Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pan Flutes, Simon and Garfunkel and Anger

In Sunday's NY Times, Neil Genzlinger, city critic, comes up with 10 (or 9) offenses for which offenders can be fined.

First on the list...." Anyone playing a pan flute in public, licensed or not. Double fine for any pan flutist who plays that old Simon and Garfunkel song more than six times an hour."

That song is El Cóndor Pasa (The Condor Goes by (or Flies by), a Peruvian folk song.

This pan flute situation is very serious in New York. Here is link to Gridskipper than calls out the pan flutists.

Peruvian pan flute buskers rank just above NYU kids playing Bob Dylan covers in the Astor Place subway station in terms of pure distilled crap. Amazingly, you can go anywhere in the world--or at least wherever tourists can be found--and catch a group of sad looking Peruvians blowing on their pan pipes, strumming a guitar, with a PA system providing back up and a tambourine forlornly keeping time, churning out New Agey pap. 

The Gridskipper post is from 2006 and Times wrote about these dudes on 2011.
Get out much or is it the end of political correctness?

St Swithin's Day and Frank Sinatra

In the movie "One Day",  Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) begin a friendship that will last a lifetime. That day July 15, 1988 is St. Swithin's day.
As far as I can tell, St Swithin's is some kind of "ground hog day" for rain.
As in this verse..
St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mar 
  Who was St. Swithin or Swithun? You can look it up.

What interests me is a letter that Frank Sinatra wrote to George Michael after Michael wrote about the "tragedy of fame" in a 1990 magazine article.

Come on George, Loosen up. Swing, man, Here's a kid who 'wanted to be a pop-star since I was about seven years old.' and now he's a smash performer and song-writer at 27, he wants to quit doing what tons of gifted youngsters all over the world would shoot grandma for- just one crack at what he's complaining about. ....And no more of that talk about the 'tragedy of fame' The tragedy of fame is when no-one shows up and you're singing to the cleaning-lady in some empty joint that hasn't seen a paying customer since St. Swithin's Day. 

Thus my belief, that it is still Frank's world and we're just living in it.

St. Swithin