Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Mon May 22, 2017 6:51 am

B4real post wrote:...Years ago unbeknown to me, my brother was listening to LC’s songs and poetry at the same time as I was. Neither of us was aware the other knew anything about him and it was so lovely to discover that we had this uncommon (at the time) understanding in common!....
This should help, especially the graphic: https://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/201 ... _sch=Email
How great that you and your brother both listen to Leonard. I sent copies of my CDs to my sister, hoping for the same.... but alas! I thought for sure she would like him. We had composed poetry together growing up, and she had even helped me win a poetry competition with her feedback way back when... but no luck!

Thank you very much for the link on siblings and DNA also. I knew siblings could have different %s, but didn't realize that it could be that different. Wow. The info about Y-chromosomal DNA is also very interesting.

I will watch the YouTube links in the morning when our satellite internet is more reasonable.

I have not heard the term "alpha journey" before. I think of alpha as primary or dominant, so do you mean "important journey" or something else? :?: Just wondering. I like the sounds of it though!
Vickie
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Mon May 22, 2017 8:13 am

vlcoats wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 6:51 am
I have not heard the term "alpha journey" before. I think of alpha as primary or dominant, so do you mean "important journey" or something else? :?: Just wondering. I like the sounds of it though!
Vickie
Vickie, I’ve never heard of it before either – I just made it up now! I was thinking that as this is your first journey with Leonard it could be appropriately used as alpha – the first; the beginning. Maybe because we were talking about religion that it unconsciously came to my mind. I’m remembering now that in the bible it says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”. And now saying that, I’ve just realised Leonard used both those words plus “delta” in two lines from Light As The Breeze, “So I knelt there at the delta/at the alpha and the omega”. Hummmm.... Interesting how synapses in the brain click in sometimes!

Btw - that last video link is not about this album but LC does sing The Future at the end of it and there are a couple of those different lines from Anthem too about halfway through.

And here’s another link; it’s for Anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkXpNQqQ4bI
I was in the front row at this concert, the last one he ever did in Australia, and it was the last time I ever saw Leonard sing this song in public. My friend Alan M who was sitting a couple of seats away from me filmed this actual video. Thank you Alan, for this wonderful memory and all your excellent videos from LC’s last tour downunder! I still have that unforgettable memory of us all sitting in this very front row and spreading across it while holding up your LC vinyl record covers that my camera crew friend kindly filmed of us for all to see on the big screens at the start of this show. Such a shame I couldn't get a copy of it and we couldn't see it because we were holding up the covers! I loved the looks on the all the band's faces - Sharon couldn't stop smiling!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Mon May 22, 2017 4:36 pm

Well then, no wonder I couldn't get Google to answer me on that. And of course it made me think of the line from Light as a Breeze. "Alpha Journey" would have been the perfect title for this thread topic.

What awesome memories you must have of sitting in the front row at those concerts. I loved the video of Anthem and it wasn't that hard to imagine being in your place there. I have only watched the beginning of the other videos so far. I think we need to move to town just so I can get regular internet and watch all of the video links on YouTube with Leonard on them! Especially the interviews. I like to hear him talk. Thank you so much for sharing them. Our satellite internet is less expensive and a bit quicker in the mornings, I don't have the time in the mornings. I will get to them all eventually. The donkeys are already complaining that I haven't been out there yet. Now that you have taught me how to post pictures, I can't resist showing you the picture of our donkeys that I shared on Instagram last week. You can see why I loved the picture you posted of Leonard on the farm in Tennessee so much. It reminded me a little of our place here.
Have a great day and thank you again!
Vickie
smaller donkey (500x500).jpg
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Tue May 23, 2017 12:06 pm

Hi Vickie,
Yes, I can see why you liked the Tennessee farm photo and your donkeys look so adorable and full of individual personality! That's a beautiful sunrise in the background of the photos.

About your sister not liking Leonard, maybe she will eventually – for some he is an acquired taste. Possibly if she could watch some of the interview videos it might help.

I thought I’d add some interesting things about a couple of the songs on this album.
Last night I listened to it and as is usual for me I had to play Tacoma Trailer at least six times! I find it has a soothing, hypnotic effect on me. A very relaxing last song before sleeping.

Leonard’s words about this song:
"This was designed for a theatre piece by Ted Allen. It was part of long suite and I kept playing the music when I was in this trailer in Tacoma. That part of the suite attached itself and started to sound better and better. Then, I thought it would just be a nice moment to unwind from a very dense and literate album. I think you can unwind before you put the record on again."

Leonard spoke about the 1925 Irving Berlin song, “Always” that he adapted and added to:
“A grand song, very popular in our house when I was growing up. My mother loved the song, and we used to play it when I was playing clarinet in dance bands around Montreal. (I'd love to have seen that!) For this album, I changed the tempo from 3/4 to 4/4 and it allows a lot of space to arise when it's turned into an R&B song. I think it's on this album because the track survived. I wouldn't have put it on the album unless the track had a certain exuberance. I prepared a lot of Red Needles. That's a cocktail I invented in Needles, California, in 1976. It consists of tequila and cranberry juice and Sprite and fresh cut fruit. I prepared pitchers of this cocktail for the musicians and we couldn't stop playing; most of the takes are twenty-five minutes long, and we kept this one because it's eight minutes long. I did fall down in it, that's where the guitar solo occurs. It was a very exuberant, passionate evening, and several musicians told me it was the happiest time they ever spent in a recording studio”.

EDIT: I forgot to say the drink “Red Needles” Leonard invented which he talks about above is physically featured on my last video link on Danish TV and he demonstrates how to make one. I laughed outright at his reaction when he first saw the “waitress”. There used to be a short clip of this but it’s not online anymore.
Last edited by B4real on Wed May 24, 2017 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Tue May 23, 2017 4:06 pm

Thank you for the insight into Tacoma Trailer! I was just thinking yesterday, as I was listening to it through my earbuds while I was weed wacking, that I would post today and ask if anyone had any info on it. It really is a beautiful song. I listened to it twice in a row myself yesterday. I told my husband that I want some of those Beats headphones for my birthday this year because it would be awesome to listen to Leonard through them! (Not that I want to wait until November).

Thank you also for the info about Always. Sounds like it was a very fun recording session. Now I will always be listening for the part where he fell down.

While listening during my chores to some of his other albums, I was reflecting on how often I will like a song more all of the sudden after a several plays, even if it wasn't a favorite at first. Sometimes it might be because of something one of you has told me about it, like imagining Dance Me to the End of Love being played just as he took the stage at every concert, but sometimes I have no idea why I suddenly like a song more.

Vickie
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby its4inthemorning » Tue May 23, 2017 10:46 pm

Too occupied with other activities to contribute much just now, but here's a short anecdote showing that there are a lot of fans even though we may not always notice them.

We drove to Kingston, Ontario in 12/2012 to attend the concert there, having booked lodging at a small hotel/large B&B, the Hotel Belvedere. It had, I am guessing, about 15-20 rooms. We did not have occasion to speak with any other guests that day, as we were out looking over the city, then rushing to change and have an early dinner before the concert. Next morning we went down for breakfast, and the room was packed...with Leonard Cohen fans. Apparently almost everyone at the hotel had come for the concert from various points in Ontario, New York state, and Vermont, and we all traded concert stories until we had to check out.

Am enjoying the posts (and links), thanks!

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:04 am

A quick question before I post on album number #10.

I want to watch one of the DVDs I purchased. I was going to wait to watch them all after I have heard the studio albums (although I have already succumbed to watching Isle of Wight). What do you think about watching I'm Your Man, the film by Lian Lunson? From what I have read without delving too deeply, I think it is more of a documentary with an interview and tribute from other artists. Yes, I know I can do whatever I dang well please...... which includes asking for an opinion.

Vickie
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:58 pm

Hey Vickie, and there you be :)
vlcoats wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:04 am
Yes, I know I can do whatever I dang well please...... which includes asking for an opinion.
Old cowboy saying: A change of pastures makes for a fatter calf ;-)
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:41 am

Hi 4, Vickie, and Bev -
I would have suggested the same as you did, 4, to start from the beginning. It's how I 'discovered' him, so I guess that's naturally my preference. I was glad to see that Vickie was willing to exercise that kind of self control... and how could she go wrong by approaching Leonard's career in the actual way it unfolded. I would add to this, but you three are doing great... and I type on this blasted tiny keyboard on my phone! Thoughts can"t flow like on a keyboard of regular size. Restricted in so many other ways than just speed, too. :?
I think your being a librarian is a huge advantage in your exploration. Forget surfing the net for stuff on Leonard. You're already on the mother lode, quintessential location for all things Leonard. Bev was a huge help in pasting the list of bios for you, too! My only other suggestion would be for you to take some breaks by visiting Marie Mazur's site Speaking Cohen. Link at the top of the page. Leonard channeled things to her as exclusives, the same as he did with Jarkko. A fun discovery for you will come with Allan Showalter's site. He has a definite humourous twists to what he posts there, and Leonard loved his site, too.
Over and out... my index finger is begging for mercy. I've never gotten that 2-handed phone typing that younger people do.
Love seeing you guys here, and reafing your discussions! Welcome, Vickie! You're a super addition to Leonard's appreciators :D
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:23 am

New Songs.............
I am sharing a letter. My husband reminded me that he is gone, and I don't mean any disrespect by writing it.

Dear Mr. Cohen,
You aren’t making this easy for me, are you?
Your first albums were like falling off a log. I have been in the palm of your hand all the way from Songs of Leonard Cohen to Ballad of the Absent Mare. But while it took you years and years to get there, I have been stumbling and tripping along in just weeks and months trying to keep up. By the time Various Positions came along, so much had changed. Completely gone was the familiar acoustic music that you stopped my breath with in The Stranger Song. Since then, getting through my first listening of each album has taken blind holding-my-breath faith in you. But I have stopped asking “what is this?”, because I have learned what happens. And what happens is this: suddenly it doesn’t matter. Like the master brainwasher that you are Mr. Cohen, I find myself listening to types of music I thought I never would. Stuff like (for wont of better terms) Synthetic Pop, Easy Listening, and Lounge Lizard stuff. Even worse (or better?), I have become totally convinced that I love it.
You are killing me Mr. Cohen.
Signed, another stolid devotee,
Mrs. Coats
PS: Ten New Songs is one of my favorites, as if you didn't know.
PPS: Wish you were still here.


Thank you for indulging me.
lizzytysh post wrote:Welcome, Vickie! You're a super addition to Leonard's appreciators :D
Thank you lizzytysh for being so nice to say that. I like what you said about being on the mother lode here. I have learned as a librarian that you need to narrow your focus sometimes. I will dive deep into all of what is out there after I get through his studio albums in my own little way. Your suggestions sound great! Thank you so much.
B4real post wrote:Old cowboy saying: A change of pastures makes for a fatter calf ;-)
Thank you B4! I took your advice, and we watched it last night. It was so good for my heart. I know I don't need my love of LC to be validated by anybody, because it is what it is, but it is still heartwarming, even for a solitary soul who likes it that way, to know there are connections out there and people who feel the same way.

As for Ten New Songs:
Like I said, for some reason this one hit me. It is natural and honest, and in spite of my issues with the genre, I love it and feel especially close to it. There are so many favorites on this one. In My Secret Life (I bite my lip…), A Thousand Kisses Deep (... consented to be wrecked…), That Don’t Make It Junk (How come you called me here tonight?), Love Itself (…Love went on and on, until it reached an open door – then Love itself was gone), and By the Rivers Dark (I belonged at last to Babylon…)... especially loved that one.

I know I will have to hold my breath again with the next album. But I am getting more sure that it will be okay.

Thank you for being here. Watching "I'm Your Man" last night made me realize that I am not so crazy after all. I think my husband was relieved as well. ;-)
Vickie
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:25 am

Hi Lizzy, good to “see” you!

Vickie, I’m glad to know your grazing in another paddock was most nourishing ;-)

As the artwork cover suggests this album was a collaboration with Sharon Robinson and she was the official producer. During the last world tour Sharon has sung a couple of the songs from it soulfully by herself - Alexandra Leaving, Boogie Street and In My Secret Life as a duet with LC. He holds the longest note ever when he sings live in concert “to the wisdom of oooooooold” and it gets longer and lower as he gets older! I really like this song. Thank you Henry, for the excellent video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUq5vQiyFXQ

It’s been nine years since the last studio album - time and circumstance shows a way of seeing the world from another point of view. LC was mainly living at the Buddhist Zen centre on Mt Baldy for approx. five years in the nineties. Many of the songs on this album were conceived and concluded there and naturally have a certain Zen quality. This record is dedicated to Roshi, the head monk there. In fact, while he was at this monastery it was Leonard who contacted Jarkko when The LC Files was just a fledgling site and he saw it online in the early days of the internet with only dial up connection. I remember some years ago Jarkko telling me that it took over half an hour for Leonard to upload a drawing or photo etc. This is one of the earliest and possibly the first site totally dedicated to an artist.

My favourite from this album is A Thousand Kisses Deep but as a recitation in its many varied verses. This song on the album is listed in memoriam to Sandy Merriman, a member of the early News Group here who unfortunately committed suicide in 1998. How kind and thoughtful of Leonard to remember her this way.

Here’s the last time I saw Leonard recite this version live on the last tour in Australia at Adelaide 2013. Video once again courtesy of my friend Alan M: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZecgBo9YWlo

If you want to read some of the different verses of A Thousand Kisses Deep just click at the LC Files link, then Blackening Pages and A Thousand Kisses Deep. When he says below that he published 12 verses on the internet he’s referring to those on the LC Files:

2001 Magazine Mc Lean's -
“There are about 30 verses of it that I've done and hopefully they'll work their way into other songs. I think there are six verses in this version. On the Internet, I published 12 verses of the song. It's taken so long to write and it was so much of my ordinary day even when I was in the meditation hall spending long hours. I suppose I was supposed to be calming my mind or directing it to other areas, but I was working on the rhymes for A Thousand Kisses Deep. I found the mediation hall was an excellent place to work on songs. I could concentrate on a verse, work out the rhymes and the ideas would come.”
2001 Toronto Globe and Mail -
"We don't write the play, we don't produce it, we don't direct it and we're not even actors in it. Everybody eventually comes to the conclusion that things are not unfolding exactly the way they wanted, and that the whole enterprise has a basis that you can't penetrate. Nevertheless, you live your life as if it's real. But with the understanding: It's only a thousand kisses deep, that is, with that deep intuitive understanding that this is unfolding according to a pattern that you simply cannot discern."
I used one of the lesser known verses of A Thousand Kisses Deep in conjunction with the song A Thousand Winds (a Zen-like Japanese translation Sen no Kaze ni Natte of the poem, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep) in my post when Leonard passed away.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=36946&start=60#p361812

You know, it has been proved that it gives a sense of release and direction to write down how you feel about events in your life...As you say, I wish he was still here too...and so does every living soul on this forum and many others around the world!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:06 am

B4, thank you so much for your additional insight into this album. Maybe it is the Zen quality of it that attracts me.
I especially loved hearing more about A Thousand Kisses Deep. I'm not surprised to learn that it has other verses.
I also love the quote where he described using meditation time for working on his songs (like a naughty little boy, lol). I have never been successful in giving meditation a chance to work, but from what I have heard, I think the state of mind you reach is similar to when you first wake up in the morning but are not yet fully awake. I say that because so many creative ideas I have had or solutions to problems that I have had are revealed to me at that time. Then again, I am a morning person so maybe that is why...
Thank you for insight into the dedications on the album. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I am humbled by the depth of this forum.
Thank you for the video links. (just watched and edited to add this) They were awesome. I loved the Thousand Kisses Deep recitation. I will bet nobody in the audience dared to breathe during it.
Love,
Vickie
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby B4real » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:58 am

Hi Vickie, always glad to help!
I loved the Thousand Kisses Deep recitation. I will bet nobody in the audience dared to breathe during it.
Ha! We were so close, we could hear him breathing!

Just some general points about the next album Dear Heather. It’s prophetic that in the CD liner notes is written © 2004 Old Ideas because in 2012 “Old Ideas” would become the title of another album. It has been said that Leonard wanted DH to have that name originally so I guess he finally got his way :) Once again here he has collaborated with his long-time friend Sharon Robinson and also Anjani Thomas another friend and band member from the 1985 tour.

Similar to the last album some songs were also published as poems. On the acknowledgment page of my Book of Longing, Leonard said: “Some of the pieces in this book became lyrics for songs that Sharon Robinson and I wrote and sang together. They can be heard on the Sony CD called Ten New Songs”.

Ten New Songs 2001:
Book of Longing 2006 - Alexandra Leaving, A Thousand Kisses Deep, Boogie Street, By The Rivers Dark, Here It Is, Love Itself, You Have Loved Enough.

Dear Heather 2004:
Spice-Box Of Earth 1961 - To A Teacher.
Book of Longing 2006 - Because Of A Few Songs, Nightingale, The Letters, The Faith, There For You.

Interesting to note that of the 13 songs on Dear Heather, Leonard is listed in the liner notes as writing the words to only six of them entirely by himself – Because Of, Undertow, Morning Glory, Dear Heather, To A Teacher and The Faith which is musically similar (ignore the Mexican mariachi band if possible :) ) to Un Canadien Errant on his Recent Songs 1979 album.

Btw – I’m pretty sure you’ll like the last live recorded track from 1985 ;-)
I’ll give you my favourites later!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:14 am

You are stellar, Bev, in providing Vickie such depth of information! Such a pleasure for me to read it all. I know how much it must mean to her!
Vickie... I loved your letter to Leonard. I wish he were here to read it, but I still hold hope that he's aware of it in the hereafter.
Actually, on A Thousand Kisses Deep, not sure about the recording of it here because I haven't had a chance to listen to it, but people did hold their breath while listening... except for one spot... "You have to be a man to know how good that feels, how sweet." Without exception, in every performance I saw, those lines drew laughter. I kept hoping for one time when they wouldn't, as Leonard was already into the solemnity of speaking the song, and I was into the solemnity of listening, already painfully aware that one day he would speak no more.
Sorry to make such a quick trip in and out, but it's storming and getting late, and I need to get home.

- Lizzie
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: Along the way ... Discovering Leonard's Albums. continued...

Postby vlcoats » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:23 pm

lizzytysh wrote:... I know how much it must mean to her!
Vickie... I loved your letter to Leonard. I wish he were here to read it, but I still hold hope that he's aware of it in the hereafter.
Lizzie,

Thank you. Yes, you are right, everything B4 (and others on the forum) have shared with me has truly added to this alpha journey.

My father passed quickly and without warning, and it was a huge shock to my system. The only comfort for me at that time was a very strong feeling that he was right above me, close enough that I felt if I had only known how, I could have reached up and touched him. I am not much given to thoughts of ghosts or the other side (one of the things about the Jewish faith that attracted me is the understanding that we let G*d worry about that), so I can't explain why I felt so strongly that my dad was with me. I sometimes still feel that way. I bring this up because, what you said about hoping that Leonard is aware of my letter, and the way you all talk about Leonard here on the forum, makes me wonder if you feel the way about him that I did about my dad-- that he is still.. right there. I hope you do.

I was going to open Dear Heather today, but after reading what you and B4 have had to say about A Thousand Kisses Deep, I think I will listen to Ten New Songs again one more time and will open Dear Heather tomorrow.

Thanks for listening,
Vickie

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