paul simon

Content tagged as paul simon.

Findlay Brown; Separated by the Sea (PeaceFrog) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Findlay Brown; Separated by the Sea (PeaceFrog) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Earnest young men of the Anglo-folk persuasion aren't exactly thin on the ground these days, but Brown is worth your attention. His voice is gentle but has some depth and restrained power, and if his lyrics stray sometimes into that self-obsession/broken love/"darkness of the soul and mind" axis then that pretty much comes with this...

John Vanderslice: Emerald City (Longtime Listener)

John Vanderslice: Emerald City (Longtime Listener)

You have to admire someone who kicks off their solo career with a hoax in which it was suggested that Microsoft (whose logo he had mimicked on his first single Bill Gates Must Die) was getting litigious. Vanderslice was obviously a smart fellow with a sense of humour. (Although that's what is says at Wikipedia, and that could be one of his...

Luke Thompson: Here on the Ground (Pure)

Luke Thompson: Here on the Ground (Pure)

This young singer-songwriter from Tauranga came to my attention a few weeks ago when I was asked if I would write a bio to accompany the release of this, his debut album. I get a few such requests but only ever take on someone whose music impresses me (Miriam Clancy was another) and a quick check at Thompson's MySpace page told me all I...

Joe Jackson: Rain (Ryko/Elite)

Joe Jackson: Rain (Ryko/Elite)

By the end of the first, somewhat leaden track Invisible Man, even longtime fans might be gulping hard. But things take off after that clunker (which is much better live as the DVD which comes with early copies of this album shows). Jackson's desperate sounding vocals and his exceptional piano playing get a long overdue showcase on this pared...

Wayne Mason and the Fallen Angels: Sense Got Out (Ode)

Wayne Mason and the Fallen Angels: Sense Got Out (Ode)

Singer-songwriter Wayne Mason may be best (and in some circles only) known as the guy who wrote the Kiwi classic Nature for the Fourmyula (later covered by the Mutton Birds). But that was almost four decades ago and he has spent the intervening period crafting equally excellent material for the Warratahs (until '94), and now delivers them on...

Paul Simon: Surprise (Warners)

Paul Simon: Surprise (Warners)

From the Sounds of Silence through American Tune and beyond, 64-year-old Paul Simon has articulated the fears and hopes of his generation. Unlike Young on his leaden Living with War, for this new album - in a gagging, sentimental cover - Simon takes musical risks and extends himself. Brian Eno provides the sonic landscapes - loops,...

PAUL SIMON; THE SOLO YEARS: The boy out of his bubble

PAUL SIMON; THE SOLO YEARS: The boy out of his bubble

In October ‘93, when Paul Simon took up what amounted to a month-long residency at the Paramount Theatre in New York, it was billed with typical Nineties hyperbole as “The Concert of a Lifetime” At this particular spectacular -- Art Garfunkel, Phoebe Snow, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and other Simon collaborators and friends...

Iron and Wine: Around the Well (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

Iron and Wine: Around the Well (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

As a nom de disque/stage name Iron and Wine seems as inappropriate and unhelpful as a product description as Mojave 3. Don't know about you but Iron and Wine sounds a bit on the metal side of mayhem to me. Of course Sam Beam who is Iron and Wine is anything but noisy, he's one of those quiet and considered and sometime eccentric...

The Duke and the King: Nothing Good Can Stay (Shock)

The Duke and the King: Nothing Good Can Stay (Shock)

The singer-songwriter behind this gorgeously tuneful, lyrically probing debut is Simone Felice of the terrific Felice Brothers, two times Best of Elsewhere artists (2007, 2008) for their amalgam of ragged-but-right country which owed huge debts to the early Band and country-styled Bob Dylan, but who put their own stamp on proceedings. The...

MIRIAM CLANCY INTERVIEWED (2006): Career opportunities

MIRIAM CLANCY INTERVIEWED (2006): Career opportunities

“You know, I’d left school and had gone straight into playing in pubs,” laughs Auckland singer-songwriter Miriam Clancy. “I had no other training behind me. So it was either work in a café, or go and live at mum’s.” Clancy laughs again as she remembers that difficult period a few years ago when she...

Jimmy Webb and the Webb Brothers: Cottonwood Farm (Proper/Southbound)

Jimmy Webb and the Webb Brothers: Cottonwood Farm (Proper/Southbound)

Anyone who has followed the career of the great songwriter Jimmy Webb (interviewed at Elsewhere here) will attest to two things: he crafts memorable material (all those hits for Glen Campbell, the gorgeous minimalism of The Moon's A Harsh Mistress made famous by Joe Cocker, the baroque McArthur Park) and he ain't much of a singer. Like...

LARRY HENLEY INTERVIEWED (1993): The world beneath his wings

LARRY HENLEY INTERVIEWED (1993): The world beneath his wings

On this slightly hung-over weekday morning Larry Henley doesn’t look the kind of man whose words have touched a generation. He speaks with a quiet, modest and slow-drag Texas accent and seems too self-effacing for someone whose song lyrics have been recited at funerals and marriages, during intimate moments by way of love or apology,...

Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back (EMI)

Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back (EMI)

An album where an artist covers the material of others is hardly a new concept, but you can guess that Peter Gabriel -- the ever sensitive quality controller, with his first album in eight years -- brings something special to the table. Here he is on songs by those of his generation such as David Bowie (Heroes), Paul Simon (Boy in the...

Edwin Derricutt: Three Hours South (Freefall/Pure)

Edwin Derricutt: Three Hours South (Freefall/Pure)

The debut by this New Zealand singer-songwriter, Symmetry, found immediate favour at Elsewhere a couple of years ago, but this album is big step up in maturity of songwriting and musicality. There's a depth and muscularity to these songs (the urgent tone of Life Boat, the sharp folk-pop of 30 Seconds, the holy stillness of Soldier)...

Various: Next Stop . . . Soweto (Strut/Border)

Various: Next Stop . . . Soweto (Strut/Border)

Subtitled "Township Sounds from the Golden Age of Mbaqanga" this lively, groove-oriented and guitar jangle collection of 20 songs comes from Strut, the same label which has brought you various Nigerian and Ethiopiques collections -- as well as the terrific Mulatu Astatke album and the Inspiration Information series. This is the...

Her Make Believe Band: AM Radio (Old Oak)

Her Make Believe Band: AM Radio (Old Oak)

This delightful album by two expat Kiwis Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan has been quite rightly picking up favourable notices in the UK where they are now based as part of the group Her Make Believe Band. Certainly the references to Paul Simon (for lightness of touch and literacy in places) make sense but there is as much pop here as folk...

Josh Rouse: El Turista (Bedroom Classics)

Josh Rouse: El Turista (Bedroom Classics)

The musically itinerant Josh Rouse has long been an Elsewhere favourite for his musical curiosity (Seventies singer-songwriters, Nashville, indie-rock and so on) and he doesn't disappoint here as he gets his passport stamped and takes off for the tropical pleasures of Brazilian moods and music (in Portuguese mostly) which come subtlely...

Harper Simon: Harper Simon (Liberator)

Harper Simon: Harper Simon (Liberator)

Even on a blindfold test you'd probably only need the first few bars of the second song here -- after the traditional All to God -- to spot this is either Paul Simon, or someone very close to him. Harper is the 37-year old son of Paul (and you'd have to say by association also of Garfunkel given his light, melodic voice) and he would also...

Richard Walters: The Animal (Kartel)

Richard Walters: The Animal (Kartel)

Many singer-songwriters are prepared to essay their fragility in life and love, but few offer the sense they have some deep emotional strength to leaven the mix and lift their songs out of self-pity. This Paris-based Englishman is a rare one. He can push easily into a falsetto but, as with Jeff Buckley (whose style he otherwise doesn't...

A HEADS UP: My Pet Dragon

A HEADS UP: My Pet Dragon

Brooklyn-based My Pet Dragon -- a five-piece around singer/guitarist Todd Michaelsen and singer/dancer/percussion player Reena Shah -- haven't appeared previously at Elsewhere although Michaelsen's vocals so impresssed producer Karsh Kale that he and Anoushka Shankar invited him onto their Breathing Under Water album (here). My Pet Dragon's...

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 2 (Strut)

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 2 (Strut)

Following on from the recent and pretty cool Next Stop Soweto (volume one, obviously) comes this even better collection, this subtitled "soul, funk and organ grooves from the townships 1969-76". This is a steamy collection of 22 tracks -- many of them with some real guitar sting as much as funky grooves. In fact when the...

Simon Lynge: The Future (Lo-Max)

Simon Lynge: The Future (Lo-Max)

Singer-songwriter Lynge's story may be more interesting than his lowkey acoustic folk-pop: born in Denmark, childhood in Greenland (where his father is the local Bob Dylan apparently), back to Denmark, then to Los Angeles and Nashville, debut album Beautiful Way to Drown recorded in LA in Copenhagen in 2005 . . . Hard to top that in...

Simon Comber: Endearance (CNZ)

Simon Comber: Endearance (CNZ)

Halfway through this slowly engrossing New Zealand singer-songwriter's album is the gently penetrating song Please Elvis, which opens with the singer asking the King not to make his mother cry as she again plays one of his dusty old 45s, but then the song unfurls into a darker and more deep story of family life: "she's twirling a brandy...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Ben Sollee: Learning to Bend (Shock)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Ben Sollee: Learning to Bend (Shock)

Here's a striking opening couplet on an album: "If you're gonna lead my country and you're gonna say it's free, I'm gonna need a little honesty . . . just a few honest words, it shouldn't be that hard". That these spare but blunt sentiments are delivered over cello rather than angry guitars make them even more powerful, and when...

The Divine Comedy: Bang Goes the Knighthood (DCDR/Southbound)

The Divine Comedy: Bang Goes the Knighthood (DCDR/Southbound)

The amusing Divine Comedy – Neil Hannon the sole constant the past two decades – effect a kind of elegantly literary and often droll, social commentary, style which often comes with orchestration, or sounds like it has stepped out of a cabaret or music hall. They require, and reward, careful attention because the details are...

Marc Cohn: Listening Booth; 1970 (Sony)

Marc Cohn: Listening Booth; 1970 (Sony)

The way singer-songwriter Cohn remembers it, 1970 was when the Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkel, broke up. It was classic singles, the dawn of the singer-songwriter era (James Taylor, Neil Young and others), great albums by various solo Beatles, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Creedence . . . So he goes back to that year for this collection...

Neil Diamond: Dreams (Sony)

Neil Diamond: Dreams (Sony)

After trying for the same late-career revival as Johnny Cash with producer Rick Rubin - to lesser commercial and critical success -- Diamond now delivers the album he has said he's always wanted to do: a collection of covers, including his own early song I'm A Believer made famously a hit by the Monkees. Diamond is a man who always seems to...

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 3; Giants, Ministers and Makers (Strut)

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 3; Giants, Ministers and Makers (Strut)

Subtitled "Jazz in South Africa 1963-1984" this is the third volume in the excellent Strut excavation of crucial SA music which has previously picked up Township jive music and mad funk/psychedelic sounds. This collection is the least of three: the improvisations often sound constrained, in other places where the players let go...

JOE COCKER INTERVIEWED (2010): The school and sound of hard knocks

JOE COCKER INTERVIEWED (2010): The school and sound of hard knocks

It's a trick question, but see how you go: Who's the odd one out in this list; Hannah Montana, Britney Spears, Joe Cocker or Justin Bieber? The answer is, of course . . . the Bieber boy. He's the only one who hasn't had a song written for him by former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. But the real question is, what is 66-year...

JIMMY WEBB INTERVIEWED (2005). The songwriter's songwriter

JIMMY WEBB INTERVIEWED (2005). The songwriter's songwriter

When Jimmy Webb, one of the most sophisticated and successful songwriters of his generation, speaks of making music it is like eavesdropping on genius. And that is what he is considered to be by his peers and those who have followed his long career. Before he was 21 Webb had already written some of pop’s most enduring songs, including...

Joe Cocker: Hard Knocks (Sony)

Joe Cocker: Hard Knocks (Sony)

Cocker at 66 is candid enough to say that the idea behind this album was to get him on radio because -- good though his last one Hymn For My Soul was -- it didn't sell as expected. That meant bringing in another producer (Matt Serletic who had done good work for Collective Soul and Matchbox 20), getting the word out for radio-friendly...

Haysi Fantayzee: Jimmy Jive Jive (1983)

Haysi Fantayzee: Jimmy Jive Jive (1983)

It's entirely possible that this British pop duo (with the svengali figure of Paul Caplin guiding their brief career) spent more time in make-up than they did on the charts: they knocked out four singles and an album  . . . but their chief feature was their risque glam-raggamuffin look which was used to greater effect by their contemporary...

Edie Brickell: Edie Brickell (Racecarlotta)

Edie Brickell: Edie Brickell (Racecarlotta)

Brickell's debut album with the New Bohemians -- the quietly delightful neo-folk Shooting Rubber Bands at the Stars – was over 20 years ago and it's fair to observe she hasn't had anything like the profile since as a solo artist, when the band reformed, or in the short-lived Heavy Circles with her stepson Harper...

Bertie Higgins: Key Largo (1982)

Bertie Higgins: Key Largo (1982)

Bertie Higgins -- born in Florida despite his London East End-sounding name -- didn't make much long-term impression on the charts, except for this ballad about the romantic Golden Age of the Silver Screen which topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart in '82. Higgins, who had been a drummer in Tommy Roe's backing band in the Sixties,...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Tom Paxton; Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Tom Paxton; Original Album Series (Rhino)

In the late Seventies, Tom Paxton was still appearing in rock encyclopedias. It was a time when rock was still close enough to some of its folk roots (post-Dylan) for him to still be relevant. These days Paxton -- now in his early 70s and still performing -- may seem just a footnote in rock (usually mentioned in passing with regard to...

DENNIS LECORRIERE INTERVIEWED (2003): Is there a Doctor in the house?

DENNIS LECORRIERE INTERVIEWED (2003): Is there a Doctor in the house?

Dennis Locorriere spends most of the hour laughing and is more amused than irritated that many people mistake him for someone else. Locorriere - with slight streaks of silver at his temples and celebrating his 54th birthday on this day - is the voice of Dr Hook. But he wasn't the face of that Seventies hit-making machine which cluttered...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Paul Simon: So Beautiful Or So What (Hear Music)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Paul Simon: So Beautiful Or So What (Hear Music)

One of the things Paul Simon is seldom given credit for is his sense of humor. He too often comes off the kind of earnest New York Jewish singer-songwriter you imagine reads Dostoevsky at night but listens to doo-wop and old soul because he thinks it might be good for him. Yet this is the man who did that clip for You Can Call Me Al with...

Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)

Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)

The captivatingly named rock troubadour Vile from Philadelphia offers a kind of alt.folk-cum-indie rock skew which refers to Cohen as much as Cobain. But he also has an ear for a mainstream rock melody (Puppet the the Man here with AOR guitars behind his echoed alt.rock vocals) and recently said his current listening includes the Stones'...

Simon Comber: The Right to Talk to Strangers (CPR)

Simon Comber: The Right to Talk to Strangers (CPR)

On singer-songwriter Comber's earlier album Endearance there was an exceptional song, Please Elvis (which you can read about here), and it alerted the listener to the poetic shifts in his lyrics. This EP confirms Comber's lyrical smarts and in places goes even deeper than that impressive album. His voice sounds more resonant, stronger and...

My Pet Dragon: Mountains and Cities (Gimme That Sound)

My Pet Dragon: Mountains and Cities (Gimme That Sound)

About 16 months ago Elsewhere gave a Heads Up on an impending album by this group out of New York (here). As far as I can tell the impending album never arrived . . . but this seems to be it. A long time in the pot, obviously. Now a fully formed band around singer-songwriter Todd Michaelsen, this album has a chest-swelling urgency in...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Simon Comber

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Simon Comber

New Zealand singer-songwriter Simon Comber seems to have a confident mainline into those places where few others venture: insecurity articulated in small details, astutely observed slice-of-life images which suggest more than they say, and an honesty which is soul-baring and yet guarded at the same time. He really is someone special and...

PAUL SIMON INTERVIEWED (2000) The Attraction of Opposites

PAUL SIMON INTERVIEWED (2000) The Attraction of Opposites

Paul Simon calls from New York 15 minutes early, polite and apologetic. He needs to put the kids to bed -- his three children aged 7, 5 and 2 with his third wife, 34-year-old singer-songwriter Edie Brickell -- and read them stories. Could he call back in maybe an hour and a quarter?And, as you might expect from the man's almost obsessive,...

PAUL SIMON; GRACELAND, AGAIN (2012): We can all be received . . .

PAUL SIMON; GRACELAND, AGAIN (2012): We can all be received . . .

Hard to believe from this distance of some 25 years, but Paul Simon's award-winning and much loved Graceland album of 1986 – which went on to sell around 15 million copies – was once a flashpoint for protest and rage. Strange, when you listen to magical songs like the buoyant title track which shimmers over mercury smooth...

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Ray Columbus seldom rang me at the Herald unless he had something to say. I liked him for that, he wasn't a time waster. But once he called and said he had an American friend in town that I might like to meet, the guy who was the lead singer for the one-hit wonder 60s band the Newbeats. Before we go any further let me tell what I know about...

Josh Ritter; The Animal Years (V2/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Josh Ritter; The Animal Years (V2/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

From Moscow -- the one in Idaho -- Ritter has been championed by New York mainstream and American indie press for his literate and passionate singer-songwriter style, and here that is combined with gripping and memorable songs with lyrical and melodic hooks which grab like a gaff. Latterly he's been wooing them in Ireland. The album is...

M Ward; Post-War (EMI) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

M Ward; Post-War (EMI) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Matt Ward could easily be a musicologist's research assignment: this album -- his fifth -- roams effortless from hushed balladry to guitar work which sounds like the Shadows on a surf-rock kick, and from alt.rock to something Paul Simon would be proud of. And in many places he sounds like someone a few decades older -- and blacker -- than he...

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alt.country andrew bird andy partridge arcade fire arthur russell badfinger beck ben sollee best of elsewhere 2006 best of elsewhere 2007 best of elsewhere 2008 best of elsewhere 2009 best of elsewhere 2010 best of elsewhere 2011 bill frisell bob dylan bond street bridge bonnie prince billy brenda lee brett dennen brian eno brian wilson bright eyes comedyrobyn creedence clearwater revival death vessel dennis lecorriere devendra banhart divine donald reid donovan dr hook edie brickell edwin derricutt elliott smith elton john eric bibb etoile de dakar fela anikulapo kuti felice brothers findlay brown from the vaults gillian welch gin glen campbell hammond gamble harper simon harry nilsson haysi fantayzee her make believe band herbie hancock highlife i want to take you higher iron and wine jackie de shannon jakob dylan jamaican music james mcmurtry jason collett jeff buckley jimmy webb jj cale joe cocker joe jackson john lennon john mellencamp john vanderslice johnny cash joni mitchell josh ritter josh rouse karsh kale kris kristofferson kyu sakamoto lagos baby larry henley leonard cohen lloyd cole lou christie lou reed loudon wainwright loudon wainwright iii luke thompson m ward mali melody gardot micah p hinson miriam clancy motown mulatu astatke my back pages my pet dragon ned collette neil diamond neil halstead neil young new zealand music nick drake nirvana odetta paul mccartney pete molinari pete seeger peter case peter gabriel radiohead randy newman ray charles regina richard hawley richard swift richard walters roger mcguinn ry cooder samuel flynn scott sean lennon shawn philips silver jews simon and garfunkel simon comber simon lynge solomon burke songwriter on songwriting soweto spooner oldham steve abel steve earle the band the beatles the handsome family the ivy league the louvin brothers the volcano diary tim buckley tim guy tom paxton troubadours van morrison warratahs wayne mason wilco willie nelson windy city strugglers woody guthrie world music in elsewhere xtc yim yames