Length of first spin: 46 minutes and some change.
First impressions: Ah. So that is Vampire Weekend. They aren’t terrible at all.
Working knowledge of Vampire Weekend: Of course I’ve heard of Vampire Weekend. I once listened to part of one song a few years ago.
Brief bio: It is impossible to read a review or any piece of literature about Vampire Weekend without learning that they are fancy schmancy prepsters and that people hate them for it. Cruel. Whatevs, I watch "Gossip Girl" so I can take it.
Assessment: Totally digging it. I’m not hating this part calypso, part electronica thing at all. Usually anything with even a hint of a Caribbean vibe to it makes me want to poke out my eyeballs with Jimmy Buffet’s margarita straw. Although, I’ll admit my two favs are more electronica.
My picks: "Taxi Cab," is this minimalist song with a little plinking rain of piano, and singer Ezra Koenig has this low quiet thing going on, like he’s got you cornered at a party and he is going to effortlessly coo you into writing in your diary about him. "Giving Up The Gun," is totally catchy, and probably the one I would throw on a mixtape for you. Mid-tape. Side B.
What somebody else says: "’Contra’ works because of its juxtapositions– of natural sounds to processed ones; of manners to tantrums; of party rhythms to deadpan poetry; of black music to white music. "Diplomat’s Son" samples M.I.A. and features an 8-bit interpolation of Toots and the Maytals’ "Pressure Drop" amidst characters getting stoned and falling asleep in unfamiliar houses. Almost every song on the album is this rich and this delirious. And for listeners with an aversion to richness or delirium, the band still plays sweet melodies with a light touch." — Mike Powell, Pitchfork Media
3 Spin Review is a feature where I receive a CD in the mail. Take a quick zip, skipping ahead when a song starts to poke my brain, lingering when it has immediate appeal. Second spin includes listening to it while I’m doing something else. Third spin I actually decide if I like what I’m hearing. These brief reviews will also include my working knowledge of said band, so you know whether my opinion is trustworthy, and then the opinion of someone else who has reviewed the CD. (This plan deviates from its original form when it comes to local bands).