Poll

best LC album

Songs of Leonard Cohen
Songs From a Room
Songs of Love and Hate
New Skin for the Old Ceremony
Death of a Ladies' Man
Recent Songs
Various Positions
I'm Your Man
The Future
Ten New Songs
Dear Heather

Author Topic: Leonard Cohen  (Read 60677 times)

torch

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2006, 09:17:03 PM »
Urpal is right, "Leonard Cohen! gunna slash yer wrists are ya?
Nick Cave has been responsable for turning that around to a
large extent. The most infuriating thing for a Cohen fan was to
know that none of these people would have heard one of his
records but rather than admit to having no opinion, they'd
recycle this absurd line as if impugning him inferred they not only had a view but it's mocking tone sounded authoratative.
Cohen sent an E-Mail to all the contributors to 'I'm your fan'.
It says ;'Thanks for the song, Leonard' and is accompanied by a rough self portrait. Early Triffids covered 'Tonight will be fine'
'Diamonds in the mine' and I think 'Passing Through' the old
gospel cover on 'Live Songs'.
Lorca's 'Poet in New York' and "Collected Poems' should still be
available in Penguin.(Should being the key word).I saw an old
doco. on Louis Bunuel , Surrealist film maker who spent his
early days in close company with Dali and Lorca, who he described as being the finest person he ever met, not artistically
but personally. His poetry is also very beautiful to my eyes and
worth checking out. My fave is "The Road' .

Offline Urpal

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2006, 09:49:43 PM »
Thanks for the Lorca commentary and hints. I intend to look him up along with Rilke & Neruda when I get a moment for quiet contemplation. Who were the Russian poets that Dave had a particular enthusiasm for again?

Cohen's sketches have a Dali does comic books wit, charm and panache about them . There are numerous samples on the LeonardCohenFiles.com website as well as unpublished song drafts etc http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/mirror.html It looks like his soon to be published Book Of Longing will also feature a lot of his sketches alongside the poetry. I don't suppose a scan of the fax Dave recieived from Lenny could be posted here? I'd certainly be delighted to see it.

I dug out "New Skin" to check the tracklisting - Chelsea Hotel, Lover Lover Lover, A Singer Must Die, Take This Longing etc. Brill. I wonder why the sleeve has in the past been more easily conjured in my mind than the contents? Probably that I acquired knowledge of many of the songs second hand or through Greatest Hits etc before buying it.
We all have our croissants to bear

torch

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2006, 11:09:00 PM »
Along with Rilke who can be difficult to find, the most beloved
were the group of Soviet poets, Anna Akhmatova,Boris       Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva, all of whom are reasonably
available. If Rilke, I strongly suggest the translations of Stephen Mitchell and his'Letters to a Young Poet' is a great place to start. 'The Vast Night' and 'You who never arrived' are
personal favourites. The work of W.H Auden and his contemporaries were greatly loved and Dave felt very lucky to see Stephen Spender giving a reading. 'The More Loving One'
was a Dave fave that we worked at using for a song chorus.
The poem has lines like; 'If equal affection cannot be,Let the
more loving one be me.' If you have somewhere I could send
old syle letters, I'd be happy to send you a bunch of poems-
maybe via w.minc, I,m still not as computer competent as I'd
like to be, but loving these writers is like finding Gram Parsons
or David: You want the whole world to share in the good news
                                              Torch

Offline Cassiel

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2006, 11:21:32 PM »
Thanks for that torch. Fascinating. 'Letters to a young poet' is well worth hunting out, I agree. I loved it in the days (and still do) when I was buying books to impress women and that was one that impressed me and made an impression on me, despite it being name-checked in, get this, Sister Act II with Whoopi Goldberg.  :o Christopher Hitchens nicked the premise and half the title for his 'Letters to a young contrarian.'

But...you got me too intrigued not to become nosy, torch. Who are you, or rather how did you know David? Reveal Yourself. Vague hints and nods and winks will suffice if you don't want cover blown (or maybe you revealed yourself elsewhere and I had a senior moment and have forgotten.)

I wish that I knew better than to think that I knew better

torch

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2006, 12:12:19 AM »
In "Awakenings'  the film about Sachs with Robert De  Niro his
(De Niro's) mother reads him Rilke and Woody Allen uses the
poem,'The Panther' to great effect at the end of 'Another woman' Anyone seen that?
Re my identity, Please forgive me if I seem to be acting like a
drama queen , but I'm enjoying talking with others who loved
him and making sure certain things are remembered. As fine
a song writer as he was he was even finer simply as a person.
Everyone knows people who seem just too damn kind, gentle,
compared with the rest of us. "So and so is an angel" we say.
Dave was like that.I  was just lucky enough to be in Perth to
witness and recognize David's brilliance . He was always willing
to collaberate and i'd urge all aspiring song writers to do the
same. It's important to me that people know that as much as
they enjoy gossip the deeper one got to know him the higher
one esteemed him.                Torch

Offline Cassiel

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2006, 12:30:12 AM »
No problem torch. I respect that (but the ex-journo in me is hard to shake off) Nothing drama queen about it (maybe drama 32nd in line to the throne though  ;))

Good to have your insights, recollections and vignettes on board.



I wish that I knew better than to think that I knew better

Offline Urpal

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2006, 12:45:52 AM »
.
I'm enjoying talking with others who loved
him and making sure certain things are remembered. As fine
a song writer as he was he was even finer simply as a person.
.....It's important to me that people know that as much as
they enjoy gossip the deeper one got to know him the higher
one esteemed him. Torch

It's also good to hear from both you, glee and others who knew Dave as more than a figure in the spotlight, that Dave's beauty was more than skin deep and the grace in his art was informed by his soul. I find it reassuring that friends were also "fans" and, if anything, seem to talk in even more laudatory terms than us non-participants in his daily life's struggle.

A bit like finding out Leonard Cohen was a charlatan who just played a good game (BTW ain't never gonna happen), it would be disappointing to find any chinks that were other than endearing human frailties in Dave's armour.
We all have our croissants to bear

torch

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2006, 04:02:52 AM »
I'm glad that's the way you see it. Losing him has been unlike
all the other tragic young lives I've seen go pointlessly and
prematurely.The novel 'David Copperfield' begins roughly,
'Whether I shall emerge the hero of my own story or should
that distinction fall to another,these pages must show." For me
Dave was always playing lead in my life story and it's made me
wonder about others. If all the world's a stage plainly not all of
us are playing heroes, but not many of us have our real heroes
as close friends.Certainly I wouldn't look for idols in show bus.
and meeting Dylan or Lou Reed is not any kind of ambition.
What do you think? Do most people see themselves as the
star of their own story or not?

torch

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Re: Rilke
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2006, 07:16:41 AM »
You who never arrived
in my arms,Beloved,who were lost from the start,
I don't even know what songs might please you,
I have given up trying to recognize you in the surging wave
of the next moment. All the immense images in me-
the far off deeply felt landscape, cities,towersand bridges
and unexpected turns in the path, and those powerful lands
that once were pulsing with the life of the gods-
all rise within me to mean you, who forever elude me.

You, beloved,who are all the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing, An open window in a country house- and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon,- you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes , in a shop, the mirrors were still dizzy with
your presence and, startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? perhaps the same bird echoed through both of
us yesterday, seperate, in the evening...
     Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. Stephen Mitchell)

                                                        Torch

robweb

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2006, 10:06:00 AM »
Taking that a stage further, is that why Morrissey is the subject of much looking down of one's nose when he should be carried shoulder high through the streets when he deigns to foist himself upon us?

Or cos he hasn't made a decent record since 1988?

Hmm. Mozzer's solo career is a huge vat of wastage. Where songs should soar they are clipped by the duff wings of Boorer and Whyte, where they should mine the depths of comedy in despair they are hackneyed by blunt axes [good eh!]. Mozzer without Marr is like Ernie without Bert, Wise without Morecambe and, tellingly, like Hancock without Galton and Simpson. But Vauxhall and I is a great record. And Your Arsenal is decent. Bona Drag is, in retrospect, a great collection and his last fling with maverick talents.

I've never liked LC. He has always struck me, unfairly, as an older facsimile of Richard Gere. I couldn't get beyond that - the blank canvas splattered with "meaning".

torch

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2006, 11:12:56 AM »
An older facsimile of Richard Gere?! That is without a doubt the
most baffling thing I've ever heard. I love the mental picture of
Lenny marching into the factory to sweep Debra Winger off in
an 'Officer and a Gentleman'
                                                  Torch

Offline mark t

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2006, 03:17:48 PM »
I'm ashamed to admit I only have one cohen album

Don't worry. It wasn't so long ago people were ashamed to admit they'd got one ;D

And then there were two. Amongst several 'best ofs' my local cd shop had a copy of dear heather. I think they were happy to see that one leave the store :).  Having played it once, it's oddly compelling. I'll happily give it more time, but not when my partner is in earshot, she'd  likely pretend to like it and then hide it from me. I've now got his first and latest, a big chunk missing there! Gotta admire an artist who is still striving.

Offline Urpal

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2006, 04:47:03 PM »
I've never liked LC. He has always struck me, unfairly, as an older facsimile of Richard Gere. I couldn't get beyond that - the blank canvas splattered with "meaning".

If Leonard Cohen is a blank canvas then the sky is an empty vacuum, your lover's eyes are just glorified gelatine on stalks and the world of art is just so much meaningless doodling whilst we wait to die. That's a perfectly legitimate point of view - even empirical - just not one I share.

I admit I might have overstated my position but I'm prepared to let it lie.
We all have our croissants to bear

Offline Gazza

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2006, 05:21:39 PM »
Oh dear. Looks like Rob has rattled Urpal's cage again.

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
This could be heaven; shallow spreads of ordered lawns.

torch

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Re: Leonard Cohen
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2006, 05:28:00 PM »
If you havent heard Death of A Ladies Man you may find this
is t  he Cohen album that you've been lookin' for. It's not only produced by Phil Spector but was recorded ,literally, at
gunpoint.I make a pretty compelling case ,no?     
                                                                             Torch