Song of the Day #701: ‘Taxi Cab’ – Vampire Weekend

I’ve avoided highlighting any songs off of Vampire Weekend’s sophomore album Contra the past few months for a rather silly reason.

I do a ‘top ten songs of the year’ countdown at the end of the year and I don’t want to burn one of these great tracks now and be unable to feature it in December.

Because I know without a doubt that something from this album will be on my list of favorite 2010 songs. It’s a wonderful piece of work.

But it’s a long time until 2011 so I might as well live in the now.

I will always associate Contra with a stint I did as a juror for a civil trial earlier this year. The album came out the day I was selected for the three-week trial and I played it non-stop each day as I traveled to and from the courthouse and on all of my lunch breaks. It was a strange time when I was completely removed from my work and spent hours and hours each day listening to dense medical testimony and hanging out with seven strangers.

This music became the soundtrack to that alien experience, in a good way. I’m always amazed by how music helps staple certain memories into your brain.

‘Taxi Cab’ is one of my favorites on Contra and would have had a great shot at that end of the year list. It’ll have to settle for June 21.

Unsentimental
Traveling around
Sure of myself
Sure of it now
But you were standing there so close to me
Like the future was supposed to be
In the aisles of the grocery
And the blocks uptown

I remember
Remember well
But if I’d forgotten
Could you tell?

In the shadow of your first attack
I was questioning and looking back
You said, “Baby we don’t speak of that”
Like a real aristocrat

Compound to compound
Lazy and safe
Wanted to leave it
Wanted to wait
When the Taxi door was open wide
I pretended I was horrified
By the uniform and gloves outside
Of the courtyard gate

You’re not a victim
But neither am I
Nostalgic for garbage
Desperate for time
I could blame it on your mother’s hair
Or the colors that your father wears
But I know that I was never fair
You were always fine

Unsentimental
Traveling around
Sure of myself
Sure of it now
But you were standing there so close to me
Like the future was supposed to be
In the aisles of the grocery
And the blocks uptown

I remember
Remember it well
But if I’d forgotten
Could you tell?

In the shadow of your first attack
I was questioning and looking back
You were standing on another track
Like a real aristocrat

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #701: ‘Taxi Cab’ – Vampire Weekend

  1. Amy says:

    Odd that this is the first thing that occured to me, but… don’t the lyrics look like a person? A strangely shaped person, but a person nonetheless – see the hat he’s wearing 🙂

    I have only heard this album a couple of times, but this one did not jump out at me during those first listens (is that a word? sounds odd)

    It’s not that I don’t like it, but it doesn’t feature the VW sound I came to love on the first album. So I’m glad you chose to feature it today as I’m sure there will be a more worthy selection from this album to feature in January!

  2. Dana says:

    Interesting song, but I agree with Amy that it departs from the sound I associate with this band. It’s a bit more euro-techno for my taste, a bit Morrisey like, which is probably what draws you to it.

    As for Amy’s vision of a top hatted man in the lyrics, well, all I can say is that she clearly needs to stop putting vodka in her morning coffee.:)

  3. Alex says:

    As you know, I really hate this band. I was hoping you’d show me something that didn’t make me hate their annoying carnival sound. It wasn’t this song. This isn’t as annoying, but boy is it boring. I’m surprised you didn’t doze off and drive off the road.

  4. Amy says:

    Carnival sound?!

    I want to go to that carnival!

  5. Clay says:

    The sound of VW that I love best actually isn’t the African stuff (though I certainly like that too) but the piano-and-strings sound exhibited in this SOTD and in M79, my top song of 2008.

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