Vampire Weekend, Cults | UIC Pavilion | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend

When: Thu., June 5, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $39.50
I’ve been hard on New York City’s Vampire Weekend in the past, mostly due to their carefully constructed and unfortunately distracting image, which bounced the trappings of echt-preppy privilege off several styles of global music typically played by people who don’t have the option of summering on Cape Cod. But for all the charges of cultural appropriation the group attracted, the music was generally quite good, even when its considerable ambition (a welcome change from the half-assedness of most indie guitar bands) was overwhelmed by its self-conscious quirkiness. Last year’s Modern Vampires of the City (XL) dials down Vampire Weekend’s shtick, and it’s by far their best album yet. “Diane Young” is a frantic, digitally glitched-out reimagining of rockabilly that explodes the group’s preppy reputation with an intriguingly nasty streak of paranoia and nihilism. (The video that accompanied the song’s teaser stream is literally just footage of Saabs on fire with Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the background.) “Step” flips a line from an unreleased cut by Bay Area underground rap legends Souls of Mischief into a heartbreakingly beautiful slow-motion pop song festooned with references to Greek mythology and New York rap history—and according to iTunes, it’s the track I listened to the most in 2013. —Miles Raymer



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