Of all the bands that I’ve championed during my five-plus year tenure here at Hidden Track, arguably the one that I’ve been most vocal about (other than maybe the Felice Brothers) has been Vampire Weekend. Starting with a profile on them for the long dormant column – Better Than Noodling – back in January of 2008, we’ve tracked the progression of the Ivy League-bred band from blog buzz-band to the inevitable backlash to avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump to becoming bona fide rock-stars, with a sound they originally described as “Upper West Side Soweto”.
So it seemed only fitting that for one of my final posts for Hidden Track I once again turn to Ezra Koenig & Co. for a tune from their third studio album - Modern Vampires of the City. The 12-track effort, which was released back in mid-May, continues to build on their infectiously bouncy brand of Paul Simon meets the Talking Heads indie-pop. Let’s check out this live performance of Step – a song that should be included on any summer mix – from this past year’s edition of Coachella…
Longtime HT faves Vampire Weekend dropped their official video for the double entendre titled Diane Young this week. This song that takes some getting used to compared to the earlier material, but it’s definitely hooks you in sooner or later. The video has plenty of funny details including a Last Supper reference, some heady indie rock cameos, a creative use for the saxophone and a nod to the Brooklyn Nets. The new album Modern Vampires in the City marks a progressive step forward for Vampire Weekend, but without jeopardizing the hooky sound that brought people on board in the first place.
As we mentioned on Friday, Vampire Weekend’s association with Saturday Night Live dates back to 2008, when the New York City-based act was steadily gaining attention from the release of self-titled debut, which had come out in late January of that year. Last night in advance of the release of their highly-anticipated third studio album Modern Vampires of the City, which hits stores this coming Tuesday, Ezra Koenig & Co. were once again tapped to be the musical guest on the legendary late-night sketch show.
For their two-song appearance Vampire Weekend delivered the jittery Strokes meets Buddy Holly-influenced Diane Young, and bouncy Unbelievers with the help of a three-piece horn section and additional keyboard player. Let’s check them out…
We must admit, we’re a little more excited for Vampire Weekend’s appearance on tomorrow’s episode of Saturday Night Live than we were for their 2008 debut on the long-running sketch comedy program. You see the HT faves were set to perform at what turned out to be the final Langerado Festival that weekend, but had to cancel when SNL came calling so we didn’t get to see ‘em at Big Cypress. Vampire Weekend returned to SNL in 2010 and will make their third appearance on the show on Saturday in support of the soon-to-be-released Modern Vampires Of The City. Oh, let’s not forget Kristen Wiig is coming back to Studio 8H as host after stepping down as a cast member last year.
Friday, May 10 [All Times ET]
Chicago – World Tour 2011: Backstage Pass [Palladia 9PM]
She & Him on David Letterman [CBS 11:35PM]
The Airborne Toxic Event on Jimmy Kimmel [ABC 11:35PM]
L.L. Cool J on Jimmy Fallon [NBC 12:35AM]
Saturday, May 11
Dr. Dog / The Shins on Austin City Limits [PBS]
Jane’s Addiction – Live In New York [Palladia 1PM]
Tom Petty – Live From Gatorsville [AXS TV 4:40PM]
Vampire Weekend on Saturday Night Live[NBC 11:30PM]
Sunday, May 12
Jack Johnson on Saturday Night Live [VH1 Classic 2PM]
Green Day – Live at the Fox Theater [AXS TV 4:25PM]
Pete Seeger – The Power Of Song [VH1 Classic 8PM]
Fitz & The Tantrums – Live In Chicago [Palladia 10PM]
There’s only three episodes left in the 38th season of NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. This morning, SNL has revealed the final three musical guests and hosts.
On May 4th comedian Zach Galifianakis will host, while Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men will make their SNL debut as that week’s musical guest. Then, on May 11, HT faves Vampire Weekend will return to SNL as will longtime cast member Kristen Wiig. Finally, Ben Affleck will join the five-timers club as the host of the May 18th episode, while Kanye West returns as musical guest.
Two upcoming concerts from HT faves will be broadcast live as both Perpetual Groove and Vampire Weekend have announced webcasts. Steve Buscemi of Boardwalk Empire fame will direct a stream of the Vampire Weekend performance set for NYC’s Roseland on April 28th, while TourGigs will present a stream of Perpetual Groove’s “final show” this Friday, April 5th.
The Buscemi-directed Vampire Weekend webcast will kick off the fourth season of American Express’s Unstaged series according to Rolling Stone. Bassist Chris Baio told the mag that the show will feature “about half the tracks” from the soon-to-be-released Modern Vampires of the City LPs. You can stream the show on April 28th via the American Express Unstaged site.
Meanwhile, Perpetual Groove has teamed up with TourGigs to bring fans a live stream of their “final show” this Friday. The gig takes place at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia and will be streamed in HD using over 14 cameras. This is expected to be a Pay-Per-View webcast, so stay tuned for details on how to purchase not only the stream but the DVD and Blu-Ray releases that TourGigs references. The webcast will start at 9PM ET with a performance by Ghost Owl, a new band made up of Adam Perry, Matt McDonald and Albert Suttle of Perpetual Groove.
Esteemed music critic Greg Kot often breaks the news about Lollapalooza headliners before event organizers do. That trend continued this morning when Kot posted an article on the Chicago Tribune website detailing the headliners for this year’s festival. Kot says that Vampire Weekend, The Killers, Mumford and Sons and Phoenix will be a top the lineup when C3 Presents officially unveils the Lollapalooza ’13 lineup next month.
The writer also reveals that Postal Service and The National will appear at Lollapalooza 2013, which takes place in Chicago’s Grant Park on August 2 – 4. Early bird tickets go on sale this Tuesday, March 26th, at 10AM CT via Lollapalooza.com.
Vampire Weekend has released two songs from their new album, Modern Vampires Of The City.
After a few listens we’re not sure what to make of Diane Young. It’s definitely a departure from the Graceland-esque sounds of their first two albums, with elements of doo-wop, heavy metal drumming and lots of studio tweakery. There’s a bit of Diane Young that reminds us of David Bowie’s Modern Love and other parts that remind us of The Strokes. Take a listen…
Meanwhile, Step is more in line with the sounds found on Contra…
Historically, Saturday, the last day of SXSW, tends to be the thinnest day of the week. Most of the bands and quite a large number of industry folk flee town before the weekend, smartly avoiding the mass exodus on Sunday and the overwhelming crowds that descend upon Sixth Street in hordes that seem greater than normal. Unlike the Olympics, there are no “official” closing ceremonies but unofficially John Fogerty, Vampire Weekend and Justin Timberlake will play “closing” sets. Oh yes, there’s also Prince, but that seems to be Samsung-sponsored boondoggle and it’s unclear whether badge holders are even encouraged to go. Timberlake’s gig appears to be a guerrilla-style affair with the location being tweeted by MySpace like a siren call during the day. Yes, I too am surprised that MySpace has money to afford this.
Despite the fact that there is no MOG showcase this year, the line for Mohawk extends well down Red River and the day showcases are filling up much earlier with locals making SXSW their Saturday activity.
At the All Things Go Music/Indieshuffle day party, Haerts, from Germany are entertaining a crowd that would be deemed healthy under normal circumstances but for shortly after noon, it’s quite impressive. From Germany, you would have to think that the odd spelling of their name owes less to a Gaelic homage to the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and more to solid advice from their intellectual property attorneys. Their set consists of pleasing pop that flows nicely from one song to the next.
Montreal’s Osheaga Festival, which takes place in Parc Jean-Drapeau on August 2 – 4, has just revealed this year’s lineup. HT faves Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, The Lumineers, Pretty Lights and Beach House are all aboard for Quebec’s premier festival as are bands such as The Cure, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Hot Chip and dozens more.
Here’s the full lineup for the 2013 Osheaga Festival…
The Firefly Music Festival returns for its second year on June 21 – 23 at Dover Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This morning, festival organizers unveiled the lineup for the rock-heavy fest which includes HT faves Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, MGMT, Alabama Shakes, Grizzly Bear, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Dr. Dog and Foxygen.
Here’s a look at the full lineup…
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS • TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS • VAMPIRE WEEKEND • FOSTER THE PEOPLE • YEAH YEAH YEAHS • THE AVETT BROTHERS • CALVIN HARRIS • PASSION PIT • MGMT • ELLIE GOULDING • DISPATCH • THE LUMINEERS • KENDRICK LAMAR • ALABAMA SHAKES • GRIZZLY BEAR • EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS • BIG GIGANTIC • AZEALIA BANKS • IMAGINE DRAGONS • ZEDD • MATT & KIM • PUBLIC ENEMY • DR. DOG • THE JOY FORMIDABLE • JAPANDROIDS • KREWELLA • THE WALKMEN • AMANDA PALMER AND THE GRAND THEFT ORCHESTRA • TORO Y MOI • LP ATLAS GENIUS • DJANGO DJANGO • DAN DEACON • CRYSTAL FIGHTERS • DRAGONETTE • MANUFACTURED SUPERSTARS • ACTION BRONSON • YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE • LORD HURON • WILD BELLE • THE WHITE PANDA • ZZ WARD • ST. LUCIA • HAIM • FOXYGEN • CAPITAL CITIES • A SILENT FILM • KISHI BASHI • KOPECKY FAMILY BAND • THE APACHE RELAY • THE CHEVIN • SELAH SUE • TWENTY ONE PILOTS • BLONDFIRE • THE ROYAL CONCEPT • CHVRCHES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD • IMAGINARY CITIES • ROBERT DELONG • CONNER YOUNGBLOOD • JC BROOKS AND THE UPTOWN SOUND • DELTA RAE • HEY MARSEILLES • YOUNG EMPIRES • THE LAST BISON • THE WHEELER BROTHERS • SISTER SPARROW AND THE DIRTY BIRDS • THE SPINTO BAND • LEAGUES • TRAILS AND WAYS • THE LAST ROYALS
New York City’s Vampire Weekend came up with quite the original way to reveal the name of their third studio album. The band placed an ad in the lost and found section of the New York Times’ Classifieds reading “MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY – May 7, 2013″ before launching their presale site. Modern Vampires Of The City is due out on May 7 and is available for purchase on vinyl and CD, with those who purchase the vinyl getting a download code.
While the 38th season of long-running music television program Austin City Limits hasn’t finished yet, the show’s producers already have their eyes on Season 39. Today, a batch of tapings for next season have been announced featuring a few HT faves.
[Photo by Alex John Beck]
On March 17th Vampire Weekend will record an episode of ACL followed by The Lumineers and Shovels & Rope on April 16th. Coachella headliners Phoenix will get their chance in front of ACL cameras on May 6th. Keep your eyes on the ACL Facebook page to find out how to attend these tapings.
While Hurricane Sandy put most of New York City at a virtual stand still since late Sunday night, when it came to the late night television shows, as the old show business adage says “the show must go on.” David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon taped audience-less shows at their respective studios. The hard weather conditions weren’t so kind to Jimmy Kimmel, who was bringing his show to the East Coast for a week-long residency at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music’s Harvey Lichtenstein Theater. While Monday night’s show was cancelled due to the storm, Kimmel got back on the air on Tuesday night as Howard Stern and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings were the guests on his inaugural Brooklyn show.
Last night Kimmel had the rare opportunity to interview one of his idols David Letterman, who sat down for a lengthy interview with his upcoming 11:30 PM rival. The New York-themed guest list continued with the music portion of the program as Vampire Weekend stopped by in full Halloween attire to perform a pair of tunes. Erza Koenig & Co., who have only played a handful of gigs of late, debuted the bouncy brand new song Unbelievers last night, which featured a full horn section and an added keyboard player. Let’s check it out…
Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend fame gave the music blogosphere a puzzling laugh earlier this week when he posted a tongue-in-cheek version of Dave Matthews’ Crash, during which he struggles mightily with the chord progression. While it seemed pretty obvious that the whole stunt was done in jest, people seemed to have missed part of the joke: Is Ezra playing left-handed?