Paul Simon to mark touring retirement with new album

Paul Simon, right, and Art Garfunkel. Simon said he will stop touring after a September 22 concert at Forest Hills Stadium in the New York borough of Queens, where he grew up. (Shuttersock)
Updated 12 July 2018
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Paul Simon to mark touring retirement with new album

  • Preparing for his live finale Simon said he will on September 7 release a 14th solo studio album
  • Paul Simon: It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and rethink them

NEW YORK: Folk rock legend Paul Simon on Thursday announced an album with fresh takes on previously released songs as he prepares to retire from touring.
The former half of Simon and Garfunkel, who pioneered world music fusion in the 1980s, previously said that he will stop touring after a September 22 concert at Forest Hills Stadium in the New York borough of Queens, where he grew up.
Preparing for his live finale, Simon said he will on September 7 release a 14th solo studio album, “In the Blue Light,” in which collaborators joining him to reinterpret his songs.
“It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and rethink them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals,” Simon, 76, writes in the liner notes, according to a statement announcing the album.
“I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home.”
The album will not feature his best-known hits such as “You Can Call Me Al” or “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.”
Instead it will emphasize lesser-known tracks such as the surrealist-inspired “Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War.”
Star guests will include the iconic jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis on “How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns” and “Pigs, Sheep and Wolves” as well as Bryce Dessner, the composer and guitarist of indie rockers The National who arranged a new take of “Can’t Run But,” Simon’s 1990 song about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
“Can’t Run But” appeared on “The Rhythm of the Saints,” in which Simon incorporated the sounds of Brazil. The album followed his career-reviving 1986 album “Graceland,” in which Simon found a new voice by working with South African musicians.


Mystery Egypt sarcophagus found not to house Alexander the Great’s remains

Mostafa Wazir, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, inspects the site of the newly discovered giant black sarcophagus in Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria, Egypt July 19, 2018 in this handout photo courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Mystery Egypt sarcophagus found not to house Alexander the Great’s remains

  • The unmarked tomb in Alexandria did not likely belong to any other notable ruler in the Ptolemaic period (332 BC-30 BC) associated with Alexander the Great, or the subsequent Roman era
  • The location of the remains of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC in Babylon, remains a mystery

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt: Egyptian archaeologists on Thursday dashed local hopes that a newly discovered ancient sarcophagus might contain the remains of Alexander the Great, finding instead the mummies of what appeared to be a family of three.
Workmen inadvertently unearthed the approximately 2,000-year-old black granite sealed sarcophagus this month during the construction of an apartment building in the historic Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.
The 30-ton coffin is the largest yet found in Alexandria, prompting a swirl of theories in local and international media that it may be the resting place of the ancient Greek ruler who in 331 BC founded the city that still bears his name.
Egypt’s antiquities ministry had vigorously dismissed the chances of finding Alexander’s remains inside the 30-ton sarcophagus and on Thursday its skepticism was vindicated.
“We found the bones of three people, in what looks like a family burial... Unfortunately the mummies inside were not in the best condition and only the bones remain,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site.
Waziri said some of the remains had disintegrated because sewage water from a nearby building had leaked into the sarcophagus through a small crack in one of the sides.
The location of the remains of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC in Babylon, remains a mystery.
The sarcophagus in Alexandria is the latest of a series of interesting archaeological finds this year in Egypt that include a 4,400-year-old tomb in Giza and an ancient necropolis in Minya, south of Cairo.
The unmarked tomb in Alexandria did not likely belong to any other notable ruler in the Ptolemaic period (332 BC-30 BC) associated with Alexander the Great, or the subsequent Roman era, Waziri said.
The prospect of opening the long-sealed sarcophagus had stirred fears in Egyptian media that it could unleash a 1,000-year curse.
“We’ve opened it and, thank God, the world has not fallen into darkness, said Waziri.
“I was the first to put my whole head inside the sarcophagus... and here I stand before you ... I am fine.”