Vampire Weekend – Contra (XL, 2010)

Nick: Playful, poppy, folksy, jaunty.

likeable, very likeable.

it’s very clever as well I think.

how so?

musically it’s very cleverly put together.

they certainly have eh…a musical identity don’t they? play me another 1000 records and I could pick them out.

what are they called again?

Vampire Weekend.

totally unsuitable name, nothing about this is vampirical is it?

have you never heard of them before?

no, never, they are completely unknown to me.

but, I like them a lot. ok it wouldn’t be exactly my scene…

in almost every song they come up with something you haven’t heard before, they’re subtly inventive, they’re not just repeating the formula.

there’s something very…I don’t know why…maybe it’s his voice but there’s something very South American about it. it’s his voice and the rhythms.

there’s also nice classical things in it.

well it’s funny you should mention South America and I can totally see where yr coming from but they get a lot of stick for ‘ripping off’ African music or even worse ‘ripping off’ Graceland which was..

I was just about to say Paul Simon! before you said it I knew the next thing I was going to say was Paul Simon.

the ripping off thing is always a pretty sort of spurious comment because no one can write music that doesn’t refer to another piece of music.

you are always open to accusations of ripping off something.

in many ways we put far too much emphasis on being totally original. Beethoven wasn’t totally original, neither was Mozart. everyone listens, everyone is influenced and there’s nothing wrong with it.

I guess a lot of people had a problem with them because they were seen as ‘rich kids’ and…

it can be dangerous to know too much about an artist. I used to be very fond of Paul Klee.


Paul Klee, he was a Swiss painter.

and I was so fond of him I actually got for my birthday, when I was quite young, I got his diaries. and after I read them… I’ve never been so disappointed.

he was a really obnoxious, arrogant bollix of a person.

put me right off him.

it’s never a good idea to know too much.

but I like this, it’s uplifting.

When I listen to Vampire Weekend I often think of my little brother, dunno why, it’s not like he’s a huge fan of theirs or anything. But yeah, I think of him and Wes Anderson movies.


One response to “Vampire Weekend – Contra (XL, 2010)

  1. Funnily enough just read an interview with GZA mentioning a similar theme:

    “Do you think it’s a matter of artists not being willing to find their voice because they think conforming to pre-existing stereotypes or tropes will mean more sales?

    Here’s the thing, it’s good to see and know who came before you. I’ve been rhyming for so long, I’ve lived in every borough in NYC, and picked up certain flows and patterns from different boroughs to create my own style. I was always open to being different, studying different genres and rhymers until I developed my own style. It’s always good to be inspired by others. I’ve always taken things from others, I recycle and take things from other songs and flip them.”

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