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Pitchfork, Decoded
what does Upper West Side Soweto mean anyway?

Are you intimidated by Pitchfork? Afraid of its writers judging your taste with words to describe music you've never heard of? Relax, loser. Intern Anastasia is here to demystify their reviews.

This week: Vampire Weekend???s self-titled album.

Pitchfork says:

Rating: 8.8

If there's anything the happy New York kids in this band have learned from listening to African music, it's the difference between ???pop??? and ???rock???: Vampire Weekend's debut album announces straight off that it's the former. The first sound on the first song, ???Mansard Roof,??? comes from Rostam Batmanglij's keyboard, set to a perky, almost piping tone– the kind of sunny sound you'd hear in old west-African pop???And yet they play it all like indie kids on a college lawn, because they're not hung up on Africa in the least– a lot of these songs work more like those on the Strokes' debut, Is This It?, if you scraped off all the scuzzy rock'n'roll signifiers, leaving behind nothing but clean-cut pop and preppy new wave, tucked-in shirts and English-lit courses???

Full Word Count: 1,085

Anastasia Says:

A fair review, but really, I think an 8.14159 best describes what this band has accomplished with their debut.

Vampire Weekend are New York boys making laid-back, ska-infused pop-rock. They went to Columbia, so they make lots of preppy references. But they???re down with Africa, too. Like, they???ve got a song called ???Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.??? Cape Cod is a rich resort town; kwassa kwassa is a dance rhythm from Congo. As Thomas Friedman would say, the world is flat. And as MTV would put it, this album rocks. How's that for cultural mismatching?

Word Count: 95

Decide for yourself at

Feb 12, 2008 · posted by rebecca · Link · 2 Responses
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  • Comments (2)
    No. 1 Greg says:

    Cape Cod is not a "rich resort town."

    Posted: Feb 12, 2008 at 8:32 pm
    No. 2 Britt says:

    Cape Cod (or simply the Cape) is an arm-shaped peninsula coextensive with Barnstable County, Massachusetts and forming the easternmost portion of the Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States.

    Get your facts straight Anastasia.

    Posted: Feb 12, 2008 at 8:55 pm
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