29 April 2008

Paul Simon etc. @ BAM 4/26/08

I'm not exactly sure how I ended up front row, dead center (I'm talking first row, people) in a gorgeous Opera house at a Paul Simon (and all his musical friends!) concert Saturday night. But thanks to serendipitous circumstances and a very generous friend I did. Hate to sound gratuitous, but man it was awesome. Basically the show, part of a month long Simon-based events at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), consisted of mini tribute sets in which an eclectic bunch assortment of artists (Grizzly Bear, The Rouches, Gillian Welch, Josh Groban, Olu Dara, Amos Lee) played their Simon favorites, followed by a lengthy set by the dude himself. All I have to say is Grizzly Bear covered "Graceland" and "Mother and Child Reunion," doing what they do best--eloooongating the melodies to their wispy core and drenching them in eerie harmonies. Spooky.

But the spookier, weirdest, maybe just kinda surreal thing was watching GB's Ed Droste stand off-stage and watch Josh Groban duet with Paul on "Bridge Over Troubled Water." I don't know why it weired me out, but it did. I guess I just don't associate heavily commercialized, adult contemporary wunderkinds performing on the same stage, just mere seconds after my favorite psych-folk groups, you know? And to have them actively watching each other maybe made my head explode a little.

Speaking of surreal, it's ALWAYS a bit surreal hearing songs older then you being performed by the person who actually wrote them, like WHOA, "Mrs. Robinson?!" DOUBLE WHOA, "The Sound of Silence?!" I'm not sure I'm old enough to be allowed to be participating in this kind of nostalgia. But, hey, it sure sounded great.

P.S. - I refrained from taking photos during the actual sets, because photography was techincally against the rules and I didn't want to get kicked out of a fancy-schmancey opera house. But that didn't stop me from snapping some pics during the final bows, heh.

Grizzly Bear - Graceland (Paul Simon cover).mp3

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