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Kurt Vile Picks His Favorite Neil Young Songs

‘Stumblin’ With Neil’ is the first-ever guest playlist for Young’s new online archives

Kurt VileKurt Vile in concet at the Fox Theater, Oakland, USA - 12 Dec 2018Kurt Vile in concet at the Fox Theater, Oakland, California.

Kurt Vile

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Kurt Vile has selected 33 of his favorite Neil Young songs for a new playlist on Young’s online archives website. “Stumblin’ With Neil” is the first-ever guest playlist on the Neil Young Archives, which recently opened to the public with a plethora of high-quality streaming music, photos and more. “I’m proud,” Vile writes in a note accompanying the playlist. “I’m inspired. I CAN’T FUCKING BELIEVE the good people at Neil Young Archives have presented me with the greatest of honors in a territory uncharted.”

The songs on Vile’s playlist survey Young’s career from 1973 onward, with plenty of well-known classics (“Rockin’ in the Free World,” “Cortez the Killer,” about half of On the Beach) along with some deeper and newer cuts. For Vile, a lifelong Young fan, making the playlist was “a piece of cake, of course”: He recalls being “backstage in Milwaukee…head bobbing to the sound of my laptop for hours until I had to go onstage and guess what? Best show of the tour, that’s what.”

The Philadelphia singer-songwriter is particularly enthusiastic about “When Your Lonely Heart Breaks,” an understated ballad from 1987’s Life. “The way Crazy Horse harmonize those devastating lyrics with Neil…” Vile writes. “Only adults with some of their wild years behind them could perform something like that with such a chilling sad beauty and perspective, living it right there in front of you.”

Vile is currently touring the U.S. behind Bottle It In, which Rolling Stone named the ninth-best album of 2018. Young’s staff seem to agree: An unsigned note says Bottle It In “has been in such heavy rotation in the Archives office that it’s crept into at least one archivist’s dreams.”

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Ayo! Thanks so much to @neilyoungarchives for the ultimate honor of letting me curate guest playlist #1 on the unreal neilyoungarchives.com (obviously more so the realest site around), if you haven’t been there you won’t believe it when you get there and you’ll prolly never leave (I haven’t!). Thank you to the good people at the archive and to @neilyoung for making my life… what a privilege that I can’t stress enough (ps check out the “essay” I wrote in the playlist description where I elaborate a bit on what Neil and his music means to me, and of course… jam that playlist!) and like Neil sang “do it in the name of love” (ps I believe the playlist only works visiting site on computer not phone) Love, KV #neilyoungarchives #nya #neilyoung #nyaplaylists

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