If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

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Steven
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If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Steven » Wed May 28, 2014 6:33 pm

Hi,

If Leonard Cohen pursued his interest in country music, his artistic sensibility
might have led him to create gems similar to "If You Were A Bluebird":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xOQN_5AgXs.
(Coincidentally or not, both this song and the title of the Leonard Cohen involved film
"I Am A Hotel" make use of "hotel" as metaphor.)
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LisaLCFan
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby LisaLCFan » Wed May 28, 2014 9:40 pm

I thought this was going to be one of your open-ended threads, in which people would finish the sentence you started in the subject line. Had that been the case, I would have written "If Leonard Cohen were a country artist, I would never have heard his music!"
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lizzytysh
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby lizzytysh » Thu May 29, 2014 1:06 am

LOLOL, Lisa. I, hopefully, would have by pure happenstance :D
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Tchocolatl
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Tchocolatl » Sat May 31, 2014 1:57 am

He is. In his own original way. Class and genius and all.

Dont' believe me blindly. Look at the History of country music closely and you will see.

I really appreciate the song "That Don't Make it Junk" :

Took my diamond to the pawnshop
But that don't make it junk.

A gem. A real one.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Steven
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Steven » Sat May 31, 2014 6:39 pm

Hi Tchocolatl,

I don't disagree with your post.

(The ungrammatical "don't" in the song lyric and title isn't rare in country music.)
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lizzytysh
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby lizzytysh » Sat May 31, 2014 8:17 pm

The psychology and idea of a pawn shop is far more country than other genres... remembering, too, Leonard's beginnings, and his move to Nashville... all of it falls in the column of country ~ and his tower of song thinking, Hank Williams, Jr., and whomever else Leonard admires... he IS in some ways a country artist, though I've never been a fan of country, there are those like k.d. lang, whom are considered in that genre, and some songs that are considered the same; you've just gotta go with that and include Leonard there, as well, at some point and at some level.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Steven
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Steven » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:23 pm

Hi,

Leonard Cohen's songs sometimes have the themes and elements of the best of the more artistic classic country, outlaw
country, traditional country (and Americana, sometimes a default genre when songs don't otherwise seem to fit or
be accepted in another category) songs. If those songs had been reworked to fit in to these genres or if Leonard Cohen had written with these genres and their respective audiences in mind, he'd likely have made a significant impact in "country" as a songwriter. More doubtful, i.m.o., is that he would have achieved similar success as a country performer.
Steven
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Steven » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:49 pm

Hi,

There's interesting discussion of Leonard Cohen's interest in country music in the documentary
Leonard Cohen's Lonesome Heroes. Perhaps a journalist or biographer will one day ask
Leonard Cohen in depth about his initial interest in the genre. Have to wonder how much
of his interest in country music could have been fueled by a possible desire to make his poetic
expression most accessible, not knowing the extent to which his poetry would otherwise find acceptance
as music lyrics. (Today's mainstream country music is "country" largely by misidentification.)
I like the documentary, btw.
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lizzytysh
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby lizzytysh » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:00 am

The documentary sounds good.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Tchocolatl
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Tchocolatl » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:49 am

That does not or does'nt make it junk sounds a little bit less cow-boy indeed, Steven. It would have been less accurate and this is not the way Leonard Cohen is carefully crafting his art.

Well, of course he is not a country artist in the classic sense. He has such a unique way.

He is, let say, the heir of the pionners in this style, completely new and original and of this century.

To explain in more details would necessitate a rather long text, and this is not the place. This subject is so interesting, however.

Maybe bit by bit?

Oh! I don't know...
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Steven
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Steven » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:40 am

Hi Lizzy,

The documentary is good.

There's a documentary about the writer Raymond Carver that's up on YouTube called
Dreams Are What You Wake Up From. I'm not sure that I've ever seen a documentary about
Leonard Cohen that does for Leonard Cohen what Dreams Are What You Wake Up From does for
the late Raymond Carver. The Carver documentary sets a standard of excellence that future
Cohen documentary makers can strive to reach.
Last edited by Steven on Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Steven
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Steven » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:56 am

Hi Tchocolatl,

I understand what you meant and agree with you. (A comparison can be made between Rhodes Scholar Kris Kristofferson and Leonard Cohen. They are both well educated and are able to not let their education get in the way of their art. I recall an interview with Kris Kristofferson where he disregarded a rule of English usage. I think he did this knowingly, to keep rapport with his audience. Thought about this as "don't" in "That Don't Make It Junk" came up in this thread.)
Tchocolatl
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Tchocolatl » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:30 pm

They probably had been so well educated to know how to use the many different levels of language to achieve the best form possible for their art. Education - like languages - is material like another for artists

Marguerite Yourcenar translated greek poetry and negro spirituals as well when she arrived in United States. With the same gusto and the same sense of sacred. In my eyes it is because she was not only very thoroughly educated, but also extremely intelligent and deeply sensitive (being an artist).

To come back to Leonard Cohen, you may be too polite to tell me that folk music of the 60' is in a way the heritage of the country music. Thank you. But the roots of LC art are too much in the culture of the country to be only folk. It would be long to explain in details, but how interesting this is.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
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lizzytysh
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:08 pm

Thank you. But the roots of LC art are too much in the culture of the country to be only folk.
Exactly 8)
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Tchocolatl
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Re: If Leonard Cohen Were A Country Artist

Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:12 pm

"It doesn't exist, America. It's a name you give to an abstract idea". Excerpt from Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller

The said roots are partly grounded in this abstract idea.

This abstract idea itself is huge and I have little time.

I'm sure that active minds can explore further by themselves from here.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers

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