Saturday, November 18, 2017

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SIMON & GARFUNKEL

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Now that we're finished with the silly distraction of the potential job, we can get back to what's really important: Battle of the Bands.

As you may already know, the song for my current battle is The Only Living Boy In New York. The contenders are Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co. If you haven't voted yet, please visit THIS POST to do so.

The history of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel can be summed up as making beautiful music together, splitting up, taking verbal jabs at one another, reuniting, splitting, not speaking, and reuniting.

The duo discovered they could harmonize in 1953 when they were in the sixth grade in Queens. They continued to sing together as high school students. In 1957, they recorded a composition of their own called Hey, Schoolgirl as Tom & Jerry. It was a modest success, and they appeared on American Bandstand.



Their next attempts at recording together failed. College beckoned. Simon majored in English and went to Brooklyn Law School. Garfunkel studied art history at Columbia University and then earned a master's degree in mathematics. Both made attempts at solo singing careers, with Simon spending some time in England. When he returned to the U.S., the two recorded some songs together again, but weren't successful. One of these was The Sound of Silence.

Then a remix of The Sound of Silence hit in 1965––and it hit big. No more stage names. They were Simon & Garfunkel, folk rock duo. In 1966, they had three successful albums that produced four big singles. They became one of the most popular groups in the world during the remainder of the decade, but both wanted to make some changes. Paul Simon wanted to become a solo recording artist, while Art Garfunkel embarked on an acting career in movies. Both have said they only wanted to take a break from each other for a couple of years. The break became more or less permanent (in spite of some television appearances and their hugely successful free concert in Central Park in 1982) when an album that they were to record together instead turned into a Paul Simon solo project.

Creative differences? Sick of each other? Hurt feelings? All probably apply to the end of their recording career.

In 1990 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Garfunkel thanked Simon for "enriching his life." Simon's response was "Well, Arthur and I agree about almost nothing, but it´s true: I have enriched his life quite a bit now that I think about it." 

Garfunkel has referred to Simon's short stature over the years in disparaging terms and said that he spoke to Simon in high school because he felt sorry for him.

From 1993 to 2003, Simon and Garfunkel rarely spoke. In 2001, Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. In his acceptance speech, he stated, "I regret the ending of our friendship. I hope that some day before we die we will make peace with each other [long pause]. No rush."

Yet in 2003 they began to perform together again and have toured regularly, although Simon insists he'll never record with Garfunkel again. Garfunkel has also experienced problems with his vocal chords that have sometimes limited his ability to sing. They are 76 years old.




They have 10 Grammy Awards. Their last studio album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was released in January, 1970, and became the best-selling album of all time until Michael Jackson released Thriller in 1982.

In my next post, we'll talk about the lyrics for The Only Living Boy In New York.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


From The Concert In Central Park, with 500,000 in attendance:


Thursday, November 16, 2017

I'M EXCITED AND TERRIFIED!

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My posts about the background of The Only Living Boy In New York and the histories of the two contenders in my Battle of the Bands (Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co.) will be delayed or might not happen at all, but I'll certainly return on November 21st to announce the winner.

At long last, I'm in the final stages of getting a job. I can't tell you what it is, but it involves an extensive background check. I have a lot of forms to fill out. There's so much I don't remember about my own work history, such as starting and ending dates. It's probably going to take me a while to get through all the paperwork.

Please say a prayer for me, send positives vibes toward Florida, cast a happy spell, and wish me well. If everything works out, it will mean a new job for me in the new year.

In the meantime, if you haven't voted yet in my BATTLE OF THE BANDS: THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK, I hope you'll listen to the two versions of the song and tell us which one you prefer.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's November 15th, so it's time for this month's Battle of the Bands, hosted by Stephen McCarthy at STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands'. I urge you to visit his blog to see the complete list of participants in the battle and to visit them.


Here's the deal: I present two renditions of the same song. In your comment, you vote for the one you prefer, and if possible, tell us the reason for your choice. You have until midnight on November 20th to vote. On November 21st, I'll tell you who the winner is.

Today I present a competition . . . well, I'll let T. S. Eliot tell you what I'm thinking through the voice of the poetic persona in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

"And indeed there will be time / To wonder, 'Do I dare?' and, 'Do I dare?' . . . Do I dare / Disturb the universe?"

For I have known them all already, known them all––
Have known the evening, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
     So how should I presume?

I did not think, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell, that I dared make anyone compete against Simon & Garfunkel, performing a song that Paul Simon wrote to/for Art Garfunkel. Paul and Artie are icons of American music.

I am one who would say, Of course I shall vote for Paul and Artie. I cannot do otherwise. But I dare disturb the universe because I heard a cover of The Only Living Boy In New York that gave me chills although I adore the original.

But how should I presume? Even if this battle is a blowout in favor of Simon & Garfunkel, then at least I will have introduced you––if you do not know them already, as I did not––to PigPen Theatre Co.

In the days to come, I'll also write posts about the meaning of The Only Living Boy In New York and the histories of Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co. If you cannot vote today, it's okay. You'll learn and you'll listen more and you'll come back from a farther room to vote another day.

We participants in the Battle of the Bands often ask our followers to ignore videos of the bands if we use them, but I shan't do that today, for music can be more than aural grandeur.

We begin with Simon & Garfunkel:




And now PigPen Theatre Co.:




Thanks for joining me in this battle. I hope you enjoy The Only Living Boy In New York.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, November 10, 2017

PENELOPE SPEAKS: I AM IN CHARGE HERE

Hello. It is I, Penelope.


Mom Mom does not feel well. She keeps dashing off to the bathroom to sit on her white throne. Do not worry. I am tending to her.

That is all.

Friday, November 3, 2017

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: SOME BUDDY HAS BOOTIFUL ROCKS IN HER HEAD

HI! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi, every buddy! It's me me me me me me, Franklin the Bordernese, and I wanna show you some pretties that will please.


Me and Mom know a very cool blogger named Low Rainy Day, and she . . .

What?

Oh.

Her name is Lorraine, says The Queen of Grammar who always has to get stuff just right.

Now let's see if I can continue without more interruptors.

Lorraine blogs at We are:Clamco. Me and Mom have liked Lorraine for a pretty long time, but we got even more interested in her when she started painting pretty things on rocks. Yes! Fur real rocks, like you find outside.

Lorraine even sells the pretty painted rocks, and we gots some. I can't show you pitchers of them because they're going to be Kissmas presents. You know how I love Kissmas.

But Lorraine said we can use some of her pitchers to show you her rocks.

Looky here:







Lorraine's rocks are so bootiful that she has sold most of them, but if you wanna see what she has left so you can buy me a Kissmas present, you can look at her Facebook page. She has a photo album there with lots of rocks she's painted. You can ask her which ones are still left and how much they cost.

Some of them are sins of omission, which means . . .

What now?

Oh.

They're commissions, which means that people ask for them and Lorraine paints what they want on the rock.

But if you don't wanna buy rocks, it's okay. Me and Mom hope you will visit Lorraine because we think you will like the pitchers on her blog of her painting and then she shows us how the rocks turn out.

Mom actually said something pretty smart about the bootiful rocks. She said, Franklin, sometimes people say "dumb as a rock" or "stone deaf." Suck phrases suggest that a rock is as dead as anything can be. But when Lorraine turns a rock into art, then it lives because art is alive forever.

Don't you think Mom is rotund?

Oh.

Mom says she's not rotund and that the word I should use is profound. snicker snort

Mom is kinda rotund. snicker snort snicker snort

I wonder if I can hold a paintbrush in my paw.

Penlapee! Do you wanna take a nap?


Here she comes.

Okay I love you bye-bye.


Friday, October 27, 2017

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: WE RUNNED THIS MORNING

Hi! It's me! It's me! It's me! Me me me memememememememememe! I'm Franklin the Bordernese! When I run I'm as fast as a hurricane's breeze!


Early this morning when it was still dark and Mom was asleep, me and Penlapee came up with a plan. We wanted to go outside to run and play, but we knew Mom wouldn't want to get up.

So I paced up and down next to the bed and whimpered a little bit to make her think I needed a potty break real bad. Sure enough, we fooled her. She got up and we went out in the backyard.

What Mom didn't know is that we weren't coming back. When Mom called us, Penlapee kept running in circles and I hid behind the garage. Mom acted all sweetie sweet and said, Come on now. Let's go back to bed, darling puppies.

Ha! I came out from behind the garage so Mom thought we would come inside. Instead, I ran over and hid under the big bush.

Mom came out on the deck and said in a way that was kinda stern, Now that's it. Get in here. It's time to go back to bed.

Penlapee was still running in circles (I don't know where she thinks she's going), and I hid behind the garage again. Mom started to get kinda mad. She said, Get in this house right now!

Nope! Not us.

Mom went inside. I thought she'd go back to bed and we could play as long as we wanted, but that's not what happened. Mom is a tattletale. She really went inside to get Big Human Brudder. He gave me a bath with the hose a few days ago and he squirted my butt. It was so embarrassing.

Big Human Brudder came out. The jig was up. He said, Come inside.

We went. We have to do what he says cuz he can pick us up and move us wherever he wants us to be. We hate that.

Mom said, This is ridiculous. It's five a clock in the morning. Now let's all go to bed.



And that's what we did.

But only because Big Human Brudder was there.

Okay I love you bye-bye.

This happened to me once.
Thanks a bunch for the cartoon about it, Mrs. Ducky.



Saturday, October 21, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: NINA SIMONE V. BILLIE HOLIDAY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Thank you for your interest in my return to the Battle of the Bands, hosted by Stephen McCarthy at STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands'I appreciate the time you took to vote and read my posts about the song for my battle––Strange Fruit.

And the winner is

Billie Holiday with 18 votes

while

Nina Simone finishes with a respectable 13 votes.

After spending so much time on a song about lynching and writing about the connection between its author, Abel Meeropol, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, I had a nightmare Thursday night that I was fighting with someone who was trying to kill my daughter in the electric chair. I didn't sleep well the rest of the night. 

I mentioned the nightmare to my son and told him I would also be opposed to his execution in the electric chair (or by any other means).

Isn't it strange that the man who wrote with such eloquence about lynching went on to adopt the sons of people who were, in essence, lynched by their own government?

On a happier note, it's a bit cooler here. Franklin and I have resumed our walks to the neighborhood park. While we often meet other dogs who are walking their people, last time we met a horse. She was beautiful, and was accompanied by her human friend, who had stopped to give her a break from her trailer.

That's the first time we've come across a horse in the park. Franklin was curious about her and seemed unafraid, but when we returned to the path, he was in a hurry. She had four legs, but she was the biggest dog he'd ever seen.

I'll leave you with another song by Abel Meeropol, whose pseudonym as a songwriter was Lewis Allan in honor of his two stillborn sons with wife Anne. Sing us out, please, Ole Blue Eyes.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug