Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vampire Weekend Biggest Little Indie Band That Could

In less than 18 months, the band Vampire Weekend has gone from an unknown Columbia University band to a huge musical phenomenon, thanks in part to several hundred music blog reviews, a Spin magazine cover, and a stint as MTV's Artist of the Week .

The four-piece band is comprised of Columbia grads Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson, who look like they just stepped off the set of "Dead Poets Society", complete with button-down shirts, khaki pants and boat shoes. Their self-titled 2008 album "Vampire Weekend" on XL Recordings is an eclectic mix of Afropop and British indie-rock, with spare sing-song guitar and simple lyrics that immediately pull you in. It's an exquisite summery album that you can't help but listen to over and over again. One of my favorite songs is "Oxford Comma", a compact but tightly written song about a guy who is disgusted with his girlfriend's petty obsessions. Another favorite is "A-Punk" (see their video here), a twitchy little song with a funky drive and rhythms straight out of the African savannah.

Check out their network TV debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. They also did a fascinating cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere" while performing on Australian radio station Triple J. Hey all you Bendites - be sure and catch their show on September 5th at Portland's Crystal Ballroom.

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