Vampire Weekend’s new album, Modern Vampires of the City, is a triumph.
I’ve pumped it through my ears at least a half dozen times in the last three days, and it’s… it’s great. This is the kind of music that I would want to create if I could.
I saw VW in a dining hall at Williams in 2008. They rocked us well and good, and then apologized because we were demanding that they play more, and they didn’t have anything else. They had used up their entire self-titled on us.
I saw them a month ago, just a few weeks before this album was released. They played a good assortment of cuts from Vampire Weekend and Contra, as well as five songs from MVotC. Those five songs were special, and I couldn’t wait to hear the rest.
I’m seeing them in three months at Outside Lands. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to that set.
Vampire Weekend - “Hannah Hunt”
#155/200: Wilco - Being There
Wilco, like Radiohead, is basically never going to be overrated. I’m surprised this one isn’t higher on the list.
Wilco - “Outta Mind (Outta Sight)”
#154/200: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It’s Blitz
Mike played “Zero” in his car at least once a day during the summer of 2009. I didn’t even know it was Yeah Yeah Yeahs until the end of the summer. It’s such a great song, it doesn’t really matter what comes after it on the album.
But yeah, the rest of the album is solid, too.
#153/200: Beach House - Devotion
Remember when we were collectively obsessed with Beach House?
#151/200: Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Sometimes rock bands blend together, but Spoon consistently sticks out. This is a Good Thing.
Spoon - “I Summon You”
#150/200: The Walkmen - Bows + Arrows
One hundred fifty. Of two hundred. 75% done.
Ok, so this is definitely the best Walkmen album I’ve listened to. I first heard them with 2010’s “Lisbon,” which was awesome at the time but I got sick of for some unknown reason. And then I saw them open for the Fleet Foxes. They were solid, but no one at that show cared about them so it was a pretty boring, muted set. I imagine that when they’re featured they could put on a National-esque show, but that sure isn’t what I saw at the Greek a couple years ago.
I’ve been on a Radiohead kick lately. They could become the most popular band in the history of music and I still think they’d be underrated.
I mean, not statistically so. That wouldn’t make sense. It’s a figure of speech.
Also, contrast to Steve-in-high-school, who didn’t like Radiohead. At all.
Radiohead - “Give Up The Ghost”
Chance The Rapper is one of the Next Big Things in rap, so do yourself a favor and check out his new mixtape here.
Chance The Rapper feat. Childish Gambino - “Favorite Song”
#149/200: Cat Power - You Are Free
One problem with listening to each of these albums once is that the growers don’t have a chance to grow on me. This seems like the kind of album that I would grow to love over time, but after one listen… all I can say is “bland.”
Makes you wonder, though— is something like this worth listening to repeatedly when there are thousands of other amazing albums that I haven’t heard yet?
#148/200: Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
This is a solid entry into the canon of psychedelic rock. But really, it’s almost too laid back.
#147/200: The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls In America
- I wish I had listened to The Hold Steady when I was in high school. I love this album, but it would have been life-changing to a younger, more impressionable Steve.
- Oh my, this is the worst album art that I’ve ever seen.
The Hold Steady - “Stuck Between Stations”
#146/200: Passion Pit - Manners
Or as I prefer to call them, “The Passion Pits.”
Manners, their breakout album, is infectious. It’s preteen-friendly music that 20-something hipsters don’t get made fun of for liking. I can get behind that.
Passion Pit - “Moth’s Wings”
#145/200: Caribou - Swim
It’s an underwater dance record. Yep. Can’t argue with that.
Caribou - “Sun”
#144/200: The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone
I wish I had spent 2000-2004 listening to The Unicorns instead of whatever it was that I listened to between ages 11 and 15. Lots of Weird Al, probably. And Smash Mouth and Eve 6, and Third Eye Blind. Yikes.
The Unicorns - “Ghost Mountain”