Weekly Download Vol. IV No. 26

Step by Vampire Weekend

I quit being embarrassed for liking Vampire Weekend after the 9th song on their first album when Ezra Koenig sang:

You’ve been checking on my facts
And I admit I have been lax
In double-screening what I say
It wasn’t funny anyway

I quit being embarrassed for loving Vampire Weekend when I learned the lil’ John they sang of in Oxford Comma was this guy:

lil jon

He always tells the truth

As such, it didn’t faze me at all when the assholiest Guestroom clerk (N.B. and yes, I rank them) hit me with a “Yeah, I’m not into it, but I’m sure it will sell a lot of copies” after I asked for his opinion on Modern Vampires of the City as I stopped in for a lunchtime purchase on Tuesday.

And then this remarkable song, with this beautiful video, and these perfect lyrics (N.B. I had to Wikipedia both Angkor Wat and Croesus):

Wisdom’s a gift, but you’d trade it for youth

Age is an honor – it’s still not the truth

converted my lack of embarrassment to full-on pride.  This is one of the best bands in America.  Hipsters (N.B. Record store clerks) no longer dig them because they’ve sold out, and everyone else hates them because they think they’re a hipster band.  But WD loves them, and this album is a marvel, exactly where I wanted their music to go after their first two pretty damn good albums.

VW are turning 30 and on MVOTC they’re obsessed with time and youth and running out of both.  Do you remember that?  I do.  But it isn’t a laborious obsession.  It’s teased out in flirtatious (N.B. and remarkably witty) lyrics, and the maturation of the indescribable VW sound, a Trivial Pursuit game somewhere between Paul Simon and the Talking Heads (N.B. I think I just described it).  It’s the book full of puns, anecdotes, and witticisms you just want to read again and again because they’re so fucking smart you want to be sure you’ve read them correctly.

Anyone who’s walked into my office or sat in my car the last three days can verify that I (even as 35 approacheth) don’t appear to be getting tired of VW’s obsession with turning 30.  Indeed, I find it endearing and brilliant and endearing.  And I hope it sells a lot copies.


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