Vampire Weekend; Arctic Monkeys of 2008?

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Similar bad band names, catchy angular indie pop, some hype building.

Discuss

Craig sobeski, Sunday, 18 November 2007 07:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

As a band, they're less irritating than Arctic Monkeys, but their hype may become so unbearable that I want to break their kneecaps.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 18 November 2007 07:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

their CD-R is one of the 15 best records of the year.

J0rdan S., Sunday, 18 November 2007 08:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah this lolindie nob i know's always going on about them. But he's young.

W4LTER, Sunday, 18 November 2007 08:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Okay thoughts on the album:

- It's really good, in ways I hadn't anticipated and maybe can't quite articulate yet.

- The reason they are really good is nothing to do with the 'ZOMG! They are mixing indie punk with African and Irish music!" Emperor's New Clothes nonsense present in all the hype. If anything, these moments are brief flourishes and nothing more. And once again it shows how low collective expectations of new guitar bands have become, that if one shows any evidence of knowing what to do with a rhythm section then it suddenly beocmes a huge selling point.

- The moments when there ARE African or Irish influences prominent in the music threaten to teeter over into atrocious Sting/Paul Simon territory but never actually do so. Possibly because the band understand the value of RESTRAINT.

- This sense of restraint is maybe why Nick Southall might have been right all along. Compared to most of the other overhyped rock records of the last few years, this one feels so... tidy! You listen to any haircut indie of the past through years, starting from The Killers and through Bloc Party, the Arctic Monkeys, The Klaxons and Los Fucking Campasinos and there's just sonic clutter everywhere. The Vampire Weekend album hardly puts anything anywhere that doesn't need to be there, and that feels refreshing and crisp - cf the bass and drums at the start of 'Campus'. Ironically this is exactly what I would have attacked The Strokes for in 2001.

- It's bubblegum pop grown up a few years, with exactly the same concerns dressed up differently, isn't it? "I see you walking across the campus..." is the sort of timeless girly chorus you'd expect to hear in any pop record of the last few decades. Production-wise, it sounds like that as well, and yet I don't even remotely hold that against it...

Matt DC, Sunday, 27 January 2008 00:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

- "Blake's got a new face!" is a Pixies chorus.

Matt DC, Sunday, 27 January 2008 00:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've been hearing this band hyped up since the beginning of 2007. "lisen to them now, they're ognna be then ext big thign!" basically on anything with words printed on it in NYC.

and, here we are. Kinda predictable.

burt_stanton, Sunday, 27 January 2008 02:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

I really like them! Mind you, "Graceland" is one of my favourite albums ever, and I'd be happy if they veered more in that direction. They're very good live, too - definitely aware of how to put on a good show and involve a crowd.

toby, Sunday, 27 January 2008 03:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

If they don't become huge I'll be pretty disappointed.

toby, Sunday, 27 January 2008 03:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

i kinda <3 them and i dont care who knows - thats right ilx i have a crush on a blogrock band

jhøshea, Sunday, 27 January 2008 03:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

they're great! i had no idea until december or so.

sean gramophone, Sunday, 27 January 2008 03:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I saw them and they sucked. There was one good part but it was really bland. Real thin sound especially juxtaposed with animal collective

Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Sunday, 27 January 2008 04:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

i totally totally <3 them

"Blake's got a new face!" is a Pixies chorus.

it's a quasi-reinterpretation of "One." i love the afrobeat-thrash section.

gabbneb, Sunday, 27 January 2008 04:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

Every description of them I hear makes me feel I won't like them, yet the people who like what I like like them, so I guess I should listen to them.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, 27 January 2008 04:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've come around on them bigtime, and no longer want to break their kneecaps regardless of how hyped they get.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 27 January 2008 05:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

I just saw them on MTV. I think it's some pretty boring stuff... I mean, the good thing is, they kind-of sound like the Feelies, but ... that's what, an almost 30 year old sound? Indie rock = zzzzzzcity baby.

burt_stanton, Sunday, 27 January 2008 06:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

J0rdan S., Sunday, 27 January 2008 07:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

sample youtube comment: "english beat is kinda gay though"

whatever, Sunday, 27 January 2008 08:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's true about the strokesian tidyness - it gives the refined impression of them being all fresh and not a part of the modern music industry merry-go-round, when really just like the strokes they are arriving at pretty much the perfect cynical marketing time for their sort of thing.

anyway i kinda liked some of their songs to begin with until i got dragged along to see fucking darjeeling limited and realized that these guys are the same reprehensible bullshit in audio form. they EVEN use the same FONT.

r|t|c, Sunday, 27 January 2008 09:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

god forbid.

gr8080, Sunday, 27 January 2008 10:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

I would like "A Punk" if it was something Jonathan Richman or whoever did twenty years ago, but because it's new I think it sucks.

Bodrick III, Sunday, 27 January 2008 12:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

Great point.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 27 January 2008 12:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

Nice street-teaming from "Craig sobeski" too upthread. KEEP IT UP GUYZ

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 27 January 2008 12:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

Thanks, man.

Bodrick III, Sunday, 27 January 2008 12:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

SHIT IS DEEP

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 27 January 2008 12:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Stream the new album here: http://3voor12.vpro.nl/luisterpaal/

Fuck the hype. This album kicks ass.

brightscreamer, Sunday, 27 January 2008 14:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

got dragged along to see fucking darjeeling limited and realized that these guys are the same reprehensible bullshit in audio form

this

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Sunday, 27 January 2008 14:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

Why listen to A-Punk when you can just put on some late 70s/early 80s shit? I think that's a valid argument--is it good if it's just a reinterpretation of the acknowledged classics? It's like rock music has been raiding the crypt for a while now, and it seems like electronic music is doing the same. Remember. .. when there were -new- sounds, maaan?

burt_stanton, Sunday, 27 January 2008 15:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Great point.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 27 January 2008 15:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

I loved Darjeeling Limited! Any other recommendations?

brightscreamer, Sunday, 27 January 2008 16:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

got dragged along to see fucking darjeeling limited and realized that these guys are the same reprehensible bullshit in audio form

gabbneb, Sunday, 27 January 2008 16:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

classical, jazz, reggae, rap---it's all old and been done before! I like "A Punk"'s mesh of old-school punk pop with a touch of Congolese guitarwork, even if it is not completely brand new and innovative.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 27 January 2008 20:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Xgau on the Dead in 69: If rock is nothing but gut appeal contained within what Mickey Hart calls the "box" of the four-four beat, then the Dead no longer care primarily about making good rock. But if rock is music that makes you dance, then they may make the best rock of all.

gabbneb, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't care about the lack of innovation so much, it's the endless production line of rinky-dink skiffle bands being hyped to death that annoys. Especially if they've got a gimmick like "sounding a bit like Graceland".

Bodrick III, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

britishes

gabbneb, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

i surprisingly like this. kind of a lot

jaxon, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh they're total rushmore music. total wes anderson soundtrack. but im ok with that

s1ocki, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

i find it much harder to argue for vampire weekend's brilliance than for their awfulness -- the music is quite deliberately free of jagged edges or anything that may offend the ear (save for the singer's occasional yelping, which he really doesn't need to do because his voice is actually pretty good!), which is what i suppose people are finding 'refreshing' about it, but i am finding it hard to get excited about. it's certainly not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, just ... why is this supposed to be SOOO GOOD? do i really have to experience it 'in context' and listen to a thousand other bands that dont sound like VWE and dont have clean production? why can't i just put it on my stereo and like it? nb obviously context is important blah blah blah it just seems like people keep praising them negatively -- "i like them because they DONT sound like other stuff that's been released in the last 5 years in NYC!" it's not like there's a bunch of layers waiting to be uncovered on this record, so what am i missing that makes them so revolutionary? is the fact that they dont sound like they're from aughts NYC the only thing they have going for them? if they are to be appreciated on their own merits (and i agree that the 'african sound' hype is a red herring) then what exactly are they, besides not sounding cluttered?

i am asking these questions honestly and not trying to sound like a douche

uptown churl, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

ok, is it a youthful, quirky/not quirky andersonian innocence that causes people to enjoy them? nostalgia for one's college days?

uptown churl, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

the music scene in NYC has been so desperately dead since 2002 or so that I think people are grasping at whatever they can get. All the former big NYC bands this decade have moved to Philly, Berlin, etc; even small shitty towns in CA are kicking NYC's ass creativity wise.

In correlation to NYC's butt-raping rents? Perhaps.

burt_stanton, Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

there's a pretty big element of escapism involved w/ their music that i like

J0rdan S., Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

and beyond all the graceland stuff, the drummer and bassist are pretty good and way better than you'd expect from these dudes (best evidenced on "boston"). if anything i get annoyed by the singer/plinking keyboards, but when i'm in the mood i think they're pretty exceptional

as for other people liking them, it seems pretty clear to me: they sound kinda like the strokes, are pretty indie-pop but with enough unknown influences (for mtv-type listeners) to get ppl excited

J0rdan S., Sunday, 27 January 2008 21:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

"boston" = "ladies of cambridge" - maybe they used the former title in the UK?

sorry if you don't get them, hate fun, etc. lol, they're gonna be hueg.

gabbneb, Sunday, 27 January 2008 22:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

lol "hueg"

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 27 January 2008 22:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah idk "boston" was just what i had it labeled as on their cd-r

J0rdan S., Sunday, 27 January 2008 22:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

i hear a big spoon influence in the band, certainly the biggest indie-rock touchstone. love the way their restraint means that moments of splendid harmony or rhyme shine just doubly triply quadruply, the smallest flourishes gleaming so glow.

sean gramophone, Sunday, 27 January 2008 22:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

You know as much as these guys aren't a great band, I'm glad to have someone this omnipresent doing something a little interesting than another four guys pretending to be Pavement or Talking Heads.

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 27 January 2008 23:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

fuck these motherfuckers

da croupier, Sunday, 27 January 2008 23:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

fucking fuckers are guarandamnteeing a Northern Exposure revival or some such shit

da croupier, Sunday, 27 January 2008 23:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

"oh, if only paul simon would YELP."

da croupier, Sunday, 27 January 2008 23:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yes.

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 22 December 2010 16:07 (six years ago) Permalink

I heard some more of Contra lately and it was far from the worst thing ever.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:24 (six years ago) Permalink

<3 this album but room on fire is also a fave

plax (ico), Thursday, 23 December 2010 17:35 (six years ago) Permalink

I fought the inclination for months, but lost: "Giving Up the Gun" is my jam of the year.

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 23 December 2010 17:37 (six years ago) Permalink

y fight it

plax (ico), Thursday, 23 December 2010 17:38 (six years ago) Permalink

anyone heard their iTunes holiday EP? They cover Bruce's "I'm Goin' Down."

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 29 December 2010 15:31 (six years ago) Permalink

that "holiday oooh holiday the best time of the year" song in the TV commercials can suck my dick, thank god xmas is over

in my world of Hmong ppl (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 2 January 2011 16:24 (six years ago) Permalink

lmaotm

flopson, Sunday, 2 January 2011 18:55 (six years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

max, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:11 (six years ago) Permalink

only becaue of u did i finally have the courege 2 find my real mother in ohio even with my prostehtic leg limbs. thank u

i8hannahsleg 1 day ago 4

markers, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:25 (six years ago) Permalink

markers, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:29 (six years ago) Permalink

markers, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:29 (six years ago) Permalink

three of his five uploads on youtube are about "crash"

markers, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 04:29 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

it constantly surprises me how much i love this band. i still regularly play both albums (tho contra more than the debut)

Mordy, Tuesday, 6 March 2012 02:35 (five years ago) Permalink

otm

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Tuesday, 6 March 2012 02:41 (five years ago) Permalink

otm

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 6 March 2012 02:44 (five years ago) Permalink

Damn. It's been more than year since we revived this thread?!

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 6 March 2012 02:44 (five years ago) Permalink

i'm not constantly surprised by how much i love this band, but i still very much love this band

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 6 March 2012 02:48 (five years ago) Permalink

I see that they are gonna be at the Pitchfork fest and Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio has scored the upcoming Bob Byington film Somebody Up There Likes Me. The movie, which stars Parks & Recreation's Nick Offerman is set to premiere next week (Sunday) at South By Southwest in Austin, TX

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 March 2012 16:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, they grow on you.

Raymond Cummings, Tuesday, 6 March 2012 19:17 (five years ago) Permalink

I love this band too; every time I travel someplace where I feel like I'm stepping above my station (like I am now), these albums ring very true.

Euler, Tuesday, 6 March 2012 19:18 (five years ago) Permalink

i was just thinking the other day how contra struck me as really accomplished and well-done and how i haven't had any urge to listen to it (or heard any one else mention it) since it came out

40oz of tears (Jordan), Tuesday, 6 March 2012 19:36 (five years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

For those who care (admittedly, I don't):

http://www.nme.com/news/vampire-weekend/68008

Vampire Weekend's third album is influenced by jazz, Bob Dylan and The Clash according to Rostam Batmanglij.

The multi-instrumentalist spoke to Uncut about the forthcoming album, the US band's first since 2010's 'Contra'. Discussing the influences and sounds the band are creating, Batmanglij said: "The goal was to use organic sounds and put them in a context that you might not have heard before. It's certainly darker and grittier than 'Contra'. A lot of these songs are about conflict. They're about the choices we can make, being able to do what we want with our lives."

He added: "With 'Contra' I was interested in a kind of arty, '80's New York sound, but this album goes deeper. It gets into the '50s and some of it sounds like jazz, but broken down into its most basic elements and played in a very simple way. It's more of a subtle kind of complexity and there's an intimacy to the performances, both vocal and instrumental, that are very special. I think the sound of the piano is central to the record."

Batmanglij went on to mention song titles such as 'Don't Lie', 'Hudson' and 'Unbeliever', which the band played during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's US chat show at Halloween last year. The guitarist compared the new songs to bob Dylan and The Clash, saying his friends told him the songs sound "scary".

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 January 2013 23:05 (four years ago) Permalink

last chance for them to not become completely irrelevant

Shin Oliva Suzuki, Friday, 4 January 2013 23:37 (four years ago) Permalink

I actually think both their albums hold up really well. First is better than the second, but both are good.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Friday, 4 January 2013 23:44 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah I still go back to these quite a bit. Don't know how much more "relevant" you can get.

Gukbe, Friday, 4 January 2013 23:49 (four years ago) Permalink

I care! Was just listening to them last night. They're a good band, and I can't wait to hear the new stuff. I listen to plenty of retro-sounding stuff and wipe my ass with relevance daily, but to be fair, I don't think VW are completely stuck in the past.

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 4 January 2013 23:55 (four years ago) Permalink

Contra >>>>> first

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 January 2013 01:03 (four years ago) Permalink

Even though I still prefer the first, I like that Contra is not just a rehash. It does some things differently and I think better. For instance, they took more care with the sound and production on Contra, and it shows. But overall I think the first is more consistent. But I'm definitely looking forward to hearing the new one.

o. nate, Saturday, 5 January 2013 01:15 (four years ago) Permalink

Contra is one of the best straight-up indie rock albums of the past few years.

congratulations (n/a), Saturday, 5 January 2013 02:18 (four years ago) Permalink

When I saw them in Chicago in July it'd been more than a year since I'd heard a single Contra tune and I wasn't exactly looking forward to the performance, but "Giving Up the Gun" and "Cousins" sounded as beautiful as usual and they brought it all back.

I've thought about them the last eight days as I've lived with the remastered edition of the English Beat's Wha'ppen.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 January 2013 02:20 (four years ago) Permalink

Contra is one of the best straight-up indie rock albums of the past few years.

OTM

Old Boy In Network (Michael B), Saturday, 5 January 2013 02:28 (four years ago) Permalink

i think contra > debut but both are great, catchy pop -- i'm excited + anticipating new album!

Mordy, Saturday, 5 January 2013 02:29 (four years ago) Permalink

That's a pretty incredible streak of positivity. I'm sorry I missed that summer show in Chicago. The only disappointing thing is there is not release date and they said they're not even done writing the songs, so at best we'll get at summer release, at worse, 2015 or later...

Fastnbulbous, Saturday, 5 January 2013 02:57 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah, both album are very good. looking forward to some new stuff by these guys.

Bee OK, Saturday, 5 January 2013 04:15 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

New album out May 7th apparently.

Gukbe, Tuesday, 22 January 2013 23:22 (four years ago) Permalink

I can't wait for their Vampires Tour where they play vampirically while dressed as vampires, who vamp.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 4 February 2013 15:32 (four years ago) Permalink

new thread?

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 4 February 2013 15:35 (four years ago) Permalink

10 Ya Hey

Mark G, Monday, 4 February 2013 15:44 (four years ago) Permalink

Ho

Ned Raggett, Monday, 4 February 2013 15:46 (four years ago) Permalink

Lets go

Mark G, Monday, 4 February 2013 19:17 (four years ago) Permalink

you know, I really love this band. Those two records and the first especially are just astonishing pop collections. Their sound is so spare and carefully refined, and the melodies are outrageous. the whole affected prep thing is whatever. I really love this band and through the course of typing this have convinced myself I must have all three on vinyl ASAP. hope this one holds up

you are my capitalism (spazzmatazz), Monday, 4 February 2013 19:22 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm hoping for a Contra 2 there. Really loved Contra.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 4 February 2013 19:50 (four years ago) Permalink

Listening to Contra yesterday for the first time since god knows when was like having drinks with a great bro you haven't seen in months and you have all afternoon

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 4 February 2013 19:54 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

The new album is FIRE

Raymond Cummings, Monday, 11 March 2013 11:56 (four years ago) Permalink

So many religious allusions in play

Raymond Cummings, Monday, 11 March 2013 11:57 (four years ago) Permalink

Ok done writing my review, this goes on my shortlist for 2013

Raymond Cummings, Friday, 15 March 2013 05:16 (four years ago) Permalink

yessssss

yellow jacket (spazzmatazz), Friday, 15 March 2013 06:15 (four years ago) Permalink

there is a dedicated thread for this album, which it deserves: Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

2010 and 2012 World Champions San Francisco Giants (Bee OK), Friday, 15 March 2013 06:28 (four years ago) Permalink


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