Jesse Jarnow

“walcott” – vampire weekend

“Walcott” – Vampire Weekend (download)
from Blue CD-R

(file expires December 10th)

Gak, there are so many reasons why I wanna hate Vampire Weekend. Despite my love for Graceland and Remain in Light, the idea of nostalgia for ’80s world-pop sung seems kinda repellant, let alone revived by a buncha Ivy Leaguers singing about being Ivy Leaguers. Plus, they seem a perfect embodiment of the indie archipelago’s shift towards what once would’ve been considered totally goddamn bland/lite. There are times when Vampire Weekend might as well be the Gin Blossoms. Geeze, fuck me in the beard.

At first, “Walcott” was a perfect summary of all that. I mean, how entitled do you have to be to sing about being bored at Cape Cod?

But it’s such a winning hook — “outta Cape Cod, outta Cape Cod tonight” — that it becomes the sonic equivalent of a recklessly charming preppy, all windswept hair and big smile and kinda creepily Aryan. Really, though, bling is in, and there’s a certain cross-cultural egalitarianism in the concept. For that, Vampire Weekend communicate it in a different way than their hip-hop equivalents. For them, instead of strife and drugs and violence and struggle, it’s about safety and warmth. Fuzzy, even. Certainly, the channeling of the ’80s — childhood for the band’s presumed 20something listeners — doesn’t hurt. All that comes part and parcel with the songs, though, which linger, linger, linger.

4 Comments

  1. dave g. says: - reply

    When I first saw these guys open for New Pornographers, I thought — “Hmmm…Ivy Leaguers riffing on an endless rendition of Moe.’s ‘Bring it Back Home’. Liberal arts colleges in the Northeast will eat this up”
    But I’ve since fallen madly in love with their EP, even if I sort of hate myself for it.

  2. Matt S says: - reply

    OK, that’s it! You’re spending way to much time with hipsters. Its OK, to much time in the soulless Brooklyn will do that to you. I prescribe 24 hours of crawling through the archives at http://www.hipsterplease.com/ to remind you what unpretentious crap sounds like. :)
    This message has been brought to you by The First Church of Technopolis.

  3. Marsyas says: - reply

    Dude, the Gin Blossoms were awesome.

  4. Tempranillo says: - reply

    While I repsect all intellects and am open to many opinions, it is impossible to be bored on Cape Cod. The Cape is true and unique in many ways for its ruggedness, pureness and the parts of the inhabited coastline are breathtaking. Have you ever been to Truro? But, let’s get to the point, Vampire Weekend is happy! Isn’t that what we need more of these days?