Vampire Weekend Release iTunes Session

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The boys of Vampire Weekend have announced the release of an iTunes Session EP, now available exclusively on the iTunes store. The indie darlings recorded six tracks this past September at New York’s Avatar Studios. The stripped-down session includes a completely reworked version of their hit “Holiday,” plus “A-Punk,” “Cousins,” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” The release also includes two covers: Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down,” as well as their take on The Honeycombs’ “Have I The Right.” Three horn players joined the band for the sessions, which add a new element to the band’s standard brand of music, which usually relies on the backing of a string quartet.

Vampire Weekend’s sophomore album Contra was recently nominated for a Grammy award, and is receiving some major recognition on year-end lists, including the #1 spot from New York Magazine, #4 from Jon Pareles at The New York Times, and #6 from Rolling Stone.

Contra is also sale priced on iTunes through January 4, 2011, at $7.99.

Modern Mystery’s Top 30 Albums of the Year

The time is finally here where we announce our favorite albums of the year. Yes, it took a whole lot of thinking and a whole lot of relistening, but in the end we figured it out.  Trust us, it was no easy task this year. Take a peek at what kept our interest in 2010.

1. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Let It Sway”

This will forever be known as the album where SSLYBY fully matured. Working with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla,  the band produced a stunning record full of pop hooks and catchy lyrics. The result, Let It Sway (Polyvinyl), one of the greatest pieces of work our ears have heard by any indie band in a long time. We loved it so much we made a tribute  video celebrating the record which you can watch below. Congrats SSLYBY!

2. Vampire Weekend – “Contra”

A nearly flawless album, the VW boys started off 2010 with a burst of energy that continued througout the year. Neck in neck with the Yeltsins, Contra (XL) also shared the tale of a too-good-to-be-true indie band growing up in the public eye.

3. The Morning Benders – “Big Echo”

Another record that was running with the big boys on this list, The Morning Benders released Big Echo (Kanine) early in the year and exploded like no one could ever have imagined. It’s ab out time. They deserve it.  This is one of the catchiest albums we heard this year and it never gets old.

4. Of Montreal – “False Priest”

Of Montreal are always evolving. That is what we love most about the band. False Priest (Polyvinyl) takes them to a whole new level, dabbling in R&B and dueting with Solange Knowles. We may have been skeptical at first but it quickly won over our hearts and the dance floor.

5.  Surfer Blood – “Astrocoast” 

Everyone’s favorite “IT” band of the year produced a promising debut album called Astrocoast (Kanine). We followed the boys around CMJ 2009 and knew they were about to blew up huge. We were right, and now Surfer Blood has taken over the world.

 6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Before Today”

A chilling record filled with reverb and haunting vocals proved to be just the thing for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Before Today (4AD) stunned the indie music world and makes us wonder what the next Ariel Pink chapter has to hold.

7.  Jukebox the Ghost – “Everything Under the Sun”

A thriving piano backed by a guitar and drums made an unexpected assault in the indie world this year. Everything Under the Sun (Yep Roc) dropped jaws quickly this year and had Jukebox the Ghost playing with big name bands and appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman.

8.   The Love Language – “Libraries”

Much different from their first record, The Love Language stunned us with a near perfect record, Libraries (Merge) this year. There was a lot of buzz about this album and as the tracks leaked, we could feel the greatness building up. We were right.

9. We Are Scientists – “Barbara”

Without a record label in the U.S., We Are Scientists broke through this year with Barbara. They haven’t changed too much since the last time we heard from them, which is a good thing. They still have their driving 80’s vibe, W.A.S. charm and brilliant tunes.

10. Magic Kids – “Memphis”

This was an unexpected treat this year that had us putting Magic Kids on repeat. Memphis (Goner/True Panther) often has a lo-fi and retro vibe, and that is what really makes it special.

 

The rest of the list….

11. Miniature Tigers – “Fortress”

12. Matt Pond PA – “The Dark Leaves”

13. Wavves – “King of the Beach”

14. Sufjan Stevens -“Age of the Adz”

15. Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”

16. Free Energy – “Stuck on Nothing”

17. Javelin – “No Mas”

18. Best Coast – “Crazy for You”

19. The Drums – “The Drums”

20.  Tokyo Police Club – “Champ”

21. The New Pornographers – “Together”

22. Spoon – “Transference”

23. Hot Hot Heat – “Future Breeds”

24. Kids of 88 – “Sugar Pills”

25. MGMT – “Congratulations”

26. Harlem – “Hippies”

27. Broken Social Scene – “Forgiveness Rock Record”

28. Born Ruffians – “Say It”

29. Caribou – “Swim”

30. Interpol – “Interpol”

Vampire Weekend to Play NYC in September!

This afternoon it was just announced that indie’s wiz kids, Vampire Weekend, are slated to play a show at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The band will take to the stage at this very special performance on September 15th. The guys have been gaining much acclaim with their newest release Contra and are getting bigger by the second. If you missed Vampire Weekend during their three nights of shows last month, be sure to snag your tickets this time around.

The presale for Amercian Express cardholders starts tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon. General sale for the show starts Friday at noon. The tickets run at $39.50, but for anyone who has ever seen Vampire Weekend live knows you’ll get every penny’s worth.

Vampire Weekend Appear on MTV Unplugged


Gone are the days when MTV airs their Unplugged performances on TV. Of course we’re in an indie rock renaissance and as all of our favorites hit the stage the only way we can see them is over at MTV’s website. The most exciting Unplugged of, well maybe ever, is the one that the hottest band around right now, Vampire Weekend just filmed. The band took the stage to perform six songs, new and old with an orchestra and a very intimiate crowd. This is every Vampire Weekend’s fans dream, and hey, even if you’re not into the band, it’s time to start. How they’re able to pull off their songs from “Cousins” to “A-Punk” acoustically, so beautiful, is truly an amazing experience. This gives us a taste of what the band is going to provide on tour this time around, and it looks good to us. Move over Grizzly Bear. Someone is stealing your thunder this year.

Watch the Unplugged video for “A-Punk” below

Watch the entire Unplugged performance HERE

Secondhand Sunday: Vampire Weekend “A Punk”

It’s only a few days until Vampire Weekend releases their second record Contra (XL) and it’s safe to say that people are pretty excited. Alright, extremely excited. The quartet is bound to make an even bigger splash the second time around especially since they managed to out due themselves, which a lot of people thought would never happen. This edition of Secondhand Sunday is Vampire Weekend’s “A Punk.” Yes kids, thats where it all started. Two more days until Contra!

Vampire Weekend Return with “Contra”

I’m not going to lie. I never ever thought they’d be able to do it. It seemed nearly impossible. It would be too hard. Oh what am I mumbling about you ask? Vampire Weekend. That’s right, the band is back to prove me wrong that they’d never truly survive the dreaded ’sophomore’ slump. It’s nearly as if Ezra Koenig and the boys tried to prove me wrong on purpose. I’ve been defeated.

Vampire Weekend is set to release their second record, Contra (XL), next week, January 12, and has everyone at the edge of their seats. Starting off is the first single “Horchata” that could have easily been on their debut record, as it picks off where the last ended off. Though at the second track “White Sky,” we really start to see some progression in the band’s sound. Koenig’s voice is easily infectious in this song, and the harmonies and ending are nothing less than dreamy….I’m already hooked. “Holiday,” sounds exactly like it should; a beach song filled with melodies that make you want to get up and dance around the room. I may or may not be doing that right now. The band has mentioned that they took influences from ska bands such as Operation Ivy, and it really shows.

Autotune takes over in a new direction for the band on the shortest song on the album, “California English.” It takes a few listens to get used to this one, but in time, it starts to grow on you and the band is really determined to defend this one. “It doesn’t sound like T-Pain. There’s plenty of music from around the world using Autotune besides American Pop,” states Koenig. “Taxi Cab” and “Run,” show the more mature side of Vampire Weekend and it suits them. What we’re seeing here is a band trying to grow up, and they’re doing it well. Not only music wise, but also in lyrics such as in “Taxi Cab” which carry the words  ”In the shadow of your first attack, I was questioning and looking back; You said baby we don’t speak of that; like a real aristocrat.” A true step from their prior work. “Run,” which brings out the musical maturity of the band is filled with unforgettable drums that rhythm keeper Christopher Tomson is quite proud of. “On this song, I experimented with certain rhythms that I avoided on the first record. I like how this song alternates between heavy, Rock-like choruses and reggaeton verses,” he says. I’m with him on this.

The next song  brings us to “Cousins,” which was recordeded in Mexico City and has to be one of the most fun songs written in the past five years. The next track “Giving Up the Gun,” follows right in it’s footsteps making it a non stop indie dance party right in your own bedroom. “Diplomat’s Son,” continues the event with an explosion of reggae beats that seemingly fit the album like a glove. Closing out the experience is “I Think UR a Contra,” which is the most mellow song the band has ever recorded and it uses acoustic guitars and string sections. It’s a beautiful ending to this extremely surprising album. Vampire Weekend is going to be one of the most used names this year, so sit back and get comfortable with Contra. It’s going to be a long ride.

Vampire Weekend is also letting you stream the whole album on their Myspace starting yesterday afternoon. Give it a listen!