Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Through The Front Door

Review of Vetiver's Tight Knit and giveaway

Photo By Alissa AndersonAlissa AndersonIf you’re looking to establish your country-rock credentials, you could do far worse than get tapped to be the backing band for once-and-future Jayhawk Gary Louris on his solo ventures. And it was in that role that San Francisco-based outfit Vetiver came to the attention of many in 2008, even though they were hardly wet behind the ears newcomers, with their 2009 release Tight Knit their fourth long-player.

But if you come to the Vetiverse – their own clever term, not mine – via the Louris connection, you might be a little surprised as their own creative compass tilts in a somewhat different direction from their sometime bandleader’s. Tight Knit could loosely be filed under country but not all under rock – instead, it’s a soft and billowy collection of folk-pop tunes that might have roots in ’70s AM if it were solid enough to have roots. It drifts prettily along, led by Andy Cabic’s gentle vocals and tinged with a dizzy psychedelia of the sort you might experience not by taking illicit pharmaceuticals but by rolling down a tall hill on a sunny day. Though released back in the cold days of February, Tight Knit could be the soundtrack for many a lazy Summer’s afternoon.

Vetiver are currently taking their show on the road and will stopping in at the Horseshoe next Friday, May 15, and courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got a couple pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to visit the Vetiverse” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Get that in to me before midnight, May 13.

The Winston-Salem Journal has an interview with Andy Cabic.

MP3: Vetiver – “Everyday”
Video: Vetiver – “Everyday”
MySpace: Vetiver

Billboard has had a listen to Wilco’s next album Wilco (The Album) in advance of its June 30 release and reports its findings. And Paste has info on the $50,000 lawsuit that former Wilco member Jay Bennett has brought against the band for allegedly unpaid royalties.

Pitchfork talks to James Mercer of The Shins about their impending return, with a new self-released album and new lineup. Well not that impending – the record probably won’t be out till next year.

Song, By Toad interviews Jason Lytle, whose solo debut Yours Truly, The Commuter may not be out until May 19 but is currently available to stream at NPR.

Stream: Jason Lytle / Yours Truly, The Commuter

New York Magazine and The New Yorker both devote features to Grizzly Bear, whose Veckatimest will be released on May 26 and who will play the Phoenix on June 5.

Tickets for the free Malajube show at Lee’s June 12 are now available at Soundscapes – probably Rotate, too.

Grand Archives will release their second album Keep in Mind Frankenstein on September 8.

The Tripwire asks five questions of M Ward. The Visalia Times-Delta asks as many questions as it wants.

Blurt talks to Patterson Hood about goings-on in camp Drive-By Trucker, including a rarities and b-side collection due out later this year.

A lifetime (if you’re eight years old) since the release of their first album, Elephant 6 survivors The Circulatory System will return with Signal Morning on August 4.

R.E.M.’s Reckoning will be getting the deluxe, double-disc reissue on June 23 with the original album getting a sonic buff and the package coming with a bonus live disc recorded in Chicago in 1984. Both Murmur and Reckoning will be released on 180-gram vinyl on that date as well.

So playing V fest-spotter has become something of a hobby of mine the last little while, trying to unearth info about the where, when and who with the festivals this year. Well the first official announcement came yesterday, and it was not what I’d expected. There’ll be five V Fests across Canada this year – British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Montreal and Nova Scotia – and based on who they’ve rounded up for Montreal next month, it’ll be interesting to see how things shape up if nothing else. I will give them this much – no one will be complaining about the same acts playing that fest as all the others in North America, nor will you be hearing about the indie/classic rock hegemony of music festival lineups. You may hear complaining about other things, but not those. There’s still no hint of when the Toron- sorry, ONTARIO lineup will be unveiled, or any of the others, but rest assured as they are, I’ll be there. And more than likely, incredulous. JAM has a bit of an interview with one of the Virgin PR people about the festivals.

By : Frank Yang at 8:29 am
Category: Contests

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post10 Responses.
  1. Stu says:

    That montreal V fest might be the worst festival lineup in the history of festivals. wow. New Kids & Simple Plan?!?! They just need to add Nickelback for the trifecta of terribleness.

  2. Mike says:

    As for the V Fest situation, I understand it all now.

    Since they’re been rebranding radio stations to in Canada to the ‘Virgin Radio,’ brand (like they did with Mix 99.9 here in Toronto), there is a definitine leaning towards finding acts that fit their network’s top 40 playlist.

    When there wasn’t a Virgin Radio here in Canada, things were different. Lineups reflected indie and alternative leanings, like festivals do in Europe. But now that they have to tie their lineups in with the Top 40 format on their stations, and because they probably have a Virgin station in every market, it all makes perfect sense.

    Many people who read this blog, and others like it, may not be aware of the new Virgin presence on the radio nowadays, because radio has little for us, and that is why this all comes as a schock.

  3. Bob says:


    If you wanna find out who may be playing a Virgin fest near you, just listen to who’s on Virgin Radio’s playlist for what you can expect when they make their anncouncement about our lineup.

  4. Frank Yang says:

    Mike, you are correct. I’m betting they’ll make some sort of compromise to the alt-indie scene for the Ontario lineup, but it will definitely skew more mainstream. For Montreal they probably felt no need to do so because Osheaga has that audience covered.

    But either way, I expect much lulz

  5. Paul says:

    Someone on the Consequence Of Sound board claims to know that Green Day, Tragically Hip and Alexisonfire are playing VFest Ontario. Awful. I predicted Green Day and Tragically Hip, and I think they fit as being alt-rock headliners that are also played on the shitty Virgin radio station.

  6. Matt Hawker says:

    Green Day probably as they have no toronto date yet on their tour. I’m pretty sure Alexisonfire is playing the Friday of Reading fest the same weekend, so slightly unlikely.

  7. Paul says:

    You are correct – Alexisonfire are definitely playing Reading/Leeds. Good, at least they can be ruled out.

  8. Adam says:

    Green Day is playing Hamilton just 1 month before. Despite not actually being Toronto, it still serves the Toronto market, and I doubt they would come back to play so soon.

  9. Yoss says:

    Well thank god the Ottawa Bluesfest has a good lineup.

  10. Matt Hawker says:

    I thought it was curious that Green Day has no Toronto date. I don’t think the hamilton date necessarily cancels out Toronto. Given a choice between the two cities you’d take Toronto in terms of interest, promotion, sales, etc. From an armchair promoter’s perspective it leads one to believe that a Big Toronto-serving date is in the works.