Tag Archives: Paul Simon

Best Of ’11: Paul Simon

Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

This was the first of those 3 albums I became hooked on this year. Sadly, it was extremely overlooked, but I hardly think it matters for this legendary singer/songwriter who turned 70 this year (read my thoughts on that, HERE). Paul Simon continues to churn out some of the best songwriting I’ve ever heard on this album. The first four songs are incredibly strong, with especially “Rewrite” making a lasting impression. While there are tracks I found myself skipping over, all in all this album is one of Simon’s best of the last 2 decades.

Paul Simon

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Artist Of The Day

Paul Simon turns 70

There are some musicians that played a large part in my childhood and who sort of faded into the background as I got older. In April, Paul Simon released a gorgeous album of songs that’s one of my favorite albums of this year. This is the same artist who put out “You Can Call Me Al” in 1986, one year after I was born. The video to that song is one of my earliest memories.

I vividly remember singing “Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes” late night with friends in college. I’ll never ever forget spinning a Simon & Garfunkel album in the basement of my grandparent’s Cape house – the soundtrack to my favorite summer. I can remember the first time I REALLY listened to “A Dangling Conversation”, and how much it moved me. Paul Simon’s tunes perfectly compliment some of my favorite movies – like “The Only Living Boy In NY” in Garden State and “Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard” in The Royal Tenenbaums. I remember falling a little bit more in love with my boyfriend, the first time he played his version of “Duncan” for me. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was one of my Mom & Dad’s romantic tunes when they first got together. And lately, I’ve really been enjoying “Obvious Child” and “Late In The Evening” after finally seeing Simon and his dynamite band live at the Wang in Boston earlier this year.

70 years old today and still putting out songs that REALLY move me, Paul Simon is one of my favorite artists of all time. His music has been the soundtrack to my life.

Happy Birthday Paul!

My favorite track from the new album, “Dazzling Blue”

Paul Simon

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BLOCK MIX “2011”

I’ve been making what I call “block” mixes for my Dad for a few years now. I pick two songs from every artist I decide to include and put them one after another…hence the term “block”. It’s usually newer stuff and things I’ve been listening to non stop. I called this one “Block Mix 2011” but then realized that the Delta Spirit album came out in 2010. Oh well, I suppose it’s just what I’ve really been digging this year.

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Song Of The Day

Paul Simon – “The Obvious Child”

Love. This song. So much. Some songs really inspire…they get to a deep place within you that maybe you didn’t even know existed. Every time I hear this tune it makes me want to learn to play drums…or choreograph a dance…or write a poem! For now I’ll just listen again and again while I dance like a fool alone in the studio.

Paul Simon

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LIVE: Paul Simon


*this is art from one of the t-shirts sold at the merch table, designed by the artist Raghava

I was beyond excited to see such a legendary performer live in concert and I was not disappointed one bit. Paul Simon took the stage last night at the GORGEOUS Wang Theatre along with 8 other ridiculously talented musicians** and the show was everything I could’ve hoped for. He performed his new material and mixed in MANY of his classic tunes all with an energy that went up and down and back again. I laughed, I cried, and I won’t soon forget it.

I was delighted to hear tracks from So Beautiful Or So What, and even more thrilled that they really shined in that live setting. Early in the show was my favorite – the romantic and percussive “Dazzling Blue”.  He also played “The Afterlife”, the title track, “So Beautiful Or So What”, “Questions For the Angels”, and probably the most well received – “Rewrite”.

Now, as I mention just the other songs I remember, you’ll likely get a feeling for how FUN this show was! We were treated to “That Was Your Mother”, “Hearts and Bones”, “Diamonds On the Soles Of Her Shoes”, “Slip Slidin’ Away”, “Late In the Evening”, “Still Crazy After All These Years”, “Kodachrome”, “The Boy In The Bubble”, “Only Living Boy In New York”, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, and a cover of “Here Comes the Sun” (among others!). The song that brought tears to my eyes was his solo acoustic rendition of “The Sound Of Silence”.

Get the idea???

I guess it’s not hard for a musician with a catalogue like Simon’s to put on an enjoyable show…but it was more than the songs. The band was extremely tight, with almost every member contributing parts on several different instruments depending on the song. The lights and backdrops were just enough; not distracting – making it feel like a concert but not some wild show. And Paul Simon himself was simply a DELIGHT to watch. His stage presence, his mannerisms, his guitar work, and above all his VOICE impressed me so much. I knew it would be a good show, but I was really amazed at the caliber of performance from this nearly 70-year-old artist.

**THE BAND: Cameroonian guitarist Vincent Nguini, drummer Jim Oblon, pianist Mick Rossi, saxophonist/keyboardist Andrew Snitzer, bassist Bakithi Kumalo, guitarist Mark Stewart, master percussionist Jamey Haddad and multi-instrumentalist Tony Cedras


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Lyric Of The Week

Paul Simon – “Under African Skies”

In anticipation of seeing Paul Simon live in concert this coming Wednesday night, I’ve been listening to a lot of his music – really diving in and listening intently, with all of my attention. What’s most powerful to me, is always his words. And I’m constantly discovering more amazing songwriting as I listen again and again.

“This is the story of how we begin to remember
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm
and the roots of rhythm remain.

Paul Simon

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Lyric Of The Week

Paul Simon – “Love is Eternal Sacred Light”

By now you can tell I’m a big fan of the new Paul Simon album, and I hope you’ve gotten the chance to hear it from start to finish. The other day I was simply blown away by these lyrics…it’s just so amazing to me that out of his pen, comes this seriously powerful imagery:

“Earth becomes a farm
Farmer takes a wife
Wife becomes a river
and the giver of life
Man becomes machine
Oil runs down his face
Machine becomes a man
with a bomb in the marketplace”

Paul Simon

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