“Yeah.” It’s an important word in rock ’n’ roll. Ask Lou Reed, Eric Burdon and, more recently, Kurt Vile, perhaps this generation’s finest Yeah-sayer, whose languid yet amber enunciation of the word embodies cool detachment. But Vile (his actual surname) is also an American guitar genius, strumming out clear guitar strokes and layering riffs intricately until his multi-faceted composition cycles kinetically like electronic music, yet is as rooted in our American heartland as Springsteen’s Nebraska. Written off as too alien initially, Kurt Vile’s career orbit has gained proximity to his audience with each album. In 2009 he released Childhood Prodigy, which oscillates between the clean-riffed, ad infinitum motorik-boogie of “Freak Train,” to the pensive and cyclical acoustic ruminations on “Blackberry.” This year Vile released Smoke Ring for my Halo, which scraps the previously prevalent effects pedals for deeper and more organic roots. Do I think Vile shouldn’t be missed? Yeah.
Opening are Scene faves PUJOL and Casa Castile. There’s an interesting note regarding PUJOL’s appearance, however. Daniel “PUJOL” Pujol of PUJOL tweeted thusly on April 3: “Tonight in knoxville at pilot light w/ @TurboFruits, last touring show w/ current PUJOL live ensemble!” I contacted Mr. Pujol — who will be appearing solo tonight — about his lineup changes and the future of PUJOL. He responded with a characteristically articulate email. More on that shortly.