Philadelphia singer-songwriter Kurt Vile is fully aware of how people perceive him based on his long, flowing hair and his rambling, lackadaisical music. “Sometimes when I get in my zone / you’d think I was stoned,” he sings on “Goldtone,” the closing track on April’s “Wakin on a Pretty Daze.” “But I never, as they say / touched the stuff.” Instead, the family man is working hard to climb to fame.
Aug. 28 is officially Kurt Vile Day in the City of Brotherly Love. Vile will perform a free concert in the courtyard of City Hall and receive the Liberty Bell Award, a high civic honor. Coincidentally, Vile’s video for the song “KV Crimes” depicts Vile on a throne being paraded through the streets of Philly.
Though he spends plenty of time on the road with his band, The Violators, Vile seems more content at home with his wife and two young daughters. “Never Run Away” and “Too Hard” serve as odes to his domestic life, as does the touching ballad “Baby’s Arms.”
Vile’s lyrics are laced with wit, evident on the song “Wakin on a Pretty Day.” “I gotta think about / what wisecrack / I’m gonna drop along the way, today.” Some of his wisecracks are dark, as he shows on “Too Hard:” “Life is like a ball of beauty / That makes you want to just cry / Then you die.”9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Sat., 8 p.m., $20; 202-265-0930. (U Street)