More on the Vampire Weekend tip. Read the comments to this Stereogum post. They perfectly encapsulate everything I can't stand about the current state of independent/alternative music and how it is consumed.
Stereogum: Vampire Weekend is Out: Now Counting Down to Backlash
I want to write about this more in depth later, but I approach all of this from the perspective of the older brother of someone in a band struggling to make it, and as a frustrated music fan irritated by the groupthink that leads everyone to like the same thing at the same time, and then suddenly reject it because everyone else likes it. This ever diminishing hype cycle is not only bad for fans, it's bad for bands too (arguably worse for them, since now a band like Vampire Weekend will not be able to develop and build a natural fanbase before they are thrust into the spotlight and then rejected as has-beens within months, if not already (and their debut came out just YESTERDAY!)). Jess Harvell wrote about this in Idolator with regard to the Black Kids a few months back and it's worth reading.
There are two obvious solutions to all of this. One is to recognize that the hype (and the anti-hype) (as displayed in the Stereogum comments) is confined to a tiny subset of hipsters who need to feel ahead of the curve and that most listeners are both more discerning and more loyal. The other is to check out of the process entirely-- be incredibly wary of any and all hype, and only buy albums long after the hype cycle has died down to determine if they're really worthwhile. That's what I tend to practice.
But all of this makes me nostalgic for some halcyon time when the "scene" was more organic. How did indie bands that have had varying degrees of longevity make it? I'm thinking of groups like Yo La Tengo, Guided by Voices, Pavement, Sleater-Kinney-- the quintessential "indie" bands really. Those bands all had long careers where they steadily built an audience without the blog hype-cycle or a Best New Music rating from Pitchfork. Basically, I think it's fun to get excited about new bands, but the way things are now, it's just such a pain in the ass.