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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: Tiny Desk Concert

Dec 8, 2017
Originally published on December 8, 2017 8:17 am

Put your love of perfection outside the office door and come in for some office fun. This collaboration between Philadelphia's Kurt Vile and Melbourne's Courtney Barnett is more about newfound friends poking jabs, goofing around and having fun with words than reaching any new musical heights. It's a much welcome injection of humor in the world of rock music and if you've heard their collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice, you'll find this Tiny Desk performance musically even more casual. It's akin to hearing friends play after a few afternoon beers, which is kind of what happened. (We actually had to page folks in the building hoping for some brew and were quite surprised at what the NPR staff had stashed in the fridge.)

The two singers/songwriters/guitarists have been mutual admirers and kept bumping into one another at various festivals. They find mutual love for twang and so their songs lean country, though their respective countries are hemispheres apart.

Kurt and Courtney tend to bring out the adolescence in one another, inspiring Kurt to pick out a song he wrote when he was roughly fourteen called "Blue Cheese" about, well, I'm not sure. But lines like, "I didn't mean to cough on her/Forgot to add the fabric softener," just make me laugh; and in 2017, in a deeply serious political landscape, I find that quite refreshing.

Set List

  • "Over Everything"

  • "Continental Breakfast"

  • "Blue Cheese"

  • "Let It Go"

Musicians

Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Alyse Young; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR

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