Paul Simon: Surprise

Paul Simon’s new album, Surprise, hits Australian stores on May 13. You can preview four tracks on his official website right now.

The album is a collaboration with the legendary Brian Eno (you know, he made the Microsoft sound). And, as the title suggests, the four tracks are a lot better than I expected. His last album, You’re The One, was a low key, one colour, acoustic affair. Listen to the electric buzz on the first track on the new one, How Can You Live In the Norhwest?, and Simon sounds not only modern but heck, maybe even relevant.

The world music voices hit on Wartime Prayers, but even then the song is full of dynamics and power (if not so much emotion – Simon is still the master of detachment. He is a rock, you know). And there is a bright shiny eighties guitar on Fathers And Daughters (courtesy of Bill Frisell?) but it’s a sweet, sweet song.

Paul Simon is pretty much the pinnacle of a certain age of artists. So many times you read that so-and-so’s album is their Graceland, that mid life masterpiece that appeals to people everywhere. And he’s made more money than most people and doesn’t need to do anymore. But it’s good to see him come out of the woodwork and try to add another album to an already great and brave catalogue.

Oh and I’m sorry the album cover really sucks.

SITE: Paul Simon’s official site
– featuring streams of 4 songs from Surprise
SITE: Some German online shop that has samples of all songs

Spirits In the Ceiling

Summer’s in the evening, talking to whoever’s around
Spirits in the ceiling, feelings in my stomach drowns

Country’s come a-crumbling with a stunning sound of bass

Good men do nothing vs. withdrawl in apathy
Life is in the living and don’t you wanna live with me?

Weezer: Rivers interview in The Crimson

The Crimson, a Harvard publication, has published an interview with it’s most distinguished modern rock star – the newly engaged Rivers Cuomo of Weezer.

It’s a revealing interview – the interviewer really confronts Rivers on his more eccentric aspects. His attraction to Asian/Japanese girls. Personal dramas around Pinkerton. The drop in the quality of his work in the last few albums. And Rivers, to his credit, gives each question a proper answer. No Damon Albarn style “we’re not going to be talking about that.”

I’m really loving Make Believe of late. They just make me so happy with their sound. And as Rivers says, he’s once again touching on the personal on this album. Pinkerton, as great as it was, looks like a one off detour into the hyper-personal. And it’s been co-opted by every emo fucker with eyeliner anyway. But songs like Perfect Situation and Peace are some of their best work. Listen to that last little bit of Peace where Rivers sings on his own. It’s out of this world.

Also recently, I’ve been listening to a CD of Weezer b-sides, most of which taken from the site Lots of great Weezer arities and a whole new world of obsession, if you’re into that kind of stuff.

SITE: The Crimson Interview w/Rivers Cuomo
SITE: Weezer official site

MP3: Weezer – Peace
– from the album Make Believe (Geffen, 2005)
MP3: Weezer – Mykel & Carli
– b-side of the single Undone (Geffen, 1994)

History is history

I think Bob Ellis said it best
You’re just a witness who knew me when
You don’t know me now, you can’t testify
If you saw me now, looked me in the eye
Cos we’re not the same after all these years
There’s an echo here but the sounds not clear
I’ll take a scorched earth policy
Because history is history

Neil Young: Heart Of Gold/Living With War

Neil Young: Heart Of Gold finally gets a cinema release in Australia on May 11th. Also, Young’s new album, Living With War, is now streaming from his official site, Neil’s Garage.

…and this blog is quickly turning into the “Comic Reel Wrap” column at Comic Book Resources. All I seem to talk about are films and DVDs. Still, Jonathan Demme’s little movie about Neil Young, and his concerts last year at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, is finally getting a release. Word is the Australian distributors wanted to go straight to DVD. In this day and age, I almost wouldn’t mind. Let’s face it, I’m going to buy this DVD when it comes out anyway.

It’s a busy year for Neil. His new album, Living With War, is streaming from his official site and is out digitally in a couple of days (US time) and the CD version not long after (though no Australian date has been set). You can find more info at Neil Young News but basically it’s a hastily written and recorded attack on conservative America. And it’s FAR BETTER than I imagined.

And hopefully the year will wrap up with the long awaited, 8 DVD Archives set. Oh let it be yes.

SITE: Heart Of Gold @
SITE: Neil’s Garage
SITE: Neil Young News