Listen to "Banjo"

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)

Moderators: MarieM, Maarten, pekka, Henning, Andrew (Darby), dick, tomsakic, Wybe, jarkko

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby dreamermusic on Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:17 pm

jerry wrote:Those lyrics don't do much for me. There's no meat there.


I thought just the same the very firsat time I listened to it. Butafter a while, I realized that the song and the 'broken banjo' is a powerful image and metaphor of the very own Death itself. "Something that Leonard is watching and means a lot to him, something come out of someon'es grave, something that is coming for him wherever he goes, which duty is to harm him."
Madrid 1993 (standing up face to face to Leonard, leaning my arms upon the stage (no cams, no security line), my hands touched Cohen's feet!) (talked to Cohen for 20 minutes after concert!!!)
Lisbon 2009 (1st row!!)
Madrid 2012 (1st row centred facing Leonard!!)
User avatar
dreamermusic
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Cádiz, Spain

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby alb123 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:43 pm

I like this song, but as far as comparing it, to what I consider Leonard Cohen-quality, again, it doesn't measure up. Yes, we will listen to these tracks over and over, in the beginning, and then we'll go back to listening to Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs from a Room, Love & Hate, Recent, etc... Compare the lyrics of all the songs released thus far, with the magnum opus that is The Future. There are lyrics in the album, The Future, that absolutely blow my mind. I can't even understand how a human being could concoct such beauty... Ring the bells that still can ring - forget your perfect offering - there is a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in compared to There's something that I'm watching - means a lot to me - It's a broken banjo bobbing on the dark infested sea.

Again, I said this in the thread discussing "Going Home"...this song, "Banjo" seems like someone of Leonard Cohen's caliber could write it in 15 minutes.

Maybe that's the beauty of this CD and I will discover it 2 years from now. I will admit, it took me a couple of years to fully appreciate the album Ten New Songs. For right now, I'm with Jerry. There isn't much meat in the lyrics I've been seeing, except for "Darkness" or "The Darkness", whatever it's actually called... That is an incredible song, in my opinion.

Chris
Waterbury, CT - May 14, 2009
Las Vegas, NV - Dec 11, 2010 (Final Show of Leonard's 3 year World Tour) INCREDIBLE!
Boston, MA - Dec 15, 2012 (Best L.C. concert I've been to!)
alb123
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:04 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby Goldin on Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:59 pm

Didn't listen to Banjo yet. But the other two new songs - they sound like a confession, not a prophecy (that we're waiting after eight years of relative silence).

Darkness is a great, incredible, rare poem. As a song I still prefer The Darkness (or That Darkness, from The Tour ;-) ).

Everything will change, I know. And I want to clarify - for me, it's okay with confession-instead-of-prophecy. But I can understand Chris and Jerry.
Roman aka Hermitage Prisoner

Current Cohen: Cohenscope & other projects LCohen.ru: Леонард Коэн по-русски LC BY RU: The Russian Community Tribute to Leonard Cohen

September Cohen Helsinki 2 Berlin 5 ⇒ Adriatic Cohen Pula 1 Pula 2
User avatar
Goldin
 
Posts: 1682
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:57 pm
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby yopietro on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:23 am

For me, the "banjo" is a powerful metaphor that is making a reappearance in Leonard's work. In Boogie Street, he "tidied up the kitchenette and tuned the old banjo" as the "traffic jam" awaited him. He was back on Boogie Street, back in the commotion of the lights, the dance of men and women, sex, the highs and lows, the excitement of the new experience and the loneliness when Boogie Street yields no fruit. Leonard as the minstrel, and the banjo as his lute. He was back tuning it, his beautiful weapon, to once again ply his trade in the landscape of hunger and romance.

Now, in this new song, the banjo is broken and bobbing on a dark infested sea. Boogie Street no more. The minstrel not in that game anymore. His instrument broken. Perhaps that game of romancing and charming, perhaps an artifact of his past life. The song speaks of time...of decay. And mortality. "It is coming for him darling." Is it decay? Is it death? Is it the inevitable? Either way, the tune as it used to be played is no more. The banjo that served him well on boogie street is busted up. But still in his view as a reminder of what was and what will be.

Just my first take...
yopietro
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:03 pm

AW: Re: Listen to

Postby Hartmut on Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:19 am

John Etherington wrote:Ding ding firefighters?

That made my day.
Last edited by Hartmut on Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Hartmut
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby Winnaar58 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:28 pm

Thanks, can't wait till the end of the week :-)
I didn´t kill myself when things went wrong
I didn´t turn to drugs or teaching
I tried to sleep, but when I couldn´t sleep
I learned to write.
I learned to write what might be read
on nights like this by one like me.

(Leonard Cohen)
Winnaar58
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby John Etherington on Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:31 pm

Harmut - I didn't say that...I haven't heard "Banjo", and won't be listening to it until I get the album.

All good things, John E
John Etherington
 
Posts: 2385
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

AW: Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby Hartmut on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:17 pm

Hi John,

John Etherington wrote:Harmut - I didn't say that...


It's a line from the article you quoted ...
User avatar
Hartmut
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby Winnaar58 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:33 am

Have been listening quite a lot today. I was lucky enough not to close down the page or refresh it, because now the song has been removed :( I guess we 'Dutchies' have to wait till friday 27th.
I didn´t kill myself when things went wrong
I didn´t turn to drugs or teaching
I tried to sleep, but when I couldn´t sleep
I learned to write.
I learned to write what might be read
on nights like this by one like me.

(Leonard Cohen)
Winnaar58
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:40 pm

Listen to "Banjo"

Postby JudasPriest on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:01 am

Heard Banjo twice last night and was pleasantly surprised, perhaps because I had adjusted my expectations downwards after reading Jerry's brief comments (who I have largely agreed with to date concerning the other tracks) re the lyrics lacking meat etc. I'd agree that it is hardly profound or an instant classic or anything like that but there is something to it I felt...it has a real charm and a lovely air of mystery. And I like the music on this one. Lovely to hear real instruments without a whiff (subject to correction) of electronic distortion or synthesiser overload. And the balance between lead vocal, instrumentation and backing vocals seemed natural and bang on to me. I look forward to hearing it again. Might have worked as a closer in some respects. In the same way that Buckets of Rain closes out the masterpiece that is Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. A quiet, quirky little number that doesn't outstay its welcome and winds proceedings down gently. These are just surface impressions of course but I look forward to seeing how it endures over time in due course.
JudasPriest
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Listen to

Postby jerry on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:06 am

JudasPriest wrote:Heard Banjo twice last night and was pleasantly surprised, perhaps because I had adjusted my expectations downwards after reading Jerry's brief comments (who I have largely agreed with to date concerning the other tracks) re the lyrics lacking meat etc. I'd agree that it is hardly profound or an instant classic or anything like that but there is something to it I felt...it has a real charm and a lovely air of mystery. And I like the music on this one. Lovely to hear real instruments without a whiff (subject to correction) of electronic distortion or synthesiser overload. And the balance between lead vocal, instrumentation and backing vocals seemed natural and bang on to me. I look forward to hearing it again. Might have worked as a closer in some respects. In the same way that Buckets of Rain closes out the masterpiece that is Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. A quiet, quirky little number that doesn't outstay its welcome and winds proceedings down gently. These are just surface impressions of course but I look forward to seeing how it endures over time in due course.

Whether it's LC or Dylan. etc I'm not crazy about that blues style of song where everything is repeated twice. Dylan has done that quite a bit lately.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen
User avatar
jerry
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 12:23 am
Location: New Jersey USA

Listen to "Banjo"

Postby JudasPriest on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:18 am

He has indeed. He seems to have settled on the old blues man personna ever since Time Out Of Mind came out in 97 and has immersed himself in it on Love & Theft, Modern Times and Together Through Life. It's a style I was uncomfortable with too but got used to it over time. Maybe that's why I was receptive to Banjo on first listen. But I do agree with u in that it can be a limiting style. In fact, if used too often, it invites allegations of laziness and Uncle Bon may be guilty of that charge on occasion of late
JudasPriest
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby icecreamtruck on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:11 pm

From the interviews I think that this album is small or simple and the next one will be more complex with songs like "The Street" and "Born in Chains"

He also said in 2008 that he had recorded a new album but the new band was so good that he wanted to record it with the band. There is a lot of synth on this record and I would bet the farm that this is THAT album with the addition of Darkness and maybe one or two others. Interesting to note that Darkness (which was written on tour after 2008) is full band. Many of the others are synth with SOME band.

So I think after the NEXT record which will be heralded a "return to form" he will tour...

So 2 records I'll bet.
User avatar
icecreamtruck
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:33 pm

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby thefuturebrother on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:04 pm

exactly the same chord structure an progression in "feels so good", only this one is faster: plays his E chord, slides to his sixth fret, plays a B chord, than to A, and back to E, just like in feels so good (Cohen is probably been playing with the song and changed the words completely), only "feels so good" was better and deserved a place on the album.
thefuturebrother
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:49 pm
Location: Leuven, Belgium

Re: Listen to "Banjo"

Postby sturgess66 on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:34 am

About "Banjo" - at the Joe's Pub Press conference - Leonard told Rita Houston of NPR -

He's reluctant to say too much about where his inspiration comes from, but reveals that "Banjo" came from Hurricane Katrina. "After Katrina ... I saw that culture dismantled, and I think that the image of a broken banjo floating in the dark came out of that deep discomfort that had been imposed on all our psyches."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/ ... n-new-york
User avatar
sturgess66
 
Posts: 4018
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:50 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

PreviousNext

Return to OLD IDEAS

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests