Tag Archives: Paul Simon

SONG: Paul Simon

“Train in the Distance” [acoustic version]

Wow. Earlier I was literally paralyzed by the beauty of this track. So much so that I missed a phone call (which I’m guessing was a listener calling to inform me of the sad news that Phil Everly has passed).

This is another cut from the Paul Simon Complete Album Collection that came out this year (and includes dozens of bonus tracks). I think the absolute artistry of Paul Simon’s songwriting just completely takes a hold of me when I can hear it so starkly with just a guitar.

I think this became one of my all-time favorite songs tonight.

Paul Simon

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Filed under Check it out, Song Of The Day

LYRICS: Paul Simon

“I Am A Rock” [alternate version]

I’ve heard this song SO MANY times before, but recently I heard this particular version from the Paul Simon Songbook (1965) and I was deeply moved. Here it’s just Paul and his guitar…and stripped down this way, every word cuts through me. It’s so brilliantly written. And at this particular time in my life, it’s really resonating with me.

Part of what this song means to me right now plays on the fact that I’m living on an island, heading into another winter. It’s an easy time to build up walls and pull away from people. I’m happy to report that I’m leaving the island today for a two week vacation that will have me in four different US cities visiting with some dear friends. I’m very glad to put off my inevitable hibernation for a little while longer.

“A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow

I am a rock
I am an island

I’ve built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain

I am a rock
I am an island

Talk of love
Well I’ve heard the word before
It’s sleeping in my memory
And I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried

I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me

I am a rock
I am an island

And a rock can feel no pain
And an island never cries”

Paul Simon

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Filed under Lyric Of The Week, Song Of The Day

PLAYLIST: Dinner Guests

It’s always fun for me to decide what music to play while entertaining guests…and it’s especially nice when someone compliments the choices. I felt like this particular list went over very well and created a perfect mood for dinner with friends.

(We listened to the full albums, but the playlist below is a song from each so you can get a taste!)

Paul Simon – Graceland
Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts
Rodriguez – Searching for Sugar Man Soundtrack
Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way

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Filed under Audio Blog, Check it out, Playlists

LYRICS: Paul Simon

“The Afterlife”

These words really hit me hard when I heard them this morning…

“and you feel like you’re swimming in an ocean of love
and the current is strong
but all that remains when you try to explain
is a fragment of song”

Paul Simon

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Lyric Of The Week

Paul Simon – “So Beatiful Or So What”

I can’t say this is my favorite sounding track on Paul Simon’s latest album, but it does have a killer message. These words have been coming up in my mind a lot lately…’so beautiful or so what’ really seems like a helpful mantra for when you start to search for those questions in life that just can’t be answered.

“I’m going to tell my kids a bedtime story
A play without a plot
Will it have a happy ending?
Maybe yeah, maybe not
I tell them life is what you make of it
So beautiful or so what

Paul Simon

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Under African Skies

Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey 

Tonight I saw a wonderful documentary about Paul Simon’s album, Graceland and the concert he put on with the original recording band to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary. It discussed the controversy surrounding the recording of the album and the subsequent tour (during both, South African musicians were breaking the ANC’s cultural boycott during the apartheid).

While discussing all of this, the documentary really clearly spoke to the universal power of music, and by showing clips of the original recording sessions, it breathed a whole new life into Graceland. I feel like I’ll forever listen to the songs with new ears. A true must-see for any Paul Simon fan.

Under African Skies
Paul Simon 

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My Favorite Albums Of 2011

1. (TIE)  Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues / Feist – Metals
I’ve mulled over this for a long time and there’s simply NO WAY for me to choose one of these albums over the other. In my opinion, these two stand far apart from the rest. Early in the year, I was blown away by Helplessness Blues, an album that really resonated with ME in this year of my life. Then, in October, Metals came out and I wasn’t really sure what to make of it at first. But the more I listened, the more it felt like my eyes were opening to a universally brilliant piece of art. I guess I could say that Helplessness Blues might be my FAVORITE of the year, while Metals is the BEST.

3. Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

4. Adele – 21

5. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

6. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

7. Tedeschi Trucks Band – Revelator

8. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger

9. Wilco – The Whole Love

10. Amos Lee – Mission Bell

11. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
12. Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
13. Beirut – The Rip Tide
14. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
15. Middle Brother – Middle Brother
16. The Head and the Heart – The Head and the Heart
17. Florence and the Machine – Ceremonials
18. Alex Ebert – Alexander
19. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
20. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
21. The Strokes – Angles
22. Peter Bjorn & John – Gimme Some
23. Robbie Robertson – How To Become Clairvoyant
24. Chris Thile & Michael Daves – Sleep With One Eye Open
25. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs

Happy New Year!

-pH

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Filed under Best Of '11