Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bands I Thought Were British

I have never not seen more concerts than I have this semester.

It all began with such hope, but one without a car only gets to do things after 10 if people with cars do too. Dresden Dolls, Nada Surf and Hot Hot Heat with Louis XIV have passed, and Gogol Bordello plays tonight. Later this week Rufus Wainwright (for a pretty penny) and Presidents of the United States of America play on the same day. The Bobs have a  concert on a Thursday, radio show day (kdup.up.edu) so that won't fly, which only leaves... VAMPIRE WEEKEND.

Vampire Weekend can go fuck itself a little, because they've been gradually destroying my concept of them since I first heard them. To be honest, I can't say that I knew them before they were famous. My music sources these days are: KEXP podcast song of the day, NPR Second Stage podcast, NPR Music segments podcast, bands from old Never Mind the Buzzcocks episodes and occasionally one brother or the other. Vampire Weekend came from KEXP, a Seattle radio station that has a pretty good mix of songs it delivers to my McBook. I usually am about 3 weeks behind, because I will listen to one and then 20 minutes later I'll realize there is no music playing and assume it was not memorable, or give up on my "hey! let's listen to new music!" mood. So I'm pretty harsh about the first 30 seconds and then decide from that. Vampire Weekend won me over, I believe with A-Punk. It's a nice little guitar, very clean with a ska beat that my brother Conn made me love through the Toasters.  Sounds like the rest of their material will be punk revival, and the singer's voice is inarticulate enough that I start to think they are from England. 

This continues when I fall in love with "Oxford Comma," not only because it's fun to swear, but because I actually know what an Oxford comma is, and I used one when I was in Oxford myself. (For breakfast we had eggs, toast, bacon, and cake. putting that comma before 'and' makes it Oxford-style.) Yay Oxford! Yay England! Yay Vampire Weekend! I also start to love Mansard Roof, though you really have to want to get past those first slow measures. I don't know what a Mansard roof is, maybe it's an English thing. I watch a LOT of British shows, and I still think the singer has an accent, so that slides by. I finally get to loving "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance" and now I can't just say I love one song and can deny the band as a whole, I'm hooked.

This magical dreamland of finding a modern British punk band ends only when I start to listen to the lyrics of A-Punk that I hear "Washington Heights," and realize that I know that's in double New York. When I read off the list of concerts to my friend Em, she immediately commits to Vampire Weekend because I've given her Oxford Comma and A-Punk. Great, because it's early and I still have my foolish hope it will be one of many. The absolute blow to this love affair was last Saturday when I watched SNL. 

I didn't know what they looked like, I didn't think they would be fabulous, but I was hoping. They play A-Punk, fine, but when he sings "look outside at the raincoats coming I say OH" and on the record it's really hip and cool and cool and hip and he punctuates "OH" so much that I hate it every time, and that was my favorite part of the song, especially with the background.  I get a good look at them, collared shirt under a sweater, sweater around the shoulders, and it kind of sickens me. Maybe it's just for this, since I now know they are from New York, this is a big gig and their mothers are nearby, but I really hate it. I start hoping that isn't normal. They are not Vampires. They do not look like they party on weekends. They look like a normal band that I don't have to care about. Dammit.

Then on Monday I stand waiting for the bus and NPR Music from a few weeks ago interviews them, talks about their early hype, blah blah. They describe they're wardrobe as WASPy, and that they have a lot of African influence. Wait wait wait, what happened to my amazing British new wave punk band? Bullshit. 

In lighter news, another band I thought was British, Louis XIV, continues to bring hot sex to their fake British rockery. I can't say I've heard they're whole new album "Dog and Pony Show," only the two off of their site but my GOD they make chauvinism and S&M sounds enviable. Recently I got "The Grand Apartment" from their self-titled EP, and holy gods, that first 35 seconds is just DRIPPING with rockgod sex. I've never been so supportive for the maltreatment of women. Louis XIV is really from San Diego, which I find ridiculous and impossible, but I guess it's good news that I will see them more often, up and down this left coast. 

I think that's all for this godforsaken Wednesday. Here's to a better tomorrow and a new band to lust after. Sláinte.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

I was SO reluctant to listen to vampire weekend because for heaven's sake what is that name. But Oxford Comma set me a-thrilling.

Another good but horribly-named band: MeWithoutYou:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZEX6w3-KbE