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Vacationist League

Genre: indie rock, rock

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Sound Description

John Tilson is a bit of a geek, and his unorthodox style of dweeb-ish meta-rock has been a welcome presence in Knoxville since his heyday with the Swamis, that lovable group of nerds who turned their three-chord chops into extremely cerebral music. Tilson, now a quirky ukulele virtuoso, still knows how to write a hyper-literate song, and he proved it on his album Feed the Kitty last year. There are moments of brilliance—“My Last Meal,” which may be the happiest I-hate-you song ever made by a local man-of-constant-sorrow. All the emotional flares are handled with such subtlety that’s it easy to forget just how sad and sardonic these songs can be—but there’s also a faint glimmer of optimism, even in the bleakest of Tilson’s verses. There’s always something new to mine out of these allusive narratives, so even if you’ve already seen Vacationist League live, you should probably go again. (Kevin Crowe)

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