All posts tagged: Paul Simon

Photo Credit: Marina Chavez

Being Lee DeWyze: Singer, Songwriter, Director, Puppeteer

Lee DeWyze isn’t the first person to hear the soon-to-be-disproven words, “your life is about to change forever” on a reality TV show, nor will he be the last. It is what it is, a short term boost of name recognition. You do your best to make the most of your time in the spotlight. For DeWyze, the afterglow meant business as usual. He toured clubs and released two records on an indie prior to his TV tenure. In 2013, he returned to indie with a fourth album, Frames, on Vanguard and is still touring to this day. One Frames single, ‘Stay Away’, is a duet with Katie Stevens who subsequently went on to reinvent herself as a bonafide TV star on MTV’s hit series, Faking It (the first worthwhile thing to air on MTV since the demise of 120 Minutes). For the next single, DeWyze reinvented himself as a director, co-helming the utterly charming video for ‘Fight’. This Being John Malkovich-worthy clip won the “Best Music Video” award at the LA INDIE Film Festival. POPDOSE caught up with Lee on the eve …

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Boxed In: The Top Music Reissues of 2012

Every year, while lording over an impressive amount of music catalogue news and views at my site, The Second Disc, I think the same thing at the end of every year: this is it. This is the year the reissue/remaster/repackage trend gets too outsized for the marketplace. Once again, I am wrong. Are major and indie labels getting smarter and more ambitious about what to re-release and how to release it? Are aging hipsters and Gen-Xers, with their considerable gobs of disposable income, more apt to re-buy the same seminal albums they grew up with, plus a bonus disc of rarities and outtakes? Yes and yes – and yet, none of those are solely why catalogue music is more robust than ever. 2012 has seen a lot of catalogue titles that seem too big for the modern music business. Thanks to sites like U.K. blog SuperDeluxeEdition, value-added packaging and other flights of consumer fancy are more fetishized over now than when I first took serious notice of the trend. But what most deluxe packaging sometimes hides is …

Artie makes eye contact while Paul looks past you. (Sony)

The #1 Albums: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Several songs on Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water seem so perfect it’s as though they must always have existed. Surely the title song, “El Condor Pasa,” and “The Boxer” waited somewhere in the ether to be revealed at a propitious moment in history. Right? Not quite. The album was coaxed forth over a difficult year by two old friends whose partnership was beginning to dissolve. The creation of the title song captures the tension in microcosm: first, they disagreed over who should sing it. Garfunkel didn’t want to but Simon persuaded him—only to regret in later years that he doesn’t appear on the duo’s most famous song. Garfunkel thought the song needed a third verse, so Simon wrote one, even as he believed it didn’t measure up to the first two. In the end, it would take them two months to finish the song, emblematic of the sporadic nature of their work together by this time. Even when the album was done, the tension remained. Thinking of adding a song to pad the …

Simon and Garfunkel, from the "Bookends" cover (Sony Music Entertainment)

The #1 Albums: Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Graduate” and “Bookends”

There was nothing hippie about Simon and Garfunkel, really. Among the general run of late 60s pop stars, they were remarkably straight. That’s not to say they didn’t appeal to stoners. On the contrary: lyrics as dense and literary as theirs were undoubtedly parsed by many a group of chemically altered heads on many a chemically altered night. Pure, clear voices, virtuoso musicianship, impeccable production—they were the thinking person’s pop stars, at a moment when most young people considered themselves thinkers. Film director Mike Nichols liked Simon and Garfunkel and asked to use their music in The Graduate. Stories vary—either Nichols rejected some of the songs Simon offered, or Simon managed to write only a couple in time for them to be included in the film. Only about eight of the soundtrack album’s 36 minutes represent new S&G material; there are two snippets of “Mrs. Robinson,” each running a little over a minute. Older tunes, “The Sound of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair/Canticle,” each appear twice (in different versions). The album also contains six pieces of …

Jason Myles Goss

New Music: Jason Myles Goss, “Radio Dial”

Singer-songwriter Jason Myles Goss will release his fourth album, “Radio Dial” on June 17, and it’s a surefire candidate to place high on my Top Ten list. I first heard of Goss when he opened up for Popdose favorite Julian Velard last March. My first thought on hearing his clear tenor accompanied by just his acoustic guitar was, “Josh Ritter.”  Indeed, songs like “Into The Night,” “Home,” and “Bows And Arrows” could possibly be mistaken for Moscow, ID’s greatest cultural export, and the resemblance is strengthened by the appearance of guitarist Austin Nevins and keyboardist Sam Kassirer both of whom are in Ritter’s Royal City Band. I’m not trying to suggest that he’s a clone of Ritter’s, but rather point out that Goss is part of the same continuum of literate, acoustic-driven singer-songwriters that includes not only Ritter, but also Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, and Lucinda Williams. There’s also a more than a touch of Neil Finn, particularly in the chiming guitars and gorgeous melody of “Red Letter Day,” which you stream with two others …

"Marley," a new documentary about reggae giant Bob Marley, premiered at SXSW this weekend. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

SXSW: It’s Not All About Music, But Almost

Austin’s SXSW festival has earned its unruly reputation for the five-day bacchanal of live music that ends this spring event each year. Many people who’ve come to town in past years seemed truly surprised that SXSW also consists of an interactive conference and a world-class film festival. This year, the movies certainly seem to be weighted toward the music – so let’s quickly run down some of the top music-related films screening in Austin during the week. Probably the most anticipated is “Marley,” a documentary on the late legend Bob Marley directed by Kevin MacDonald. It has the distinction of being the first film authorized by Marley’s family and Bob’s son Ziggy serves as executive producer. Ziggy also helped to dig up rare film footage, along with featured interviews and amazing performances. “More important than the footage … are the stories,” Ziggy said at the post-screening Q&A. “Stories like the Wailers rehearsing in a cemetery, even the issue of race – the color of Bob’s skin, those are things that (make the viewer) understand him.” …

Desert Island Discs with Megan Slankard

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Megan Slankard, whose latest album, A Token of the Wreckage, is out now. Visit her official site for samples of Megan’s music — after reading her Desert Island picks, of course! 1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles I was about 10 years old when this album first blew my mind. I would sit in front of the stereo some nights with the CD or record cover (we had both) in my lap and stare at it throughout the duration of the album. It was absolutely magical. And, to this day, its chord progressions and melodies are part of the fibers that make up my being. 2. Graceland – Paul Simon …

Desert Island Discs with Jaime Michaels

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This week’s Desert Island Discs list comes courtesy of singer/songwriter Jaime Michaels, currently promoting his latest release, The Man with the Time Machine. Take it away, Jaime! The Band – The Band When I was younger and just starting out I was such a folk purist. I’ll even admit to being one of those young idiots that booed Dylan at Newport. Then a housemate of mine promoted a concert by the Band right around the time this album came out. Everything about the music I heard that night went right through me, and turned upside down my ideas of what folk/acoustic music is. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles Why this Beatles album? A. Because I was blown away by …

Popdose Giveaway: Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water: 40th Anniversary Edition”

We have the chance for you to win a copy of this mighty fine reissue of Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel. For your chance to grab the set, send Michael Parr an email with “John Parr” in the subject line and ask him why he’s scared to interview the ’80s pop icon who happens to be a distant blood relative?  Feel free to be creative with your emails – we’ll pick a winner on Friday! You know, we dissect a lot of new releases and reissues from classic artists around these parts including more recently, Live at Shea Stadium by Billy Joel. While there is often quite a bit of debate about these releases, I don’t think you’ll find much argument regarding the recently released 40th anniversary edition of Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel – it’s awesome.

CD Review: Peter Gabriel, “Scratch My Back”

I have developed a reputation as someone who hedges his bets when it comes to criticism, and Peter Gabriel’s first full album in a very long while (since 2002’s Up, in fact) is no different. In fact, it will read like the script from the latest miracle drug commercial: Do not listen to Scratch My Back while driving, as side effects include sleepiness. Do not take if you have been diagnosed with, or are prone to, feelings of depression. If symptoms persist, contact your doctor or at least change the CD. The new collection is very beautiful, in fact. It finds Gabriel reinterpreting songs from artists as diverse as Paul Simon, the Arcade Fire, David Bowie, the Magnetic Fields and Radiohead, and does so strictly with orchestral accompaniment. The goal is to spotlight the lyrics, and Gabriel does so remarkably well. The only problem is almost every song arrives dour, funereal, often the exact reverse of what you would expect from Gabriel’s typically rhythm-centric world music ethos. A prime example is Simon’s “The Boy in …