Thursday, January 10, 2013

We're Bouncing Into Graceland

Last weekend the local public television station (okay, it could have been on all of them, I don't know), aired a documentary about Paul Simon's album Graceland.

AMAZING.  I've always loved the album (I remember hearing it when I was growing up) and I already own it, but I didn't know exactly how groundbreaking and controversial it was until I was watching the documentary.  There was a cultural embargo, a boycott, bomb threats, racial tension, fighting over writing credits, and protests.  This sucker has HISTORY.  I even had to go do some research on The Apartheid in South Africa because that was a big part of the story.

And then there is the music.  Which has been playing nonstop in my car and in my head for the past 3 days.  The lyrics sort of hit you between the eyes with how clean and evocative they are, and the instrumental part is genius.  I hear each layer differently every time I hear the album, from the African influence to the Zydeco beats to the incredible a capella vocals of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. 

So I'm never going to claim to be up on music or something, and clearly I am way behind (Graceland is on a ridiculous number of top 25 album lists.) But it is really cool to listen to something that is 25 years old and still sounds as fresh and dynamic as it did when it was released.

If you have listened to Graceland in a while, I think you should go check it out.

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