You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Vetiver

Vetiver: Everyday

When I interviewed Andy Cabic last summer at the Music Hall of Williamsburg before his show with Phosphorescent (sit tight, Matthew Houck, I'm getting to you), he was well-spoken and took himself very, very seriously. He offered me a bottle of Poland Spring from the green room and readily confessed to not having a clue about what was going on in the New York scene, which was more refreshing to me than I like to admit. He also claimed to bear no ill will toward his more well-known cronies, Devendra Barnhardt and Joanna Newsom, with whom he shares of the meaningless-and-hopfully-getting-to-be-irrelevent freak folk label. He lives in San Francisco, for god's sake. He's one of these guys who drives up and down Highway 1 pretending to be Roger McGuinn or one or more members of America, and periodically gets together to jam with people who are so old they can't help but be hip, like Michael "Snocko" Hurley. Eat it, New York suckers.

If only Cabic hadcome up with Tight Knit, out this month and featuring Everday, sooner. It's a shame that some cynics won't pay it any mind because they don't go for that hummy-strummy-hippy-dippy folk. (You know, you got some nerve, mister.) Tight Knit actually owes more to George Harrison than James Taylor.

The reason I was interviewing him was because I'd recently fallen in love, accidentally, with the band's obscure-covers album Thing of the Past, mostly because it contained no Beatles or Dylan and yet still managed to sound great, and Sanders Trippe, who can go, on the same album, from being one of those old-fashioned Bill-Haley style rock-around-the-clockers to kind of trippy distortion the kids go for. He's pretty much become my new Favorite Guitarist of the Hour (he's criminally undrecognized, naturally, but considering he's chosen to play with Cabic the Great Unknown, I suppose that's not too surprising.) In fact, probably the reason Tight Knit is the band's best album of originals so far is that Trippe actually gets a chance to stretch himself.

My full review of Tight Knit is scheduled to appear in the winter edition of Beyond Race Magazine. Unless they bump it for an interview with Tricky.

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