Tag Archives: Paul Simon

June Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Jun

JUNE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE

peace..love.understanding.june2016.2

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

ALI: THE GREATEST LOVE

Ali.redgloves.june2016

When I was a kid, my father took me to the simulcasts of Ali’s big fights at our local movie house, the Symphony on Broadway … As beautiful a boxer as Muhammad Ali was, floating on air and dancing on the lightest of footfalls, his bigger than life generous spirit was the thing I loved about him … I have a bookshelf dedicated to him. Many great books about him. But David Remnick’s King of the Word is must-read Ali. And any documentary about him is worth seeing. But When We Were Kings (1996) is must-see Ali.

Ali.IWishPeopleLove.june2016

I remember being in tears as I made my way through each exhibit and video at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. I cherish every moment I spent there with him … He has always been my hero. I will miss him and be thankful for him and to him forever.

FROM GRACELAND TO NOW

PaulSimon.StrangerToStranger.june2016

“If you don’t do it, who will write a Paul Simon song?” asked Philip Glass on the topic of Simon’s retiring … Although it’s been 30 years since Graceland, the sounds he created in that monumental work are updated to reflect the present time in his new album, Stranger to Stranger …. We sorely and surely need all the Paul Simon songs we can get. Just as the title track reassures us:

Still believing
That love endures
All the carnage
And the useless detours

Oh I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, love you, love you …

Words and melody
Easy harmony
Words and melody

HEY HO! LET’S GO … TO A MUSEUM!

Ramones.june2016

Hey Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Tommy Ramone, you are in a museum! For real! … In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Ramones’ self-titled debut album, Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk is an exhibit at the Queens Museum until July 31. It shows the Ramones from their roots in Queens to Manhattan’s CBGB’s, where their fun brand of punk rock was manifest … “Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane, Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane.” Then take a plane to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 16 where, through March 2017, the band is seen in the larger context of music history and pop culture … Cheers to you, Joey, my Joey, I sure do miss talking to you.

NOW SERVING BREAKFAST!

SupertrampCover.june2016

That’s Kate Murtagh. We know her as the Supertramp waitress who is 95 now (she was 90 in this pic). Retired from acting, she is a resident at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital and takes improv classes … Roger Hodgson wrote the classic title track, Breakfast in America. “Never could I have imagined when I wrote this song at age 19 that it would be gaining in popularity, if that is even possible over 40 years later. It’s the playful, fun, jubilant quality that people love to hear and sing along to.”

MEAT LOAF: RECIPE FOR STAYING POWER

MeatLoaf.Album.june2016

Meat Loaf collapsed onstage during a performance at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada. A scary moment, it was due to severe dehydration and according to his Facebook page, he has recovered. Good news for sure … But wait, there’s more good news! Meat will release Braver Than We Are, his long-awaited reunion with songwriter Jim Steinman on September 16. The first single, Going All the Way, is another majestic-rock epic that features vocals by Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito, Meat’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light partners … “My songs are anthems to those moments when you feel like you’re on the head of a match that’s burning…they’re anthems to the essence of rock and roll…the fury, the melody and the passion.” (Jim Steinman)

DOG NEWS

Dog.GracieComfortDogOrlando.june2016-2

Bringing comfort to OrlandoGracie, from Davenport, Iowa, is one of the specially trained Comfort Dogs sent to Orlando, FL to help the victims, their families, and the community deal with the tragedy. Joining Gracie was Phoebe from Texas, Kye from Illinois, Sasha from South Carolina, Barnabas from Indiana, Katie, a Comfort-Dog-in-Training based in Nebraska, and Jewel from Tennessee. Brave, sweet, and loving, champion comforters all.

DogNews.2.911DogDiesBrittany.june2016

What a good girl. There were 300 or so search dogs working at Ground Zero, using their mighty noses to try to find survivors. Sadly, the last of these brave dogs died at age 16. Bretagne, pronounced Brittany, a happy golden retriever, lived an adventure-packed life until the end. In addition to 9/11, she was also deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

DogNews.3.VanityFairCover.june2016

Check out the cover of Vanity Fair honoring Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday. Seems she was upstaged by her four dogs, two Corgis and two Dorgis (Dachshund and Corgi mix). Annie Leibovitz shot the pic starring Holly, Willow, Vulcan, and Candy. And, oh yeah, the Queen.

DogNews.Pumi.june2016

Intelligent and whimsical. That’s the Pumi, a high-energy Hungarian herding dog and the latest new breed recognized by the AKC, its 190th breed headed to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club. Cute, huh?

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AliCenter.june2016

The Muhammad Ali Center promotes respect, hope, and understanding, and encourages everyone everywhere to be as great as they can be. Your donation will help them continue to preserve and share Ali’s legacy and values.

WeCanHelp.AnimalShelter.catdog.june2016

There are more than 13,000 animal shelters across the US and combined they take in nearly 8 million cats and dogs per year. You can help your local animal shelter by donating: animal beds and blankets, dog and cat toys, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, toys, crates and carriers, cat litter and boxes, leashes and collars, medical supplies, and your time and monetary donation.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Ali.gloves.june2016

Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer

Toward the end of his concert at The Greek Theater on June 3, Paul Simon strummed chords to The Boxer and announced, “I’m sorry to tell you this way, but Muhammad Ali has passed away.” And then he sang the final verse:

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
‘I am leaving, I am leaving.’
But the fighter still remains

Who rescued whom?

Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016

At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Peace, Love painting: United Nations Art for Peace Contest 2012, entrant (not winner) Armaan, a 7 year-old from Canada.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding lyrics: Nicholas Orain Lowe ©Universal Music Publishing Group, Plangent Visions Music, Inc.
I Wanna Be Sedated lyrics: Dee Dee Ramone, Douglas Colvin, Jeffrey Hyman, Joey Ramone, John (Ramone) Cummings, Johnny Ramone ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Roger Hodgson quote: RogerHodgson.com
Stranger to Stranger lyrics: ©2016 Words and Music by Paul Simon/paulsimon.com
Jim Steinman quote: 1978 Rolling Stone profile of Meat Loaf
Gracie the Comfort Dog pic: Gracie Comfort Dog Facebook Page
9/11 Dog Bretagne pic: Denise Corliss
The Boxer lyrics: Paul Simon ©Universal Music Publishing Group

March Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Mar

MIGHTY MARCH

A new album by Johnny Cash is worth celebrating. Out Among The Stars (Columbia/Legacy) was supposed to come out in theJohnnyCash.March2014 mid-1980s but was shelved … Make your way down to the Motown: The Truth Is a Hit exhibit at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Tracing the history of black music with the story of Motown Records, we learn how Motown became the powerhouse of the music we love. There through July 26 … Also at the Schomburg is the 21st Century Women’s Jazz Festival overseen by Toshi Reagon and featuring Meshell Ndegeocello … Surprised and sad to learn that the San Diego Opera, the 10th largest opera company in the US, plans to close. Citing a tough fundraising environment and weak ticket sales, yet another reminder of the challenge to fund arts programs … Only ten Stradivari violas exist and one is heading to auction for $45 million, making it the most expensive instrument in the world. A Sotheby’s VP explains, “Musical instruments and string instruments are quite different from selling other things, because they need to be played.” Hear, hear … Another sale to note are the 270 acoustic vintage guitars, some from the early 1900s, at Guernsey’s on April 2 anitique guitarand 3 … The incomparable voice of k.d. lang on Broadway in After Midnight … The Allman Brothers annual Beacon concerts got off to a rousing and sentimental start owing to the announcement that two beloved members would be leaving and that the band would stop its regular touring after this year. After Gregg Allman came down with bronchitis, the band postponed their last four dates. Sometimes I feel, Like I’ve been tied, To the whipping post … To celebrate Spinal Tap’s 30th anniversary, AMC is streaming a special version of the film for free viewing through April 11. Don’t forget to crank it up to 11 … 92Y Soul Jazz Festival featured Esperanza Spalding … The NY Philharmonic reprised Sweeney Todd in concert. This time director Lonny Price had Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson in the ghoulishly delicious main roles … Also at the NY Phil, the Orchestra played back-up for Mary Chapin Carpenter, who brought along Shawn Colvin and Joan Baez … Paul Simon and Sting together on tour, made a stop at Madison Square Garden, where Sting, before he sang Simon’s America, said of Simon, “If you wanted to become a literate and literary songwriter, there is the template.” … The ever evolving, ever dynamite Nona Hendryx at Joe’s Pub … And the Oscar for Best Documentary film went to 20 Feet From Stardom, where one of its stars, Darlene Love (love her!) delivered the best thank you speech ever – in song with gratitude and grace.

GIMME A KISS

I wanna rock ‘n’ roll all night. And party every day … Call it the KISS trifecta … They will be inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall KISS.RollingStoneCover.March2014of Fame in April … They are the face of John Varvatos’ spring ad campaign, which was inspired by their album, Dressed to Kill. Wearing Varvatos suits and their famous faces, natch … Oh and by the way, did you know that the John Varvatos Bowery Store was originally the home of CBGB’s? …

And KISS is finally on the cover of Rolling Stone … Can it get any better for these guys who’ve just been at it forever and deserve it all? Mentsches they are … As Paul Stanley says, “…I’m dead serious. With all guns loaded. And a six-string guitar that can kill.”

SOME LEARNIN’

Interested in journalism and how we get our news? Check out the NYU Center for Global Daily_News.March2014.redAffairs’ new lecture series, Newsmakers: Perspectives in Global Media. The creator and host is Alexis Gelber, a longtime top editor and director of special projects at Newsweek. Alexis talks to international journalists about their use of new social media and non-traditional media to source, cover, and spread their stories. What has changed? And do these changes affect the outcome and our perspective? Alexis gets to the heart of it and breaks it down for us. Check it out.

WE CAN HELP

WQXR.March2014We know that music changes lives, saves lives. How great it is to help students by giving them instruments. Between now and April 7, donate your gently used musical instrument to the WQXR Musical Instrument Drive. Working with Sam Ash Music Stores and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, WQXR will repair the instruments and distribute them to music programs in NYC Public Schools. Drop off points are in NYC, NJ, Westchester and Long Island. A NYC Public School student myself, I know firsthand what it means to be handed an instrument that can change a life, can save a life. It did mine.

Motown.TheFourTops.March2014Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Four Tops’ I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)

C’mon, sing along with Levi and the guys:
Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can’t help myself
I love you and nobody else

 

 Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Strad quote: NY Times, March 26, 2014
Whipping Post lyrics: Unichappell Music Inc.
Paul Stanley quote: Official John Varvatos Spring/Summer 2014 campaign video
The Four Tops lyrics: Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., EMI Music Publishing

February Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Feb

FAB FEBRUARY

Downton Abbey’s Season 4 was surely enlightening, thrilling, and quite satisfying. Now we wait a year to learn who DowntonAbbey.2.27.14Lady Mary chooses and how Carson and Mrs. Hughes liked the water … Johnny’s daughter, Roseanne Cash, released The River & the Thread, a meditation on folk and country by way of a southern state of mind. And she performed her dad’s songs on his signature Martin guitars at the Metropolitan Museum, tied in with the exhibit on Martin’s early guitars … Carnegie Hall presented the first Isaac Stern Memorial Concert with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax playing Brahms … Hope you got to hear Dianne Reeves at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her voice, her poise – she is one in a million. On Beautiful Life, she sings Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye … The NY Philharmonic celebrated the Chinese New Year with Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; and The BanquetThe Apollo turned 80 and celebrated with Doug E. Fresh hosting their famous Amateur NightLadysmith Black Mambazo, you know, from Paul Simon’s Graceland, well, they brought their magnificent a cappella chorus to BB King Blues Club. Their album, Live: Singing for Peace Around the World, just won a Grammy. Spreading the good word in harmony, that’s what they do … And farewell for real to City Opera with a grand concert that celebrated 70 Years of the People’s Opera. Placido Domingo showed up, too, after all it’s where he made his NYC debut. Put on by the musicians and choristers, they ensured that proceeds benefited the NYC Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund (Local 802). A classy way to go out. Bravo.

BEATLEMANIA

It was 50 years ago todayThe Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and the anniversary of theirBeatles.Love.vbb55 arrival in the US was not forgotten … The Grammys offered a tribute concert featuring Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Eurythmics, and oh yeah, Paul and Ringo … Donovan and Peter Asher talked about Beatlemania at the 92Y … The Library for the Performing Arts’s exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles!, features tour memorabilia, historic film clips and video interviews. The Library held a debate, Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Mike Myers stood up for the Beatles and NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg with Bill Janovitz, musician and author of a Stones book, spoke for well, y’know. Assembled by the Grammy Museum, catch it before it goes May 10 … Like their melodies, lyrics, and harmonies, the Fab Four’s cultural and musical legacy lives on and on and on and on, across the universe.

DOG MANIA

Every February welcomes the hounds. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show celebrates our companions, our champions. It’s our chance to see the wondrous magnificent variety of the dog world, where we are guided by the knowledgeable and passionate David Frei, who celebrated 25 years as our host. Three new breeds were introduced: WestminsterDog.2.27.14.bChinook, Rat Terrier, and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno – loved him! This year offered something extra. The Agility Championship, where the dogs go through steeple-chase maneuvers, included for the first time mixed-breeds. Congrats to our new champ, Sky, the magnificent Wire Fox Terrier – the breed’s 14th Best in Show win, more than any other breed. Terriers rule –with 46 wins, the most of any group. Asked why Terriers win so much, David said, “Terriers were bred to look for trouble…gives them an edge to their performance in the ring…It’s their world and we’re just living in it.” Tell me about it.

REMEMBERING PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

I will always remember this great actor’s roles in three music-related movies. In A Late Quartet, he played the secondphilip-seymour-hoffman.2.27.14.br violinist in a string quartet famous for playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, opus 131. In Almost Famous, he was the renowned rock critic, Lester Bangs. And in Pirate Radio, he made us believe that he could save the world with rock ‘n roll radio. In each of these roles, he showed us his character’s pain, his truth, his humanity. Baring his own at the same time.

WE CAN HELP

Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crWe know how much dogs can help to alleviate stress and suffering that patients and their families experience when dealing with illness. Angel On A Leash was founded by the host of the Westminster Dog Show, David Frei, to provide the best therapy dog programs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, and hospice. Learn how you can help or donate.

 Hey-Jude-45.2.27.14

Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Beatles’s Hey Jude
C’mon, sing along:
Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 Sources:
Downton Abbey pic: DowntonAbbeyOnline
Beatles pic: vbb55
Best in Show pic: Ben Hider/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty images
David Frei quote:
ESPN interview
Philip Seymour Hoffman pic: The Well-Tempered Ear

Hey Jude lyrics: Sony/ATV Music Publishing

A Simon and Garfunkel Reunion Was Only a Motion Away

19 Sep

Simon&GarfunkleConcertCentralPark.MicahelDoretPoster.9.19.13Oh yeah, I was there. Thirty-two years ago today, in 1981, Simon and Garfunkel reunited for a concert in New York City’s Central Park. It was a benefit concert thought up by the NYC Parks Commissioner and the super promoter, Ron Delsener, to clean up Central Park. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel broke up after they released Bridge Over Troubled Water, but they agreed to get together for this worthy cause. After all, they are New Yorkers.

Simon&GarfunkleInCentralPk.9.19.13 Backed by the best of the best studio musicians, they played for an audience of 500,000 who sang along with them on Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound, Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Still Crazy After All These Years, Slip Slidin’ Away, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, The Boxer, and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

You can hear these songs playing in your head now, right? Such great songs. We all know the words. The melodies. Those clear voices. Those harmonies. Oh, those beautiful harmonies. The duo, their songs, the concert. All are memorable and still magical. Here’s The Sound of Silence from the concert. Enjoy!

Paul Simon talked to Wynton Marsalis about his songwriting process:

“It’s not so much that I’m creating with it, it’s that I’m untying knots with it. And the more experience that you have with problem solving, the more creatively you can untie and re-tie that knot.”

Sources:
Concert Poster pic: Michael Doret
Live Concert Album Link and Pic: Simon and Garfunkel The Concert In Central Park
Quote: CBS This Morning Interview with Wynton Marsalis, May 30, 2012

How Do You Write a Song, Paul Simon?

15 Aug

Twenty-two years ago today, August 15, 1991, Paul Simon’s concert in New York City’s Central Park drew hundreds of thousands of fans. And they all sang along with him on The Boxer, Cecilia, You Can Call Me Al, Kodachrome, Still Crazy After All These Years, and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

All these great songs. We all know the words. And the melodies. He talked to Wynton Marsalis about his songwriting process:

“It’s not so much that I’m creating with it, it’s that I’m untying knots with it. And the more experience that you have with problem solving, the more creatively you can untie and re-tie that knot.”

PaulSimonCentralPk.8.15.13

Sources:
Quote: CBS This Morning Interview with Wynton Marsalis, May 30, 2012
Live Concert Album Link and Pic: Paul Simon official website

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