Vampire Weekend

Friday

SXSW Platters

Vampire Weekend

(XL)

As if on cue amid the recent critical hemming and hawing over indie rock's cultural appropriations drops Vampire Weekend's official debut with enough justified buzz to render the entire debate moot. It's not simply that the New York quartet dices Afro-pop rhythms throughout that skitter across any number of musical inflections in service of pop perfection, as is the case with the classical harpsichord and strings buttressing "M79." No, it's that the songs are so undeniably catchy and aware of their pretensions as to deflect inevitable deconstruction. The Ivy Leaguers transcend simple irony through an almost absurd self-consciousness, "Oxford Comma" wrangling Lil Jon and Buddhist lamas to reveal an exploited authenticity anyway. As Ezra Koenig softly trembles, "Can you stay up to see the dawn in the colors of Benetton?" on "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," the postgrads emerge as knowingly distilled products of privileged enculturation, sincerely attempting to forge identity from the ruins of an inherited global appropriation rather than propagate it. (Friday, March 14, Antone's, 11pm.)

****

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