Saturday, January 9, 2010

once over: "contra" by vampire weekend, release date jan 12

i loved the first release from vampire weekend. it was a self-titled release in 2008 from the four students from columbia university. it had a sound that i hadn't heard for a long time. i'd say the closest thing i could relate it to was paul simon during his "graceland" and rhythm of the saints" days.

i'm not saying it was a classic like "graceland" is, but who knows in ten years how "vampire weekend" will be viewed.

with their new album, "contra", before pushing play i was expecting a repeat. thinking a lot more of the same. happily, it sounds like their sound in the two years since their last release has got deeper. the lyrics are a little tighter. the music's a little more open. some of the songs feel a little synth-ed up and even some dabblings in electronica. i can dig that.

if you had a chance to see these guys live at liberty hall in lawrence on 9/11/08 at their amazingly packed and sold out show you know they look like four boys plucked from cul-de-sacs in the neighboring suburbs. nice, and clean shaven, this album feels more skinny jeans and PBR friendly. it's got more of a hipster, indie vibe to it and that's fine. i mean, they did all go to columbia, i think hipster flows through the water fountains on that campus.

if the last track of the album, "i think ur a contra" is any indication of the direction of this band, you know the same way a franchise film leaves you hanging knowing there will be a sequel, vamprie weekend's third album will be their best. it's a mix of grizzly bear and the antlers. i know a lot of bands are heading down that road right now, but that road's one of my favorite streets in town.

favorite track: "horchata"
here's a video from a live show, but overdubbed is the audio from the album. this being the second week of the year, in the bleak of mid-winter so to speak, this song really makes you remember summertime. a feeling we could all use a little of in kansas city right now.


  1. Excited about this release. Reminds me a tiny bit of the Ruby Suns. Also, I agree with the sunshine sentiment.

    Anyway, great site and concert list. I plan to attend quite a few of these. You mentioned that you have a journalism degree... Let me know if you have any interest in taking part in a new site I'm working on with some folks.

    Take care and hit me up at lucasw at kcfreepress dot com if you want to get in touch. Otherwise, keep up the great lists, reviews, writing, etc.

  2. vampire weekend is like paul simon dry humping the 00s music production style