Tag Archives: Paul Simon

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


Paul Simon

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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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Song Of The Day

The Tallest Man On Earth – “Graceland”

Man, Kristian Matsson never ceases to amaze me with his distinctive voice and quality of performance. I’m not sure how else to describe it… there’s that certain something about the way he sings a song… listen to his GORGEOUS cover of this classic Paul Simon tune and I think you’ll hear what I mean.

The Tallest Man On Earth

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Song Of The Day

Paul Simon – “Rewrite”

I’m seriously stoked about the new Paul Simon album, So Beautiful Or So What, and I can’t stop listening to it. This track is probably the most playful…it’s a lot of fun musically as well as lyrically. I love that he writes a song about the writing process and some of its difficulties… I’m really just more and more convinced that he’s an absolute genius. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see him live in Boston on June 1st. Check out this tune:

Paul Simon

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NEW Music: Paul Simon

Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

I haven’t been quite this excited for an album release in a long while. Paul Simon is one of my all-time favorite artists, and after hearing the first two singles from So Beautiful Or So What, I knew this collection of songs was going to be special.

The album starts off with those two singles… “Getting Ready For Christmas Day” which is complete with samples from a 1941 sermon of the same title by Reverend J.M. Gates, and “The Afterlife” which playfully explores the nature of our pace of living and how that may affect life after death. Both of these songs have a movement to them that we aren’t used to hearing from Simon’s music…he says he experimented with certain sounds throughout this album and when it worked, it was ‘fresh’. “Dazzling Blue” is the third track and it’s by far my favorite. Even after listening to this song dozens of times, it still takes my breath away. Tabla, clay pot, and Indian vocal syllables of percussion lay down the foundation while guitar, fiddle, and vocal harmonies make this song soar. The words have a very deep impression on me… and I hope to one day include this song in my wedding ceremony.

The album then takes a fun, light turn with “Rewrite”, which touches upon the difficulties of writing in a playful manner. “Love and Hard Times” is the first tender ballad on the album, and one of many tracks that mention God. Simon says he’s not sure exactly why he keeps writing about God since he doesn’t consider himself a very religious person. The pace is picked right back up again with track #6, “Love Is Eternal Sacred Light”, and then it slows down once more with the instrumental interlude, “Amulet” and “Questions For The Angels”, which has words that really open up the mind and heart. Simon uses excerpts from a 1938 recording of “Golden Gate Gospel Train” to round off the tune, “Love & Blessings” and he finishes the album off with the title track. “So Beautiful Or So What” has a driving guitar hook, a persistent beat, and words that leave you with a strong impression.

I think Elvis Costello says it perfectly in the introduction he wrote for this album’s liner notes… “It’s a lot to add to what you’ve done when those songs are titles anyone could name but Paul’s greatest songs will find worthy, easy company here.”

Paul Simon

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Lyric Of The Week

Paul Simon – “Dazzling Blue”

The new Paul Simon album, So Beautiful Or So What, is outstanding. One song in particular really speaks to me and I’ve had it in my head since I first heard it. This song is so beautiful to me that I’m pretty set on having it featured as a part of my wedding ceremony if I have one. I’ll write more about the entire album on Tuesday when it comes out…

“Maybe love’s an accident, or destiny is true
But you and I were born beneath a star of dazzling blue
Dazzling blue

Dazzling blue, roses red, find white linen
To make a marriage bed
And we’ll build a wall that nothing can break through
And dream our dreams of dazzling blue”

Paul Simon

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Lyric Of The Week

Paul Simon – “Hearts and Bones”

I was listening to this song the other day and really heard the lyrics. Sometimes it takes dozens of listens for that to happen… other times, I notice the words of a song right away. It all depends. In this case, I was first grabbed by the melody and the instrumentation of the tune and then discovered the gorgeous lyrics. These lines in particular is so incredibly well-written:

“The arc of a love affair
His hands rolling down her hair
Love like lightning shaking till it moans
Hearts and bones”

Paul Simon

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NEW Music Preview

I’m very much looking forward to some music that’s coming out in early 2011. As always, Amos Lee sings with an abundance of  SOUL on his new single, “Windows are Rolled Down”, and I can’t wait to hear more off his forthcoming album, Mission Bell. Adele is a few years older and she’s still as fierce as ever… the followup to her debut album, 19 comes out in February and it’s fittingly called 21.  I might be most excited about the long-awaited studio album from Sam Beam and Iron & Wine titled Kiss Each Other Clean; what I’ve heard of it is amazing! And we’ll have to wait until April for the rest, but the always incredible Paul Simon has given us a taste of his forthcoming album with a single about Christmas that’s not really a Christmas song.

Check it out:

Artists featured in this NEW Music Preview:
Amos Lee
Adele
Iron & Wine
Paul Simon

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