Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Paul Simon

And Sometimes When I’m Falling, Flying, or Tumbling in Turmoil, I Say, ‘Oh, So This Is What She Means’

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Graceland at 25.

Context and time do sometimes matter. The Paul Simon who, on a bus en route to New York City told his sleeping girlfriend that he was empty and aching and he didn’t know why, that Simon belongs to our parents. My generation may love him but he’s not ours. The Simon who is soft in the middle (or at least feels an affinity for men who happen to be), however, the one who reminds young women of money, who has been divorced and has a kid to prove it, and who has the means to catch a cab uptown and take it all the way downtown talking dispassionately while doing so about the comings and goings of breakdowns, that Simon belongs to us as much as he does to our folks because he is our folks. Not our folks the way they were before we were born, but the way they were when we first knew them, as they were losing their edge and feeling maybe a little insecure about that loss; our folks as we knew them when we ourselves were entering that era of childhood which finally allowed for reflection and the retention of memory and for the level of awareness that clued us into the fact that a baby with a baboon heart was something to wonder at and to then distantly — vaguely — mourn when she died three weeks after her baboon heart first beat inside her body; this was our folks the way they were when they were trying to raise us right: to say please and thank you and to only send food back under dire circumstances; the way they were when we really saw them for the first time. At least, in retrospect. Now that we’re grown, that first introduction lingers. We also recognize not just our parents in the words of those songs, but ourselves and our own impending midlives that loiter like shortening shadows on the horizon.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

And Some Links for Thursday

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* The list of lists for 2010 is ready. You have two days left to mourn. Enjoy.

Fantastic piece on Obama via @zunguzunguI expected Obama to be a better loser, specifically to be better at losing. There were a lot of items on the table, a lot of them weren’t going to happen, but it was important for the new future of liberalism that the Obama team lost them well. And that hasn’t happened.

By losing well, I mean losing in a way that builds a coalition, demonstrates to your allies that you are serious, takes a pound of flesh from your opponents and leaves them with the blame, and convinces those on the fence that it is an important issue for which you have the answers. Lose for the long run; lose in a way that leaves liberal institutions and infrastructure stronger, able to be deployed again at a later date.

* At least court-watchers are scoring the Sotomayor pick as a long-term progressive win. Via Benen.

* Weird science: third triplet born twelve years after her sisters.

* Weird clemency: Barbour’s order stands on the condition that Gladys donates one of her kidneys to her ailing sister, “a procedure which should be scheduled with urgency.” I feel like this story pretty clearly demonstrates how useless decades-long incarceration is in most cases, as well as the basic arbitrariness of the criminal justice system.

* Alas, Cleveland: Dennis Kucinich may lose his district.

* Alas, Paul Simon: Kodachrome finally taken away.

* What has been seen can never be unseen: Muppets with People Eyes.

* In important telling-you-what-was-already-pretty-obvious news, Tim Minear says the third season of Dollhouse would essentially have been another season of Buffy.

* And of course you had me at original He-Man storyboards.

Cultural Melange

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Cultural melange.

* David Gill reviews Christopher Miller’s fictionalized biography of Philip K. Dick, A Cardboard Universe: A Guide to the World of Phoebus K. Dank, for Boing Boing.

* Judy Han’s dissertation on Korean-American Christian missionaries and U.S. imperialism is available in comic form. (Via @barbarahui.)

* A nine-word story that will take one thousand years to read. Kottke says this problem is just crying out for good old-fashioned American know-how.

* The five people still watching Heroes will be devastated when they find out Bryan Fuller’s left again.

* NPR remembers Harvey Kurtzman and the heyday of Mad Magazine.

* Trending upward today: references to Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome.”

Paul Simon: World’s Biggest Prick?

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For a long time, the only CDs I ever listened to were Counting Crows’s August and Everything After and Paul Simon’s Graceland. (Let’s leave “how long” ambiguous for now. Let’s just say it was long.) So a little piece of me died when I saw this Steve Berlin interview trashing Simon for just about everything related to the album. Via MeFi.

And Lenny put you guys together thinking it would be a good match?

Well, “It would be good for the family.” That was it. So we go back in the second day wondering why we’re there. It was ridiculous. I think David starts playing “The Myth of the Fingerprints,” or whatever he ended up calling it. That was one of our songs. That year, that was a song we started working on By Light of the Moon. So that was like an existing Lobos sketch of an idea that we had already started doing. I don’t think there were any recordings of it, but we had messed around with it. We knew we were gonna do it. It was gonna turn into a song. Paul goes, “Hey, what’s that?” We start playing what we have of it, and it is exactly what you hear on the record. So we’re like, “Oh, ok. We’ll share this song.”

Good way to get out of the studio, though…

Yeah. But it was very clear to us, at the moment, we’re thinking he’s doing one of our songs. It would be like if he did “Will the Wolf Survive?” Literally. A few months later, the record comes out and says “Words and Music by Paul Simon.” We were like, “What the fuck is this?”

We tried calling him, and we can’t find him. Weeks go by and our managers can’t find him. We finally track him down and ask him about our song, and he goes, “Sue me. See what happens.”

What?! Come on…

That’s what he said. He said, “You don’t like it? Sue me. You’ll see what happens.” We were floored. We had no idea. The record comes out, and he’s a big hit. Retroactively, he had to give songwriting credit to all the African guys he stole from that were working on it and everyone seemed to forget. But that’s the kind of person he is. He’s the world’s biggest prick, basically.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 19, 2008 at 4:37 pm

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