Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tonight in Minneapolis: Vampire Weekend; Dallas Orbiter

Download: Vampire Weekend - "A-Punk"
Download: Vampire Weekend - "M79"
Download: Yacht - "The Summer Song"

The show that we wrote about in passive-aggressive fashion has come to fruition. Buzz band Vampire Weekend, having miraculously recovered from their werewolf attack in Salt Lake City (note to reader LauraLee: Thank God you're alright!) to play a sold-out show at the Triple Rock. Doors are at 9 p.m. for an 18+ show.

Since they've burst onto the consciousness of the blog underground via a post on Stereogum, it's been almost impossible to listen to Vampire Weekend in a wholly objective manner, i.e., without being annoyed at the massive amount of hype hoisted upon the band's shoulders. The fact that the New York-based quartet both refer to their afro-pop appropriating ancestors, as well as their supposedly privileged backgrounds in (not-so?) tongue-in-cheek fashion on "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" certainly doesn't help their cause either. That said, every cut on their self-titled debut album, while reeking of cloying precociousness, contains well-crafted, instantly hummable music. In other words, have fun trying to get these songs, whether its the aristocratic chamber-pop of "M79" or the afro-indie-punk of "A-Punk", out of your head for the next year-and-a-half. In sum, while listening to Vampire Weekend is, at times, like having harsh indie poured directly into your eyes, the experience is about as smooth, breezy and pleasant as one could hope for.

Yacht Opens

Vampire Weekend MySpace Page

Download: Dallas Orbiter - "The Damocles File"
Download: Dallas Orbiter - "Ampbuzz Is For Lovers"
Download: Two Dark Birds - "Blown"

The music of Minneapolis quartet Dallas Orbiter contains so many well-known art-rock references--the claustrophobic melodicism of Radiohead, the orchestral, synthesized flourishes of Grandaddy, the schizo-funk of the Talking Heads--that one might think that the group's debut effort, this year's The Motorcycle Diagrams, would have nothing to offer but obtuse self-indulgence. And you would be so, so, so wrong. With lyrics referencing science-fiction and Greek/Roman mythology, Dallas Orbiter create insanely compelling pop music within the parameters of their more idiosyncratic muses. Songs like "Caspian", "The Damocles File" and "Brow of Zeus" are structured like pop songs, and have great melodies, but also contain nods to trip-hop, space-rock and jazz which help give the material a greater dimension that it would have had otherwise. Upon multiple listens, the band's psychedelic world becomes a miracle, despite the band's insistence otherwise. (Is it too late to retroactively bump that B+ to an A-?)

Dallas Orbiter play a 21+ show at the Entry. Doors are at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $6.

Opening are Two Dark Birds and Mike Wisti.

Dallas Orbiter MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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