There Goes Simon’s Rhymin’

We voted this morning (Yes, Yes, Yes and Mr. Baker is toast and even better there was no doughnut table to guilt-trip you about not donating something to the polling-place school).

Then I did my initial listen to what, for now anyway, is Paul Simon’s final album, In the Blue Light. And it felt like closing a circle.

Back in Park Senior High, the simpering set adored Simon & Garfunkel, but I thought “Parsley” puke and even “Sounds of Silence” too quivering-nerve. “Bridge Over” was impossible to scoff away, however, and did provide my first revelation: the simp set was in love with Artie and Paul was ready to divorce all of them.

I think the Dean has had a damn-near-perfect ear for Simon through the decades and we responded to identical same tracks. Except that I always adored “One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor,” which came out the year I became an official adult and started living in my own apartment. Yeah, here’s somebody mirroring my mind. But I did have trouble with “Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War” — thought it was abstruse. I have not checked to see how much lyrics were modified, but sure enough, this is now a masterful metaphysician operation.

Biggest stinko of the whole set (I’ve listened to it twice and realized I did not even grok this cut the first time through) is that “Love” is track #2. It’s a plain regression to S&G manners and mores and even language. Worst of all, it confirms that part of Simon still respects simp swill. And if “The Teacher” is clearer than it used to be, I still can’t bother to pierce its opaque. It is abstruse.

“Darling Lorraine” is a casually complex example of the Simon the old pimple farms would never grasp — he became an adult, even a weathered adult, not just a pop star with years heaped on him. “How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns” pulls back every lonely era of my life and best of all “Can’t Run But” delights me anew as a twittering and trumpeting machine that radiates the sensibility of the saints.

Thanks for the trip.

Brookline “Incidents”: For the Birds

“a caller reported that a flock of turkeys had been separated behind the tennis courts. The caller said that one turkey could not figure out how to reunite with the family on the other side of the fence and all the turkeys were pacing back and forth.”

 

“a caller reported a blue jay appeared ill and had not moved ‘for hours.’ The caller said the bird was near the farm stand and that lots of people had been touching it.”

Stuff in the Air That Came Out of Speakers Today #66: Swamp Dogg

The album features another of his classic frank-and-practical titles: Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune (Joyful Noise). Only gotten through all the way once, but I have this to say already —

Remember that album Hard Again by Muddy Waters? Far as I’m concerned this is Swamp Again by a 75-year-old and if anything a more urgent and inspired re-creation of the wildman you love to love. Outrageous (and moving) kickoff: utter electrofunk reading of “Answer Me, My Love.”

I’d buy it for the sardonic-surreal liner notes.

And the photo of Dogg that shows he’s not flourishing because he’s in killer shape.

Couple Local Chuckles From the “Brookline TAB”

From “Police Incidents”

First, a classic Students Are Back muck-up:

“At 11:13 AM, a caller reported that a couch was stolen from outside their apartment door. Later in the day, the caller reported finding her couch in another apartment. The resident said his roommates must have brought it in and the caller insisted it was her couch, according to the report.”

Next, some Street Surrealism:

“At 4:30 PM, a caller reported that a man approached the caller and her friend, asked to use their cell phone and said he needed to speak with Herbie Hancock, the jazz artist.”