What I've been listening to: Newer Paul Simon

I gave a presentation on Paul Simon's music Sunday at the Cooper-Siegel Library in Fox Chapel, Pa. Naturally, along with reading a lot about Simon over the last month or so, I've been listening to all his music -- from Tom and Jerry on! If you happen to have missed his last few recordings, you don't know what you're missing! In particular, I like You're the One (2000) and So Beautiful or So What (2010). 
Simon just turned 73, and he is still doing some of his best work. The music and the lyrics are beautiful and haunting, with a kind of tragicomic perspective on life that is more complex than the usual popular song, The backing tracks can be melodic, as on "Questions For the Angels" or funky, as on "Hurricane Eye," or both, as on "Darling Lorraine." Simon's method of putting down a backing track first and writing the melody and lyrics to suit, which he began in earnest on Graceland, still sounds modern and refreshingly strange.
Check his later music out. He's still crazy-good after all these years!

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