Saturday, September 8, 2007

Vampire Weekend

"Can you stay up to see the dawn/in the colors of Benetton?/
is your bed made? is your sweater off?/do you want to? like you know I do?

I know what you're thinking: "Is Danny planning on going to a blood bar this weekend?" Unfortunately, as appetizing as it sounds, the answer is no (I'm not 21).

Vampire Weekend, besides being some sort of fetish covered on CSI, is an up-and-coming band from Brooklyn. After attending Ivy League rival Columbia University, Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Christopher Tomson, and Chris Baio formed a group they categorize on myspace as Punk/New Wave/Classical.

I don't know if I actually agree with any of those categorizations, but what I do know is that their music is an impressive collaboration of different styles. It sounds to me part Carribean, part Afro-beat, and, the string arrangements especially, distinctly American. We talked yesterday in my "World Music and Culture" class about the globalization of music, and these guys are the perfect example. They integrate their influences without blurring them, and end up with a sound all their own. The music is exotic but has great, accessible melodies, and the "new" factor never seems forced. They pull off as believable a bittersweet and kind-of-pissed-off as they do a laid-back and beach-party.

Their album, which will officially be released in January, is already one of my favorites. They're playing at the M room in Philly on the 13th and I'm hoping to be there. Buy their EP, visit their myspace, and enjoy these songs.

Vampire Weekend - Mansard Roof
Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Vampire Weekend - Walcott


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