Live At The East
I had that record for a long time and didn't pay much attention to it. I turned Jesse onto it. He's since tried to get it, and it's like $20, but I found it in a bin for like $4, $6. I didn't pay much attention to it, but then once I got deep into him - it's an incredible performance around the same time. The first song on there, 'Healing Song', does that very similar thing where it's just a couple of chords, but on this one they have two bass players. So they have one guy that's just playing the basic chords, the other one's really walking around it in this spiritual way, and the piano player's incredible, and people are even singing along. It sounds like late '80s or early '90s pop, like I think about this Janet Jackson song, it's a prototype for African-American pop, where it's all these songs, like... It's not like, "Ah man, I love me some Janet Jackson" - that stuff just gets embedded just 'cause you hear it on the radio 24/7, [but] you know that song, 'Escapade'? There's a riff in that song that I play on my guitar as a joke, but it's actually the best riff ever, it's sort of like that: this simple hook, but obviously they take it beyond, because they're all such good players. It's just pop that you can't deny mixed with free spiritualism.