In recent months, I’ve found myself declaring a couple of times that one song or another was officially among my all-time favorites.
That got me interested, during these pandemic times, in creating a definitive playlist of my favorite songs. This is an exercise fraught with peril and subject to repeated second-guessing, but that’s also what makes it fun.
Narrowing such a list to ten songs proved impossible, so I kept at it until I had close to 30, then pared back to 25, which feels like a good number.
I write these posts about a week or so in advance, and when preparing this one, it hit me that I’m about to get to the stretch of posts spanning Election Day and its aftermath. Gulp.
Four years ago, I spent the lead-up to the election posting songs from the 30 Days, 30 Songs project, in which artists took musical shots at Donald Trump in the name of raising money and turning out the vote.
It didn’t work, obviously.
The Concert in Central Park was the first Simon & Garfunkel album I ever heard. Released in 1982, this recording of the late-1991 benefit concert was my gateway to the duo’s music and also to a half dozen of Paul Simon’s solo tunes.
In fact, it wasn’t until I started diving into Simon & Garfunkel’s catalog that I realized tracks such as ‘Late in the Evening,’ ‘Slip Slidin’ Away,’ ‘Kodachrome’ and ‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’ were actually solo tracks written and recorded after their breakup. I mean, they sound so good performed by both men.
Last week I featured five songs introduced to me by my older daughter Sophia. This week I turn to songs I associate with my younger daughter Fiona, though in this case none of them were new to me.
Fiona is still in that wonderful phase where she’s discovering excellent music from decades past, just as I was introduced to Bob Dylan and The Beatles during my pre-teen years.
Closing out the week with the fifth Round Three matchup in Montauk Madness, we have the odd pairing of Taylor Swift vs. Simon & Garfunkel.
Swift defeated a couple of celebrated veterans to get here, dropping David Byrne with 88% of the vote in Round One and Tom Petty with 72% in Round Two. Simon & Garfunkel defeated Rufus Wainwright with 80% in Round One and Prince with 64% in Round Two. That’s an impressive batch of artists left in the wake of these two contenders. Continue reading