Wednesday, June 5, 2013

East Coast Girl (at least for a week)

Tomorrow, I'm traveling to New York for a week to attend my 5-year Vassar reunion (where did the time go?!), catch up with East Coast friends, see some Off-Broadway theater, avoid getting attacked by cicadas... you know, the usual.

There'll probably be no new posts while I'm away (well, except for a link to my new Theater Pub column when it's up). But I do hope to have some fun adventures, and to share them here once I've returned home!

Song for the moment, a.k.a. New Favorite Song: "East Coast Girl" by Cayucas.

When I first heard this song on the radio, a couple of months ago, I liked it a lot, but I also thought "This band sounds like they are trying to out-Vampire-Weekend Vampire Weekend." Turns out I'm not the only person who thinks that: the good people of Pitchfork have come to the same conclusion regarding Cayucas' musical style. Unlike the snooty Pitchforkers, though, I'm not so bothered by the way that Cayucas sounds like a breezier, less substantial version of one of my favorite bands. Music need not be epic or groundbreaking to have value, and it's hard to hate such summery, charming indie-pop.

I bought Cayucas' album, Bigfoot, the week it came out, and listened to it while I was on my way to a hipster barbecue in the Mission District. The sun was shining. I was wearing cut-off jean shorts. I rode the J-Church train past Dolores Park and saw San Francisco's golden youth spread before me, day-drinking and sunbathing on the grass -- full of beauty and promise and entitlement and absurdity. And with Bigfoot playing in my ears, it was a perfect moment.

This isn't to denigrate "darker" or more ambitious music -- in fact, I love the way that Vampire Weekend's new album, Modern Vampires of the City, deals with twentysomething angst and despair and "the nagging pressure to make the most of their finite youth." Goodness knows, I've been feeling a lot of that lately, as the realization "Marissa, you graduated college five years ago" sinks in, deeper and deeper. But sometimes you need an antidote to such negativity: lilting music that speaks of summer fun, a weekend reconnecting with old friends and celebrating the good things that have happened in the last five years.

That's what I hope Reunion will be like, at least.

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