The Ezra Is A Dreamboat factor is high in this one. As promised to John Norris, the video for “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” features a “narrative” and “preppy people” and “actual characters”: Ezra plays the Andrew McCarthy role, Rostam and the Chrisses play the other members of Vampire Weekend. The first half is as John Hughesy as advertised — all mansions and lives of leisure and sitting on linens with girls pretty in pink (see also) — the second half is “Thriller,” if imagined by Robert Smith.


Next time in Vampire Weekend: Peter Gabriel covers this song maybe.

Comments (113)
  1. that’s actually pretty sweet.

  2. Ace  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    Well, I will never get those 3 minutes of my life back.

    Sigh.

  3. owencafe  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    I feel like Vampire Weekend are Blur ’95.

    • If that were true I’d love to hear their “Leisure”

      • owencafe  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

        Tell me about it…I would love to hear their “Blur” as well as “Think Tank” which beat them to the punch with the african guitars. To me, it just seems that Vampire Weekend’s embrace of the “finer things” (which is perfectly fine by me) is the closest the US has to Great Escape era Blur during the 95-96 britpop class warfare of Oasis v Blur.

        • Andrew  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

          Which band is playing the part of Oasis in this hypothetical indie-rock class war? The Hold Steady?

    • you forgot to mention that Blur is actually good though.

  4. george  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    yep thats exactly what happens when you live on cape cod. that’s how everyone dresses too.

  5. yomomma  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    …and here come the haters with their deerhunter t-shirts.

  6. Great song.. but the video? Eh..

  7. bookwibble  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    This is somehow not what I imagined the video for this song would be like.

  8. C: that’s actually pretty SKEET.

  9. kcs  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    I don’t get it.

  10. i love vampire weekend, but that was terrible

  11. This video is BUCK!

    I’m so happy the 90′s are back.

    Oh, and I would totally do Ezra…..Yes, Sir!

  12. Wow, that was so super cheesy/only a little funny. Also, Ezra is NOT any more attractive than anybody else in Vampire Weekend. I mean, really. The Ezra:Rostam:Chris:Chris ratio of this video is, like, 3:1

  13. IS YOUR BED MADE?

    IS YOUR SWEATER ON?

    listen, anyone who calls this a “great song” will be so mortified about this in like 6 months. maybe even less. get a grip, people.

  14. Greg  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    I really want to punch that preppy fuck in the face.

  15. i never want to see boat shoes or pastel colours again. or vampire weekend.

  16. B.  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    at the start, ezra comes off kind of zach braff-y.

  17. vampiresuck  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    I wish things can be unseen.

  18. CTA  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    The devil takes many forms.

  19. matt  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    It’s funny how the same people unleash the hate parade every time this band is mentioned. To my ears, Vampire Weekend are a completely inoffensive pop band that writes pretty catchy tunes. I can understand indifference towards them, but I can’t wrap my head around how they could engender such strongly negative reactions. Does the hate derive from the fact they’ve enjoyed a modicum of success and have cross-over appeal to those with more MOR taste? If so, you people understand that is beyond lame and completely cliche, right?

  20. I like Vampire Weekend. I did not like that.

    They’re really churning out the videos, aren’t they?

  21. i liked it, too bad i hate vampire weekend….

    …and my deerhunter shirt fits nicely, thank you very much.

  22. CTA  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2008 0

    I think they probably thought they were SO fucking good clever time signatures and catchy melodies they could be as cute with their image and lyrics as they wanted. Thats’s what that keyboardists face tells me….

  23. fuger  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    fuck these guys.

  24. Well, I guess I’m in the minority here but I DO like the video. Especially when the whole band is following the girl on the beach, and the shot in the end of the gloomy turned-goth pianist with candles all around him. Those parts made me smile. You guys are taking the video so seriously, it’s obviously supposed to be lighthearted with the shots of Ezra singing all “sincerely” and dreamy-like.

  25. Marc  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    question: i’m from europe and my only notice to the american music market is the internet through blogs like stereogum etc. Are Vampire Weekend really THAT unpopular in the states or are there only 10 people who write in every blog comment that they suck? Because here in europe the band is extremely popular, I saw them twice: on a club gig in my home country which sold out months in advance and was too overcrowded (and everyone loved the concert) and at the primavera festival where they had the biggest crowd of the festival – literally like zillion people were watching them and having fun. so yes… what’s up with vampire weekend in north america?

    • Vampire Weekend is very popular here. They just got hyped up so quickly that there was major backlash from some people in the blog world (people, such as commenters on stereogum). All the VW lovers out there would agree with you–they’re just a fun, innocuous little pop band. Also, their whole preppy ivy league school image really turns some people off. Oh, and how can I forget the whole afro-pop / Paul Simon influence debate that gets people all riled up? It’s all rather silly.

      Hope this offers some cultural understanding. This is nothing like British pop band backlash, where bands are called out for being jerks or corporate products or derivative or whatever, e.g. the Kooks.

    • America is a pretty nuanced place; and it’s very large geographically, ethnically, and socially, so I think it would be hard to make a statement about what most Americans think about anything. Maybe you’re curious as to what college bound children of middle class white parents that follow music are into. I’d guess it’s a pretty 50/50 split between people who love the band and people who don’t care/dislike the band among that demographic. But that’s true with pretty much every band on the planet. I can’t think of a band that has ever been universally loved. Some people hated the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the 60s for god’s sake (my Mom loved the Stones, hated the Beatles for instance). I’m sure Hendrix had his detractors. We all love 80s Underground bands around here today, but they weren’t popular at all when they were making music (relatively speaking, they were popular among the people who already knew they existed).

      I think it would be safer to say that somewhere between 70% to 80% of Americans have never even heard of Vampire Weekend. All my friends are early to mid 20s, they’re all “creative” types (but nonmusicians), and I think I’m the only one who’s knowingly heard Vampire Weekend.

      • I’m willing to bet everyone universally agrees on Bob Marley. That’s about the only artist that I have never, ever heard anyone say that they hate.

        • Justin TImberwolf  |   Posted on Aug 8th, 2008 0

          Live in Southern California long enough and be around enough frat boys constantly playing Bob Marley’s “Legend,” and you’ll soon hate Bob Marley as much as you’ll hate Sublime, I promise you.

          • Yeah, I agree. I’m not saying he’s not overplayed and trendy. I too have a laugh at 18 year old white girls trying to relate to the hardships of “stowing in from Africa.” I don’t even put him on and sometimes i skip it when it shuffles on my ipod but I don’t think anyone disagrees that it’s great music.

  26. pshh  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    were any of you alive during the 80′s?

  27. Brett   |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    I enjoy the song and the album. Do I like it enough to listen to by myself? No. Do I like it enough to put it on to appease my less musically inclined friends? Yes. Vampire Weekend = Steve Miller Band/Tom Petty.

  28. Sean Jean  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    Marc: Here in America it has become a national past time for anyone who gets on a music blog to rip any band with any level of success, even though they probably own the band’s music and were singing their praises 6 months ago before it became passe to like them (due to their success). It is no longer about enjoying good music or discovering new bands, but more about comparing influences, analyzing lyrics, criticizing business decisions, all while sitting in a coffee shop and possibly having never touched a musical instrument themselves for more than 5 minutes. Without their baseless opinions about what constitutes good music, they really have no purpose on earth. So just kind of ignore them Marc, and enjoy the tunes. You’ve got the right idea.

    • Snuff Box  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

      True on many accounts, Sean, but let’s not dismiss the importance of lyrics. I think that “analyzing lyrics” is a perfectly viable form of music criticism, and should be taken into account when listening to something new. Otherwise, just listen to instrumental music.

  29. Meghan  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    I think it’s cute! I’m not a big fan of VW, really.

    Though the ending/ “plot” makes no sense to me….

  30. If you’re hating on this video, you need to lighten up. Winter’s not here yet.

  31. Marc, another factor is that (from my perspective), I am skeptical of bands that are overhyped. Seeing their name plastered all over the place leads me to believe that the music may be decent, but their publicity budget is massive. If I feel something is being shoved down my throat I’ll back away from it. For instance, it took me a year to finally listen to Deerhunter because I was just sick of seeing their fucking name everywhere. I then found out that were a decent band.

  32. it is infuriating to suggest that the reason someone only hates a band is because they’ve reached a certain level of success or media attention. sometimes someone hates on a band because the band is bad and the music sucks.

    • I disagree. The only reason I hate Dave Matthews Band and 311 is because so many people think it’s good music. There would be no reason to hate VW if people weren’t trying to make them out to be the best band of 2008, which is completely going over my head. I think the indie bloggers wanted to show that they can lighten up and get away from their snobbery and Vampire Weekend fits right in. “We like fun, preppy, poppy gay music too guys!” I can’t even hear it in a fun poppy way though. Just sounds boring to me… sorry

    • jw  |   Posted on Aug 2nd, 2008 0

      sure, but where does that desire to publicly air your hatred come from? if you don’t like a band, don’t listen to them and/or just skip to the next post. why go out of your way to make nasty and insulting comments? where’s the post about your band that we can tear to shreds? oh, that’s right, there isn’t one……

  33. Erik  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    wow we got some real vampire weekend haters. This video is rather silly. Very cheesy, Kind of funny.

  34. MR. E  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    if you hate it so much dont watch it! They did a very nice job!

  35. james  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    I like it. A lot.

  36. CTA  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    It’s like I picture the college aged version of our president and he’s the biggest vampire weekend fan there is. sure that would make the band harder to like. it would make me run to the velvet underground. how about smashing the tv and picking up the first slits album. you may actually get a REAL version of this Stepford goth girl. Hey I love mc cartney, he’ musical as all hell. I love John even more ….sometimes.

  37. I’m a fan. I think people need to calm down and stop taking VW so seriously. Usually when I don’t like a band, I would try not to give them this much attention ha.

  38. steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    Is it my imagination, or is this entire contrived mainstream “indie rock” trend just a lame rehash of soulless alternative rock? What happened to indie rock that actually ROCKED and had abrasive guitar noise, like old Dinosaur Jr. or Unwound?

  39. douchEebag  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    much better with the volume off and Ghostface pumpin.

  40. steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    Whoa… one of the band members is named Ezra? As in “Better than Ezra”? How appropriate that Vampire Weekend would have something else in common with a shitty corporate alt-rock band from the 90s.

  41. steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    After watching some of this band’s videos, I have to say that I really really hate the vibe of this modern faux indie stuff. It’s like a bunch of rich kids got together and decided to self-consciously act as precious and twee as possible, as if they’re outtakes from the worst movie Wes Anderson ever made.

  42. steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    One last thought: “college rock” has now been re-marketed successfully to the public THREE TIMES. First there was that whole “college rock” boom in the late 80s with REM and bands like that, then there was the early 90s “alternative rock” explosion, and then “emo” picked up the mantle until “emo” turned into Hot Topic screamo, and now the mantle was passed to “indie rock”.

    It’s funny… regardless of all those different labels, they all describe the exact same soulless bullshit music that couldn’t rock its way out of a damp paper bag. The gullible public is eating up the same trend over and over, just because some of the specific details were changed slightly and the name was changed.

    I suggest that you neophyte indie kids stop listening to bullshit like this, and instead go back and try to figure out why “Daydream Nation” is so highly praised. Sure, you probably own it already because Pitchfork told you to buy it, but do you actually understand why it’s considered to be such a mindblowing classic? It’s for a reason, and if you really get it you’ll stop thinking of any of this fake indie shit as even remotely acceptable guitar music.

    • Joe  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

      So you are comparing REM, Stone Temple Pilots and their ilk, emo bands and Vampire Weekend, and calling them the “exact same soulless bullshit.” If those all sound the same to you, well thats just silly. If you are just trying to say they are all soulless, then just say you are too cool for mainstream things, and move on, accepting the fact that some of us like to branch out into types of music other than experimental guitar rock.
      (And I do own Daydream Nation, bought it before Pitchfork existed)

      • steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

        Joe: I’m not comparing those specific bands, but I think you do know what I’m talking about. Aside from some key bands who had a different sound, the vast majority of bands in those “different” genres I mentioned all had the same basic sound, and it can all be traced back to some of the bland college rock shit from the late 80s. It basically amounts to a form of Lite Rock. Stuff like Stone Temple Pilots doesn’t really count, since they were part of an influx of hard rock bands who started dressing “alternative” to sell albums.

      • steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

        Also- by “emo”, I’m referring to the third-wave bullshit in the late 90s, when it ceased to be a form of hardcore. Bullshit like the Promise Ring and The Get Up Kids were blatantly just alt-rock bands. That’s actually why everyone started calling Weezer emo instead of alt-rock… it was because late 90s “emo” was indistinguishable from some of the more dorky alt-rock bands from five years before.

  43. I don’t often say things like this, but if you don’t like this Vampire Weekend thing, something is wrong with you.

  44. mr. cake  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    i dunno, i liked all of the other videos by them because they were so ODD… this on reminds me of a bad movie, i like the band though..

  45. brody  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    man, people really hate pastel polo shirts and boat shoes

  46. g-wog  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    who knew that a full moon turns ezra into ryan adams??

  47. amanda  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    mainly i liked that some of the ra ra riot kids made cameos. other than that, i’ll pass. nice try though.

  48. Rich  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    jesus christ, it’s like I’m back in middle school and people are getting mad that Linkin Park is getting popular on MTV. Shut the fuck up, for christ sake. I thought indie fans were above this bullshit.

    • why am i not allowed to point out that a band is bad?

      • steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

        Oh, you’re allowed. This guy’s just pissed because he’s got a boner for a really boring band.

    • steve  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

      You don’t get it, mofo. Nobody cares that they’re popular. They’re just a really bland example of an “indie rock” band, and some people who actually grew up on indie rock and have been listening to it for over a decade are kinda puzzled that everyone is shitting their pants over a band that would have sounded tired even in the early 90s.

      And I don’t recall ever caring that Linkin Park were popular. That band bugged people because their career was obviously orchestrated by marketing executives to sell formulaic albums to rap-metal-obsessed teenagers, not just because they were popular.

      • Grace: This is something I’ve noticed with the under 22 set these days. If you don’t “ride” for this or that artist, then you’re automatically a “hater” (or “hatter” or “hateur” for you net kids). It’s just an easy way for simple people to simplify their world, because if they had to actually consider the validity of someone else’s opposing opinion for a moment, they’d probably realize that they don’t really form many of their own. It’s easier for them to “buddy” up with the armada of people who like whatever it is that’s being debated and simply shut down disagreement by pretending people who aren’t on their side either don’t exist or must be some sort of freakish contrarian who gets off on being “different”. It’s a really boring form of living, and I find that I can’t stand 10 minutes around people who act that way. It’s a mindset that runs rampant in political debate as well. Detrimental and sad, wouldn’t you say?

        • Sorry Steve, that should have been addressed to Grace6697.

        • i would definitely agree.

          i am also hoping that you are *not* suggesting that i am part of this flock. nor am i 22. or under.

          the reason i’ve gotten so heated in this thread isn’t just because VW are bad. sure, they’re bad. what gets me is that people really love them. it doesn’t make any sense. i literally do not understand it. what is there that you can really feel passionately about? sink your teeth into? nada!

          does. not. compute.

  49. corey   |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    New. Fav. Band. Can’t wait till the next one!!!

  50. anony moose  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2008 0

    i have a hard time believing this could be anyone’s favorite band. they’re such a pastiche…of other nearly mediocre things.
    christ…

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