There are a few things that all music reviews of the new hotness that is Vampire Weekend have in common:
1) They all use adjectives like “pop,” “preppy,” and “Ivy-educated.”
2) They all and mention South Africa and Cape Cod.
3) They all are overwhelmingly positive.
If you haven’t heard VW’s self-proclaimed “Upper West Side Soweto” sound, you should give it a listen. If you’ve been pining to see them in person, but couldn’t nab tix to either of their sold out, album release shows in New York City, you should give the below a watch:
This beautifully crafted, intimate moving picture portrait of the band was filmed at the 12-year-old, New York City CD/Vinyl retailer, Other Music. It’s the fifth installment in an ongoing series of in-store recordings, from the type of shop that makes New Yorkers say, “I love this town.” ###
Music geeks behind counters suggest obscure selections, few of which you could find in a name brand retailer, to music geeks scanning the store. And unlike similar outlets that have been forced to shut their doors due to increased competition in a digital age, Other Music embraced the download business last Spring, and began selling performance quality tracks with no DRM. Co-owner Josh Madell tells me over e-mail, “We felt there was a real need for a shop online that would recreate the experience of shopping in your favorite indie record shop, with a curated selection, staff recommendations and all that.”
Not content to limit its digital offerings to audio, the store has further ventured into the online media space with its Live at Other Music video series.
Executive produced by Madell, and tapping the expertise of the incredibly talented Dig For Fire production crew, the filming began last November with a powerful performance from St. Vincent. Madell wishes he could’ve started sooner:
“We’ve hosted in-stores since we first opened the shop; my biggest regret is that we didn’t have the resources or technology to capture all of them from the beginning! We have wanted to document these for a long time, it has always been obvious that we get a great behind-the-scenes look at some of our favorite artists, and when I met Natalie Johns and her Dig For Fire production team, it was just a perfect fit.”
From now on they’ll be releasing an episode every two weeks, with Celebration, White Williams, and Richard Hawley on the calendar, in addition to some big productions planned for the upcoming SXSW Music Festival.
The series doesn’t have the impromptu, whimsical aesthetic of Take-Away Shows, but at times it feels just as private – like you’ve stumbled upon some secret venue where you can hear, meet, and greet talented musicians who you didn’t know before. And I think it’s nearly as good.
It’s hard to find resources for discovering great music and watching great video. Live at Other Music does both.