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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Vampire Weekend: Upper West Side Preppy With Plenty of Irony in Tow

It’s not easy to pull off musical lyrics that combine a stanza about Dharamsala with one about Lil’ John. Not easy, but, apparently with a combination of an Ivy-League education, clever wit, and musical talent, it’s entirely possible.

On April 14th, thousands of screaming fans packed into the Fox Theater in Pomona to see the young and upcoming group Vampire Weekend on their 2010 tour. The four-person band, comprised of Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson, and Chris Baio, enthusiastically took the stage, an array of instruments in tow, and proved their dynamic musical artistry translates fluidly into true on-stage charisma.

The indie-rock band blends a mixture of African-influenced beats and themes of classical music to create their upbeat, preppy sound, and a genre they’ve self-proclaimed as “Upper West Side Soweto.” Since they released their debut, self-titled album in January 2008, Vampire Weekend has become an increasingly big name in the musical world.

Along with their unique style, the band members boast Ivy-League roots, an anomaly in the world of popular music. The east-coasters met and formed Vampire Weekend in 2006 during their studies at Columbia University, and a level of educated wit refreshingly shines through in a majority of their songs. The popular single “Oxford Comma” nicely embodies their crafty humor and intellectualism; the lyrics cleverly manipulate the concept of a grammatical technicality to make an ironic jab at the overt pretentiousness and feigned sophistication of their wealthy socialite peers.

On Wednesday night, the ecstatic attendees at Fox Theater proved that the group’s quick-witted music has reached full-fledged spotlight popularity with LA’s young music enthusiasts. The show lasted for nearly an hour, during which the band played a cross section of their most popular songs, including “Cousins,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” and “A-Punk,” the last of which was ranked 4th in Rolling Stone’s top 100 songs of the year in 2008.

The four band members matched their crowd’s enthusiasm with an earnestly energetic show, and made the effort to graciously address the audience throughout the spirited set. In an encore that included “Walcott,” an upbeat number that blends a strong beat with guitar and classical string instruments, the audience loudly belted lyrics along with Ezra, and generally produced a scene of an undeniably successful concert. If the remainder of shows in their 2010 tour prove to be anything like their Pomona performance, Vampire Weekend will undoubtedly continue to gain devotees on the road to certain international musical prominence.

Corinna Ace


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