The Late Movies: Simon & Garfunkel's Concert in the Park

31 years ago today, Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel reunited for a concert in Central Park. It was September 19, 1981, and the concert was free -- the plan was to use TV and home video royalties from the performance to renovate Central Park itself, which was in bad shape at the time. New York mayor Ed Koch only came around to the idea of the concert after proposing that the park simply be closed. After "Homeward Bound," Simon ironically thanked Ed Koch, garnering boos from the crowd and a smirk from Garfunkel. It became clear that Simon was joking when he proceeded to thank the guys selling "loose joints," suggesting that half their proceeds would go to the park that night.

Roughly ten years after this concert, Paul Simon returned for a solo performance. I wrote about Simon's Concert in Central Park a few weeks back -- well worth a look if you're a fan. Now settle back, watch the sunset, and enjoy.

The Full Concert

Here's the entire concert in one video. The playlist, complete with start times:

01/ Mrs. Robinson 0:01:20
02/ Homeward Bound 0:04:40
03/ America 0:09:04
04/ Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard 0:13:40
05/ Scarborough Fair 0:17:10
06/ April Come She Will 0:20:55
07/ Wake Up Little Susie 0:23:15
08/ Still Crazy After All These Years 0:25:40
09/ American Tune 0:29:30
10/ Late in the Evening 0:33:45
11/ Slip Slidin' Away 0:38:00
12/ A Heart In New York 0:42:45
13/ The Late Great Johnny Ace 0:45:10
14/ Kodachrome/Maybellene 0:49:30
15/ Bridge Over Troubled Water 0:54:40
16/ 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover 0:59:30
17/ The Boxer 1:03:50
18/ Old Friends 1:10:25
19/ The Sound Of Silence 1:13:20
20/ Late In The Evening 1:19:40

There is an odd moment just after 48:30 when Simon mentions John Lennon's death while performing "The Late Great Johnny Ace" for the first time in public. The song is a tribute to Johnny Ace, JFK, and John Lennon. Lennon had been murdered the year before, nearby, and his ashes were scattered in Central Park. During the performance, a man rushed the stage, yelling "I need to talk to you!" and very nearly reaching Simon. The man was hurried offstage by security guards, and Simon finished the song, only mildly rattled.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Because this is a Late Movies post, I've gotta come up with some more videos. So here we go with greatest hits from this performance. The standout for me is this rapturous performance by Art Garfunkel. I literally get chills listening to it. Get ready, folks:

"The Boxer"

There's a sweet moment in the first verse when Garfunkel gets ahead of Simon. They smile and carry on. But it's clear from this (and other parts of the show) that they were suffering from serious disagreements -- the men rarely even look at each other.

"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"

I can never hear this song without thinking about The Royal Tenenbaums. That's a good thing, in my book.

"The Sound of Silence"

"We'll make our own fireworks." Damn straight.

What are Your Favorites?

Share your favorite Simon & Garfunkel performances in the comments. Also, this concert is out on DVD and CD if free YouTube videos aren't your thing. Also well worth a read: Wikipedia's page on the Concert in Central Park.

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Your Library Has a Free Music Service That You Probably Didn't Know About
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iStock

Did you know that you can download free music from your local library? Music that you can keep. That's right: not borrow, keep.

It's all possible thanks to a service called Freegal (a portmanteau of free and legal), which gives patrons of participating libraries access to 15 million songs from 40,000 labels, notably including the Sony Music Entertainment catalog. All you need is a library card.

Here's how it works: You can download a few songs a week, and, in many areas, enjoy several hours of streaming, too (the precise number of songs and hours of streaming varies by library). Once you download MP3 files, they're yours. You're free to put them on iTunes, your iPhone, your tablet, and more. You don't have to return them and they don't expire. The counter resets on Mondays at 12:01 a.m. Central Time, so if you hit your limit, you won't have long to wait before you get more downloads. And Freegal has some great stuff: A quick scan of the front page reveals music from Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Cardi B, Simon & Garfunkel, Childish Gambino, The Avett Brothers, Lykke Li, and Sara Bareilles.

Freegal has been around since 2010 and is offered at libraries worldwide. In the U.S., that includes the New York Public Library, Queens Library, Los Angeles Public Library, West Chicago Public Library, Houston Public Library, and more. In the past few years, libraries have debuted some other amazing free digital services, from classic films streaming on Kanopy to audiobooks and e-books available to borrow on SimplyE and OverDrive. But the thing that's so exciting about Freegal is that you can keep the MP3 files, unlike services that limit you to borrowing.

Freegal's site is easy to navigate: You can browse playlists and make your own, check out the most popular tunes, and save songs to your wishlist for when you get more credits. In the old days, music fans would check out CDs from the library and upload them onto their computers before returning them. But Freegal eliminates the need to go to your local branch, check out an album, and bring it back when you're done.

Freegal app
Freegal

To find out if your local library has Freegal, go to freegalmusic.com and click login, then search for your area. It's important to note: Your library's contract might not have both streaming and downloading privileges. You can use Freegal on the web or as an app available on the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon. Of course, the service doesn't have everything. And sometimes, when it does have an artist, it will only have a few of their most popular albums. But if you frequently buy music on iTunes or elsewhere, checking Freegal first may save you a bit of money.

If you don't yet have a library card, Freegal is just one more reason why you should get one ASAP.

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An Anthology Series Based on Dolly Parton's Songs Is Coming to Netflix
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Though she may be best known for her music career, Dolly Parton is a Hollywood powerhouse. In addition to starring in more than a few contemporary classics, from 9 to 5 to Steel Magnolias, she's also been partly responsible for some of your favorite TV series. As part owner of Sandollar Entertainment, a film and television production company, she's been a silent figure behind shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now, the queen of country music is preparing to return to the small screen once again—this time on Netflix.

The beloved singer is partnering with Warner Bros. Television to produce an anthology series for Netflix, Engadget reports. Set to debut in 2019, each of the eight episodes will have a theme based on a song by Parton, who will serve as executive producer and singer-songwriter in addition to appearing in the series.

"As a songwriter, I have always enjoyed telling stories through my music," Parton said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be bringing some of my favorite songs to life with Netflix. We hope our show will inspire and entertain families and folks of all generations, and I want to thank the good folks at Netflix and Warner Bros. TV for their incredible support."

The list of songs hasn’t yet been released, but I Will Always Love You, Jolene, and The Bargain Store are among Parton’s greatest hits.

Parton previously worked with Warner Bros. to produce the made-for-television movies Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors (2015) and Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love (2016). She has also nearly finished the music for the upcoming film Dumplin'—based on a novel by Julie Murphy and starring Jennifer Aniston—and the soundtrack will be released via Dolly Records and Sony Music Nashville, according to Parton’s website.

[h/t Engadget]

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