In this edition: Graceland turns 25, consider new offerings from Prinzhorn Dance School and Royal Headache, and this week’s videos.
Paul Simon’s Graceland turns 25
For anyone who was around when Graceland was released, the first reaction to this news is: where did the time go? Middle-age crisis aside, the anniversary marks an important event in modern rock history, and Sony Legacy is commemorating this occasion by offering several versions of the album (Box Set, Vinyl, CD and more) on June 5. Set for release on blu-ray disc is the documentary, “Under African Skies,” which provides special interviews and insight into the creation and lasting influence of Graceland.
As a preview to these releases, Paul Simon has authorized the release of “The Story of Graceland,” a 7 minute preview of what’s to come on “Under African Skies” as well as a reminder of what many people loved about this landmark album.
Watch: “The Story of Graceland”
Graceland kicked open the doors of world music to a generation of audiophiles. Just as early new wave and punk bands embraced Reggae and Ska, Simon’s interest in South African music transformed modern rock. From Graceland, one can trace a direct lineage to artists like Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors. To a lesser extent, Simon’s bold move can also be tied to current innovator, Beirut, whose explorations of western and eastern European music has again expanded the reach of modern rock.
Music improves and reaches further through innovation, integration, and the willingness to take a chance. Graceland should be celebrated for these merits.
Prinzhorn Dance School – “I Want You”
from Clay Class
Prinzhorn Dance School is Suzi Horn and Tobin Prinz of Portsmouth, England. Clay Class is the duo’s second album. “I Want You” is a delicious bit of minimalist pop. Its simple song construction and boy-girl harmonies emotes sad, tender, simple yearning. See the video for “Happy In Bits” below in Videos…
“Psychotic Episode” and “Girls”
from self-titled debut
out May 8
The Sydney four-piece delivers precise, punchy punk on this track. “Psychotic Episode” describes the emotional hell following a break up with speeding drums, railing guitars, and throat-cracking vocals. “Girls” revives a familiar theme in music, preoccupation with the fairer sex. It’s pure adrenaline. Royal Headache is a lot of fun.
Blogophilia 36 up! – In case you missed it, March’s monthly mix was released earlier this week. The 22 track compilation contains promotional mp3s from Baobab,Beach House, Bear in Heaven, Dan Buoy, Daniel Rossen, Dare Dukes, Dr. Dog, Father John Misty, Gentleman Jesse, Hoots and Hellmouth, Howth, Hundred Visions, James Apollo, Long Distance Runners, Mark Lanegan Band, Orpheum Bell, Scout, She Makes War, The Danvilles, The Felice Brothers, and Tyburn Saints. Download it here.
Videos, videos, videos…
The Cast of Cheers – “Animals”
Delorentos – “Bullet in a Gun” (acoustic)
Plants and Animals – “The End of That”
Prinzhorn Dance School – “Happy in Bits”
Satellite Stories – “Anti Lover”
Yellow Ostrich – “Marathon Runner”