Monday, April 6, 2009

Awesome Music Week: Vampire Weekend

I've been tearing up iTunes recently downloading tons of music. I've discovered a bunch of music that isn't necessarily new to the world, but is new to me. At the same time, I've had a couple of discussions, with Side Bar in particular, about where I hear about new music or find new bands. Well, I've been making a real effort recently to find new music and such so I'm going to make a series of posts regarding this music and some notes and so forth.

It was over a year ago that I made a post about Arcade Fire being my new favorite band, and it was about two weeks ago that Side Bar says to me, "Chuck, I have to talk to you. I downloaded the Arcade Fire album and it's really good." My response was a civilized, "Fuck you." In that vein, I'm going to try to match some of these picks to our other authors in the hopes that maybe they'll take my advice.

Ok, here we go. Awesome music week.

Vampire Weekend
I first saw them: On Saturday Night Live in March of last year.
Would Side Bar like them?: He would love it over time.
Would Open Bar like them?: Yeah, I think so.
Would LJT like them?: LJT only likes the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and rap music produced between 1989-1995. So, no, he won't like any of this.

Ironically, I first encountered these guys within a couple of days of my posting about Arcade Fire. I say ironically becuase these guys are another of my favorites. They have only one album to date, but man is it great. Describing their music is moderately difficult in that it's really a fusion of pop music with some really interesting international influence. They've got interesting drum cadences, flute like instruments, strings all over the place, and all sorts of strange and exciting energy. Their music makes you think of Paul Simon's Graceland given the obvious international influence except with a bit more vigor.

Another thing that makes these guys awesome is that they formed when they were all students at Columbia. So that's cool. I only bring that up because the lyrics of a lot of their songs are really New York-centric. They also really play up an image of a bunch of preppy WASP kids, but it seems clear that it's more of a parody. Many of their songs, however, are also about summering in Cape Cod and things of that nature.

Here's a sample for you. I think this song, "M79" really exemplifies their style. This isn't a music video, which is good, since their videos are actually kinda wack, especially in relation to the goodness of their songs. I've seen them perform on TV several times and they play with a lot of energy and get the crown hyped up and their videos really don't relay what I think is great about them.