PAUL SIMON POLL RESULTS THREAD AND DISCUSSION

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the whole folk music revival bleeker st w/e scene birthed some of the most disingenuous vibes in all history is basically what it comes down to

lag∞n, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 15:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

those vibes should be put in a museum

lag∞n, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

i mean academic like "this is how you write a good harmony" and "this is a metaphor" there's a dryness in the approach, musty and academic. bridge over troubled water is great bc of how often it seems so frayed and frazzled but PSRT canticle my ass iirc.

judith, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

HS you should check out the met when you visit next week

max, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

plenty to gawk at there

judith, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

i also love scarborough fair because the refrain is so funny, just reciting herbs i mean

max, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Rene & Georgette" was my #1.

any major prude will tell you (WmC), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

wikipedia: "One common theory is that they are the ingredients for stuffing used in many baked poultry dishes.[3]"

max, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

interesting theory, wikipedia

max, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

listened some more to the Late Great Johnny Ace... the lyric is pretty good but man I don't get the appeal of this song, really. the melody is a bit of a mess, slides around all these awkward chord changes, there's no hook, etc.

the sir edmund hillary of sitting through pauly shore films (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think it's the reciting of herbs thing that always got me. we had to sing "scarborough fair" in the s&g medley in middle school and i was like, really?

xp haha i saw that wikipedia "theory"

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

every S&G song features reciting herbs iirc

some dude, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

aaaaahhhhh more songs!!!

#30 SCARBOROUGH FAIR/CANTICLE - I don't have any emotional relationship with this at all, but it's really prettily arranged and sung and they pretty much turned this from an old folk song to a standard that millions of people could recite to you so that's kinda cool.

#29 HOMEWARD BOUND - Great song. Tainted for me by the annoying live version on that old S&G greatest hits (the one where Paul looks like Gallagher) - - "...reminds me that I long-to-be-HOME-ward-bound..." Didn't vote for it, but thought about it for a while.

#28 BORN AT THE RIGHT TIME - I do like this, never really been sure what it's about exactly: some kind of optimistic sense of the future or a dig at someone born into too-comfortable circumstances? It all seems so mellow and smooth it's hard to detect the latter if so.

#27 AMERICAN TUNE - The parts of this are really strong, "dreamed I was flying" is beautiful - has never hung together for me for some reason, I couldn't really tell you what point he's trying to make but boy does it seem like he's trying to make a point. Agreed that the string section doesn't do this any favors, they brush weirdly up against the intimate acoustic performance. Don't mind the gloss on the Still Crazy tracks but here it feels like they handed off something from the s/t to the studio to fancy it up.

#26 A HAZY SHADE OF WINTER - Decent song but would never have put it this high. Its intensity feels a little forced but that may be the production/drumming more than anything. Also, "a hazy shade of winter" veers close to the older wannabe-poet style Simon.

#25 THE COOL, COOL RIVER: Great - can't add anything to this.

#24 PEACE LIKE A RIVER: I need to give this more spins or something - I've never had any problem with it but its greatness doesn't jump out at me either. You've all given me things to listen for though!

#23 I KNOW WHAT I KNOW - As I've said elsewhere, first song for which I ever rewound the tape to play again and again. I remember my mom telling me Paul Simon's backing band were called "the Screaming Mimis" based on this. So it's actually sort of hard to come to it with fresh ears. It's tremendous fun. Would love to hear this on a dance floor someday, somehow.

#22 SLIP SLIDIN' AWAY

#21 RENE & GEORGETTE MAGRITTE WITH THEIR DOG AFTER THE WAR - This made my top ten. Beautiful, beautiful melody and agreed with the other posters here that this captures the capacity of music to step across time. I also don't know anything about the lifestyle of the Magrittes - I think when I first heard this I didn't even realize it was that Magritte! - so I've always actually heard this as more of a generic immigrant couple, on hard times, window-"shopping" past stores they would be thrown out of in a second, feeling bleak and alone - - - but they've got the Peeeeeenguins, the Moooooonglows, the Oooooorioles and the Fiiive Satins. And then years later when they're rich and successful and throwing fancy parties, it's actually still those same old records that make life really special. And there are some wonderful turns of phrase along the way...I particularly love easily losing their evening clothes."

This is totally OTM: a folded thing (like memory) that can be opened up and which when opened swallows the world. love, too(...) I mean, aren't most of our Paul Simon threads full of exactly this kind of reminisce: this song brings me back to this time. And yeah, clearly this is a theme of his - "Late in the Evening" certainly - but there is something just wonderfully gentle and sympathetic about this narrative.

PS thanks to Ismael Klata for making the Spotify playlist!

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

every S&G song features reciting herbs iirc

― some dude, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:05 PM (45 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

S&G catalog is like an ancient herb museum, tru

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Bangles cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" is one of the best ever.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw I have always heard it as "the crusher of language," this little stab of resentment from the narrator with a poet's soul, towards his boss speaking in business-mag gibberish and probably mangling his subject/verb agreement in memos and so on.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

SCARBOROUGH FAIR/CANTICLE - I don't have any emotional relationship with this at all,

that's basically the thing for me about this song

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

i always thought born at the right time was a sort of sequel to 'boy in the bubble,' kind of amazed wondering at the future, paul simon does koyanisqatsi

max, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw I have always heard it as "the crusher of language," this little stab of resentment from the narrator with a poet's soul, towards his boss speaking in business-mag gibberish and probably mangling his subject/verb agreement in memos and so on.

― Doctor Casino, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:07 PM (31 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

okay fine that makes sense. i like "pressure of language" better though

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

honestly i think my inability to grok 'scarborough fair" is same as the rest of s&g. garfunkel's voice freezes everything in amber or something; it gives it this museum-like quality that makes me care less about it.

― horseshoe, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:29 AM (20 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i mean scarborough fair is one of not many songs from simon that has a sense of history beyond the beginning of the 20th cent. i voted high partly because i am a sucker for that oldness tho

― max, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:48 AM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

both of these assessments otm, i think. "scarborough fair/canticle" does have a weird, luminous, trapped-in-amber quality. this quality serves the song well, imo. like a lot of the midcentury pop i love best ("i only have eyes for you", "sleepwalk"), simon and garfunkel give it a gloss of beauty and stillness that has a somewhat creepy, funeral parlor quality, everything so hushed, earnest and precise. and it it was a haunted song to begin with, mournful and deathly, coming to us from across centuries. i think simon overstates the ballad's intrinsic ghostliness by attempting to press it into service as a fairly direct war protest song, but what comes through most clearly are the original lyrics, with their vaguer intimations of mortality, abandonment and loss. the museum/mortuary vibe really amplifies this.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

i love "born at the right time." every time i get to it on rhythm i listen to it a couple of extra times.

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

very sing-along-able

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

they've got the Peeeeeenguins, the Moooooonglows, the Oooooorioles and the Fiiive Satins.

otm!

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

obvious child was actually a slow burner for me, i always thought rhythm was about the second side until people started banging on about the coast and obvious child on some thread.

judith, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

love "born at the right time." every time i get to it on rhythm i listen to it a couple of extra times.

this and "The Cool Cool River" are awesome back to back early morning listening.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

did gbx vote in this? i'm worried about h+b.

judith, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

i voted for some h&b songs! it was torture to cut some h&b songs.

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

like when i add up all the s&g that is gonna be in the top twenty and then all the solo stuff i think should be there i realise there just isn't room.

judith, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think estela didn't vote either :(

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

i gave h&b some quality points

lag∞n, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

h&b the song better be making it. it will, right?

ps. i didn't vote so i can only get so worried i suppose.

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

i mean the song h+b specifically though

judith, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think h&b the song will be pretty high up, yeah

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

i assume it was plax's #1

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

maybe eazy's, alfred's #1, too

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

PSRT again: it's a seriously creepy song, even (almost) a scary one, not despite but because of its intense, frozen beauty. it fascinated me as a kid, in the same spooky way that "calfornia dreamin'" fascinated me. beautiful, yearning voices that seem to echo in a void. much darker and yet more glittering than "california dreamin'" though, which always seemed to evoke fog and bare branches, thin grey light.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

i gave h&b the song some quality points

lag∞n, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol its my ringtone

judith, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

lmao

lag∞n, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

cad you should have voted!

horseshoe, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

"hotel california" is probably another point of childhood comparison for PSR&T's lovely death vibe, that and "strawberry fields"

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

i know!!! i've been working/getting ready to leave the country for 2 weeks and did not permit myself time to do remedial listening :(

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

but i trust yall to do an excellent job

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

don't lose hope people my ballot will deliver the goods: 5 S&G, 4 Graceland, 11 other solo paul songs

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

I didn't vote for Scarborough Fair but it's a gear-switching exercise within his discography and I am kind of kicking myself for not voting for it, tbh. Being an S&G stan and all.

It's not a "Paul Simon" song as we know it. It's just his voice. And that's IT. But you guys, his voice is so beautiful in these early S&G songs! It mightn't seem enough compared to his later songs, but I dunno, that he had that instrument at his disposal from the very beginning, to me that's a lot.

It's not uniquely Paul, but that's what I find beautiful about it. Like hiding in plain sight.

It's like spending all day reading, idk, Ulysses and then reading Enid Blyton or nursery rhymes. There's so much simplicity and not a whole ton of subtext that your'e just kind of left with, well, the song, and the sounds.

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

12 simon & garfunkel songs
8 solo paul, including 2 from graceland

despite my promises to study up, i wound up putting my ballot together in a rush at the last minute, with little advance prep. if i had it to do over again, i'd switch out three of the songs i voted for, and the results would split evenly between S&G and solo paul.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

This is Ditton railway station, where Paul wrote Homeward Bound. It closed in 1994.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

S: Bill Murray SNL lounge singer

"remember me to the guy or chick who lives there
he or she once was a true love of mine"

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

Who else besides me placed NO S&G songs on a ballot? Since my parents weren't fans I never heard them growing up beyond the obvious, child. What I have boils down to what detractors have always accused Simon of being.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm glad you didn't. I placed 7, because I like them and wanted them represented, but they could've taken care of themselves.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:30 (2 years ago) Permalink


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