Words and photos by Sarahana
Vetiver, Papercuts and These United States at the Bell House last week was a pretty stellar line-up, and probably a reaffirmation that this spacious barn-like room in Gowanus, with killer late night meat pies no less, is one of the best places to see new music in New York City (Sufjan Stevens was present, and someone told me that Devendra Banhart was around, too).
[These United States]
The show was opened by These United States, probably the best known unknown band. In their short history of having toured relentlessly, they must’ve played with a thousand bands by now, and it seems like everyone who’s ever worked with them nothing but adores them. After playing a charged and sweaty sweat, which you can consider their hallmark, the ever so people-friendly frontman Jesse Elliott manned the merchandise table as is his tradition. A girl asked me in confusion, “If he’s the singer, why is he sitting at the merch table?” Because he’s awesome?
Vetiver’s singer Andy Cabic said that people have told him their music put them to sleep. While the music was soothing enough to transport one to the comfort of sleep, and the set length quite generous, there was too much charm on stage for that to actually happen. He also asked if the person who had written to him earlier saying he was going to drive down from Maine to catch the show after work had made it, and he had.