We've barely broken in the new year and one of 2010's most anticipated releases is already upon us. Vampire Weekend's sophomore release, Contra, hits shelves next Tuesday, but they're already sharing it in entirety via their MySpace page, and it's not too far a cry from their much loved debut (Vampire Weekend).
Their Upper West Side Soweto, this time with Contra, includes a tad bit more experimentation, recalling in title and (sort of) theme The Clash's Sandinista!, except instead of gun-toting rebels, Contra appears to be about a girl. These well-off New Yorkers have little else in common with St. Joe Strummer and co. -- in fact singer Ezra Koenig's lyrical gift and vocal ease align him more with Paul McCartney. Like Macca, the Koenig is able to move us while still singing from the perspective of a class of society far above our pay grade.
Moving from starched white collar to T-shirt and ripped jeans, Vancouver B.C.'s young duo Japandroids take a much different approach to their music. Stripped down to just guitar and drums, the band is punk rock at its core, yet when they're singing "I don't wanna worry about dying, I just wanna worry about those sunshine girls" on the excellent track "Young Hearts Spark Fire," they don't feel that far off in spirit to the much richer Vampire Weekend. The duo, Brian King on guitar and David Prowse on drums, tear apart Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Monday night, singing a song (likely, the aforementioned "Young Hearts Spark Fire") from their critically acclaimed debut, Post-Nothing.
Finally, if you've been thinking, like I have, that there's probably been a bit too much Elvis Costello this season on Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..., you might be hesitant to see that this week's guest is, in fact, Elvis Costello. Well, what if I told you that Mary-Louise Parker is in Costello's interview chair? Stepping in last minute for Elton John, the Weeds star surprisingly held her own. I guess it shouldn't be that surprising, if you've read any of her music pieces she's written for Esquire magazine. Still ... might be a bit too much Elvis.
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, January 4
Tuesday, January 5
Wednesday, January 6
Thursday, January 7
Friday, January 8
Saturday, January 9
curator of the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake