Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two impressive personal websites


Arts Journalism for the Love of It
Jane Librizzi
My Photo

EVERY now and then you stumble across a very impressive blog or two whilst trawling the internet during  moments in which you experience rare solitude and freedom. Tonight I have been absorbed for a good hour or two by this blog: The writer is Jane Librizzi, a New Yorker, apparently a freelance journalist and a radio broadcaster, who I wouldn't know from a bar of soap- and yet, becoming absorbed in her thought-provoking blog, you can't help but feel you know her a little. She covers a wide range of subjects, mostly Art and Literature, and she does so comprehensively and professionally with acknowledgement of sources and detailed bibliographies. And you learn so much from her blog- or at least I did- because she covers some really interesting and esoteric subjects. At the moment, in 2012, she seems to be absorbed with Belgian art and Belgian photography. Then there is poetry by an Austrian, Ingeborg Bachmann, a fascinating study of the construction of stairs under the lovely heading 'Evanescence', a discussion of a Paul Signac painting under the equally beguiling heading, 'Luminance', and the professional relationship between Duncan Phillips (patron) and Augustus Vincent Tack (painter). Now I have only gone back in my discussion here to December 3, 2011, and Librizzi has been blogging since September 2005. So she has an incredible wealth of interesting blog entries over a number of years. She also includes a library of books read under a link at the bottom of her page called 'Library Thing.' Here once again I was introduced to the names of many writers and their books totally new to me.

THE other web address that has captured my attention of late has Again, a fascinating wealth of information, and great insight into the lesser known of the Simon and Garfunkel coupling.

Art Garfunkel

I have heard quite a lot of Art Garfunkel's solo career, and grew up listening to the 'Breakaway' album with its beautiful, dreamy rendition of 'I Only Have Eyes For You', and the even better 'Watermark' album filled with excellent Jimmy Webb tunes, like 'Mr Shuck 'n' Jive', one of my favourite songs. There is a lyric in Jimmy Webb's 'Wooden Planes' that seems made up and fanciful and dream-like:

Propeller's spinning in the
West Texas wind,
We ran behind
You know we laughed, we thought
our little flight would never end

You were my brother and I,
I knew you were my friend
I wish we
were chasing after wooden
airplanes....once again.

I love the nostagic feel, and it's a lovely song, and to my delight I read an interview with Jimmy Webb in which he talks about how his family did live in West Texas, and furthermore, his father used to buy he and his brother wooden planes to fly in the wind....


 On the Garfunkel website, under the tab 'News', we get just that, with information about recent Art Garfunkel happenings, mentioning of new articles, the poem he read to Paul Simon at the latter's 70th birthday, etc, etc. Under 'the G' for Guest, we get biographical details, an introduction to Art Garfunkel's massive Euro wanderings on foot (including maps of his personal voyages), his acting credits, and most interestingly for me, his favourite 60 songs of all time, from Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash at the lower end, to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles at the top end. Many great songs, and somewhat modestly, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' at No.4- yet I couldn't help but be disappointed he couldn't find room for anything by Joni Mitchell or Van Morrison. The tab 'Concerts' offers the reader insights into past performances and then there is 'Writings' (his own verse and prose) and 'Music', a detailed account of every Art Garfunkel performance on CD or vinyl. He has a 'books read over the years' section under the tab 'Library' which incredibly details every book he has read from 1968 until the present day. A very well read person evidently, and his favourites include 'Wuthering Heights' and 'War and Peace.'  The 'body of work' covers the solo period of 1973-2007, and interestingly, he has ranked his own material from 1-134 in terms of quality of  vocal performance and overall quality of the song.' I must say, I agree with most of his top ten. I must say, there seems to be quite a lot of navel gazing in this comprehensive website- what other artists rank their own songs and their own vocal performances so assiduously? Yet, it would offer his many fans quite a lot of enjoyment, and I only wish some of my other favourite artists did the same. I for one love lists, and it seems that Art Garfunkel does too.

So we can glean from his website, that Art Garfunkel adores not only music, but travel and literature as well. Perhaps this is (subconsciously or otherwise) him saying 'look at me, I'm not just someone who happens to have a great voice and be a good singer of Paul Simon classics, but I am an interesting and intelligent person in my own right.'

Top Songs by Art Garfunkel

60. Chuck Berry Rock & Roll Music

59. Johnny Cash I Walk the Line

58. Aretha Franklin Respect

57. Jimi Hendrix Foxey Lady

56. The Allman Brothers Band Ramblin Man

55. The Righteous Brothers You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

54. The McCoys Hang on Sloopy

53. Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers Why Do Fools Fall in Love

52. The Everly Brothers All I Have to Do Is Dream

51. 10cc I'm Not in Love

50. Jackson Browne Running On Empty

49. The Beatles Let It Be

48. The Beach Boys I Get Around

47. Jimmy Cliff The Harder They Come

46. Little Richard Good Golly, Miss Molly

45. The Police Every Breath You Take

44. Al Green Let's Stay Together

43. Roberta Flack Killing Me Softly With His Song

42. Ricky Nelson Travellin' Man

41. Foreigner I Wanna Know What Love Is

40. James Taylor You've Got a Friend

39. The Supremes Where Did Our Love Go

38. Prince Little Red Corvette

37. Bruce Hornsby The Way It Is

36. Dire Straits Money For Nothing

35. Marvin Gaye What's Goin' On

34. Carpenters Close to You

33. Bob Dylan Blowin' in the Wind

32. Bobby Freeman Do You Want to Dance

31. Fleetwood Mac Rhiannon

30. Sam Cooke You Send Me

29. The Beach Boys Help Me Rhonda

28. The Big Bopper Chantilly Lace

27. Linda Ronstadt & J.D. Souther Prisoner in Disguise

26. Barbra Streisand The Way We Were

25. Percy Sledge When a Man Loves a Woman

24. The Beatles Get Back

23. The Drifters Save the Last Dance for Me

22. Glen Campbell By the Time I Get to Phoenix

21. Bob Dylan Like a Rolling Stone

20. The Everly Brothers Let It Be Me

19. Fats Domino I'm Walkin'

18. Simon and Garfunkel The Sound of Silence

17. Buddy Holly/The Crickets Peggy Sue

16. The Doors Light My Fire

15. Elvis Presley All Shook Up

14. The Penguins Earth Angel

13. Ray Charles What'd I Say

12. Chuck Berry Johnny B. Goode

11. Jerry Lee Lewis Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On

10. Little Richard Tutti-Fruitti

09. Elvis Presley Don't Be Cruel

08. The Everly Brothers Bye Bye Love

07. The Beatles Yesterday

06. Frankie Ford Sea Cruise

05. The Beach Boys Good Vibrations

04. Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water

03. Ike & Tina Turner River Deep, Mountain High

02. The Rolling Stones Satisfaction

01. The Beatles Here, There, and Everywhere


1 comment:

CMS said...

I love most of those songs...thanks ART!