Vampire Weekend Whatever; I'll Show You Appropriation


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I'm largely ambivalent about Vampire Weekend, so I haven't joined in the polarized debate going on in the comments to Jessica Hopper's review of Contra.

Mostly I value it as an excuse to point you towards Rian Malan's magisterial history of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," a version of which appeared in Rolling Stone and, if I remember correctly, the Best Music Writing series. It's one of the best pieces of long-form journalism I've ever read, and an unusual example of investigative cultural journalism. You can get a PDF here, though at 40pp you might want to print it out or wait for your iPad to ship. Trust me: it's more than worth the length.


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