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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Last Call 6/17/08

Jeez, so this is easy publication, huh? My rep told me I'd be getting space in Spin, and then no, the new Crawdaddy, and now it's a blog?! I left my Halliburton job in Iraq for this? Hmm...I guess I shouldn't complain. Mike has promised me I won't be invited to his wedding, so that's worth its weight in gold.

Well, lots of new music since we last touched base. This weekend is the Fourth Annual World Do You Own A Mirror Convention and Fair, otherwise known as the Pitchfork Music Festival. Ya know what? I missed those silly bastards with their bandanas and ugly sunglasses. Many, many excellent bands will be plying their trade, and today I am sharing a song with you from one of them-Vampire Weekend.

I don't want to like Vampire Weekend. First, they all come from an ivy league school (Columbia (I'm sure their parents are very proud)). Second, they describe their sound as "Upper West Side Soweto." Third, they cite Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon as influences. At this point I should be flailing about as if on fire. But then a funny thing happened. I downloaded their session from (The Always Excellent) Daytrotter site. And then this lovely melody, M79, filled the air.

M79 is a song constructed with pure rhythmic details. It is the kind of song that makes you want summer, and since it is summer, makes you want to run out of your house arms open, and then run backwards, and than run forward (Monkees-style). I see the guitar and piano on a porch, watching the drum and bass walk down the street with their new shoes and slicked-back hair, and thinking to themselves, "Hell, we can follow that groove!" And they do, contributing a wonderfully rythmic melody. The vocals play as an instrument as well (Daytrotter = live), riding the melody. And the shouted chorus! I'm always a fan of "oh whoah oh whoah" (unless it's Sting). At the bridge, we have the drum and bass. Thunk thunk thunk thunk. They're bouncing the ball off your wall, begging you and the rest of the band to come out and play. "Charm your way across the Khyber Pass" is witty, and contextually brilliant. I hope our next President can charm his way across the Khyber Pass. Then bang, the tinkly piano comes back and yeah, we're at the beginning! Hear the bass gurgle? One of my alltime fave effects.

The Hold Steady forum had a thread about great positive music, and this is that to me. At the time of the session this song was still unreleased. I've never heard the studio version 'cause how could it be more joyful than this? I totally allow you to make this your summer jam. Imagine Vampire Weekend playing it for you and only your best friends. Everything's sunny, everyone looks great. No one has a bandana around their neck.

Hmmm...If only Saturday could be like that.

Check back in Monday (or Tuesday, depending on how the body feels) to hear much more about the Fest.

With photos. If I can figure out my phone.

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