Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vampire hype machine

It finally occured to me why I thought "No Country for Old Men" was so good... I didn't talk to anyone about it before I saw it!

This doesn't always hold true, and yes, it certainly helped that the movie was in fact very good, but I didn't go into that theater prepped by Chad who said it was f*cking amazing or by the Academy who felt it was the best movie of the year. If you start listening to people of strong opinion too much, you start to form your own opinion before you even buy the ticket, or you watch it with a skew, like if the film doesn't blow your mind then it won't meet your expectation and therefore isn't good. You set yourself up for disappointment. That is why I didn't enjoy "Anchorman," "Chicago," Dodgeball," "The Life Aquatic," "Seven," and many other films as much as I probably should have. I talked to friends and read reviews. I did too much research. When I decided to check out "No Country," I almost avoided opinion, and by doing so I let the whole experience wash over me with no expectation.

The overhype effect is just as common in musical entertainment, which brings me to the topic of music blogs. I barely fit into that category as you can see by my white belt, but historically my peers have ruined some presumably good albums. Not to understate how many great bands they have led me to, but the specific blogs that have built up credibility run a serious risk when they push something new. When unique and interesting groups like Tapes 'n Tapes and TV on the Radio come along, and they all latch onto them, the expectation becomes much greater than any band is capable of meeting, let alone exceeding. Thanks to the overhype effect "well, this has GOT to be great" can quickly turn into "well, that wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be."

I had all of this floating in my head before I even put Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut into my stereo, since the vibe on the bloggosphere has been nothing but overly positive. I had pre-pre-judged it way before I picked it up. After much concentration during those first few spins, however, I am happy to report that it is an album that actually deserves much of the hype it has gathered. It isn't for everyone, but it is in fact pretty enjoyable. It's a diverse collection of songs presented in a quirky, endearing fashion. Check out the sample track below; it isn't necessarily a reflection of the whole package, but it will give you a pretty good idea of the fun and oddity the set delivers.

In conclusion, even the overhype effect can't ruin every well crafted piece of art, but that said, my official statement on "Vampire Weekend" is "no comment." You're welcome.

Track 7: "M79" by Vampire Weekend from "Vampire Weekend"
[iTunes] [website]

Strings add charm to this toe-tapper about a Manhattan bus that goes through Central Park. I particularly enjoy their use of the phrase "coronation rickshaw grab."


  1. kingseyeland said...

    I did the same thing with No Country. I knew it was out and I knew very little before I went, and oh my my...

  2. Anonymous said...

    This is my first time here but so far I like the idea of learning about a new tune with every post. Thanks for that! I love finding new music.

  3. SiD said...

    Good post man, its very true what you say.


  4. March to the Sea said...

    i have the film coming to me via Netflix this week..can't wait.

  5. Jersey Cynic said...

    nice blog! I think I found you via The Duke, via somewhere else. M79 is quickly becoming my favorite vampire song -- today anyway!

    Check out their live performance of M79 -- FANTASTIC!!

    no comment on the movie. you know the saying - "if you can't say anything nice........"

    (I just plain didn't get it!)

  6. Lauren said...

    I really hate when people overhype a film before you see it. I'm almost positive it's why I hate "Napoleon Dynamite." People were quoting it left and right, telling me it's absolute genius. I saw it and maybe laughed once. Maybe I didn't like it because it really wasn't good...or maybe I didn't like it to defy all those good reviews. Regardless, I try to see films without hearing the hype first. Stupid hype.

    And, I concur, Vampire Weekend? Catchy and fun. They're touring this summer. You should try and check them out (however you'll probably have to dodge the 7,000 high schoolers storming the stage. V.W. is on MTV and all...)

  7. Julie_Gong said...

    I too try and resist the popular music blog over-hyped bands but Vampire Weekend is the S.H.I.T.