When they rode a wave of online hype out of the Pacific Northwest last year, Blitzen Trapper's mountain-man spin on Pavement's slapdash genius seemed like a sorry imitation of the real thing. But if Wild Mountain Nation felt a little forced, the new Furr is as warm and natural as a full-grown winter beard.

When they rode a wave of online hype out of the Pacific Northwest last year, Blitzen Trapper's mountain-man spin on Pavement's slapdash genius seemed like a sorry imitation of the real thing. But if Wild Mountain Nation felt a little forced, the new Furr is as warm and natural as a full-grown winter beard.

Though they still crib from Pavement (and now take a great deal from The Band, too), the Seattle group seems to have crossed the great divide from too-cute mimicry to a legend-inspired sound of their own.

Blitzen Trapper continues to spin out in many directions -- the screaming psychedelia of "Love U," the country-fried indie rock of "War on Machines" and the quiet ruminations of "Furr" among them. Tunes like this would have grated before, but the dudes now strike a much more satisfying balance between goofball fun and genuine vulnerability.

What: Blitzen Trapper and Horse Feathers

When: Tuesday, Nov. 11

Where: Skully's Music Diner, Short North

Web: bencopresents.com

Basically, Furr sounds like the Blitzen Trapper of old turned older, wiser and more focused. Maturity has sapped the life from some bands, but it's a good look for these guys.

They'll be joined at Skully's by Horse Feathers, whose new House With No Home sounds ideal for curling up in a blanket during the bleakest days of winter. The Oregon band's blend of whispery melodies, rugged acoustics and somber strings adds up to a less precocious take on Sufjan Stevens.