Monday, February 22, 2010

Christgau, sane and sharp, on vampire weekend

silliest of the several silly anti-VW memes going around still (despite all of them having already been refuted with the 1st LP) is the drummer-is-duff meme

He's able if unorthodox but used very effectively, especially on the second lp

This whole notion that VW have weak rhythms/don't groove!

1/ Contra is one of the most rhythmically dynamic and rhythmically diverse records to come down the indie-not-indie pike in many many a moon

2/ there are other kinds of rhythm than "groove" you know… rhythms that make you jump or frisk or just rev you up in different ways than "shake that ass"…

3/ It's also the case that rhythm action is not the sole property of the rhythm section, it pertains (in VW's case) to every aspect of the arrangement, what the voice doing and how it moves in relation to all the vivacious (and themselves rhythmically agile) orchestrally bits, and the guitars guitars guitars

Naysayers are silent about the bassist, the other 50 percent of the rhythm section, on account of the fact that ears cannot deny that he is exceedingly inventive and dynamic in terms of the way this music moves


Contra is the wedge that should split apart the poptimist axis, if any of them have honest ears that is

As it is, last year's the indie-goes-pop, rap/R&B-goes-indie turnabout (what kind of a boast for an R&B act is "i keep the blogs on fire"... )is producing bizarre statements from leading poptimists such as this:

"i'm sad about these songs not crossing over - not because it makes them any less brilliant in the slightest, but because it makes the charts less brilliant. the blame is entirely on the charts, the gatekeepers involved there, the public who don't get these tunes - it makes one feel curmudgeonly to be dismissive and snobbish about the charts but there's no other option, really."

as a philosophical statement that is pure indie, indie to the core

so yeah indie-not-indie is taking over the charts (Vampire #1 in Billboard)... indie is becoming dance-ified (the xx, vampire weekend, hot chip oh yeah if you look at their genealogy as a band they started indie)

it's all fluxed up

1 comment:

  1. > Naysayers are silent about the bassist,...

    Possibly because many of them are listening to VW on 128kpb MP3s dl'd from some bootleg blog, in which case much of the bass dropped out? (Merely conjecture on my part)