A-Punk

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"A-Punk"
Single by Vampire Weekend
from the album Vampire Weekend
Released February 28, 2008 (2008-02-28)
October 27, 2008 (2008-10-27) (Re-Release)
Recorded 2007
Genre Indie rock, surf rock
Length 2:17
Label XL
Writer(s) Ezra Koenig / Vampire Weekend
Producer(s) Rostam Batmanglij
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Vampire Weekend singles chronology
"Mansard Roof"
(2007)
"A-Punk"
(2008)
"Oxford Comma"
(2008)
Vampire Weekend track listing
  1. "Mansard Roof"
  2. "Oxford Comma"
  3. "A-Punk"
  4. "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"
  5. "M79"
  6. "Campus"
  7. "Bryn"
  8. "One (Blake's Got a New Face)"
  9. "I Stand Corrected"
  10. "Walcott"
  11. "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance"

"A-Punk" is a single by indie rock band Vampire Weekend, released on February 28, 2008 as the second single from their 2008 self-titled debut album. The band made their network television debut by performing "A-Punk" on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Critical reception[edit]

Mark Richardson of Pitchfork Media described "A-Punk" as having a "spunky drive, pogo-inducing rhythm, and subtle but hugely effective sonic accents" and said that "while solid, [it] isn't one of the stronger songs on Vampire Weekend".[1] Drowned in Sound writer Alex Denney, commented that "A-Punk" was not the best song from their debut album due to it being "a little too uptempo to let their disarmingly clever melodies breathe", but stated "for the flute-aping synths and bottled-sunshine guitars alone you need this in your life."[2] The review from Greg Rose of Gigwise, was mixed. Rose said that although the song lacked originality, it "manages to sound unique" due to the lyrical inventiveness of lines by Ezra Koenig such as, "His honor drove southward seeking exotica/cut his teeth on turquoise harmonicas", which were described as being "perky" and gave the song "a buzzing zip."[3] Prefix magazine writer, Jeff Klingman, said the song's "cool organ breeze and a shifting drum beat save the day", preventing "too much snark from being slung at their New York Times featured, digitally distributed exclusively by Other Music, Columbia University, golden boy asses."[4] In reference to "A-Punk", The Times writer Ben Blackmore, said, "Do believe the hype."[5]

In October 2011, NME placed it at number 62 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song peaked at #55 on the UK Singles Chart and #25 on Billboard magazine's Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.[7][8] The single also reached #6 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. Though it never reached the Billboard Hot 100, the single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in July 2013, making it the band's first gold single.[9]

On the 27th October 2008, Vampire Weekend re-released "A-Punk" in the UK, in the hope of achieving a higher Chart placement on the UK Singles Chart. However, "A-Punk" only managed to peak at #63, which was significantly less than the placement at #55 earlier that year.

Music video[edit]

The music video directed by Garth Jennings, that was said to convey the song's "spiky energy," used footage of the band performing as sped up stop-motion figures, simulating winter and underwater scenes during the performance. Despite the band being sped up, they "never miss an upstroke beat."[1] The video made its worldwide premiere on January 7, 2008 on MTV2's Subterranean indie video block.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "A-Punk"
  2. "Oxford Comma" (Rehearsal version)

Personnel[edit]

  • Ezra Koenig - lead vocals, guitar
  • Rostam Batmanglij - Chamberlin, backing vocals
  • Chris Tomson - drums, guitar
  • Chris Baio - bass

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008–11) Peak
position
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[10] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 55
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[12] 25
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[13] 6
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[14] 91

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[15] Gold

Use in other media[edit]

The song is featured in the video games Lego Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5,[16] Just Dance 2, SingStar Guitar, the 2008 film Step Brothers, and the UK television shows The Inbetweeners and The Wrong Door.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (2008-01-07). "Video: Vampire Weekend: "A-Punk"". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  2. ^ Denney, Alex. "Vampire Weekend: A-Punk". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  3. ^ Rose, Greg (2008-02-14). "Vampire Weekend - 'A-Punk'". Gigwise. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  4. ^ Klingman, Jeff (2007-06-27). "Track Review: Vampire Weekend "A-Punk"". Prefix magazine. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  5. ^ Blackmore, Ben (2008-02-26). "A-Punk by Vampire weekend". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  6. ^ 150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years | NME.COM
  7. ^ "A-Punk - UK chart position". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  8. ^ "A-Punk - Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart position". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  9. ^ "RIAA certification of "A-Punk"". Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Indie Chart. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Vampire Weekend" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "Vampire Weekend Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Vampire Weekend. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  13. ^ "Vampire Weekend Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Vampire Weekend. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  14. ^ "Vampire Weekend Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  15. ^ "American single certifications – Vampire Weekend – A-Punk". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  16. ^ "Guitar Hero® GH5". Hub.guitarhero.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 

External links[edit]