Guest DJs: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile : All Songs Considered Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile just released an intercontinental collaboration that's full of humor and guitar picking. Now Kurt and Courtney pick the songs they love in a Guest DJ conversation.
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Guest DJs: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

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Guest DJs: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

Guest DJs: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile's Lotta Sea Lice is out now via Matador Records. Danny Cohen/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Danny Cohen/Courtesy of the artist

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile's Lotta Sea Lice is out now via Matador Records.

Danny Cohen/Courtesy of the artist

By now you may have heard of the intercontinental, surprise collaboration between Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, for an album called Lotta Sea Lice. The two singers have been mutual admirers for a while and kept bumping into one another at various festivals. Their guitar-based rock songs are laced with a shared sense of humor, and that was part of what got them creating music together.

On this edition of All Songs Considered, Kurt and Courtney join me in our Washington D.C. studios. They'd just finished performing a Tiny Desk Concert and sat down to talk about some of the music they love by other artists.

In the conversation, you can hear their mutual love for singers with guitars and a knack for writing songs that touch the heart, including songs by The Sadies, John Prine, Gillian Welch, Tom Petty and Elliott Smith.

Songs Featured In The Episode

Cover for Northern Passages

The Sadies

  • Song: The Good Years
  • from Northern Passages

"[The Sadies] should be way more popular. People like Neil Young love them, they've backed up Neko Case, but that's all small potatoes because the actual band themselves are great players. It's two brothers, Dallas and Travis Good. I opened for them and they were like, 'Who is this guy?'. I got in their van and was shy, and they were pretty psychedelic themselves." — Kurt Vile

YouTube
Cover for Northern Passages

The Sadies

  • Song: It's Easy (Like Walking) (feat. Kurt Vile)
  • from Northern Passages

"I remember when we were in the studio you had those lyrics floating around!" —Courtney Barnett

"Yeah, 'my left hand's got a permanent air guitar tic, but don't confuse it with a crutch because I like it a lot.'" — Kurt Vile

"We nearly added it as an additional lyric to 'Over Everything' but it didn't fit." —Courtney Barnett

"So I gave it to my brothers, The Sadies!" — Kurt Vile

YouTube
Cover for Lotta Sea Lice

07Blue Cheese

  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    Blue Cheese
    Album
    Lotta Sea Lice
    Artist
    Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
    Label
    Matador
    Released
    2017

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Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

  • Song: Blue Cheese
  • from Lotta Sea Lice

"I wrote the chords when I was fourteen, maybe fifteen." — Kurt Vile

"That's me playing drums, on top of Jim White!" — Courtney Barnett

Buy Featured Music

Song
Lotta Sea Lice
Album
Lotta Sea Lice
Artist
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
Label
Matador
Released
2017

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Cover for Smoke Ring For My Halo

Kurt Vile

  • Song: Peeping Tomboy
  • from Smoke Ring For My Halo

"When I bought Smoke Ring For My Halo, I would lay on my bed and listen to this song. I was sad at the time, and it made sense to me." — Courtney Barnett

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
Smoke Ring For My Halo
Album
Smoke Ring For My Halo
Artist
Kurt Vile
Label
Matador Records
Released
2011

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Cover for You're Gonna Get It!

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

  • Song: No Second Thoughts
  • from You're Gonna Get It!
  • by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

"From AKA Music in Philly, which is now defunct, I found this ten-dollar Tom Petty cassette box set. I would play it in my van, and this song just came up out of nowhere. It's like an extracurricular, heart-tugging deep cut." — Kurt Vile

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
You're Gonna Get It!
Album
You're Gonna Get It!
Artist
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Label
Warner Bros. Records
Released
1978

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Cover for Our Man in Trouble

Don Bowman

  • Song: Chit Akins, Make Me a Star
  • from Our Man in Trouble

"What's that song you kept playing where he plays the guitar solo and it's really out of tune?" — Courtney Barnett

"Don Bowman, 'Chit Akins, Make Me a Star.' It's so random. I think he hooked Waylon Jennings up with a record deal. That's how I know him, through this Waylon Jennings autobiography." — Kurt Vile

YouTube
Cover for Soul Journey

Gillian Welch

  • Song: Look at Miss Ohio
  • from Soul Journey

"[Gillian Welch] wins." — Kurt Vile

"Yeah, she wins the world." Courtney Barnett

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
Soul Journey
Album
Soul Journey
Artist
Gillian Welch
Label
Acony
Released
2003

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Cover for Lotta Sea Lice

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

  • Song: Continental Breakfast
  • from Lotta Sea Lice

"We're both a little bit off, I think, so singing together is a bit harder than usual...I just love harmonizing. Once I learned how it worked." — Courtney Barnett

"It's the ultimate drug, if you do it right." — Kurt Vile

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
Lotta Sea Lice
Album
Lotta Sea Lice
Artist
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
Label
Matador
Released
2017

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Cover for Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett

  • Song: Depreston
  • from Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

"When I was making the album, Dan Luscombe, who plays guitar on it, he was like, 'I think it's pronounced percolator.' So I had to change it... I had this song written a long time before the album." — Courtney Barnett

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Album
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Artist
Courtney Barnett
Label
Mom + Pop Music
Released
2015

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Cover for Pink Cadillac

John Prine

  • Song: How Lucky
  • from Pink Cadillac

"Kurt is the Prine guy." — Courtney Barnett

"But I just bought her John Prine's first album." — Kurt Vile

"It's a world I don't know, but I'm getting deep into it." — Courtney Barnett

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Buy Featured Music

Song
Pink Cadillac
Album
Pink Cadillac
Artist
John Prine
Label
Asylum
Released
1979

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Cover for John Prine

John Prine

  • Song: Sam Stone

"I love discovering music through people you're close to. You get to hear it in a different way." — Courtney Barnett

"John Prine in particular... just the chord changes combined with the words. He definitely can make you cry a little bit. Just a little bit." — Kurt Vile

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
John Prine
Album
John Prine
Artist
John Prine

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Cover for From a Basement on the Hill

Elliott Smith

  • Song: Let's Get Lost
  • from From a Basement on the Hill

"I discovered this whole new world when I moved to Melbourne and started hanging out with different people and musicians, and started playing in bands. For some reason I have no idea when I first started listening to Elliott Smith, but the fragility in his voice is so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time." — Courtney Barnett

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
From a Basement on the Hill
Album
From a Basement on the Hill
Artist
Elliott Smith
Label
Anti
Released
2004

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Cover for Best Of The Youngbloods  (1970)

The Youngbloods

  • Song: Get Together
  • from Best Of The Youngbloods (1970)

"You've never heard this version?" — Kurt Vile

"No." — Courtney Barnett

"Wow. Australia is a wild place." — Kurt Vile

"We don't actually have music in Australia." — Courtney Barnett

YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
Best Of The Youngbloods (1970)
Album
Best Of The Youngbloods (1970)
Artist
The Youngbloods
Label
Sbme Special Mkts.
Released
1970

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?