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.