Tuesday, January 29, 2008

At The Brew

I'll tell you Starbucks knows their audience when it comes to putting out music. Their latest in-store exclusive album will be a live compilation culled from Simon & Garfunkel's November 1969 tour - to be aptly titled Live 1969. The tour was the last for the duo for over a decade and featured selections that would come to make up their final album Bridge Over Troubled Water - read about it here.

In other Paul Simon news the singer-songwriter will be playing a series of shows with some great special guests including David Byrne at BAM this April called Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon. Here's some more info....

BAM presents Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon, three unique engagements --all part of a series celebrating and exploring the music and lyrics of Paul Simon. Inspired by locales ranging from the Mississipi Delta to the townships of Johannesburg, the extraordinary music of Paul Simon will be part of BAM's Spring 2008 season in April. The three programs include Songs from The Capeman, Under African Skies, and American Tunes and will include performers such as Oscar Hernández and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Claudette Sierra, Obie Bermudez, Ray de la Paz, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Hugh Masekela, Milton Nascimento, Kaïssa, David Byrne, Luciana Souza, Cyro Baptista,Olu Dara, Grizzly Bear, The Roches, and others including Paul Simon. Phil Ramone is the musical advisor for Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon.

"We are so pleased that Paul agreed to let us do this series. He is a true New York City and BAM artist--courageous, pioneering, and deeply heartfelt. His unique storytelling through music has touched the world. There is an elegance to his music," commented BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo. BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins added, "Paul Simon's vast body of work over 40 years warranted a new kind of retrospective. BAM wanted to give audiences over an extended period of time the opportunity to experience the totality of his talent and contribution to popular music."

Tickets for the Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon engagements go on sale Feb 11 (Feb 4 for Friends of BAM and Visa Signature cardholders). For ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100 or order online at BAM.org.

The first event of the series, Songs from The Capeman, (April 1-6), will be a concert staging of the 1998 Broadway show The Capeman that includes the doo-wop, rock and roll, and Latin rhythms of a special New York musical era. The music of The Capeman was written by Paul Simon with lyrics by Paul Simon and Derek Walcott. The Capeman is based on the life of Salvador Agrón, a Puerto Rican teenager convicted of murder in 1959. Grammy-nominated Oscar Hernández and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Latin Jazz vocalist and original Capeman cast member Claudette Sierra, Latin Grammy-winning artist Obie Bermudez, Salsa and Jazz singer Ray de la Paz, and Paul Simon are confirmed to appear with more artists to be announced. This engagement will also feature a special appearance by Little Anthony and the Imperials.

Under African Skies (April 9-13) rekindles Paul's passion for the rhythms of South Africa and Brazil represented in the Grammy Award-winning, critically acclaimed albums Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints. Simon will be joined by South African trumpeter and composer Hugh Masekela, Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento, Cameroonian vocalist Kaïssa, David Byrne, Brazilian songstress Luciana Souza, and world renowned Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista. Simon's band will include: Jay Ashby (trombone), Anthony Cedras (keys & accordion), Steve Gadd (drums), Jamey Haddad (percussion), Jim Hynes (trumpet), Bakithi Kumalo (bass), Vincent Nguini (guitar), and Andrew Snitzer (saxophone). Many of which were members of his original Graceland band. Mark Stewart will be the musical director for Under African Skies.

American Tunes (April 23-27) will be a revisit to the quiet railway stations, urban sounds, and immigrant dreams covering a wide range of songs throughout Paul Simon's brilliant career. American bluesman Olu Dara, Brooklyn-based indie band Grizzly Bear, and harmonic trio The Roches and others to be announced will all be performing along with Paul Simon.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Credit quote:http://stations.espn.go.com/stations/1050espnradio/sectional?id=brodersuiteseats2


Last night I grabbed my passport and made the journey from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn to check out Paul Simon at BAM. I know what you're thinking Primus, Pearl Jam, maybe even some old school Poison, but Paul Simon??? I have a well-rounded ipod and blame/thank my step-Dad Eddie for that...He taught me all about the Beatles and had me on the radio singing Grateful Dead tunes on the old 102.7 WNEW back in the day...So I know all about Paul Simon, James Taylor, and some band called Black Tie 'cause of him...

Anyway the show was not what I was expecting as Paul Simon had all kinds of acts some of which I've never heard of, playing his tunes...Without a doubt he's on the great song writers of our time from The Boxer, to the 59th St. Bridge and Me and Julio just to name a few...But check out some of the acts who played and tell me how many of these acts are on your ipod??? The Roches, Grizzly Bear, Amos Lee, Olu Dara, Josh "I suck the life out of music" Groban, and Gillian Welch...

Imagine my shock when I arrived at the theatre that all these other musicians were going to be singing his tunes...This was an $80 event mind you and Paul Simon was in the building and he did play some tunes which were SICK!!! Not as good as the Central Park show I caught or Simon and Garfunkel at MSG, but an intimate venue with a legend is always a treat...

This would be a great event to catch on VH-1 or to have on tivo as I so wanted to skip a few of the acts to get the score in a few of the games...Not much for me to do other than to tap my feet with the rest of the grey haired gyrating former hippies...

Watching Paul pick the acoustic guitar was worth the trek to Brooklyn as you can get into a trance at how effortless he does it...Highlights of his songs that he actually played were Me and Julio, Train in the Distance, Late in the Evening, 50 ways to Leave Your Lover (which he forgot some of the words to) and The Boxer...

As far as the other acts goes, let me say The Roches sounded quite nice, but this old school grandma who was shimmying across the stage during Cecilia left me scarred for life...It was just so wrong and my Nana would never act in such a manner no matter what she was drinking...I was into Grizzly Bear who played Mother and Child Reunion and a very Interpol-like version of Graceland...Amos Lee and Olu Dara were good and expanded my horizon a bit...Josh Groban, where do I start, with a throat punch maybe??? UGH, who buys this guys music??? Is it the same people who watch American Idol or the people who dig John Tesh and Kenny G??? Let me say this if Josh Groban sang a Beatles tune he'd find a way to destroy it...Gillian Welch, well I saw her open up for Bright Eyes at Town Hall and walked out, something I damn near never do and am against, but I was NOT feeling this Welsh singer at all, however give her some good music like the Sound of Silence and it was quite nice...

It was damn near impossible to take photos in this event and I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact the Paul Simon was performing without a hat on...See he for whatever reason hates the fact that he's damn near bald and might have some of the worst hair in music...That being said I was only able to snap 1 photo of him before I got escorted out of the joint...

I was sitting across the aisle from actors Steve Martin and Wallace Shawn...After the show I was able to snap these photos with them...


When you're Steve Martin you can wear glasses that look like this
and TOTALLY get away with 'em....

Wallace Shawn: How many movies have you seen this dude in???
He's "that guy"...

Written listening to...RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE!!! When I have a miserable day, like today turned into for me, I turn to some happy tunes like Know Your Enemy to get me through...

PS: Venue note, you cannot drink beers inside the BAM theatre, so not knowing what to do with myself I took some notes for this blog...How insane, watching a show with a pen in my hand and NOT a BUDLIGHT....

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