Saturday Songs with Vampires

Vampire Weekend-2-2
Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots going on these last few weeks here in my world, including work on a new chapbook, and preparation for a live reading with the River Poets at the Bloomsburg Public Library this Thursday, September 1st.

I also went on a bit of a William Stafford reverie and recorded several lesser-known poems from his 1987 collection, An Oregon Message. I’ll share those with you this weekend as well.

Speaking of this weekend, I’m currently whipping a few dishes up in the kitchen, including pasta salad with peas, bacon and dill, and a batch of my new favorite, curried humus. All this is in preparation for a visit with my brother Jeff, who is visiting from Florida for his hundredth class reunion. Of course, he’d prefer I bring garlic ring bologna (a Pennsylvania-German thing), and a case of Genesee Light. But I’m sure he’ll get his fill of that somehow.

So while I am getting creative with green onions and mayo, I’ll leave you with a couple of songs from Vampire Weekend’s 2013 album, Modern Vampires of the City, that has been acting as my culinary soundtrack. What I love about VW is that they often play with some much deeper topics than they seem to.

“Ya Hey,” is an excellent example. It is so full of scriptural references that it’s hard to not think of the title as a play on the Hebrew name for God. But I think it’s a disservice to them to imagine that they don’t intend this song to work on many levels. Plus, it’s great when a song doesn’t try to answer all the questions for you. I’ll leave the interpretations to you tonight, but like good poetry, it need not make logical sense if it at least makes some sort of emotional sense, and moves you. Similarly, I have no idea what the second song, “Step,” is about. “You always step to my girl?” What does that even mean? The music soothes me, and the implications are beautiful enough that I really don’t care that I cannot diagram it.

Perhaps that’s the greatest flaw in a lot of postmodern poetry, that refusal to make any logical sense, married to a complete lack of emotional appeal, or beauty. But that’s a talk for another time. Meanwhile, feel free to chat amongst yourselves.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. renobarb says:

    My favorite track from that album is “Unbelievers”- the band sets you up for a fun dance tune abd sneaks in lyrics that poke fun at religious zealotry. A sublime form of subversion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just listened to that one again, thanks!


  2. Brian Dean Powers says:

    Yah Hey is also a common phrase heard in northern Wisconsin. As evidenced by this song.


    1. HA! That’s hilarious.

      Liked by 1 person

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