I'm learning to embrace my inner hippie. Or at least accept it. Vetiver's new album, Tight Knit, is thick with the kind of sunny folk jams the West Coast is skilled at, minus the extended noodling that I still find mostly intollerable. Live, they can really play and sing, and it's hard not to be impressed, though starting thier set with five or six extremely gentle numbers is no way to keep me interested at 10:30 on a Sunday night. "We're gonna pick it up in a minute," said singer Andy Cabic about four songs in. "But you guys are kinda quiet so we're gonna keep it mellow for a few more." They built steam over their set, but I do with they'd thrown in something upbeat, like thier Record Store Day single "Wishing Well," in to jump-start the evening.
MP3: Vetiver – Wishing Well
Honestly, I was there mainly to see Portland's Papercuts, whose new album, You Can Have What You Want, is one of my favorites of 2009 so far. I'd heard bad thing about their live shows, which could make sense as the recordings are pretty much created by Jason Quever on his own. How does one recreate purely studio ideas live? Pretty well, turns out. The live four-piece recreated the songs pretty closely on-stage, and on songs like the new "Future Primitive" they really came alive. But even at thier peppiest, Papercuts aren't the most exciting band. Some things remain better on your stereo.
Vetiver and Papercuts play this Thursday at the Bell House and more dates around the country. Full tour info after the jump.