Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Paul Simon - Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes (Live in New York, 2011)
You can’t help but let the uplifting vocal and instrumental expressions of this song pick you up and carry you away on a foot tapping frenzy. Written twenty-five years ago, this song still gets people of all ages dancing as was proven at the Paul Simon concert held last week in Melbourne.
Paul Simon has been a powerful force in influencing modern music today. Bands such as Vampire Weekend have drawn inspiration from the groundbreaking 1988 album Graceland, from which Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes appears. The album is noted for its African musical influences and genre-defying upbeat vibe.
Vampire Weekend received a lot of backlash by fans of Paul Simon’s solo work for ‘lifting’ similar influences, such as afrobeat and eastern African folk music in the wake of their 2008 breakthrough album. However Paul Simon defended the group.
‘I felt bad. I wanted to go and tell them that I didn’t think they were taking anything. So that’s what I told them. They said, “Do you think we are?” and I said, “No, I think you’re going to the same sources that I went to. You’re drawing from the same well. You’re trying to write interesting songs.” In a way, we were on the same pursuit, but I don’t think you’re lifting from me, and anyway, you’re welcome to it, because everybody’s lifting all the time. That’s the way music grows and is shaped.’
The 71 year old is still an excellent performer and musicians continue benefiting from his illustrious 50+ year musical career.
Vampire Weekend are due to release their third album in May this year.
Local Natives - Cecilia (Live Cover)
The Local Natives dominated my iPod for a considerable amount of time in early 2010 when I heard their debut album Gorilla Manor. After I’d memorised the LP, I went hunting through the band’s back catalogue (mainly finding music released under the band’s previous name Cavil at Rest) and during this hunt I came across a terrific rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s song ‘Cecilia.’
The band’s harmonising skills are one of their strengths and the simple arrangement is instantly enjoyable on ‘Cecilia.’ Most of the natives play percussion on this number - you can watch them perform this on Youtube (poorer audio) and see one member actually play a tree with drumsticks! Classic!
I can attest to the strength of their live performance, as I caught a show in early 2011, so if they are ever performing at a venue near you, I implore you — buy tickets!
The band are releasing their new album soon, though no release date has been set. For now, enjoy ‘Cecilia.’
Simon & Garfunkel - A Poem On The Underground Wall (Live)
I was listening to my iTunes collection on random and this song came on.
From what I gather, A Poem On The Underground Wall is about a graffiti artist who defiles an advertisement. But the story itself is not as important as the way it is told.
The pacing and tight structure in this song compliment Simon & Garfunkel’s music perfectly.
And as if that were not enough, Garfunkel’s ‘fro is also well worthy of admiration. I’m sure you’d agree.
Click here for an mp3.
The last train is nearly due,
The underground is closing soon,
And in the dark deserted station,
Restless in anticipation,
A man waits in the shadows.
His restless eyes leap and scratch,
At all that they can touch or catch,
And hidden deep within his pocket,
Safe within it’s silent socket,
He holds a colored crayon.
Now from the tunnel’s stony womb,
The carriage rides to meet the groom,
And opens wide and welcome doors,
But he hesitates, then withdraws
Deeper in the shadows.
And the train is gone suddenly
On wheels clicking silently
Like a gently tapping litany,
And he holds his crayon rosary
Tighter in his hand.
Now from his pocket quick he flashes,
The crayon on the wall he slashes,
Deep upon the advertising,
A single worded poem comprised
Of four letters.
And his heart is laughing, screaming, pounding
The poem across the tracks rebounding
Shadowed by the exit light
His legs take their ascending flight
To seek the breast of darkness and be suckled by the night.