Thank you Mr. Bob Lefsetz for sending ANOTHER email about the music industry and thus delaying my trip to the library and my start of the monstrous load of school work I have accumulated.
In his email, The Death Of Cool?, Lefsetz says that the Vampire Weekend show on Letterman was "awful." And denounces their album as just internet hype. He also declares to be satisfied with himself for not falling into the whirlpool of hype,
"Vampire Weekend's album might be better than their live show. But last night on Letterman, I just saw more white boys playing thin rock. I laughed to myself, wondering why everybody was wasting so much time on this evanescent act. I switched the channel." -Lefsetz
Alright. I am taking the backside view of all this.
There is a simple reason why influences like Lefsetz, bloggers (mind you I do not include myself in this podge; I just write about my miscelleanous life), and other crtics don't like this album--- and why I DO like the album. I ignore buzz, I don't lurch on the claims of other publications, and I don't rely on a performance at a major network television channel to decide whether or not I like a band.
I caught a few songs from Vampire Weekend during CMJ. In the cramped basement of the Cake Shop on the lower east side, these guys packed the people and pumped the pop. I stored this moment in my memory and then waited for the album to drop. When their self titled debut came into the WKNC studio I listened and was quite pleased. It is indie pop-rock at its most colorful moment. They are four college grads that have written songs about being young and having fun. And that is exactly what the sound of the album is.
[Visual Moment] It is late spring time, and the temperatures are pushing into summer. The sun is warm yet not blistering. On a simple wooden stage, only three feet off the ground, is Vampire Weekend. In front of them dances an audience- barefoot and skipping, hopping, bouncing on the grass. There is lemonade, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and not a care in the world--- just music. [Smile]
Vampire Weekend's debut is a simple optimistic glimpse of what it is to be young and searching for fun.
I come back to a main point I have declared in the past. It is about the music, and music is about emotion. It is about finding a connection to the songs. The voices in the industry are always trying to catch that latest, say it first, and set the standards--- and it is killing the music. I understand the marketing and A&R aspects of the industry. I know how the voices of opinion can kill or create a band, and sometimes I wish I could bundle all of the mess up and wrap it in duck tape. Toss it in the trash can. You are not going to get the gist of a band by watching them on Letterman. [Not to mention that Letterman was a terrible choice. Conan's audience is much more receptive to alternative music. Duh.]
As far as being cool is concerned. There is no emotion in being cool. I gave up on being cool. I do what I do because I love music, and experiencing live music. Try it. It is working well for me.
So, Vampire Weekend, if you want to come down to Raleigh in April or May and play an outdoor show, let me know. We will make it a grand ole' time and give Lefsetz something to absorb.
Cue "Walcott" by Vampire Weekend and let the school work begin.