Thursday, March 6, 2008

Vampire Weekend and Joe Jackson

I can't help myself - I can't stop listening to Vampire Weekend. I know they are derivative, Paul Simon did it years ago, and before him, of course there were the original African musicians who devised the original style.

But it's not just the music. The lyrics take me back to Whit Stillman's amazing films, and the closed, claustrophobic world of the east coast Preppie, where people really are called Walcott.

My favourite songs are I Stand Corrected and Campus. I particularly like the ambiguity of Campus's chorus, about, presumably, a student and teacher in the middle or towards the end of an affair which asks How am I supposed to pretend/I never want to see you again.

What is it about these Columbia kids who have just written the best earworm of 2007/8?

In the meantime, last night, I went to my first live gig in about a million years. It was Joe Jackson, who I have seen previously. Well, who I saw at the Hammersmith Palais in 198ahem hem hem.

JJ was wonderful - great set, throughout which he swigged tea, played some great old songs and of course, inflicted the new songs on us which no one knew. Except that as the DH observed on the way back home, they all started with pretty much the same intro, presumably to confuse us when we were expecting It's Different for Girls and got Steppin' Out instead. But I found the whole thing a bit disquieting since DH and I were probably in the younger half of the audience, and as we were belting along to classics like On Your Radio and One More Time, there was a gang of blokes behind me wellying along. When I turned, I noticed a group of rather staid, round, bald fellows. Sigh. They were probably just as shocked by me. Joe Jackson has scarcely changed at all in the intervening 25+ years, but then he has never claimed pretty-boy status. Which probably explains why one or two of his songs suggest he's still looking for a girlfriend and that he fully expects to be eaten by his pet Alsatians in his lonely flat. Hopefully the neighbours will notice that the amazing piano practice has ceased before things reach that particular pass. He is a genius of the keyboard. If he's coming to your neighbourhood, go get the tickets. He's worth it.

2 comments:

n2muzic said...

Thanks for the post. Saw your comment on the Joe Jackson mailing list. I'm anxiously awaiting his arrival in California!

Amy Addison said...

I'm intrigued by Vampire Weekend (the name alone catches my attention). Thanks for the review.