September 25, 2003

Crypt of Mediocrity

Print More

A lot of people who like bands with names that are permutations of the word, “deathterrorrape,” will tell you that Paul Simon “deathsucks.” What they actually mean, of course, is that Art Garfunkel sucks. This is unequivocal. Criticizing him would be like criticizing the ground: its just tiresome to try to denigrate something you trample all over every day of your life. I can’t even think of one joke that doesn’t use Garfunkel as the punch line. How many Garfunkels does it take to screw in a light bulb? Thirty. One to do nothing and twenty-nine to permanently ruin music. How is cerebral palsy similar to Garfunkel’s receding hairline? Both degenerate conditions. Whether you particularly like or dislike Simon, the fact is he’s, at the very least, the Bob Dylan of Garfunkel songs. Of course, many accusers and heretics will say, “What about Graceland, Alex? Wasn’t that a good album?” Yeah, maybe, and “this will be the century of collectivism” sounds pretty good too, until you realize Mussolini said it.

You can like Graceland for all I care, as long as you banish yourselves from civilization forever. This is a review of Songs of the Capeman, or it would’ve been if I hadn’t written 210 words already. Because this album is analytically terrible, I’ll employ the scientific method: 1) Hypothesis: Songs of the Capeman is a travesty. 2) Procedure: I will listen to the album and determine whether it’s a travesty. 3) Experiment: I listened to the album. 4) Data: It is a musical about a Puerto Rican murderer who redeems himself through education. Paul Simon sings almost every song and for every character. More Wesley Willis than Tommy in terms of schizophrenia. 5) Analysis: While there are many merely boring light bossanova songs, it can be safely determined that this album is generally a travesty. 6): Revised hypothesis: Songs of the Capeman is, basically, a travesty.

“Adios Hermanos”: Puerto Rican doo-wop combined with political lyrics, while trying to touch upon the media’s glorification of violence. Also, the lyric: “People are suffering all over the island tonight.” This, like the rest of the album, was co-written by Nobel-prize winner Derek Walcott. Thank god Camus and Saul Bellow never wrote musicals.

“Vampires”: No codes. Paul Simon says, “Oye, motherfucker, where’s this jibaro from? If you’ve got cajones, come on, v