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.)

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Ten Key Moments in Austin's Year With the Coronavirus
Ten Key Moments in Austin's Year With the Coronavirus
The Plague Year

Beth Sullivan, Dec. 18, 2020

Top 10 Arty Ways 2020 Was the Best Year Ever
Top 10 Arty Ways 2020 Was the Best Year Ever
Barbara Purcell shares art highlights from a year that tested our sanity and humanity

Barbara Purcell, Dec. 18, 2020

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 12, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 5, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Vampire Weekend, SXSW

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle