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What the Kids Don’t Stand

Although remixes can be a cheap, sly way for bands that aren't producing new material to stay afloat, when Chromeo remixes Vampire Weekend, brilliant things happen.

It's become difficult to remember the hazy epoch that was last year, when the musical contents of a simple CD-R became an epidemic. The songs of Vampire Weekend were everywhere, which made the official "release" of their "debut album" in January of this year somewhat of an exercise in anachronistic formality. The current release of an EP featuring a single from that same, self-titled album seems all the more so, especially since it seems like those fine, young men should be coming up with new material by now. Aside from a contribution to the Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist soundtrack, we haven't heard another peep from them. They'll probably use the whole "we've been touring constantly in support of the album" excuse. Which is not so much an excuse as it is a point of fact.

They could learn a lot from Chromeo. Though they only have two albums to their credit, and though they are touring constantly in support of last year's Fancy Footwork, Dave 1 is currently earning his PhD in French literature from Columbia university. Which is where he probably met those fine, young Vampire Weekend men. Which is probably what led to this, where both bands performed together for mtvU last week.

The live version of VW's "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance" is interesting, if only for the addition of a vocoder, but the version that appears on the new EP, remixed by none other than Chromeo, is nothing short of a revelation. Retaining Ezra Koenig's plaintive vocals and the song's most basic keyboard melody, Chromeo throws a seductively glossy and disco-digital framework underneath. Combining the best elements of each disparate group, the resulting product is euphoric, colorful, brilliant. More like this, please.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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