Muhlenberg: WMUH Celebrates 75 Years welcomes Kurt Vile & the Violators, The Sun Ra Arkestra, and Catatonic Suns

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WMUH Celebrates 75 Years welcomes Kurt Vile & The Violators, The Sun Ra Arkestra, and Catatonic Suns

About the artists:

Kurt Vile
Since his earliest self-produced CD-Rs, Philadelphia psych-pop master Kurt Vile has referred to himself as “Philly’s Constant Hitmaker“—and while he gave himself that name with a sly wink, he was also nodding toward the songwriting prowess that would result in him becoming one of his home city’s most celebrated rock artists. On his latest album, (watch my moves), Vile pulls his talents as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer in unexpected directions—and the result is a vibrant, yet meditative album propelled by Vile’s laid-back charm and curious spirit. Every lyric has been chiseled down into an aphorism, every bloom of distorted guitar or murmuring synth helping create that “fried” pop. “It’s about songwriting. It’s about lyrics. It’s about being the master of all domains in the music.”

The Sun Ra Arkestra
The Sun Ra Arkestra’s live shows combine big band swing, outer-space jazz, dancing, singing, chanting and Afro-pageantry. For most of the 20th century, iconic jazz bandleader Sun Ra helmed one of the planet’s most exciting big bands. Entertaining audiences from the Pyramids to the Hollywood Bowl, the visionary pianist/composer took his acclaimed Arkestra everywhere including a stop at The Open Space Gallery in Allentown for improvco back in 1989. A skilled clutch of musicians were with him at every turn of the journey, helping Ra fulfill his lofty mission of enhancing listeners’ lives. When Ra passed in the spring of 1993 at the age of 79, the group knew it was paramount to sustain his work.

Saxophonist John Gilmore initially took the helm, and after his death, Marshall Allen, inventive saxophonist and the brigade’s key lieutenant since the late 1950s, rightly emerged as the Arkestra’s leader in 1995. Since that time, from sold-out concerts around the world to two critically-acclaimed albums of his and Sun Ra music, he’s directed the beloved group to some of its highest heights.

Catatonic Suns
Hailing from Allentown, creating a blend of 90s indie DIY sensibilities with blankets of psychedelia, you are brought Catatonic Suns. What started out as a lo-fi demo project as evident in their early releases, Catatonic Suns soon blossomed into a live/studio band making some noise and connections along the way. With releases such as Aphelion and their single Tangerine Dayglo, listeners can be transported by swirling guitars and washed out vocals with the occasional angst mixed on top. A full-length album titled Saudade was released February 11, 2022.

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