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It's That Time Of Year Again! New Orleans Jazz Festival Returns With Another Two Weekends Of Music Mythology


Eric Clapton Carlos Santana Laura Mvula The Avett Brothers Robert Plant Phish Robin Thicke Vampire Weekend Solange Knowles The String Cheese Incident Chaka Khan Christina Aguilera Alabama Shakes Bruce Springsteen Trey Songz Foster The People Arcade Fire Bobby Womack

New Orleans Jazz Festival 2014 logo

It's that time of year again where New Orleans go all out to prove they are one of the most culturally rich cities in North America with their annual two-weekend event, the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

The Jazz Festival has expanded to two long weekends since its inaugural year in 1970, meaning that more people than ever can get the chance to enjoy the fine music culture of Louisiana. The Queen of Gospel Mahalia Jackson appeared at the first event alongside renowned orchestral composer Duke Ellington, and from then on the festival has gone from strength to strength and has never once lost the spirit that has made it so loved.

Continue reading: It's That Time Of Year Again! New Orleans Jazz Festival Returns With Another Two Weekends Of Music Mythology

Leeds & Reading Festival 2014 Announce Amazing Co-Headliners Queens Of The Stone Age & Paramore Plus 48 More Across All Stages

Posted on 11 March 2014

Leeds & Reading Festival 2014 Announce Amazing Co-headliners Queens Of The Stone Age & Paramore Plus 48 More Across All Stages

Jim Pusey's Top 10 Albums Of 2013


Sigur Ros Biffy Clyro My Bloody Valentine John Mayer Frightened Rabbit The National Vampire Weekend The Besnard Lakes Local Natives

Jim Pusey's Top 10 Albums Of 2013

It's been a year of truly brilliant sounds even if there may have been a few disappointments along the way. Take hip hop, for example: unlike 2012's records by Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, there was nothing that really demanded your attention. Yes, Kanye's album 'Yeezus' was technically brilliant, but it's a record I'm still struggling to digest properly. Similarly, Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta, Holy Grail' (which, in my opinion, is as good as West's effort) was less immediate than the likes of 'Blueprint 3', which means it's got somewhat lost in the public consciousness.

Both those records had an interesting release as well, materialising on shelves seemingly from nowhere. They're not the only ones either; My Bloody Valentine's 'mbv' appeared online out of the blue in February after a gestation period of 20 years. Equally, Mazzy Star, Boards of Canada, Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie made unexpected and impressive returns following long hiatuses. There were also some great reissues and live records; Rilo Kiley's 'Rkives' acted as the epitaph the band deserved, Bob Dylan repainted his self-portrait with the 'Bootleg Series' and revealed songs well worth revisiting, Steve Albini finally got to share his vision for Nirvana's 'In Utero', The Velvet Underground's 'White Light, White Heat' finally got the deluxe treatment it deserved following Lou Reed's sudden death and Neil Young presented what could well be his best live album to date with the 'Cellar Door' addition to his archives series.

Continue reading: Jim Pusey's Top 10 Albums Of 2013

Joe Wilde's Top 10 Albums Of 2013


Hookworms Vampire Weekend Justin Timberlake Unknown Mortal Orchestra Joanna Gruesome

Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

Hookworms 'Pearl Mystic' - Few albums released this year let you step inside to a whole new world of colour and sound as 'Pearl Mystic' has. The Leeds band's immersive debut might not be for everyone, but those who like what they happen upon in the 'Pearl Mystic' landscape will no doubt struggle to forget what they've seen.

Continue reading: Joe Wilde's Top 10 Albums Of 2013

Hayley Fox's Top Albums Of 2013


Bastille Vampire Weekend Jon Hopkins James Blake Disclosure Peace Haim Foals Arctic Monkeys

Darkside - Psychic

Darkside 'Psychic' - After an EP in 2011, Darkside released their debut album this year. The duo - the project of Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington - gave as good as they got on 'Psychic', honing their talents as individual musicians. Wonderfully crisp textures ride over its entirety, creating a rich, confident ambience. 

Bastille - Bad Blood

Continue reading: Hayley Fox's Top Albums Of 2013

Contactmusic.com's Top Albums Of 2013


Vampire Weekend Hookworms Justin Timberlake James Blake My Bloody Valentine Blood Orange Kurt Vile Daft Punk Arcade Fire Queens Of The Stone Age Joanna Gruesome Janelle Monae Nick Cave Chance the Rapper Haim Rhye Arctic Monkeys The National

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampire in the City

Vampire Weekend 'Modern Vampire in the City' - 'Modern Vampires in the City' makes it three for three for the New Yorkers and their latest release could very well be their best yet. It shows evolution for the band, but they have retained that essential quality that made 'Contra' and their self-titled debut such wonderfully upbeat and genuine pleasures to listen to each time. 'Modern Vampire in the City' is also the release that marks Vampire Weekend as a band that should be taken seriously, but one who you can still have immense fun with. 'Diane Young' is yet another indie floor filler, standing shoulder to shoulder with previous bangers 'A-Punk' and 'Cousins.' Where the album really excels, however, is when VW reach out to new quarters and sound completely inimitable. The yelps of 'Ya Hey' bring fun to a song that essentially deals with the theme of lost conviction, the graceful 'Hanna Hunt' erupts in the most complete song released this year and album opener 'Obvious Bicycle' sets the whole thing in motion with its refreshingly angelic melodies and steady, train-like clunks that lie beneath all the splendour. Vampire Weekend are no longer the Brooklyn minions rattling at the gates of eminence, the gates have been swung open for them and the welcoming committee should have made them feel rightly at home. 

Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

Continue reading: Contactmusic.com's Top Albums Of 2013

Life Is Beautiful Festival Debuts In Vegas - With An Understatement Of A Name


The Killers Kings Of Leon Beck Vampire Weekend Imagine Dragons Haim Charli XCX

Life Is Beautiful Logo

Life Is Beautiful Festival 2013 brings top artists of all walks of life to Downtown Las Vegas this weekend for two days of cracking music, scrumptious gourmet food and breath-taking art.

This brand new festival opens for the first time this year from October 26th - 27th and will certainly be marked as a highlight for festival lovers this autumn. Headlining the event are The Killers, who will hit the Downtown Stage on the Sunday, and Kings Of Leon who will perform likewise on the Saturday. Californian singer Beck will also be making an appearance alongside Vampire Weekend, who topped the US chart with their album 'Modern Vampires of the City' earlier this year, and Imagine Dragons who are returning home to play some of their platinum hits to the neighbours. 

Continue reading: Life Is Beautiful Festival Debuts In Vegas - With An Understatement Of A Name

Q Awards: The Day Biffy Clyro Beat David Bowie To 'Best Album'


David Bowie Biffy Clyro Vampire Weekend

Q magazine. A place that one music industry man once called the place rock journalists go to die. Well, it's also the magazine that considers Biffy Clyro's Opposites to be better than David Bowie's The Next Day. 

Of course, that's not entirely fair given the winners of annual Q Awards are readers who vote, but still. Bowie was left empty-handed at the famously boozy ceremony in London on Monday (October 21, 2013) having been beaten by Biffy for Best Album, Vampire Weekend for "best act in the world today," Ellie Goulding - yes, Ellie Goulding - for best solo act and Glastonbury for best event of 2013. The Bowie exhibition at the V&A Museum had been nominated.

Biffy's singer Simon Neill told the audience upon picking up the band's award, "Thank you so so much. I think I speak on every award winner's behalf when I say thank goodness David Bowie didn't turn up," according to BBC News.

Continue reading: Q Awards: The Day Biffy Clyro Beat David Bowie To 'Best Album'

Ezra Koenig, Christopher Tomson and Vampire Weekend - 2013 MTV Music Awards held at the Barclays Center - Arrivals - Brooklyn, New York, United States - Sunday 25th August 2013

Ezra Koenig, Christopher Tomson and Vampire Weekend

Ezra Koenig, Christopher Tomson and Vampire Weekend - 2013 MTV Music Awards held at the Barclays Center - Press Room - Brooklyn, New York, United States - Sunday 25th August 2013

Ezra Koenig, Christopher Tomson and Vampire Weekend
Ezra Koenig, Christopher Tomson and Vampire Weekend

Paul McCartney Plays 'Yesterday' With Kronos Quartet At Outside Lands Festival


Sir Paul McCartney Vampire Weekend Red Hot Chili Peppers Willie Nelson

Outside Lands

Paul McCartney fans at the Outside Lands festival were given a real treat on Friday evening (August 9, 2013) with the Beatles legend performing with the string virtuosos, the Kronos Quartet. The quartet are perhaps best known for their work with Tom Waits, David Bowie, Bjork and even the poet Allen Ginsberg, but the strings perfectly complimented McCartney's hit Yesterday - a track usually backed only by the musician's idiosyncratic guitar work, though rarely played live.

Though the former Beatle continues to sell out shows around the globe, he has on occasions been guilty of failing to change up his set - something that he's rectified in the past year or so. At Outside Festival, he played the more obscure Fab Four tracks Lovely Rita and Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, as well as Yesterday, according to Rolling Stone magazine. 

Continue reading: Paul McCartney Plays 'Yesterday' With Kronos Quartet At Outside Lands Festival

“This Is Something Different” - Phoenix Close Lollapalooza 2013 In Style


Lollapalooza Phoenix Vampire Weekend The Cure Jake Bugg Alt-J

As Thomas Mars – the lead singer of Phoenix – explained, "Usually on Sunday night people are really tired.” He was talking about festivals, and he was right, bit he and his band had something planned. "This," he said as the catchy into to 1901 began behind him, "is something different."

Phoenix, Shepherd's Bush Empire
Tired crowd or not, the band rocked the final night of Lollapalooza.

So blistering was their closing set, that Rolling Stone have called it “the best performance of the entire weekend.” And this on a record weekend - 300,000 people descended upon Grant Park for the three-day festival, which featured eight stages and 130 acts.

Continue reading: “This Is Something Different” - Phoenix Close Lollapalooza 2013 In Style

Life Is Beautiful 2013 Announces Additional Music Acts Including Vampire Weekend And Alabama Shakes

Posted on 02 August 2013

Life Is Beautiful 2013 Announces Additional Music Acts Including Vampire Weekend And Alabama Shakes

Outside Lands Festival 2013 To Bring You Much More Than Music This Year


Sir Paul McCartney Nine Inch Nails Red Hot Chili Peppers Pretty Lights Phoenix Kaskade Yeah Yeah Yeahs Vampire Weekend

Outside Lands 2013

The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is back on August 9th - 11th 2013 bringing us the best in art and music as we see the likes of Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails and Red Hot Chili Peppers top this year's bill.

San Francisco hosts this annual festival which has soared in popularity since the first event in 2008. It takes place at Golden Gate Park and, as well as some brilliant bands and artists being on show all weekend, presents some fantastic food and drink offerings from the Bay Area. Food includes everything from mac and cheese and hot dogs to falafel and noodles and there'll be food trucks and special cheese and chocolate stalls good enough to pull you away from the awesome music for a while. There'll also be a wide array of wines and beers to enjoy plus live painting and Levi's Mobile Bike Shop as Outside Lands is all about being eco-friendly and reducing our carbon footprints.

Continue reading: Outside Lands Festival 2013 To Bring You Much More Than Music This Year

Lollapalooza 2013 To Be Equipped For All Weathers For Another Memorable Weekend


Lollapalooza The Cure Mumford And Sons The Killers Nine Inch Nails New Order 2 Chainz Palma Violets Deap Vally Foals Alt-J Kendrick Lamar Ellie Goulding Vampire Weekend

Lolapalooza

Get ready for a magnificent time as Chicago brings you another rollicking year of Lollapalooza with a legendary line-up of mixed genre music from The Cure to Mumford & Sons.

Since it's revival in 2003, Lollapalooza has been bringing you the very best of rock, metal, punk, hip hop and dance from all the major music legends to the up-and-coming rookies of the business. Taking place at Chicago's Grant Park from August 2nd - 4th 2013, the festival this year features a bedazzling headline roster of Las Vegas indie rockers The Killers, West Sussex goths The Cure, Grammy winning folk four-piece Mumford & Sons and long-running industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails. There will also be a huge range of activities to occupy yourself with over the weekend from the Samsung Galaxy Experience where you can check out the latest gadgets, to art stations where you can become a comic strip or be transformed into a work of pop art.

Continue reading: Lollapalooza 2013 To Be Equipped For All Weathers For Another Memorable Weekend

Barry Gibb, Labrinth, Alison Balsom, Jessie Ware, Ray Davies, Vampire Weekend, Coldplay, Alison Moyet and Dawn French - Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards held at the London Hilton Park Lane - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Friday 28th June 2013

Barry Gibb, Labrinth, Alison Balsom, Jessie Ware, Ray Davies, Vampire Weekend, Coldplay, Alison Moyet and Dawn French
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Barry Gibb
Barry Gibb

Glastonbury Festival Weather 2013: Get Your Wellies On


Glastonbury Festival Rolling Stones Arctic Monkeys Rita Ora Vampire Weekend Rufus Wainwright Ronnie Wood Charlie Watts Keith Richards Mick Jagger

The weather forecast for the Glastonbury Festival this weekend does not look brilliant: expect a lot of cloud. However, those visiting the Glastonbury Festival this year may be pleased (or rather not depending on your predisposition) to hear the traditional mud is likely to be back. Around 135,000 people attend the festival annually and this year is no exception. The festival site, located near the Somerset village of Pilton, opened its gates for early goers. Most slept in their cars overnight lying in wait to get a decent (probably on higher ground) site to set up camp.

BeyonceBeyonce Played A Barmstorming Set At Glastonbury In 2011

The weather forecast for Shepton Mallet (the closest town to the festival site), according to the BBC, is:

Continue reading: Glastonbury Festival Weather 2013: Get Your Wellies On

Vampire Weekend And Kings Of Leon Added To ITunes Festival Bill That Keeps Getting Better


Kings Of Leon Vampire Weekend Sigur Ros Queens Of The Stone Age Bobby Gillespie Jessie J Jake Bugg Justin Timberlake Primal Scream 30 Seconds to Mars Ludovico Einaudi Rizzle Kicks

Vampire Weekend and Kings Of Leon will join a rapidly growing list, already peppered with fellow rock royalty, including Queens Of The Stone Age, Sigur Rós, 30 Seconds to Mars and Primal Scream.

It won't be solely a festival of rock though - artists from other genres have also been invited, giving everyone at this September's festival something to look forward to, such as Justin Timberlake, Jessie J, Jake Bugg, Rizzle Kicks, and classical composer Ludovico Einaudi.

Having being held since 2007, the annual iTunes festival is held over every night in September and this year will host over 60 acts at the Camden venue.

Continue reading: Vampire Weekend And Kings Of Leon Added To ITunes Festival Bill That Keeps Getting Better

Vampire Weekend's Billboard No.1 Is A Triumph For Independent Music


Vampire Weekend Demi Lovato Lady Antebellum Jason Aldean Macklemore Steve Buscemi

Indie rockers Vampire Weekend have topped the Billboard 200 chart with their latest record 'Modern Vampires of the City,' besting commercial efforts from the likes of X-Factor judge Demi Lovato, Lady Antebellum and the Great Gatsby soundtrack featuring music from Jay-Z and Florence and the Machine. 

The New York outfit's album sold 134,000 in its first week of sales, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. It was also the first independently distributed album to debut at No.1 on the chart since country singer Jason Aldean's 'Night Train' in November last year. It was another country star - George Strait - who finished in second place this week with sales of 120,000, while Lovato's 'Demi' sold 110,000 copies to take No.3. Last week's No.1, 'Golden' by Lady Antebellum fell to No.5 while the soundtrack to Gatsby dropped to No.4 from No.2.

Meanwhile, on Billboard's Digital Songs chart, rapper and producer team Macklemore & Ryan Lewis held the top spot with 231,000 downloads of their hit 'Can't Hold Us.' Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, featuring rapper T.I. and Pharrell Williams took second, ahead of Pink. 

Continue reading: Vampire Weekend's Billboard No.1 Is A Triumph For Independent Music

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City Album Review


Vampire Weekend's third album Modern Vampires Of The City may just be the most ambitiously and confidently produced album you're likely to hear this year. Part of the joy of the material presented here is how deceptively uncomplicated these songs are. But dig a little deeper, and you can see why it's taken 3 years to refine this selection of quirky pop songs. While it lacks the immediate charm of the band's debut, Modern Vampires is arguably Koenig and Batmanglij's most accomplished effort to date.

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City Review

Modern Vampires has been billed in interviews as the last part of a trilogy of records, and it's easy to see the similarities with what's come before. The quirky character sketches and highbrow reference points are all here. There's an underlying appreciation of a wide spectrum of musical reference points too. But there are subtle improvements with Chris Tomson's drumming sitting prominently in the mix, and Koenig gleefully playing with vocal effects throughout. Part of the reason for this will be the involvement of co-producer Ariel Rechtshaid, a man predominantly known for his involvement with artists like Usher and Kylie. By bringing an outsider into the studio for the first time, it seems Vampire Weekend have tried to expand their horizons.

Talking of horizons, the album cover itself hints at the underlying darker mood that runs through the record: an ominous picture of New York enveloped in the deadly smog that plagued the city in the late sixties. It suggests that Vampire Weekend may have found their metaphorical teeth to deal with more than just the hazy nostalgia that's coloured their previous records. Opening track 'Obvious Bicycle' is a prime example; amid the subtle drum samples and tape based studio trickery that punctuates the solitary piano, there's an almost funeral march mood as Koenig insists, "No-one's going to watch you as you go, from a house you didn't build and can't control". Meanwhile, on 'Everlasting Arms' he looks "up for the fear, trapped beneath the chandeliers". Even the religious fervour of 'Worship You' has a darker edge, and the children's choir that's been mapped onto Batmanglij's keyboard coupled with the ticking clock on 'Hudson' is just positively creepy.

Continue reading: Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City Album Review

ABBA Edge Past The Beatles To Claim The Second Biggest Selling Album In UK


Abba Beatles Rod Stewart Gabrielle Aplin Vampire Weekend Agnetha Faltskog BJORN ULVAEUS

Abba's greatest hits collection, Gold, edged past the The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band this weekend to become the second highest selling album in UK history. The band have now sold over 5.1million copies of their greatest hits album, with the Official Charts Company indicating over the weekend that the album has surpassed Sgt. Pepper's by 15,000 sales.

The album now only sits behind another best of collection, Queen's Greatest Hits, which has so far sold 5.9million copies. The rest of the top five consists of Adele’s 21, which is 4th having sold 4.6million copies, with Oasis’ 1995 sophomore release (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? completing the top five, selling slightly less than Adele. Speaking to OfficialCharts.com, ABBA founder and songwriter Björn Ulvaeus spoke of his shock at the achievement, saying, 'It’s feels unreal - outselling the greatest record of all time!'

Bjorn Ulvaeus
Björn Ulvaeus couldn't believe the news of Gold's success

Continue reading: ABBA Edge Past The Beatles To Claim The Second Biggest Selling Album In UK

Vampire Weekend Return To 'Saturday Night Live' In Triumphant Style (Video)


Vampire Weekend

The last episode of Saturday Night Live (May 11, 2013) was also the last episode of the current series, but luckily the show's producers managed to bring in a truly impressive line-up that included musical guest Vampire Weekend and host Kristin Wiig, returning to the show that launched her career.

The avante-gard pop group performed two songs from their much-anticipated third album, Modern Vampires In The City, including the single 'Diane Young' and the album track 'Unbelievers,' bringing their own unique style to each of the performances. For Diane Young,' the group were accompanied by a solitary brass section, consisting of a man in a tuxedo and top hat playing a barritone saxophone, whilst on 'Unbelievers' the group had an organ, piano and a four-piece brass section, who were unfortunately dressed in normal clothes. Needless to say, it was all very cool and very Vampire Weekend. 

Continue reading: Vampire Weekend Return To 'Saturday Night Live' In Triumphant Style (Video)

Saturday Night Live Is Betting On Familiar Faces Kristen Wiig And Ben Affleck For Final Two Episodes


Kristen Wiig Ben Affleck Kanye West Vampire Weekend

Kristen Wiig is an SNL favorite and she’s coming back for another hosting turn on May 11th. The news if very exciting, since we already know Wiig can do it and do it well. She has her own brand of comedy and her impressions are almost always spot on. Remember Lana del Ray? Yes, there’s no doubt that the lady can act. Wiig has some hilarious original characters, like “flirting expert” Rebecca Larue, but her main strength is in impressions. She’s done everyone from Madonna to Drew Barrymore – no one is safe from the comedienne’s wit. And of course, ever the show to come up with an unexpected combination, the musical guests for that week will be New York natives Vampire Weekend. The May 11th episode will be worth tuning in, but there’s more.

One week later, the May 18th season finale of Saturday Night Live will be jam packed with celebrities and interesting guests. Ben Affleck is set to appear on the comedy show, E!News has announced. He will be accompanied by none other than Kanye West as the traditional musical guest. We’ve heard so much of Affleck in the role of a director recently, that it’s easy to forget that he was an actor first. The SNL gig should be a welcome change of pace then. This will be the fifth time he gets to host the show, but Affleck hasn’t done the job since way back in 2008. It’ll be cool to see what he comes up with this time, especially since everyone wants to see SNL go out with a bang.

Ben Affleck, Vanity Fair Oscar PartyKristen Wiig, CinemaCon
Wiig and Afflec will be hosting the final two episodes for the season.

Continue reading: Saturday Night Live Is Betting On Familiar Faces Kristen Wiig And Ben Affleck For Final Two Episodes

Vampire Weekend and Ezra Koenig - Vampire Weekend, Rostam Batmanglij, Director,Mike Cahill, Chris Thomson, Ezra Koenig, Chris Balo, New York City, USA - at the premiere of Fox Searchlight Pictures 'Another Earth' at Landmark's Sunshine Theatre. Wednesday 20th July 2011

MIAMI BEACH FL - OCTOBER 13: Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend performs at Fillmore Miami Beach on October 13, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Daly) Thursday 1st January 1970

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Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend Wednesday 13th October 2010 Vampire Weekend perform at Fillmore Miami Beach Miami, Florida

Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend
Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend
Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend
Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend
Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend
Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend Wednesday 15th September 2010 Us Weekly names the 25 most stylish New Yorkers of 2010 al Lavo - Arrivals New York City, USA

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Vampire Weekend - Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Saturday 17th July 2010 at Superbock Superrock Meco, Portugal

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Vampire Weekend - Sunday 18th July 2010 at Latitude Festival Suffolk, England

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Vampire Weekend Thursday 8th July 2010 performing at Manchester Evening Apollo Theatre as part of Orange Rockcorps Manchester, England

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