Thursday, January 31, 2008
Almost everyone knows about Vampire Weekend by now. In recent months, it's been hard to avoid the Columbia grads, and with the release of the band's first official album (on XL), it's going to be even harder to avoid them.
The reason? Well, it seems that by virtue of being themselves, Vampire Weekend may be the most hated band in indie rock right now. Now, keep in mind that I haven't really read any of the reviews yet — nor have I bought the album — but from what I've heard and seen thus far, it seems that the music journalists are getting them right where it hurts: in the Wayfarers.
As a former music journalist who has skewered her fair share of bands, I have to say that Vampire Weekend has all the makings of a negative review. Even though I like the band — hell, I love them — they are just one of those bands whose easy angle happens to be a negative one. It's a lot easier to be witty while kicking them in the seat of their Dockers than it is to wax preppy about the virtues of their riddims.
See? I just did it there, and I wasn't even trying.
But in any case, I like Vampire Weekend because they are the anti-hipster. It's the same reason I like a lot of the bands I do; there's no pretense in liking them. To me, Vampire Weekend is very similar to the Spinto Band in a lot of aspects. Granted, the Spintos have their own little army of (mainly) brothers and make very different music, but the idea is the same.
Like the Spinto Band, Vampire Weekend are just normal guys who dress like the boys next door and who shower more often than once a week. They're educated, and you can probably bring them home to mom. There is no idea of hey-I-found-this-in-the-dumpster-out-back-let's-wear-it-IRONICALLY.
Because frankly, indie rock has lost its edge. And I think that Vampire Weekend is just the start of something that is going to be a change in music.
While I have never met any of them personally, I'm pretty sure they're all nice guys. And it's what we need in music right now.