You ask me how I can like this band of phonies. And I ask you: How can I not?
I grew up on Graceland. I was a boy in a bubble and that bubble was mercifully, occasionally, popped by missives shot off from the head-tops of East Coast sons of privilege and promise. From Salinger to the Beats to Woody to Wolfe to Wharton to the VU to Tim Gunn. Sure, I’m painting with a broad brush here, but from a Pittsburgh-birthed point of view, everyone from the Upper East Side to the Village had it better than me. Not having much else in common with Warhol except for the whole hometown thing, I had to sit back and watch. Just a doe-eyed extra in a Whit Stillman film, hoping to someday make it past a velvet rope.
And anyway, the Strokes made the critical cut, right?
As for the music, I like Contra just fine. The rock-band to what-have-you ratio seems askew, but sophomore efforts often come off a little over-produced. I’m not sure it’ll plant a seed in the sandy soils of my heart like their first disc did, but that’s more about time/place than anything else.
That first Vampire Weekend landed a little ray of light on my life during some dim days. I’m not in that same head-space at the moment, but it’s good to know that they’re picking up where Buffett left off, keeping the ice in the blender for a better-read bunch of preppy parrotheads.