Arts and Entertainment

Dingwalls, London

What's in a band name? Here are the stories behind the monikers

So how do bands end up with their names? Is there a band-naming website? Well, yes, actually, but none of these acts needed it. Gavin Cumine gets etymological

You Write The Reviews: Vampire Weekend, XL Recordings

It is a rare thing in music to come across an album that manages to be both familiar yet exotic, brief yet perfectly formed, intellectual yet instantly accessible; and to achieve this with a debut album is rarer still. Vampire Weekend, freshly plucked from a sleepy Columbia University campus, have created something astounding, infused with a staggering range of styles that ripple and crackle with charm and vibrancy.

Foals, Astoria, London

Foals sign off their set with "Mathletics", a song whose title rather succinctly describes the band's winning formula. Their songs are a more radio-friendly version of the math-rock practiced by the New York-based group Battles. The lyrics and inter-song banter demonstrate conspicuous intelligence – two of them are, after all, former Oxford university students. Meanwhile, their youthful onstage exertions are sufficiently athletic for each member of the five-piece to shed a few pounds per show.

A whole new world for Franz Ferdinand

They took many by surprise when they joined Africa Express in Liverpool last week. Now Franz Ferdinand tell Elisa Bray they have fallen under the spell of Afrobeat

Yeasayer, ICA, London<field name="starRating">fourstar</field>

Yeasayer are a Brooklyn-based band wowing critics and crowds on both sides of the pond. Their main rivals are Columbia graduates Vampire Weekend. The two bands share a postcode and a fondness for African pop music, but there the similarities end. Vampire Weekend are self-consciously preppy and East Coast-intellectual, their lyrics referencing obscure grammatical disputes and high-class holiday destinations. Yeasayer are too dressed-down to be self-consciously anything.

Vampire Weekend, Audio, Brighton<br />Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Brixton Academy, London

Preppy Ivy Leaguers Vampire Weekend love their Afrobeats &ndash; either that, or they've been listening to too much early-Eighties Talking Heads

Vampire Weekend, Astoria, London

With a name likeVampire Weekend, one would not be expecting to see a band comprising Upper West Side Ivy Leaguers, best known for their affection for deck shoes, yachting and cardigans. Something spooky is going on when a band member's father standing at the side of the stage looks sharper than his son. One of the most hotly tipped bands for 2008, whose self-titled debut album has only just come out, Vampire Weekend don't carry much of the cool of their forebears The Strokes. Not that the audience mind: the up-to-the-minute young indie fans, from punks to skinny-jeaned rockers to bearded folksters, along with some of the band's old mates from Columbia University, are already bitten.

Album: Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend, XL

One More Grain, Madame JoJo's, London

Dour is being given a new definition in Soho tonight. That adjective is regularly used to describe a particular brand of northern stoicism, but in a part of London known for strip joints and gay bars, Daniel Patrick Quinn is pushing its remit to new limits.

Rupert Cornwell: Out of America

Bush's top-level conference on school shootings scrupulously avoided any reference to gun control
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Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

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