As mentioned in a surprisingly heated discussion on this site last month, the folks behind teenage music geek rom-com Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist have tapped the indie rock zeitgeist in a big way. Bishop Allen, Devendra Banhart, and Project Jenny Project Jan cameo in the film alongside Michael Cera and Kat Dennings, and the soundtrack includes Band of Horses, Takka Takka, and a new song from Vampire Weekend, which we have for you to hear. This summer we wondered if the band’s well-received Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty covers hinted that they might be embracing an eighties AOR aesthetic. This is not the case. “Ottoman”’s staccato riffs, cascading strings, and harpsichord flourishes will sound familiar to anyone who has heard the boys’ debut album (i.e., everyone reading these words). The track was produced by Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, a man who knows a thing or 99 about soundtracking. (UPDATE: Mark Mothersbaugh did not produce this song, but he scored the film.) Curiously, “Ottoman” repurposes the “feels so unnatural/ Peter Gabriel too” line from their last single, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” I think Ezra’s having a laugh, but maybe he just loves the lyric (he wouldn’t be the only one).

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist Soundtrack is out tomorrow. If you pre-order it here, it comes with a girly tee that will make sense after you see the movie.

1. Chris Bell – “Speed of Sound”
2. Devendra Banhart – “Lover”
3. Bishop Allen – “Middle Management”
4. Vampire Weekend – “Ottoman”
5. The Dead 60s – “Riot Radio”
6. Takka Takka – “Fever”
7. The Submarines – “Xavia”
8. We Are Scientists – “After Hours”
9. Band Of Horses – “Our Swords”
10. Army Navy – “Silvery Sleds”
11. Richard Hawley – “Baby You’re My Light”
12. Shout Out Louds – “Very Loud”
13. Paul Tiernan – “How To Say Goodbye”
14. The Real Tuesday Weld – “Last Words”
15. Mark Mothersbaugh – “Nick & Norah’s Theme”

You can watch a trailer for the movie at Kat Dennings’ blog.

Comments (93)
  1. First  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0

    First Comment on this soon to be most commented post

  2. The late Chris Bell despises this concept – “you made me feel like a fool”.

  3. Peep Durple  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0

    This is pretty good

  4. The article says The National’s on the soundtrack, but their not on that list…what song are they using?

  5. Its not really bad.. but nothing spectacular either. I can live without it.

  6. VW and this shit movie deserve each other.

    garden state part deux here we come!

  7. The movie looks lame but I like this cut. Thanks.

  8. this douche is trying way to hard to sound like robert smith. it’s grating.

    • too*, for the lose.

    • Steve Allen  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

      Trying to sound like robert smith? You and your bullshit tin ear should listen to the black kids and shout out louds then tell me who is trying to sound like robert smith. Hey guys, doesnt the guy from kings of leon seem like he’s trying too hard to sound like aaron neville?

      • ouch, you’re hurting my tin heart!

        vampire weekend couldn’t be original if they tried. i personally think he’s sounding a bit like robert smith. i don’t listen to those other bands, so i don’t really care if they’re trying to rip off robert smith. i mean, come on. have you seen the cape cod video? he WANTS to BE robert smith. seriously though, vw needs to write some new material. i think i would be more prone to liking them if their music didn’t bleed together. i can’t stand redundancy.

        • He dresses like Robert Smith in a video so now he wants to BE Robert Smith? I dressed like Jason for Halloween but I don’t think I want to be a retarded serial killer.

          • you’re so clever. how about we agree to disagree? i dislike vampire weekend. you like them. end of story. i have better things to do then argue about a mediocre band.

        • getdown  |   Posted on Sep 27th, 2008 0

          kudos to vampire weekend for being vampire weekend, but this track is not vw’s best effort. at all.
          what is this movie trying to pull with its soundtrack? very garden state-esque. but it worked more in that movie. Although i guess it’s reasons like that that half of you even know who vw is.

          And katie- Couldn’t be original if they tried? Please, i beg you, name bands that have their sound.

      • Robert  |   Posted on Sep 25th, 2008 0

        I think the Shout Out Louds are just Swedish…..

  9. It’s decent, NO A-PUNK THOUGH RIGHT GUYS?????
    That was so funny it should be illegal someone call a LAWLER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. grover  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0

    yeah this song is great, and for some reason the peter gabriel lyric works

    for some ridiculous reason

  11. awesome, thanks!

  12. Is track 14 from “The Real Tuesday WELD? anyway.. it’s one of my favorite bands.. so.. great song, I had it on my podcast about 5 months ago…

    • sketch  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0

      yeah, the real tuesday weld rocks. looks like at least a decent soundtrack. i don’t know what the hell this movie’s about but hey i might actually watch it once!

  13. matthew  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0

    this is great! and its good to see the same old smallpoxfags hating on VW

  14. i really like this

  15. love the song. can’t wait for the movie….
    why does everyone have to profess their hatred for VW so intensely? I mean even if you don’t like them, they’re generally a fairly decent band…..

  16. drab  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0

    meh. it sounds just like all their other songs.

  17. lowry  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0

    “why does everyone have to profess their hatred for VW so intensely?”

    one person in this comments section has said something bad about VW. If you want to see some real haters check out the Vivian Girls comments on brooklyn vegan, thats NYC at its finest. Stop complaining, I am sure VW must be crying about the comments section of Stereogum as they drive away in their matching gold rolls royce’s…..sike

  18. You are all gonna cry with your girlfriends at this movie ad you know it.

  19. christian  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0


    seriously, fuck you.

  20. nicole  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2008 0

    i dig it.

  21. kurt Pittman  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    there is at least 60% less hate than i was anticipating on here thus far.
    can i make the first obligatory Arrested Development comment?

    FUCK THIS!!! Michael Cera will never be as good as he was on Arrested Development!
    (there. now this feels more like a stereogum comment board.)

    • grover  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

      haha arrested development isn’t coming back

      • they’re actually coming out with an Arrested Development movie in 2009..hopefully it sparks interest in the show and itll come back

        • fido  |   Posted on Oct 1st, 2008 0

          The title is probably what irks me most about this movie. Also, if I wanted to see teenage couples fall in love over vapid shit about trendy music, I’d go to an open mic night or back to college.

  22. zayin_451  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    Huh. I’m not big on Vampire Weekend. I agree with the fact that they are “decent”. But this song inparticular is actually “Good”. I would willingly listen to it several times. Also, since when is it such a big deal to have a movie with semi popular music groups playing in the soundtrack? I mean, things like SpiderMan comes to mind even. Why don’t we just refer to this movie as Spider Man IV.

    • We already went over this last time. This is simply “Singles” again, except it’s a movie for the new indie set rather than for the Grunge kids. And actually, from the commercials, it’s looking a whole lot like “Singles” + “200 Cigarettes” = “Cinema Focus Group Gold!”

      However, I doubt any of the modern indie “stars” are going to be able to deliver the kind of riveting character portrait Eddie Vedder gave us in “Singles” as the drummer for Citizen Dick.

      Ahh… Citizen Dick, where have all the years gone?

  23. rupe  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    i can hear the mark mothersbaugh all over this track… its like the royal tenenbaums score meets VW.

    whoa, whoa, whoa. there’s still plenty of meat on that bone. now you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. baby, you’ve got a stew going.

  24. Brian  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    As Usual…

    Good Stuff from: Vampire Weekend

    Bad Stuff from: grace6697

    • miketvontheradio  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

      I was about to say that the only thing worse would be “k” chiming in, but it looks like from the comments above that the two found each other. How wonderful.

  25. shenan  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    is it weird that i’ve never heard vampire weekend before? well, definitely not their whole album. thats very presumptuous of you, stereogum. also, what?

  26. Evan  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    Yeah, this is definitely pretty good, besides the use of the already gay Peter Gabriel line.

  27. Black Jesus  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    awesome stuff again from VW

  28. JudgeFudge  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    Hey Stereogum- your ad space on the right is preventing me from being able to hit play on the song player. This is royally frustrating.

    • How so? Can you explain better?

      • JudgeFudge  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

        Scott- Using internet explorer, even when I maximize the page, The T.V. on the radio ad on the left overlaps onto the “play” button on the player. Clicking on the area, only opens up the add, I haven’t been able to play the song yet…. ( in my earlier comment I said the add on the right side, but, silly me, I meant the left side ad. Back to 1st grade I go…)

  29. Kirby  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    I’ve had this tune for a few weeks now — I love it so much.

    The movie, eh, not so much. It was good, but nothing great.

  30. Marcel  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    kinda gay

  31. I realize that I am running the risk of being judged for saying this, but I like this song.
    Its not my favorite, but its good!
    So chill out kids.

  32. reido  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2008 0

    sad day when so called “alternative culture” is rewrapped and sold to the masses. and purely for the sake of hegemony.

    btw, tell ezra to shut his mouth about peter gabriel or i will make sure he never lives again.

  33. Nick and Nora’s Infinitely Super Sweet Playlist looks like the exact opposite of anything I would want to watch. But (ugh) the soundtrack does look decent. This VW track is pleasant, and the inclusion of “Speed of Sound” pretty much ups its cred, well, infinitely. But I don’t think I want to hear Chris Bell while I watch Michael Cera make his same old awkward, bumbling grimaces for an hour and a half.

  34. Greg  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0

    This is a good song. Chris Bell? Shit yeah. I’m gonna go listen to his album. Thanks Stereogum! And Michael Cera or whoever PA told the music supervisor about Chris Bell!

  35. Superbowl XX  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0

    This song has a joyful “Breakfast Club” running through the halls vibe.

  36. do you think peter gabriel wishes he could write songs about himself? vampire weekend is ok. i think they are both praised and criticized more than they deserve. this movie is going to dominate college girls’ facebook profiles. when did devendra banhart transform from dirty chinese children singing hippy to hollywood’s new the shins?

  37. Stephen Lovves  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0

    All I have to say is “BJ”, interpret it any way you want to.

  38. dan  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0


  39. Haueryou  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0

    Hey, don’t hate on the Shout Out Louds. I think this song is… enchanting. Warm hearted. No musical masterpiece but it’s nice.

  40. katie adams  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0


    No they’re not decent. They’re MEDIOCRE. There is nothing good about this song AT ALL. Seriously, this sad excuse of a Graceland rip-off “band” is no different from shitty “bands” such as Metro Station, The Maine, The Morning Light, Cute Is What We Aim For, All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, The Kooks, and 10000000000000 more garbage pop groups that all sound exact.

    Listen to REAL MUSIC such as Clipse, The Hold Steady, The Arcade Fire, Elbow, Public Image Ltd., Paavoharju, This Is Hell, Ride, and Acid Mothers Temple instead.

  41. Vin  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2008 0

    Self-referential lyrics before the 2nd LP? Kind of retarded (Peter Gabriel, too).

  42. I liked it a lot until the strings got more prominent, which usually the opposite of how I feel. It could grow on me though.

    And I agree with Vin, I realize they went to college on Manhattan island, but they shouldn’t try to be so post-modern.

  43. drew  |   Posted on Sep 25th, 2008 0

    this is my least fave VW song yet. i just saw them live and can say that their performance caused me to have a slight change of heart from their being overhyped to curiousity. but, if this song is a precursor of things to come, i’ll go back to ambivalence. and peter gabriel too (that’s so spinal tap)

  44. well.  |   Posted on Sep 25th, 2008 0

    hahah all of you are so fucking self righteous. I think Vampire Weekend is cool, and it’s obviously different from Clipse so you can’t try and base that opinion around that. Clipse is cool too though don’t get me wrong.

    Here’s what i figure:

    There’s music that is obviously basically meant to somehow be hated, but thats more of the like…dare i say- “Jonas Brothers” which obviously isn’t music in the first place but-

    can’t you just ignore the music you don’t like and stop putting down the people who DO like this music?

    Besides why spend the time to express a negative comment when Stereogum is so gracious to put up a song you’re supposed to enjoy by hearing, do you just hop onto this Hot and Ready to critisize and hate?

  45. Rob S.  |   Posted on Sep 25th, 2008 0

    I like Vampire Weekend. Songs’s bland, though. I was hoping for more jittery indie pop like “Walcott” or “A-Punk” and less of the chamber pop like “M79.” In fact, the more I listen to this the more it feels like a rewrite of “M79.”

  46. All I can think of when I see the picture of Michael Cera is a movie I’ll never see with a soundtrack I’ll never listen to.

  47. cg  |   Posted on Sep 25th, 2008 0

    I hate these guys!
    I love these guys!
    You’re wrong, I’m right!

  48. it sounds like it will be great music but if you read the book, they’re not in to that kind of stuff. they like raw, simple punk but this stuff has like vampire weekend and band of horses (both of whom i really enjoy). it just isn’t that true to the book it seems. also, nick asks norah to be his five minute girlfriend, not the other way around. lame-sauce.

  49. Srednas Nosyarg  |   Posted on Sep 25th, 2008 0

    Hey everybody. i love stereo gum. say hi from Iceland! i’m in top twenty in Radiohead Remix! Check it out

    love Srednas

  50. Professor William Dysart  |   Posted on Sep 26th, 2008 0

    hey, i don’t know if you guys have heard of me, but i’m a musicology expert.

    musical analysis: the circular movement created with I – ii – vi – V in A Major is comforting in its pleasing structure, but the lack of chromatic movement gives the verses no tension. while the harpsichord should theoretically add dynamic to the recording, its pairing with a synthesized xylophone sound strips it off the resonance and natural treble that the harpsichord can offer. the key and progression change in the pre-chorus to IV – I – III – IV – I peaks a listeners interest with the augmented fifth (Bb) present in the passing F# major chord but with no change in rythym or instrumentation, fails to build power or momentum. however, the chorus’ simplicity is commendable. the 3 chord refrain introduces an epic mood that resolves the songs introduction. while this technique can be seen as a dissappointment, it gives an opportunity to add a later climax in the structure. however, the lack of release and culminating fade create the mood of uncertainty and frailty that strongly affect the song as an entity.

    i personally think that relative to their more engrossing work, this offering is far less realized and independant. the addition of reverb to the lead guitarist’s linear riffs in coersion with more saccarine strings feels bland and unfocused. in contrast with the breathy chamber arrangement of Campus’ demo, the amalgamation of western “bubble gum pop” with european instrumentation seems almost to be a characature of itself.
    sociologically, vampire weekend’s new song diminishes the pressure to expand creatively from their south african-derived (among other things) debut. their recording career continues to challenge no listeners and this recording that embodies the genre “indie pop” (which found itself in the mainstream only in the past decade) feeds them to their mainly adolescent audience.

    in conclusion… meh.

    • matthew  |   Posted on Sep 26th, 2008 0

      hey prof you suck at spelling, and you have a bland asshole

      • Professor William Dysart  |   Posted on Sep 27th, 2008 0

        that’s because i’m not a professor at all! i’m a 17-year-old with no credentials. i also forgot to spell-check before i submitted. in retrospect i knew all of my errors and i have incredible confidence in my spelling aptitude.

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