July 4th

5 07 2010

Independence Day has come and gone… hard to believe we’re this deep into the summer already. Hope everyone had a great weekend filled with BBQs and fireworks. A few songs always come to mind when I think about July 4th. The first is Paul Simon’s “American Tune” from his 1973 solo album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. It’s a great song from his early years (I love that mid-70’s stuff). This 1975 BBC performance is very intimate and really captures the essence of the song. The tone is cool and the lyrics are full of imagery that paints the picture of the true American spirit.

The second tune is an incredible performance from one of my favorite musicians David Bowie. It’s actually a cover of yet another patriotic Paul Simon song, “America”, from the post-911 concert for NYC. This live version really displays Bowie’s prowess as not just a musician but an artist. The arrangement is really cool. He plays a toy keyboard while sitting cross-legged at the front of the stage all by himself. Although you will hear some strings behind him at points, it’s all him… out there, front and center doing what he does. I love this one so much I often bring up this clip just to check it out, regardless of the time of year.

References:

More info on Paul Simon

More info on “American Tune”

More info on David Bowie

More info on “America”

More info on Concert for New York

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