Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hope Everyone Had a Vampire Weekend

Being a part of this blog has made me realize that even though I know about more music than the average person, I am falling behind on all the newer good music coming out these days. It's overwhelming to me, actually. You've got myspace, where anyone can put songs of their band up, and that's great, but how much crap do you have to go through just to find the good stuff? Truly, it's unfair of me to say "crap" because a lot of the stuff I find on Myspace is quite decent, or at least good enough for the girls I go with.

I've had a subscription to Rolling Stone since around 1987. While they are frustrating at times (Kings of Leon gets a mention it seems, every other month, but my favorites, The Drive-By Truckers, where are they? They truly deserve a cover, even though they're not pretty, but then, when was rock and roll ever pretty?), I am able to keep up on some popular stuff, but by no means get the goods on stuff that is causing a buzz.

A couple of weekends ago, I was at my local library. For a town of 20,000 people, we have an AWESOME A/V department in our library. Passing by the "new" section, I saw the Vampire Weekend CD. I grabbed it, figuring I really knew nothing about the band, save perhaps, a proper mention in Rolling Stone, or somewhere on the web.

I found it quirky at first. Were these guys from England, or are they Ivy League rich kids turning out rock and roll? I still have not investigated this, other than a quick review of the liner notes, and I'm still not sure. Not sure I want to kill the mystery, although it's all right if you do so in the comments section.

Overall, I'd probably give this debut 3/5 stars, but I haven't listened to it all the way through. On first listen, I probably would have told you that "Walcott" was my favorite song. Typical melody, with really snotty lyrics about Cape Cod. I dig that the singers voice is very pleasant, and when he claims that "The Bottleneck is a shit-show", it's way more powerful than when some metal or punk dude is screaming "fuck".
Then I found the "Oxford Comma" video:

The song itself is pretty great. Dig the line, "Why would you lie about how much coal you have?" What does that mean? I don't know, but it sticks with me everywhere I go.
"A Punk" is pretty awesome as well:

The last tune I'm going to mention is the closer, "The Kids Don't Have a Chance." I love the keyboard in this one. This sort of sounds like it was influenced by Elvis Costello.

Maybe I'm behind on discussing these guys. My friend, Tommy Tune, states that the blogosphere has already hyped these guys up and brought them down. Oh well, I guess I'm not hip. Guess I'll go cower in a corner somewhere.

Fuck that. I never said I was cool, I just know what good music sounds like, and a lot of these tunes are simple, but fantastic. It's been a while since I've heard 50's-styled, clean guitar work. It's a pleasant surprise.

I definitely recommend this album, a cool evening, and a six pack of Three Floyd's Gumball Head Wheat.


Felicia said...

I posted about Vampire Weekend a while ago on my own blog because I went to their show, and kind of wish I hadn't. It's true, they come off as teens from old money from New England boarding schools in person. I think they have a long way to go before ever living up to the major hype they received earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

Next time do you think you could listen to the album all the way through before posting a review on it???

TK said...

Way to post a constructive comment, Anonymous.


Jez said...

You know, anonymous, I appreciate your bend. I DID listen to it all the way through. Like 5 times. But not real concentrated-like. I only did that once. And quite honestly, those 4 songs are the ones that stand out. Mansard Roof is annoying, to tell you the truth. I was focusing on the songs I liked, which in turn, made me want to write about the band.
Be glad I gave it a 3/5 stars. 4/11 songs being good usually doesn't translate into that. Thanks for reading!

Emily Gordon is.....Gynomite! said...

I'm the same way, I feel like I'm a music expert up until around the year 2001. I saw a poster for Vampire Weekend at a bar a few months ago and congratulated myself on being ahead of the curve for once....until I saw that they were on Saturday Night Live THAT WEEK. Yeah. Saturday Night Live. The bastion of hip new music.
Your review is right on though.