I should be honest, I’ve been perusing “Stuff White People Like” (I’d put in a link, but have no idea how to) quite a bit lately, and so am understandably a bit influenced by its thinking at this moment in time. I have also been listening to Vampire Weekend far too frequently, leading to my urge to scream “IS YOUR BED MADE?” when my mother woke up this morning. So it’s only natural that these two interests would intersect in the form of yet another debonair and witty blog entry. Unfortunately, this is not that blog, as my style of writing is best described as “a series of rambling, quasi-coherent, pseudo-literate pieces of crap”.
Here’s the thing about Vampire Weekend: they’re white. Stunning, isn’t it? But really, these guys would have to be the whitest (in the vein of this entry’s appropriation of the term “white”) band in the world. To support my case, I shall provide a series of bullet points, because that’s what lazy writers do.
- They all went to Columbia University, an Ivy League school. If you know even a little bit about American university, you’ll know that Ivy League schools are a simultaneous breeding ground/ nursery for the upper-middle and just plain upper classes of America- a status almost entirely populated by those of a, shall we say, paler complexion. I have no idea how much these schools cost to attend, but a totally unresearched estimate would put it at about $40000-$50000 per year. In other words: Columbia is so rich, it has its own television station.
- Their name was originally used for an amateur film their singer Ezra made.
- Ezra and the drummer originally formed a comedy rap group. This alone is the whitest thing I could possibly imagine doing.
- “First the window, then it’s to the wall/ Lil’ Jon, he always tells the truth” is pure hipster irony.
- The largest and most crucial reason for their whiteness, though? Simply put, their music. See, by starting up a comedy rap group, there can be no denial that these guys recognise (and appreciate) the influence African-American rappers have had on today’s musical zeitgeist. However, they have gone one step further incarnated as Vampire Weekend, as their music is often infused with African tribal themes and instruments. Their eponymous debut album, when it’s not talking about racing across college lawns, seems to often find it’s locus in Africa, both geographically and instrumentally. By skipping the middle man and focusing purely on Afro-stylings, Vampire Weekend have done something which is so diametrically opposed to the norms preceding it that it can only be described as “white”.
After reading this, please don’t think I’m a (COLLOQUIAL TRANSITIVE VERB WARNING) hater. I can’t think of a band that dually appeals to both the glib and the thoughtful niches of indie music. Being extremely talented musicians and songwriters doesn’t hurt their standing either. Groovin’ The Moo cannot come fast enough.
Also, a quick shout out to my sister, who sang on community radio on Sunday to rave reviews from completely unbiased schoolmates. If you want to listen to it go here and click on the one titled “BAND-PLAYED-WALTZING-MATILDA”. I’m feeding the ego.