midweek music: “Late in the Evening”

Last night, we had our memorial workout in honor of Shuseki Shihan William Oliver, the founder of our discipline who passed away in November 2004. One of the things Shuseki Shihan Paul said at the end of the workout when he was reminiscing about Oliver was a brief mention of the fact that he was a really big Paul Simon fan.

In honor of that, here are two live versions of my favorite of Simon’s songs, “Late in the Evening.” The first is from the concert in Central Park that Simon did with his erstwhile partner Art Garfunkel in 1981, a concert I attended as a twelve-year-old. The second is from a 2012 concert Simon did in Hyde Park.

midweek music: “Money for Nothing”

Here’s another one from the Music for Montserrat concert in 1997. The island of Montserrat had a studio on it owned by George Martin, and several great rock musicians have recorded there. The island suffered some nasty volcano damage in ’97, and Martin put together a benefit concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Here’s another one from it, with Sting and Mark Knopfler reuniting to perform the 1985 Dire Straits mega-hit “Money for Nothing” — still one of the ten best rock guitar riffs of all time — backed up by Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Ray Cooper, and more. (Though I’m disappointed that the gospel choir didn’t join in the “I want my MTV” chant…….)

midweek music: “Polymorph Your Mother”

The Boogie Knights were formed in 1982, a silly parody band that did fantasy, horror, or historical takes on popular songs — kind of the Weird Al of the RenFest set. I joined the group on percussion in 2006. This past weekend at Shore Leave was the band’s 40th anniversary (their first gig was Shore Leave in ’82), and in honor of the occasion, Dave Keefer wrote new verses for one of the band’s first-ever songs. Herewith, the 40th anniversary edition of “Polymorph Your Mother.”

(Click here for the entire set we did Saturday morning at SL…..)

midweek music: “Duke of Earl”

One of my favorite a cappella groups is the Canadian band the Nylons. They’ve gone through a number of members of the years, and only one of the four founding members is still alive (one died of AIDS in 1991, sadly, while still active with the band; the other three retired from the band and died more recently), but they’ve remained a great group throughout their run from 1978 until their farewell tour in 2016. Here’s their stupendous cover of “Duke of Earl.”