You know Those People. They're not that into music but they've always kept 5-30 records around through the decades. They kept the CD industry in business with their occasional purchases at Best Buy or Costco or Borders way after most everyone else had switched to downloads. Then they became one of the main customer bases for the iTunes store and the curious phenomenon of legal downloads (Those People tend to be very law-abiding, give or take the odd joint or speeding incident).
Those People are frighteningly predictable--largely white, professional jobs (lawyers, doctors, professors), contentedly coupled (or trying through mixers, J-Date, or Art Walks), dinner parties, some IKEA funiture with a few obvious "pieces" here and there, NPR-listening, New Yorker-reading (though often more than a little right-wing, particularly if the guy works in finance or related), environmentally conscious since the Al Gore movie, etc.
We are being snobs. We know.
But you know exactly what we're talking about, don't you?
Well, you know what Those People have just gotten into. That's right: Vampire Weekend.
As in texting girls (true story) "Come over. We're just chillin' here with some friends. Listening to a little Vampire Weekend."
(Just to clarify: this has nothing to do with VW's music, or their Prep Rock vibe, or their quality or lack thereof. Or with Ezra Koenig and his sweaters and his little Rushmore smirk. It's just an observation about a vague cultural phenomenon.)
Those People have amassed a CD--and then iTunes--collection over the years. Here are some highlights:
- Something by Manu Chao--the wealthy Frenchman who plays a Latin American revolutionary at Starbucks--most likely Clandestino.
- David Gray
- The Buena Vista Social Club (occasionally related solo projects as well)
- The O Brother Where Are Thou soundtrack
- Some mid- or late-period U2, possibly bought around the time they went to see U2 live at some large venue with tickets costing more than $150
- At some point Those People's collection included some Hootie and the Blowfish, Counting Crows, Dave Matthews and/or Vonda Shepard. But those never survived the transition from CD to iTunes.
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[UPDATE: A friend just reminded us that Those People's collections ALWAYS include Jeff Buckley's Grace. How could we forget Jeff Buckley!]
So, congratulations to Vampire Weekend. You've made it into that select company. You are now part of the soundtrack of Those People's lives!
BONUS TRACK: Vampire Weekend playing a house party in Barcelona last week. That's how they roll.