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January 9, 2010
Vampire Weekend "Contra" (XL) 1/2 A lover of words in all their ambiguity, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig makes for an unlikely sloganeer. "I see a mansard roof through the trees," he sang at the top of this New York City quartet's 2008 debut, "I see a salty message written in the eaves." Nonetheless, here's Koenig near the end of "Contra," Vampire Weekend's highly anticipated sophomore disc out Tuesday: "Never pick sides / Never choose between two."
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
What do you get when you combine Frank Ocean, Diplo and two former members of the Clash? A nifty new song -- and some Internet hype for a youth-attuned shoemaker. Released Monday as a free download , "Hero" is the latest installment in Converse's "Three Artists. One Song" promotion, which previously teamed Julian Casablancas, Pharrell Williams and Santigold, as well as Best Coast, Kid Cudi and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, among others. (Evidently this time the company is counting Mick Jones and Paul Simonon -- each of whom has built his own career since his days in the Clash -- as one artist.)
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Southern Californians who missed Vampire Weekend at Coachella over the last two weekends will get another chance to see the New York indie-pop band before long. On Sept. 28, Vampire Weekend is to play the Hollywood Bowl, the venerable outdoor venue announced Monday, adding to a summer season that already includes shows by She & Him with Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell (on June 23), Damian & Stephen Marley (on June 30) and Diana Ross (on Aug. 3). Tickets for the concert -- which will also feature Beirut, the globe-tripping gypsy-folk band led by singer-songwriter Zach Condon -- go on sale May 4. Following closely on its Coachella appearances, Vampire Weekend is set to release a new studio album, "Modern Vampires of the City," on May 14. The disc was recorded partly in L.A. with producer Ariel Rechtshaid and serves as the anticipated follow-up to 2010's "Contra," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Look for a feature on Vampire Weekend in Calendar in the coming weeks, and listen to "Step," from the new album, below.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2014 | By August Brown
The New York quartet Vampire Weekend won alternative music album for its LP "Modern Vampires of the City" at the 56th Grammy Awards on Sunday. The band, fronted by singer-guitarist Ezra Koenig, first rose to prominence on indie-rock blogs in 2008 with its self-titled debut album for XL Records. This is the band's first Grammy victory. "Modern Vampires of the City" was a critical and commercial success. It was the band's second album to debut atop the Billboard 200 and featured expanded production work from pop producer Ariel Rechtshaid.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
"Modern Vampires of the City," the adventurous new album by New York's Vampire Weekend, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, reflecting sales of 134,000 copies, more than the band has sold before in a single week. Recorded partly in L.A. with producer Ariel Rechtshaid, the disc is Vampire Weekend's second chart-topper following "Contra," which bowed with 124,000 copies sold in 2010. It's also, as Billboard noted , the first indie-label release to hit the top spot this year.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2014 | By August Brown
The New York quartet Vampire Weekend won alternative music album for its LP "Modern Vampires of the City" at the 56th Grammy Awards on Sunday. The band, fronted by singer-guitarist Ezra Koenig, first rose to prominence on indie-rock blogs in 2008 with its self-titled debut album for XL Records. This is the band's first Grammy victory. "Modern Vampires of the City" was a critical and commercial success. It was the band's second album to debut atop the Billboard 200 and featured expanded production work from pop producer Ariel Rechtshaid.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Two months after premiering a peppy new song, "Unbelievers," on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Vampire Weekend has announced that its upcoming third studio album is set to be released this spring on XL Recordings. The still-untitled disc will follow up 2010's "Contra," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Speaking to SPIN , frontman Ezra Koenig and keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij said the band recorded portions of the album in Los Angeles with Ariel Rechtshaid, a former member of L.A.'s Foreign Born who's since become known for his production and songwriting work with the likes of Usher and Sky Ferreira.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Can we talk first about Ezra Koenig's outfit? On Saturday night, the Vampire Weekend frontman strode onto the stage of the Hollywood Bowl wearing a black jumpsuit with the pant legs rolled up to clam-digging level, his feet encased in chunky white Dad sneakers. It wasn't the look you'd expect from the leader of one of indie rock's most celebrated bands, nor from a guy who's become a kind of chattering-class sex symbol. PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times Yet Koenig fits both of those descriptions like -- well, like something more tailored than a baggy jumpsuit.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend and Queens of the Stone Age top the lineup for the first night of this year's KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas benefit shows scheduled for Dec. 7 and 8 at the Shrine Auditorium. Rounding out the bill are Arctic Monkeys, AFI, Cage the Elephant, Grouplove, Foals and New Politics. As has been the case historically with KROQ shows, the 24th Acoustic Christmas bill is overwhelmingly male dominated, with Hannah Hooper of L.A. indie rock band Grouplove being the only woman slated to perform, at least on the first night as announced.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Ezra Koenig wanted to be clear about this: The frontman of Vampire Weekend was not comparing his band to the Beatles. "What we're talking about is making me think like a fan, which is a little bit dangerous because it could come across as me trying to put myself in the same league as one of the biggest albums of all time," he said, responding to a question about the value of mystery and ambiguity in music. "But, yeah, you think about 'Sgt. Pepper.' Is it a concept album about a lonely hearts club?
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend and Queens of the Stone Age top the lineup for the first night of this year's KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas benefit shows scheduled for Dec. 7 and 8 at the Shrine Auditorium. Rounding out the bill are Arctic Monkeys, AFI, Cage the Elephant, Grouplove, Foals and New Politics. As has been the case historically with KROQ shows, the 24th Acoustic Christmas bill is overwhelmingly male dominated, with Hannah Hooper of L.A. indie rock band Grouplove being the only woman slated to perform, at least on the first night as announced.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2013 | By August Brown
A list of upcoming concerts across the Southland, with on-sale dates in parentheses. The Forum The Eagles, Jan. 15, 17-18 (now); Justin Timberlake, Jan. 20 (Fri.) Hollywood Bowl Katy Perry's Can We Survive -- Music for Life, Oct. 23; Avicii, Nov. 9 (now) Belasco Theatre M.I.A., Nov. 11-12 (now) RELATED: Best albums of 2013 so far | Randall Roberts Hollywood Palladium Robin Thicke, Oct. 26 (Fri.) The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church Andrew Bird, Dec. 19-20 (Fri.)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
She's roared . She's horsed around. And now she's "Walking on Air. " That's the title of a new song Katy Perry released Monday, the third sampling from her upcoming "Prism" album, due Oct. 22. But if all these sneak previews suggest that the pop singer is looking forward to the disc's release, "Walking on Air" is a pronounced turn toward the past. CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat One of several tracks Perry recorded in Stockholm with Swedish producer Klas Ã…hlund, it's a late '80s-/early '90s-style dance cut that CeCe Peniston or Technotronic might mistake for one of their own. To which Pop & Hiss says: Finally !
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Can we talk first about Ezra Koenig's outfit? On Saturday night, the Vampire Weekend frontman strode onto the stage of the Hollywood Bowl wearing a black jumpsuit with the pant legs rolled up to clam-digging level, his feet encased in chunky white Dad sneakers. It wasn't the look you'd expect from the leader of one of indie rock's most celebrated bands, nor from a guy who's become a kind of chattering-class sex symbol. PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times Yet Koenig fits both of those descriptions like -- well, like something more tailored than a baggy jumpsuit.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
"Modern Vampires of the City," the adventurous new album by New York's Vampire Weekend, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, reflecting sales of 134,000 copies, more than the band has sold before in a single week. Recorded partly in L.A. with producer Ariel Rechtshaid, the disc is Vampire Weekend's second chart-topper following "Contra," which bowed with 124,000 copies sold in 2010. It's also, as Billboard noted , the first indie-label release to hit the top spot this year.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2013 | By August Brown
A note from Pop & Hiss writer August Brown: My assignment to review KROQ's Weenie Roast 2013 coincided with a visit to L.A. from my mom, Helen Balz Brown, who previously wrote a counterpoint to my review of Power 106-FM's Powerhouse in 2009 . She's but a final thesis project away from a master's in journalism from the University of South Carolina. (It was due in 1974). Her review of Weenie Roast, commissioned by music editor Lorraine Ali, is the second in a recurring series.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2008 | Natalie Nichols, Special to The Times
Vampire Weekend is a band of the moment. The New York indie-pop quartet appeared on the cover of Spin this month, played on "Saturday Night Live" two weeks ago and will headline a sold-out show tonight at the El Rey. Yet the group is also a throwback to the '80s, in the players' preppy sartorial style and the world-music flavor of such tracks as the modern-rock hit "A-Punk," from their debut album, "Vampire Weekend."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2008
Holidays: KROQ-FM (106.7) unveiled the lineup for the second night of its Almost Acoustic Christmas concerts, with the Cure, the Killers, Death Cab for Cutie, Paramore, Franz Ferdinand, Scott Weiland, Snow Patrol and Vampire Weekend. Ticket details have not yet been announced for the Dec. 14 event at the Gibson Amphitheatre.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2013 | By August Brown, This post has been corrected, please see below for details.
2013 was the year indie finally conquered KROQ-FM. At the station's annual day-long Weenie Roast festival in Irvine on Saturday, almost every headliner evoked a certain scrappy outsiderdom -- even if those bands had radio hits hiding in their plaid shirts and adorably green-dyed hair. From the Black Keys' retro road-dogging to Of Monsters and Men's precious folk-pop and Vampire Weekend's class-conscious quirk, Weenie Roast's main acts subverted KROQ's reputation as a home for brawny bro-downs and '90s survivalists.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Ezra Koenig wanted to be clear about this: The frontman of Vampire Weekend was not comparing his band to the Beatles. "What we're talking about is making me think like a fan, which is a little bit dangerous because it could come across as me trying to put myself in the same league as one of the biggest albums of all time," he said, responding to a question about the value of mystery and ambiguity in music. "But, yeah, you think about 'Sgt. Pepper.' Is it a concept album about a lonely hearts club?
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