I have to say, I’ve seen Vampire Weekend play live about 7 times but seeing them with the Angel City Studio Orchestra (strings and horns!) surpassed it all, particularly on one of my favorites, “M79”. This was truly a special session and their new songs really shine in a live setting – particularly “Cousins” and “California English.” I’m a sucker for frenetic pop songs and what I’ve always loved about their music is that it feels so alive – with energy, influences and general thoughtfulness. They are excellent musicians, but they are also incredibly smart individuals and you can hear it in the execution of every single song. (speaking of, you can still preview their sophomore release “Contra” here)
I have an interesting personal history with the band. I discovered them on MySpace through a friend’s recommendation months before they made it to the radio waves and had a delightful email correspondence with them for quite some time. This note from drummer Chris Tomson was among my favorites and I have to share: “We all know of KCRW, although, as someone who used to DJ for WKCR here in NY, I have felt something of a call-letter rivalry with you guys for a while…” Funny, huh!
In the interview, singer Ezra Koenig tells Jason that California was a big inspiration for their new songs and talks about the making of the album. Definitely check out this session in the archives if you missed it live.