All right, before we move any further: Ryman Simon is, in fact, sold out, but Craigslist has something to say about that. Anyhow, Graceland probably ranks among my five favorite albums of all time, so below is a pick I wrote about the feelings Paul Simon gives me. Behold the dichotomy!
Sure, there are the claims that Paul Simon failed to credit musicians like Los Lobos for their contributions to Graceland — and claims that he appropriated a lot of the stuff from African musicians anyhow. And there are the rumors of bad blood between Simon and his beloved onetime counterpart, Art Garfunkel. But for all the “hints and allegations,” nothing changes just how affecting Graceland or Simon’s self-titled 1972 release were upon first listening — or upon subsequent listens, for that matter. Nothing changes the fact that — to every aimless, listless young man who’s ever heard it — “Duncan” feels like it was written just for him. Nothing changes the fact that “Me and Julio Down by the School Yard” is somehow equally carefree and incredibly troubling, or the fact that Simon penned one of the most transcendent and universally accessible lyrics of all time: “Losing love is like a window in your heart / Everybody sees you’re blown apart / Everybody sees the wind blow.” It’s enough to give you chills every time, isn’t it? Now just think about how it will feel to hear it live.