We Know It’s Only Rock N’ Roll But We Like It

BARELY LEGAL: Tokyo Police Club, Johnny Brenda’s, Thursday Night

BY AMY Z. QUINN I was almost starting to feel bad for Tokyo Police Club. Here they were, headlining the very-important Thursday night bill at Johnny Brenda’s. Yet in the space of 12 hours, the opening band on the bill, Vampire Weekend, had not only sucked up all the critical buzz, but had the Philly indie/blog scene’s musical tastemaker riding the express bus to Crushville.

Vampireweekend. And we don’t know what else to say: It’s love. We spent a whole afternoon earlier this week scouring the web for as many of their mp3s as we could track down, and then pushing them on everyone who would listen. Everyone who did stopped in their tracks.

Yeesh. And you thought it was just the weather making people shvitz. By dinnertime, the show was so sold out even major Philly scenesters were left standing in the rain on Frankford Ave., unable to finagle a list spot or some other way inside. At this point, I’m feeling pretty smug about having bought my pair of tickets weeks ago, though wondering if I was the only person in the city who was actually going to this show to see Tokyo Police Club.

Well, I won’t say Vampire Weekend stopped me in my tracks, but it did have me dancing, interested in their sound, and thinking about where all this buzz was going to take these guys next. “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” isn’t just one of their song titles, it’s a pretty good descriptor for their sound, which seems to bounce and float at the same time. It sounds utterly white and yet African-esque, the extract of a musical influence that runs like a bead of sweat from Graceland, trickles down through Dave Matthews, and drips onto the pages of the J.Crew catalog from which the band members obviously order their clothes. (White belt = Out, Brown Braided = Back, baby!) MORE

[photo by AMY Z. QUINN]

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