The Vampire Weekend Saga: The Most Ridiculous Album Release Ever
  • THURSDAY, MAY 09, 2013

  • Posted by: Dorit Finkel

Vampire Weekend has officially won the award for most ridiculous album release. Starting back in February, when the band hid the announcement of a Contra follow-up in the New York Times personals, this album has been a non-stop publicity stunt, culminating in this week's premature iTunes stream of the album - a week early (UPDATE: the stream has since been removed). We take a look back at the timeline of what I'm now calling The Vampire Weekend Show, and highlight the important moments of this emotional roller coaster. November 1st, 2012: Vampire Weekend premiere the first song from the upcoming album, "Unbelievers," on Jimmy Kimmel, dolled up in skeleton makeup a la Fever Ray. January 14th, 2013: Someone makes a Tumblr account and releases a fake album title and cover for the new record. Ironically, both the false cover and title were better than what the band came up with. January 22nd, 2013: Vampire Weekend announces their new album's release date (May 6/7) and gives us the title hint "MVOTC." February 14th, 2013: The band pulls the now-infamous stunt, announcing the actual album title, Modern Vampires of the City, through a Lost and Found ad in the New York Times, after tweeting a hint. Vigorous Pitchfork masturbation ensues.
March 26th, 2013: The guys announce they're going to release the album on May 14th, rather than the original release date, May 7th. Needless to say, we are devastated. March 28th, 2013: The March 18th release of the simple video for "Diane Young" sparked controversy over the fact that the used Saabs the band burned in their video had sentimental value to their previous owners, who had no idea their cars were going to be torched and filmed burning to a crisp. The band apologizes profusely.
March 29th, 2013: Vampire Weekend tweets that Chris Baio has discovered he's distantly related to Steve Buscemi. And thus a very awkward partnership is born... March 31th, 2013: The band starts their publicity partnership with unlikely hero Steve Buscemi by marching in the Easter parade with bunny ears, chocolate eggs, and a giant megaphone. April 16th, 2013: The first hilarious episode of Vampire Weekend's Amex: UNSTAGED series is released. Steve Buscemi steps into an Ali G role and urges the band to make their lyrics more accessible. We have to give them credit, here: this is one of the funniest band promo ideas ever.
April 22nd, 24th, 26th, 2013: Three more episodes of the Buscemi shenanigans are released, featuring a bowling date, a very enthusiastic mayoral candidate and a very uncomfortable Grimes. April 28th, 2013: The Amex UNSTAGED live webcast from Roseland Ballroom directed by Steve Buscemi finally happens, with no doubt a larger audience than it would have had without Buscemi's relentless flyer distribution. May 7th, 2013: Modern Vampires of the City is released to stream a week early without fanfare. We've learned the hard way that there can be too much of a good thing. Now that the album has finally made its way to our ears in full, we kind of feel sick of it already.
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