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Paean to Paul: Simon's Discography Brought to Life

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Gershwin Prize marquee at the Warner TheaterWow.

Wow, wow, wow!

I promise that I will quit posting so heavily about Paul Simon ? maybe after the concert airs on June 27 on PBS ? but I do have to gush a bit about Wednesday night’s performances. Where to begin?

First, leave it to the Library of Congress’s blogger (moi) to be so behind the curve in blogging about the concert for the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song! Now that that?s out of the way ?

Numerous sources have already weighed in with great accounts of the concert. The Washington Post’s review dwelled a bit on what few technical gaffes there were, but I’ll bet the vast majority of the audience didn’t much care about a couple of microphone glitches.

Yes, Alison Krauss and Shawn Colvin performed “The Boxer” twice because of a couple of feedback-related incidents, but I felt privileged to have gotten a second helping of what is probably one of my top-three Simon and Garfunkel songs ever. Far from the view that a few stops and starts were a distraction, many of us felt ? in the words of one of my colleagues ? that we all had been “privy to a jam session.”
Gershwin Prize posterEverything, of course, will be ironed out when the spectacle airs on PBS. (Now this is why I own an HDTV!)

The Washington Times had a slightly more positive take on things. (By the way, a number of media sources have referred to what the Times called James Taylor’s “impish” remark during “Still Crazy After All These Years.” My take on his, er, colorful use of language was that it was a wink and a nod from a man who has survived debilitating mental illness and drug addiction.)

The fun didn’t end for me even yesterday evening, as we secreted ourselves in a Washington hotel suite in order to shoot a video PSA with “a major celebrity,” extolling the virtues of the Library of Congress. Obviously, I will be eager to share that/those with all of you in the not-too-distant future!

A few more takes on the concert:

USA Today ran its story with a photo from Tuesday’s dinner that included a prominent picture of the Library’s seal, making at least one blogger squeal with delight.

Reuters ran one of the first reviews, with this version posting at TV Guide barely two hours after the concert ended.

Ajayquixote ? If this was the guy I saw with a straw fedora a few rows ahead of me, then his blog-rave probably still doesn?t do justice to the amount of fun it looked like he was having.

Blogged In also seems to have had a rollicking good time.

Washington?s City Paper conveyed a little more snark than the others (along with an unexpurgated quote of the aforementioned James Taylor reference), but that?s what we bloggers do, right?

And finally, while ?The Sleuth? crashed the after party, I went home and went to bed.

(Photos: Courtesy of my crummy cameraphone)

Comments (5)

  1. Great tribute to an amazing and gifted man. Wish I had an ounce of his talent. Kudos to those who covered for Stevie Wonder’s unforgiveable memory lapse of the words.

  2. Is there a cd and/or dvd of the Paul Simon/Library of Congress concert last week? It’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen on television. Where can I get it, and when will the show repeat on PBS?
    Jeff Cloninger, Palm Beach, Fla.

  3. I saw that as well and it was good. I have been trying to find a video or soundtrack too but can’t find one. If anyone knows where to get it, it would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Great tribute to an amazing and gifted man. Wish I had an ounce of his talent. Kudos to those who covered for Stevie Wonder’s unforgiveable memory lapse of the words

  5. This is right here, in the present, not the future.

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