Vampire Weekend is the bee’s knees, cat’s pajamas, creme de la creme and amongst other things your dad probably used to say.
VW is kind of your come-to-mind indie-pop band. They have had three albums out as of now: Vampire Weekend, Contra and Modern Vampires of The City, and they are all amazing. I don’t know if this has to do with anything, but all the members of the band are Columbia University alumni, and I think I attribute that as a reason why some of their lyrics are very smart. (You’ll see what I mean when later.) At the same time I feel like their lyrics are always open to interpretation. They’re usually incredibly witty and sprinkled with satirical pretentiousness within the band’s persona if you will. (You know it’s satire once you’ve read Ezra Koenig’s tweets. His Twitter account is probably on top three favorites, if not my number one in tie with Mindy Kaling–they frequently @reply each other, and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. Here’s a link to Ezra Koenig’s Twitter.)
Here are my five favorite singles from Vampire Weekend and their corresponding music videos:
Diane Young (2013)
Diane Young is just so good for many reasons. One, the name Diane Young sounds crazy similar to dying young, and the lyrics can be interpreted as a single person super into partying or, like, an outsider’s purspektiv commenting on the situation. Usage of homophones- very smart; it get’s smarter, trust me.
Oxford Comma (2008)
Two F-bombs were dropped. I’m not going to get too analytical with this song, but know it’s not just about Oxford commas. Seriously though, Ezra Koenig was an English major, and you can tell he really put that thing to use in this song. The Lil Jon/Get Low allusion was so good. I mean, he talks about grammar, relationships, Lil Jon, the UN AND the home of the Dalai Lama all in one catchy song. I didn’t use the Oxford comma as I was trying to make a statement. Take notes, future song writers.
Giving Up the Gun (2010)
I love this music video because it has so many good cameos and a great storyline that actually has purpose. I think it’s half accepting that you’re no longer the person who you used to be and then half being a better person through struggles. The little end bit with RZA playing Holiday is the most perfect transition because….
Such a crazy music video. It’s so good. VW and The Malloys made some pretty great music videos together. Anyways. it can be deduced that this song is about war, and the idea that many people want to take a break- or a holiday, during times of war. At the same time though, I kind of think of school as a battlefield and those short weekends are my holidays. I clearly love learning. Anyways, like I said earlier, most of their stuff is open to interprettion, and I like music like that because you can make their songs apply to you (eg. war is similar to school).
The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance (2008)
Apparently they didn’t make a music video for this song, but it is a single. Anyways, I’ve replaced the music video with a live performance of the song on the streets of Paris. It’s kind of goes along with the lyrics about France, and that luxurioous Parisian lifestyle that everyone dreams about. Anyways, I actually really like this song because it’s about college and life decisions– very important especially when you’re in your mid to late teens. I know, it’s really a struggle. The song explores being wealthy and then calling BS on that lifestyle. You kind of want to be super wealthy and successful, but at the same time you think it’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s is difficult to make important decisions so early into our lives, and we freak out about school so much because the 4 years of high school pretty much determine how the rest of your life looks like. It’s also about being accustomed to the lifestyle and how greed takes over–“Your pillow feels so soft now/But still you must advance” and pretty much get fancier pillows than what you already have. Pretty good stuff.
Anyways their single list is quite large for three albums, but I wanted to take two from their older ones and include one single from their latest one. I do, however, want to share with you two more of their non-single songs:
I’m Going Down (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
I like their version of the song a lot. It’s obviously them putting their own twist, and some people may or may not like it. That’s cool either way. Anyways, the studio cover sampled a part of a folk song that Shakira also used for Waka Waka in the end. First time I heard it, I thought it was so adorable.
I mentioned this being my favorite song off of Modern Vampires of the City in a post, but I never really explained why. First off, I really like that this song is very historically accurate. Second, the lyrics, “A stranger walked in through the door,/Said all apartments are pre-war,” is super retrospective in my opinion. A cool thing to think about is how wars are ever-occuring; there is never really complete peace on this world. In New York real estate, pre-war buildings seem to have a charming element to them, and the lyrics to me are saying there’s really no such thing as something being pre-war. Just some food for thought. I also really like the tone of the actual music. It gives off a super eerie, mysterious vibe. I like it a lot.
Anyways, I have homework to do.