Local Wire

Vampire Weekend

Music scribes can appreciate the smart-ass lyrics of Vampire Weekend's über-groovy song "Oxford Comma," wherein singer and guitarist Ezra Koenig quips and croons, "Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?/I've seen those English dramas too-oo/They're crue-ool" against a bopping sonic backdrop that sounds like a '70s bubblegum commercial. Music fans can appreciate the ska-bomp of songs like "APunk," the deft, cheeky '60s pop of "Mansard Roof," and the world music/beach campfire sing-along of "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa." There seem to be selling points for everyone with this NYC quartet, who recently signed to XL Recordings on the strength of a four-song demo containing the aforementioned songs. They have a toe in African pop music ("Cape Cod" pulls from the Congolese soukous tradition), a finger in Western classical music (their guitar progressions often resemble those of classical six-string composers like Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani), and their heads in quirky New Wave ("Mansard Roof" manages to pull off a Devo feel in spite of its retro sound). Hell, the band — whose members met while attending Columbia University — even appeals to the preppy crowd. Vampire Weekend's scarce recorded output (a self-released EP, and a "Mansard Roof" seven-inch single on XL) has been hard to track down, and its self-titled debut album doesn't drop until January 2008, so Vampire Weekend's live shows offer the biggest bite for your buck.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea