Art Garfunkel performs some old and some new material this weekend.

Modern Art 

Art Garfunkel performs some old and some new material this weekend.

Art Garfunkel, now entering his sixties, isn't above laughing about his hair. "I'm most famous for my hair and my last name," he says. "One's squiggly, and the other's awkward to pronounce. But neither one really has all that much to do with me. It's kind of like the great cosmic joke." (Fans who attend his show at the Midland Theatre this Sunday, though, will find that hair significantly reduced by recent trimmings. "I've got that swimmer-just-out-of-the-water look," the singer says.)

Actually famous for his 1960s harmonies with classmate Paul Simon, Garfunkel does not speak of his early career with the bitterness suggested by a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Simon remembers fans but fails to recognize Garfunkel. He still performs tunes from his days with Simon, despite varying levels of emotional involvement.

"If you give me 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' today, I'll go to town. That was always my song. But I never do 'The Boxer,'" he says. "It feels too much like a Paul and Artie duet. I feel uncomfortable singing 'Mrs. Robinson' alone, but the audience always wants to hear it, so I just try to make it rock as much as possible. I do 'Cecilia,' and I miss Paul when I do it. I really do. But I still love to do 'Kathy's Song.' I'll probably do that one in Kansas City."

Garfunkel is coming to town in conjunction with Temple B'nai Jehudah's ceremony honoring high-school students in Uniontown, Kansas, who while working on a history project uncovered the story of a Polish woman now in her nineties who smuggled Jewish infants out of the Warsaw ghetto.

Garfunkel doesn't have any particular connection to the cause, but he's happy to lend his services. "I'm just a singer," he says. "I'm not a singer-slash-anything. I'm most deeply connected to the musical cause of putting on a good show."

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