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Friday, March 28, 2008

Paul Is Not Dead

posted by on March 28 at 15:41 PM

As the New York Times reports today, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is about to start a month-long tribute to Paul Simon, who has been considered kitschy and uncool ever since I fell hard for his songs as a teenager but is now, like, totally cool again—in part because of, well, you know.

Abandon isnít part of Mr. Simonís palette; heís terse, controlled, more than a little uptight. His music is for listeners who appreciate the crafty details nearly as much as he does. He has always been the smart, bourgeois, fussy wimp who makes some self-styled rockers want to kick sand in his face. But his approach keeps resurfacing, lately via this yearís New York rock success story, Vampire Weekend, whose debut album leaped from indie-rock blogs to the Top 20, drawing on Mr. Simonís vocabulary of collegiate allusions, bouncy rhythms and African-tinged guitar licks.

Jon Pareles’s whole piece—which takes wide view of Simon’s career—is here.

(Cf. Charles Mudede’s contentious essay on Vampire Weeken; Grandy’s review of their show Wednesday night; and Sean Nelson’s column about a 1981 Simon & Garfunkel concert released on DVD in 2003.)

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