My friend Chris Schafer sent me the new Vampire Weekend album, "Contra." They have been compared to Paul Simon, especially Simon's album, Graceland. I think people are mostly right to intuit that connection; but, on the other hand, I am not sure Vampired Weekend has gained the right to be compared to this landmark album.
Note, I have only head Graceland recently in the past two to three years, but I still think it must definitely be remembered among the best albums of the mid 80's.
Initially, I thought that Graceland was written as a response to the civil war in Nicaragua, but it's actually inspired by gumboots like the Boyoyo Boys and west African rhythmic signatures, as well of course, American pop folk zydeco.
"Contra" is an ample canvas, there is a lot going on. But, Simon had to muster a connective narrative thread to unite the genres he was mashing. I mean in the title track he says, "I am following the river down the highway through the cradle of the Civil War", to reach the home of Elvis, the king of rock, the messiah of the Mississippi.
I am not sure Vampire Weekend are up there yet. I expect the fun of four effing barely old-enough-to-drink Columbia U yawpers having the time of their life writing songs with titles like Horchata, etc.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.