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VW’s Koenig Covers Simon, Dylan in China + More

  • Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, who received many Graceland-era Paul Simon comparisons for their debut album, has contributed a cover of the singer-songwriter’s “Papa Hobo” to the soundtrack for upcoming movie Ceremony. Head over to Pitchfork to stream the song.

  • Bob Dylan played his first-ever concert in China Wednesday night, delivering a setlist that was pre-approved by the Communist government. According to a Reuters report, Dylan, who is largely unknown in the country, delivered two-hour set of classics like “All Along the Watchtower” and “Like a Rolling Stone” but avoided more socially-conscious material like “The Times They Are A-Changin.'”

  • The Recording Academy has scaled back on the number of Grammys it will give out each year, eliminating and combining more than 30 categories. Rock soloists and groups, and hard rock and metal bands have been combined into two categories, while artists in genres like Zydeco, Hawaiian, and Cajun will compete in one regional roots music category. [Time]

  • Coldplay, Katy Perry, Daft Punk, the Beastie Boys, and dozens of other artists on label EMI have contributed rare items for an auction to benefit victims of the earthquake in Japan. Among the collectibles: Chris Martin‘s jacket from the Viva La Vida tour, a Ferrari used by Daft Punk in their movie Electroma, signed posters by Jane’s Addiction, and the Beastie Boys‘ MTV Moonman. [eBay]

  • After being admitted to a London hospital for an undisclosed ailment this week, Bryan Ferry will return to touring on April 19. “[He] has left hospital following a 24-hour period of routine observation and tests,” his spokesperson said in a statement. “All is well.” [The Daily Mail]

  • Electro-disco group Goldfrapp will hit the studio to begin working on their follow-up to 2010’s Head First. “We have, as usual, lots of stuff in the bottom drawer which we rejected the first time around, but I expect we want to start fresh this time,” the group’s Will Gregory said. [BBC]

  • Songwriter Aimee Mann has revealed new details about her long-in-the-works musical, which is based on her 2005 concept album The Forgotten Arm. The play is inspired by Mann’s love of Broadway musicals: “I really like [that style] and party because in a musical you have to impart information in a different kind of way, because the characters are basically talking to you through the songs.” [The Washington Post]