Jesse Jarnow

“walcott” – vampire weekend

“Walcott” – Vampire Weekend (download)
from Blue CD-R

(file expires December 10th)

Gak, there are so many reasons why I wanna hate Vampire Weekend. Despite my love for Graceland and Remain in Light, the idea of nostalgia for ’80s world-pop sung seems kinda repellant, let alone revived by a buncha Ivy Leaguers singing about being Ivy Leaguers. Plus, they seem a perfect embodiment of the indie archipelago’s shift towards what once would’ve been considered totally goddamn bland/lite. There are times when Vampire Weekend might as well be the Gin Blossoms. Geeze, fuck me in the beard.

At first, “Walcott” was a perfect summary of all that. I mean, how entitled do you have to be to sing about being bored at Cape Cod?

But it’s such a winning hook — “outta Cape Cod, outta Cape Cod tonight” — that it becomes the sonic equivalent of a recklessly charming preppy, all windswept hair and big smile and kinda creepily Aryan. Really, though, bling is in, and there’s a certain cross-cultural egalitarianism in the concept. For that, Vampire Weekend communicate it in a different way than their hip-hop equivalents. For them, instead of strife and drugs and violence and struggle, it’s about safety and warmth. Fuzzy, even. Certainly, the channeling of the ’80s — childhood for the band’s presumed 20something listeners — doesn’t hurt. All that comes part and parcel with the songs, though, which linger, linger, linger.