The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'guy blackman'
Guy Blackman writes about the recent wave of afrobeat-influenced indie, excoriates Vampire Weekend for being privileged, apolitical hipsters and using the music of the global downtrodden to essentially crow about their own privileged lives:
As for Vampire Weekend, the newest kids on the Afro-indie block, their adoption of West African and Madagascan musical elements seems deliberately apolitical. "There are certainly going to be a lot of people that listen to our music and they couldn't care less about that stuff," says drummer Chris Tomson, who met his bandmates as students at Columbia University, a prestigious Ivy League college in Manhattan's moneyed Upper West Side.
Despite their protestations, Vampire Weekend are undeniably provocative, and arguably offensive. Their preppy image and campus-based lyrics invoke connotations of rare privilege, while musically they mix their clean Sunny Ade guitars with a heavy dose of Weezer-style nerd rock. They describe their music as "Upper West Side Soweto", and filmed the video to first single Mansard Roof aboard a yacht on the New York Bay. Their debut self-titled album (released last month on influential British label XL Recordings) includes a song entitled Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.
But it seems the past decade or so of conservative rule in the West, along with the progressive dilution of independent music culture into the diminutive, apolitical genre that is indie, has divorced many young artists from the larger ramifications of their music. These days everything is available, everything is free, and so nothing needs to mean anything.I wonder whether the whole taking-the-music-of-the-downtrodden-and-singing-about-elite-colleges thing is meant to be some kind of deliberate attempt at ironic asshole cool, like Gavin McInnes (the Vice editor) wearing a Skrewdriver T-shirt with a Michael Jackson badge.
Pitchfork interviews Jens Lekman, in which he talks about how he deleted all his unfinished songs from his computer and went to work in a bingo hall to take a break, the numerous records he has sampled, being beaten up by Morrissey fans (apparently the jock bullies in Sweden listen to Morrissey) and his coming Australian tour, backed up by Guy Blackman and members of Architecture In Helsinki.