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Friday, June 29, 2007

Caught some of Charley Rose interviewing Paul Simon last night, a good forum for him, I think. Unlike Dylan, Simon is eager to explain, and Rose is an intelligent listener. Listening to Simon sing "Slip Sliding Away" I thought a little about what it is that he writes about, and what it was that he was trying to explain, and it seemed to me that for all that his writing is incredibly personal and confessional, his presentation works to distance it. Having Artie around to sing harmonies, or adding world beats, or whatever compositional gimmick he favors in any given song diverts attention from the fact that his subject is his own emotional life, and its scarring over. In a way, the discussion he had with Rose-- and every other interview I've ever seen him do-- was more of the same, an intellectual's over-intellectualizing on an emotional question. For all that his songs are about what a sensitive guy he is, what I think I like best about him is that it is pretty clear that he is probably tough to live with.

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