Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: Leno Is Moving, Vampire Weekend Is Brooding Edition

Good morning! Looks like Jay Leno's moving back to 11:35 p.m.—possibly in a half-hour show. What does that means for Conan O'Brien, Leno's Tonight Show replacement? Who knows? But O'Brien can't possibly be happy.

- Local rapper Don Juan is live—right now.

- The Smithsonian had 30 million visits in 2009, the Washington Post reports.

- City Paper contributor Sarah Godfrey interviews D.C. rapper Lola Monroe over at Click Track. Monroe used to model in urban skin magazines and music videos, but she says she's focused solely on music now. Grab Untouchables, her recent mixtape with Lil' Boosie, here.

- Corgan Watch! Evidently, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan still has pretty good taste. He's starting a record label that will release music from the remaining members of the Germs, as well as '60s psych acts the Electric Prunes and Strawberry Alarm Clock.

- Damn the haters: The members of Vampire Weekend are not privileged or Waspy or cultural imperialists, they say! (The Vampire Weekend drinking game notwithstanding!) From a profile in the Guardian:

Koenig, however, is generous in understanding how the band have come to be perceived in the way they have. "Because we favour certain ways of dressing and don't shy away from using obscure words and we went to Columbia University, people have put all the elements together and prejudged us as privileged white kids, even using the word 'Wasp', which immediately implies privilege," he says. "Those things, juxtaposed with our interest in world music, have made it very easy for people to raise the flag of colonialism or imperialism. But the two main writers in the band are Jewish and Persian, which is a pretty broad definition of 'whiteness'. We're certainly not all fresh off the Mayflower."

Koenig has a theory that his most ardent detractors – "mostly," he guesses, "white, college-educated critics" – are just using Vampire Weekend for some easy point-scoring. "They don't often get the chance to be activists, so when they see us come along, it provides them with a brilliantly simple opportunity to be activists: 'This is an outrage! These people are exploitative!' Of course people should be on guard for exploitation, but ..." Their argument has one tiny flaw, Koenig suggests: "They're attacking a version of us that doesn't actually exist – the myth of Vampire Weekend."

Koenig, however, is generous in understanding how the band have come to be perceived in the way they have. "Because we favour certain ways of dressing and don't shy away from using obscure words and we went to Columbia University, people have put all the elements together and prejudged us as privileged white kids, even using the word 'Wasp', which immediately implies privilege," he says. "Those things, juxtaposed with our interest in world music, have made it very easy for people to raise the flag of colonialism or imperialism. But the two main writers in the band are Jewish and Persian, which is a pretty broad definition of 'whiteness'. We're certainly not all fresh off the Mayflower."
Koenig has a theory that his most ardent detractors – "mostly," he guesses, "white, college-educated critics" – are just using Vampire Weekend for some easy point-scoring. "They don't often get the chance to be activists, so when they see us come along, it provides them with a brilliantly simple opportunity to be activists: 'This is an outrage! These people are exploitative!' Of course people should be on guard for exploitation, but ..." Their argument has one tiny flaw, Koenig suggests: "They're attacking a version of us that doesn't actually exist – the myth of Vampire Weekend."

- Of Montreal added some last-minute tour dates: The trippy indie-poppers perform at the 9:30 Club on Jan. 28.

-Russell!

- Because we have yet to meet our indie-rock quota. A new Animal Collective video:

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