Line Out Music & the City at Night

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Paul Simon Had Our Future Dialed in 1986

Posted by on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 9:13 AM

(Key Arena) I’ve had a big book in my head for sometime. The book concerns hit tunes that were, one, in the ’80s, and two, had a deep social or personal impact. This book is called Pop Life, the name of my top Prince tune. Another important tune in this book (parts of which are already written—such as the section of A Flock of Seagulls’ “Wishing” and Grace Jones’s “Slave to the Rhythm”) is Paul Simon’s “The Boy in the Bubble,” which is on Graceland—an album that came out in 1986, received almost nothing but praise from the music critics of its day, and, according to the local writer/philosopher Deepa Bhandaru, is being revived by the hipsters of our moment. Why is “The Boy in the Bubble” in this book that I so want to find the time to complete? Because it’s a letter sent to the humans we are now, the humans of the 21st century. The world in that tune is our world: the terrorists, the long-distance calls, the lasers in the jungle, the cameras that follow us in slow motion, and, of course, the way we look at distant constellations on the Hubble Space Telescope. Another song in Pop Life is Nona Hendryx’s “Why Should I Cry,” but that’s another story for another time. With Sting.

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!


Comments (2) RSS

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TomJohnsonJr 1
Reminds me of one of the great delights of this year so far: Little Steven's detailing just how shitty a shitheel Simon was during that period.…
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on February 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM · Report this
@1 Beat me to it. Simon indeed came off as a first-rate shitheel.
Posted by carnivorous chicken on February 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM · Report this

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