Leonard Cohen!

Discussion in 'Other Music' started by nevermind, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    Another wonderful review by the one and only Neil McCormick! :cat:
    By Neil McCormick


    At the age of 80, Leonard Cohen has created a masterpiece. It’s a smoky, late-night concoction delivered with a deceptively light touch that masks deep seriousness. Opening track Slow proves a gentle curtain raiser, played out with wry humour over a bluesy electric piano, Cohen taking the opportunity to dismiss notions that advancing years might be responsible for the sedate pace of the music: “It’s not because I’m old/ It’s not what dying does/ I always liked it slow/ Slow is in my blood.”

    The band builds throughout the track and those that follow with splashes of organ, the flutter of percussion, the fruity push of horns and harmonic sweetness of female backing vocals, each new element adding warmth and depth. The past few years of constant gigging seem to have emboldened Cohen to let his band have some headway, at long last ditching the constricted keyboard and drum machine sound he has favoured since the late Eighties. And where better singers battle decaying vocal cords and diminishing range, Cohen embraces it all, growly edges fraying his whispery baritone with bluesman gravitas.

    The 'popular problems’ he addresses involve internecine conflict, viewing civil war through the metaphor of human relationships and vice versa, illuminating the macrocosm in the microcosm of troubled times.

    Almost Like the Blues frets at the darkness in the human soul, evoking the story of “the gipsies and the Jews”. Genocidal, geopolitical conflict lurks in these grooves but Cohen doesn’t pin his colours to any mast. The epic Born a Slave examines his Judaic roots while the astonishing Nevermind focuses on the plight of other displaced people, an inspirational flourish of Arabic singing implying compassionate identification with Israel’s historic enemies. Samson in New Orleans addresses cultural divides in America while the beautifully ruminative A Street views a battle from the perspective of a divided love affair: “You put on a uniform to fight the civil war/ You looked so good I didn’t care what side you were fighting for”.

    Cohen’s couplets are so satisfying, you can’t help but smile when he reaches the inevitable rhyme, even when the underlying message is disturbing. He is not afraid of ambiguity but doesn’t use it to disguise woolly thinking. There is always a sense of deeper layers of meaning, images that linger and ideas to contemplate when the music fades. The album ends, rather wonderfully, with breezy anthem You Got Me Singing, suggesting Cohen is in no hurry to leave the stage: “You got me singing even though the world is gone/ You got me thinking that I’d like to carry on/ You got me singing even though it all looks grim/ You got me singing the Hallelujah hymn.” Hallelujah to that.
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  2. carmel59

    carmel59 Well-Known Grayhead

    beautifully written
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  3. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    Leonard Cohen will release Live In Dublin on Tuesday, December 2, 2014!


    Leonard Cohen - Live In Dublin's three hours of music and magic includes an 11-song first set, a 10-song second set and an 8-song encore. The DVD features bonus live tracks recorded in Canada in 2013.

    Leonard Cohen - Live In Dublin

    Set 1
    Dance Me to the End of Love
    The Future
    Bird on the Wire
    Everybody Knows
    Who By Fire
    The Gypsy's Wife
    Come Healing
    Lover Lover Lover

    Set 2
    Tower of Song
    Chelsea Hotel #2
    Waiting for the Miracle
    The Partisan
    In My Secret Life
    Alexandra Leaving (Sharon Robinson)
    I'm Your Man
    Recitation w/ N.L.
    Take this Waltz

    So Long, Marianne
    Going Home
    First We Take Manhattan
    Famous Blue Raincoat
    If It Be Your Will (Webb Sisters)
    Closing Time
    I Tried to Leave You
    Save the Last Dance for Me

    DVD Bonus songs
    Show Me The Place – Halifax, NS, Canada – April 13, 2013 – Halifax Metro Centre
    Anyhow – St. John's, NL, Canada – April 20, 2013 – Mile One Centre
    Different Sides – St. John, NB, Canada – April 15, 2013 – Harbour Station

    Stream live version of "Waiting For the Miracle":
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  4. KirstenH

    KirstenH Active Grayhead

    Now that's an encore!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Rena

    Rena Admin Staff Member

    Would someone let know David about the 8 songs encore, please? Just to give him a vague idea about what's possible for encores...

    And yes on that DVD. This should be worth getting.
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  6. KirstenH

    KirstenH Active Grayhead

    ...And what's possible for 80 years young! You are a machine Leonard.
    I hope David Gray has the same longevity. :singing:

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
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  7. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    While Leonard Cohen is busy working on a new studio album he released Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, a live album culled from his tour in support of 2012's Old Ideas.
    More than half of its 10 songs were recorded in soundchecks, where Leonard Cohen and his band tested new tunes and refurbish standards like 1971's "Joan of Arc.
    The album includes "Never Gave Nobody Trouble" and "Got a Little Secret", songs Cohen has never released before, as well as a covers of George Jones' "Choices" and Georges Dor's "La Manic"

    Here another wonderful song of this album:


    and Stages :))))))

    'Stages' Transcript by http://cohencentric.com/.../video-transcript-leonard.../:

    Y’know I was talking with some of the guys . . . some of the guys in the band are kind of over the hill. And they were talking about the various stages that a man goes through in relation to his allure to the opposite sex. It was not a scientific evaluation . . . just something that arose over a cup of coffee.

    It went something like this: You start off irresistible. And, then you become resistible. And then you become transparent – not exactly invisible but as if you are seen through old plastic. Then you actually do become invisible. And then — and this is the most amazing transformation — you become repulsive. But that’s not the end of the story. After repulsive then you become cute – and that’s where I am.
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  8. Main

    Main Active Grayhead

    Oh, this is priceless!!! :D:D

    It went something like this: You start off irresistible. And, then you become resistible. And then you become transparent – not exactly invisible but as if you are seen through old plastic. Then you actually do become invisible. And then — and this is the most amazing transformation — you become repulsive. But that’s not the end of the story. After repulsive then you become cute – and that’s where I am.​
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  9. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    The theme song to the second season of True Detective comes from Leonard Cohen, from his 2014 album, “Popular Problems.” !
    I absolutely love "Nevermind" and the visuals are stunning!

    "that sparse, gravelly, and altogether badass song you heard over the opening credits was “Nevermind,” a track off Cohen’s most recent studio album, 2014’s Popular Problems. As we know from last season, when music supervisor T Bone Burnett chose the Handsome Family’s dark, slinky “Far From Any Road” as the theme song, True Detective is the kind of show that puts a lot of stock in its opening credits — they set the show’s all-important tone. Judging from last night’s episode, the mood of season two is even bleaker than its nihilistic-but-campy predecessor, and “Nevermind” — a laconic, husky-throated dirge that hangs over the opening credits like a heavy fog — was our first indication of that fact. Cohen’s low, weathered voice booms like an Old Testament God played by John Wayne...
    On the surface, “Nevermind” sounds terribly bleak, echoing the show’s flirtations with nihilism and theories about the meaningless of existence: “There’s truth that lives/ And truth that dies/ I don’t know which/ So nevermind.” (It is the sort of song I can imagine Matthew McConaughey listening to on repeat in his Lincoln.) The song has been condensed for the credits, but on the album it’s more apparent that it is about the aftermath of a war, most likely in the Middle East. (In the longer version, kirtansinger Donna DeLory repeatedly sings the word salaam in the background.) Their contrasting vocal stylings, and languages, echo the duality that Cohen contemplates in the lyrics.

    But taken in the context of Cohen’s life and career, the song is more complex than a brooding, noir-ish downer. Book of Longing was, notably, the first work that Cohen published after becoming an ordained Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk; he spent five years in the mid to late ’90s living in seclusion in a monastery outside of L.A. Considered with Cohen’s Zen practice in mind, the refrain of nevermind starts to feel less like a declaration of Rust Cohle–esque nihilism and more like an embrace of Buddhist non-attachment and the surrender of the self: “I had to leave/ My life behind/ I had a name/ But nevermind.” In the monastery, Cohen took the name “Jikan,” which roughly translates to “silent one” — a particularly ironic moniker for someone who, in the outside world, had made his name as a famous singer."
    source: http://www.vulture.com/2015/06/true-detectives-theme-song-leonard-cohen-nevermind.html

    Lyrics of
    The war was lost
    The treaty signed
    I was not caught
    I crossed the line

    I was not caught
    Though many tried
    I live among you
    Well disguised

    I had to leave
    My life behind
    I dug some graves
    You'll never find

    The story's told
    With facts and lies
    I have a name
    But nevermind

    The war was lost
    The treaty signed

    There's truth that lives
    And truth that dies
    I don't know which
    So nevermind

    Your victory
    Was so complete
    Some among you
    Thought to keep

    A record of
    Our little lives
    The clothes we wore
    Our spoons, our knives

    The games of luck
    Our soldiers played
    The stones we cut
    The songs we made

    Our law of peace
    Which understands
    A husband leads
    A wife commands

    And all of this
    Expressions of
    The sweet indifference
    Some call love

    The high indifference
    Some call fate
    But we had names
    More intimate

    Names so deep and
    Names so true
    They're blood to me
    They're dust to you

    There is no need
    That this survive
    There's truth that lives
    And truth that dies

    I live the life
    I left behind

    There's truth that lives
    And truth that dies
    I don't know which
    So nevermind

    I could not kill
    The way you kill
    I could not hate
    I tried I failed

    You turned me in
    At least you tried
    You side with them
    Whom you despise

    This was your heart
    This swarm of flies
    This was once your mouth
    This bowl of lies

    You serve them well
    I'm not surprised
    You're of their kin
    You're of their kind

    I had to leave my life behind
    The story's told
    With facts and lies
    You own the world
    So nevermind

    I live the life
    I left behind

    I live it full
    I live it wide
    Through layers of time
    You can't divide

    My woman's here
    My children too
    Their graves are safe
    From ghosts like you

    In places deep
    With roots entwined
    I live the life I left behind

    The war was lost
    The treaty signed
    I was not caught
    I crossed the line

    I was not caught
    Though many tried
    I live among you
    Well disguised

  10. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    'We are so lucky to be alive at the same time Leonard Cohen is!' - Lou Reed
    Happy 81. Birthday, Leonard!

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  11. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    This song is so overplayed and over-covered, but good grief this is lovely.

    "It was a magical evening. 1500 hundred singers came to Luminato Festival at the Hearn Generating Station in Toronto. Daveed + Nobu (AKA DaBu) taught them back up parts to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, then Rufus Wainwright joined them on stage to sing lead. It was an EPIC NIGHT! to remember. "

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  12. carmel59

    carmel59 Well-Known Grayhead

    It's one of those songs I never tire of. I love Wainwright's voice, the clarity, purity of it, then the warmth and unity of the crowd is fantastic. I especially like the harmony in the end. That's a keeper video!!! Thank you!!!
  13. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    Happy 82. Birthday, Leonard Cohen!


    It's Leonard Cohen's Birthday. The Present Is Dark


    Leonard Cohen's 14th studio album, You Want It Darker, will be out Oct. 21.

    For the past 25 years I've had this notion that on every successive Leonard Cohen record his voice would get deeper and deeper until one day he'd put out an album so subsonic that you'd just feel it, not hear it. Well, we're close. On this day, Leonard Cohen's 82nd birthday, he's given us a gift: It's dark, it's beautiful and it's deep. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to his soon-to-be-released album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. The album of nine songs, out Oct. 21, is produced by his son, musician Adam Cohen. As I hear it, the song speaks of a world without hope.

    "A million candles burning
    for the love that never came.
    You want it darker
    we kill the flame."
    Despite the depth of his voice and the strength and wisdom of his writing, I discern a frailness. What I hear are multiple takes on just this one track and a few edits within a verse. Listen at 2:06 — you can hear an edit right in mid-breath just after the line "middle-class and tame." And shortly after, Cohen says, "I'm ready my Lord," and the choir sullenly and eerily keeps the tone dark.

    Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
    Courtesy of Columbia Records
    It's sad and difficult, but as good as this is, I can imagine this forthcoming album as Cohen's last statement, especially thinking of the losses on our recent calendar. It's hard not to think of the moment early this year when a much younger hero of mine, David Bowie, gave us Blackstar on the day of his 69th birthday. He knew it was his last work, even if, at the time, we didn't.

    We've been fortunate to have gotten so much from Leonard in the recent past. The elder statesman of poetry and prudence, whose music has touched me since I was a kid in the '60s, has done what no one from those days has done: been active, creative and stronger in many ways with age. In a year when we've lost so many it feels good and comforting to have this old soul with us, lending us his voice, each day a blessing
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  14. Rena

    Rena Admin Staff Member


    Happy Birthday Leonard.
  15. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    Leonard Cohen's new album "You Want It Darker" is finally out and Neil McCormick wrote a nice review:


    Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker is a bleak masterpiece – review
    Pop's longest-serving poet: Leonard Cohen
    18 October 2016 • 12:08pm
    Leonard Cohen’s 14th studio album is a bleak masterpiece for hard times from pop’s longest-serving poet. At 82 years old, what is truly extraordinary about Cohen is not that he is still making albums but that they are as rich, deep and potent as ever. If anything, his ruminations on life gain added poignancy and urgency with passing time.

    Something between defeat and defiance has crept into his tone, which has dropped to a half-spoken bass whisper, a grumble and sigh filtered through a weary frailty that makes his pearly couplets shine even brighter.

    The musical setting, by Cohen’s talented singer-songwriting son Adam, is perfection, an organic bed of elegantly twanging guitar lines, humming organ, melancholy piano and aching violin, following stately chord progressions framed by the warm, female vocal harmonies that have become a Cohen trademark.

    For someone not previously prolific (from 1980 to 2010 he made just five albums), this is Cohen’s third album in five years. “I am ready to die,” Cohen recently told the New Yorker and it can be tempting to read intimations of mortality into all his late work, although the truth is Cohen has never shied from the ultimate issues.

    There is a sense of accounts being settled on Leaving The Table, and preparations for a final exit being made on Travelling Light. The old ladies man even wryly turns his back on sexual temptation with On The Level, regretfully confessing “I don’t need a lover/ That wretched beast is tamed.”

    But this is an album with things to say about modern life as well as death. The most compelling songs have a state of the nation sweep, in particular addressing failures of religions that preach love but deliver conflict. The title track, propelled by a threatening bass figure, is delivered as a statement not a question, fuelled by a deep pessimism only leavened by empathy for the downtrodden and Cohen’s pitch black wit.

    Defeat and defiance: Leonard Cohen's 14th studio album is a masterpiece
    Judeo-Christian imagery runs throughout but Cohen’s figure of Jesus has let everyone down (“Vilified and crucified in the human frame/ A million candles burning for the help that never came”). The mournful Treaty revisits the martial melody of satirical 1992 classic Democracy in a world weary spirit anticipating little possible accord between opposing beliefs (“Born Again is born without a skin/ The poison enters into everything”). Steer Your Way offers an epic and terrible farewell to earthly concerns, in which Cohen prepares to shed even such core beliefs as “fundamental goodness and the wisdom of the way” to face a universal reckoning (“please don’t make me go there/ though there be a God or not”).

    I am not sure it could get any darker than this but there is redemptive beauty to be found in someone facing the inevitable with defiant humanity.


    Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker (Columbia) is out October 21


  16. chris johnson

    chris johnson Active Grayhead

    I just read that Leonard Cohen passed away today at the age of 82. to say he will be missed is such an understatement . Thanks for the music.
  17. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    "Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in"
    Thanks for everything, Leonard!

    "Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in."

    Goodbye Leonard.
    See you down the road


    "Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt & malevolent." - Allan Showalter

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  18. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    As a fan of Leonard Cohen I spent a few days on the little greek island Hydra. See what the The Guardien wrote about this fan meeting:


    Hydra Hallelujah: superfans keep Leonard Cohen's spirit alive in Greece
    Fans of the late musician have been gathering on his former Greek island home to sing his songs, swap stories about him and unveil a bench overlooking the sea

    by Caroline Brothers

    Monday 12 June 2017 17.53 BST Last modified on Friday 16 June 2017 17.48 BST

    A round of applause broke out when the barman at the Roloi cafe hoisted a small red and white flag over the waterfront taverna – the unified heart symbol that the Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen used on the cover of one of his early poetry collections.

    The first tourists of the season, a dozen at most, were gathered beneath it on the Greek island of Hydra where Cohen, who was yet to soar to fame as one of the most lyrical songwriters of his generation, arrived in 1960 to work on his poetry and novels.

    This small group of travellers had not arrived at the Roloi by chance. Within the next few days, another 200 would join them on a kind of pilgrimage to this island beloved by the singer, who died last November.

    One by one or in small groups, some with guitars slung over their shoulders, they made their way to the island from Japan, Holland and Australia, from Canada, Germany and Ireland, from Britain, Lithuania, France, from the US, and above all from Finland.

    That is because the gathering – their eighth on the island since 2002 – was organised by Cohen’s biggest fan club, the Leonard Cohen Forum, which is run out of a small brick house in a suburb of Helsinki.


    The taverna (now closed) at Kamini on Hydra where Cohen sometimes went. Photograph: Caroline Brothers
    That is where Jarkko Arjatsalo, teaching himself how to make a website back in 1995, decided to fill the gap left by a defunct English fanzine by creating a site for Cohen. No one was more surprised than Arjatsalo when, two years later, an email landed from Cohen himself.

    “In 1997, he emailed from the Buddhist retreat at Mount Baldy and asked, if he sent us material, would we put it up on the site,” said Arjatsalo, a retired accountant. “Well, you can guess what the answer was.”

    The first item to arrive in Finland was the manuscript of the song Suzanne, one of the most famous in the songwriter’s repertoire. More followed. In all, Cohen sent 20 manuscripts and 50 drawings, said Arjatsalo, who wears a silver ring given to him by the musician he met more than 40 times.

    Cohen was 26 when he arrived on Hydra in 1960, joining a small group of expatriate artists who had moved there when the port consisted of four coffee houses and a taverna. Water was delivered by donkey and homes were lit by kerosene or oil.

    Using a $1,500 bequest from his grandmother, Cohen purchased an old stone house without running water, plumbing or electricity. There, Cohen worked on his poetry and novels in the garden, swam in the afternoons, and met up with the Australian writers George Johnston and Charmian Clift at the Roloi – which at the time was a grocery store called Katsikas with a handful of tables out the front.

    “The years are flying past and we all waste so much time wondering if we dare to do this or that,” Cohen said of his decision to buy the house, according to his Canadian-American biographer, Ira B Nadel. “The thing is to leap, to try, to take a chance.”

    For Cohen, who at this time considered himself a writer rather than a musician, it was a productive period. During roughly seven years on Hydra he wrote a controversial poetry collection titled Flowers for Hitler; his first novel, The Favourite Game; and a book about religion and sexuality called Beautiful Losers.


    Gerard George Kettel and Claudia Rucker perform for fans at the inauguration of the Cohen bench on the Greek island of Hydra. Photograph: Caroline Brothers
    It was also on Hydra that Cohen fell in love with Marianne Ihlen, the beautiful Norwegian woman who became his muse and was later immortalised in his ballad, So Long, Marianne.

    Recognising each other by their united-heart pendants, their penned-on heart tattoos, or their concert T-shirts, the fans gathered over four days at various locations of Cohen-related significance. They include Cohen’s walled house that still stands in the town; the peeling russet-and-yellow taverna at Kamini, where he used to meet with friends; and the tree outside Douskos’s taverna, where a famous 1960 photograph shows Cohen playing guitar with his friends.

    Those who have been before share Cohen stories with first-timers who have come in greater numbers this year compared to two years ago.

    Régine Spindler, a retired school teacher from the French town of Thionville, Alsace, met the singer twice, at 18 and again at 22, by travelling to his concerts and chatting to his technicians. When she heard of the artist’s death, she said: “I couldn’t cry then, but now, being here …”

    Hafid Gafaïti, an Algerian-American literature professor and a fan since the 1970s, met Cohen four times on Buddhist retreats and says he still cannot play his last CD.


    Superfan Wan Yan Qian wearing a Cohen T-shirt and with a united hearts badge on her basket, outside Cohen’s house on Hydra. Photograph: Caroline Brothers
    Meanwhile, Wan Yan Qian, 30, a Chinese bank official who works in Japan, is the youngest fan to have travelled to Hydra for this event. She owns two Cohen albums though she has no turntable to play them on, having fallen for his music as a student. “It’s his older voice, the music … it got me,” she said. “It’s impossible he will do no more tours.”

    German singers Claudia Rucker and Ben Leinenbach performed 23 Cohen songs on a restaurant terrace near Cohen’s house. There were guitar-strummings on the waterfront and spontaneous singalongs at the Roloi that lasted until dawn. To accommodate the large number of fans this year, the film of one of his concerts had to be programmed twice at Hydra’s open-air cinema that has been run by Lakis Christides since Cohen’s day.

    Among the small spontaneous acts of commemoration, more public ones took place. On Saturday, the municipality renamed a street in the songwriter’s honour. And 400 fans crowdfunded the construction of a wide stone bench overlooking the sea that was inaugurated, at last, the same day.

    “It was supposed to be a present for Cohen’s 80th birthday, but now it is dedicated to his memory,” said Arjatsalo wistfully, standing in the late afternoon sun at a ceremony in which the seat was formally presented to the island.

    Rucker performed A Bench Above the Ocean, which she composed on the island two days earlier, and German guitarist Gerard George Kettel performed Bird on the Wire, the most emblematic song linking Cohen to Hydra. Cohen wrote it on returning to his house to discover an electricity cable now running outside his window. The telephone service had arrived.

    A moment of silence, interrupted only by the chugging of a boat and the shouts of children, was held before Arjatsalo, Christides and the mayor of Hydra, each with a set of scissors, cut the aqua ribbon across the bench.

    Then Arjatsalo read a message that Cohen had sent him after he learnt about the plans for the Hydra bench. “I bow my head in gratitude,” he wrote. “Dear friends, thank you for the countless times you have lifted my spirit, thank you for the comfort and encouragement. Love and blessings, Leonard.”​
  20. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

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