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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:15 am
by vlcoats
B4real post wrote:I was nearly going to say something when Vickie commented on the first one but I thought I'd wait until someone twigged to the second one, Victoria ;-)

Interesting where the images came from. The background reminded me so much of the red rock formations in Sedona, but they are obviously out of this world.

As for the second puzzle, don't think we didn't notice it (if I may speak for everyone)! I was hoping someone else would comment on it and solve the mystery of who you were referring to. The only Alex I could come up with is Alex Bublitchi, and the only Mac I could come up with was The Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal (The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal... the MAC). As for Victoria, the only one I could find in relation to Leonard is Queen Victoria. However, none of those seem to go together, so I am stumped for now. We have a rodeo to go to, so the mystery will have to wait... maybe someone with more experience here can solve it? I don't know why I like the rodeo so much, since I inevitably end up feeling bad for the animals, but we go every year, and I insist on sitting right up on the fence line, even though we come home covered in dirt clods.


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:33 am
by B4real
Hi Vickie,
Those names you mentioned are co-incidentally the same and a perfect red herring but nothing to do with the answer. Interesting that your name is included too, isn't it :) I'll wait a little while to see if someone can solve puzzle no 2.
vlcoats wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:11 pm
Akk! I didn't realize it also came in a DVD because I didn't see it on Amazon. But even on eBay I can only find it in the UK import version, and I heard that will not play in all Blu-ray DVD players. Does anyone know if that is true? I just listened to Tower of Song on the audio CD and I would love love love to have a visual. Maybe I will YouTube it if I can.
My album link on the previous page says it comes also as both DVD/Blue Ray with bonus songs.
the last of the live and studio albums

I just tried to find this for you online and even when you go through the official site: and click on straight to Amazon it does seem that only the audio is available but the image displayed shows the 4 discs, 3 for video and 1 for audio.

I found Walmart (I think in Canada) could have it: ... 0190378498

and here at Discogs (Portland, Oregon) ... se/6710527

Both the above links are NTSC which are US and Canada region which I'm assuming your DVD player can utilize. Here in Australia it is the PAL system. You can play any region DVD on your computer. Jean's link expands on the different regions and countries.

...enjoy the rodeo :)

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:44 am
by Jean Fournell
B4real wrote: Some of you may be wondering who Victoria is :) At the time Leonard was a little obsessed and fascinated with her but she officially belonged to someone else by the name of Mac ;-) All he could ever hope to possess of her was her voice over which he had total control. But she was also available to everyone else who had the desire to utilize her talent! Then along came Vickie and later on Alex .... and Mac continues to make them available to those seeking their services....for a price.... hehehe!
Oh, I hadn't understood that this was meant as a riddle.
The voice of Victoria sounds pretty "familiar" to me, and so would those of Vickie and Alex, I suppose.
In at least one documentary film, Leonard Cohen can be seen on Mount Baldy with his friend Mac... ;-)

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:55 pm
by B4real
Ha! Jean, of course you are right :D And just to complete my frivolity with this “song” here’s another of my assembled ideas images I was going to post as a visual clue of who Victoria really is and also illustrating the sentence –

Next Tuesday, when the sun
goes down, I will play the Moonlight Sonata

Text-to-speech in Mac OS X
Text-to-speech has been a part of every Mac OS X version. The Victoria voice was enhanced significantly in Mac OS X v10.3, and added as Vicki (Victoria was not removed). Its size was almost 20 times greater, because of the higher-quality diphone samples used.
A new, much more natural-sounding voice, called "Alex" has been added to the Mac text-to-speech roster with the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Interestingly and co-incidentally, I’ve just noticed that when I put this design together it was in fact September almost to the day 7 years ago as the calendar in the image shows :o And that’s enough of my self-indulgence for a while ..... bye from down-under.
smiley-gen101.gif (2.69 KiB) Viewed 1790 times

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:37 am
by its4inthemorning
Watched Live in Dublin midnight until almost 3:00 am; Joann was asleep, so I was joined only by Tyson, our tabby cat, who somehow didn't seem very interested.

The first thing I noticed was something I now recall being discussed when the DVD came out--it didn't have the same live feeling as, for example, Live in London. I think that during the mixing process they dialed-down the audience "noise" a bit too much.

Here are some musings that I noted while I watched:

Dance Me: Even on the DVD the electricity in the air before this song starts a concert is present. Sometimes LC's voice is a little weak at the beginning of a concert, but not here. LC's quip about breaking the family budget to sit in the best seats, as well as some other banter later on, seem a little phony when you've heard them before, but I do realize that most attending any concert probably have not been to another, so to them the lines are fresh. I should say here that for me, most of the songs in the concert were heard first in the Live in London DVD, not on the original albums, so I tend to regard the 2008-2013 live arrangements as the "real" ones. Others who bought all of LC's albums when they were released likely think of the original arrangements as being the "real" ones.

Future: This is one of those songs where it took me many plays to understand the music, the Future always seemed disjointed--until it was no longer. I see a high level of energy present on stage for so early in the concert.

Bird: Such a different presentation compared with the original, much more instrumentation. Funny to see Mitch and Javier sitting while 80-year old LC is so active.

Everybody Knows: Always a favorite of mine, enjoy seeing LC watching the other singers sing their parts. Javier makes his presence known, the first of many times in the concert. Interesting lyric, the "like your father or your dog just died," I cannot imagine that line failing to penetrate any listener. In LC's case, he lost his father and his dog at a young age, so it is not surprising that he equates their importance in song (but of course not in real life).

Who By Fire: I seldom like long band solos, but make an exception for Javier's performance here, it is breathtaking to watch him playing. Love his smile of contentment when he finishes.

Gypsy's Wife: Nice to see LC with his guitar again, wonder if it is the Conde? Beautiful lyrics and instrumentation give the song a real gypsy flavor. LC closing his eyes for an entire verse is remarkable. Thought I knew what this song was saying, but the last verse now seems to not fit my template, I need to study these lyrics more.

Darkness: Everyone on stage looks so happy despite the mood of the song. LC's voice is very strong (can anyone sing deeper than he does here?) Initial band introductions, which began in Dance Me, conclude here.

Amen: A long (8:00) rendition and a perfect arrangement. [Flashback #1: It's the start of a summer evening, with the air pure from a recent rain shower. The sun has gone down, and the sky is darkening. Despite the large crowd and outdoor setting, there is very little noise. Everyone's attention is focused on the stage, on the band, and on LC's voice. When LC sings "through the god-damned horror" it is as if he is in your living room commiserating with you. A memorable night in Lucca.]

Come Healing: Any song following the preceding rendition of Amen would have to be a let down, and that is my reaction. It seems to me that setting these lyrics to music had to have been a difficult task.

Lover Lover Lover: In light of recent discussions of this song, I found it difficult to not be interpreting lyrics rather than listening to the song. LC and the band are in a high-energy state here.

Anthem: Sadness sets in when Anthem starts, it means that the first set is almost over. LC has his eyes closed, but he is moving around rather than stationary; how can an 80-year-old have that much confidence in his sense of balance on stage? [Flashback: #2 It's December in Las Vegas, and in his introduction to Anthem LC is saying, "Some of you have been to many concerts...we are deeply aware of the gesture and of the sacrifice. I want to express our gratitude to those--I don't want to call them fans--they are of a much deeper order than fans." Anthem is played, showcasing each band member with a short solo. Then the band leaves the stage for the intermission, and we go to the lobby for a cigarette and to gush about our first concert.]

Tower: Love the way that LC loves to perform this song. Love the singers watching LC play his sophisticated instrument. Never get tired of the reaction of the crowd to "born with the gift of a golden voice."

Suzanne and Chelsea Hotel: LC with his guitar again, very little backup except the singers. These songs are probably closer to their original renditions than almost any other songs in the concert.

Waiting: I am always waiting for my favorite lyric, "When you've fallen on the highway and your lying in the rain and they ask you how you're doing, of course you say you can't complain." Love this particular performance.

Partisan: LC with his guitar again, and intense. Unlike most songs where Roscoe Beck cues the musicians, LC does the cuing himself with the downward movement of his guitar. How many times has he done that to start Partisan over all these years? It always saddens me a bit that LC did not write this song, it seems so like a lot of his work. I've always felt that the verse in French was to reinforce LC's Montreal connection. [Flashback #3: Late in the day in early fall we are on a hectic taxi ride to L'Olympia, a small venue with a considerable history. We meet others at a bar a block away, but details of this are forgotten since our minds are on what is to come. We take our seats, nice plush red seats, and the magic starts. During the second set the lights darken to veil rearrangements on stage, and then come on again to reveal the quartet of LC and Mitch with guitars, Javier with one of his exotic instruments, and Neil with an accordion, standing together, and starting The Partisan. The audience loves this song because of its connection with their history, and they really love it when LC sings the verse in French. Far too soon it is early morning and we find ourselves in another taxi returning to the rental apartment.]

Secret Life: For me this song was a bit of a letdown, it is overshadowed by the many great songs that preceded it. Is it possible to sing in a lower voice than LC's when he sings "wisdom of old"?

Alexandra Leaving: Leonard gets to rest and listen to a great singer sing a beautiful song perfectly.

I'm Your Man: LC steps out of his character in this playful rendition. Playful is not an adjective normally attributed to LC, but he pulls it off.

Recitation: A nice break in the action for the band (other than Neil) and the audience. I can see why so many have said they wish there were more recordings of LC reciting his poetry.

Hallelujah: LC's voice and energy level are still strong, while I am tired and sore just from sitting on my couch watching. Tyson has gone to the kitchen in hopes that food has appeared in his dish. I always wondered why LC began to sing "you" instead of the the original rhyming "ya" in the Hallelujah verses.

Waltz: This is the point in concerts where I am struck with the realization that the show will be quickly winding down. The singers add a lot to the performance here, especially in the final verse. Beautiful voices all. Here we see some shots of the audience; I think interspersing more throughout the DVD would have improved it.

Marianne: This rendition of one of my favorite songs was not the best. I think this has to do with the mixing, too much of the audience reaction was eliminated. In Ireland especially, there was always large audience participation in the Marianne chorus, but here it has been eliminated (even though LC acknowledges its presence).

Going Home: Poignant lyrics now that LC has left us. I need to look at these lyrics more, who is the singer, or "I," meant to be?

Manhattan: Always liked this song, lyrics, music, staging, everything. [Flashback #4: Drinking wine that some fans brought to the park beneath the venue, and Christelle shows us "Pablo" who will be tossed on stage before "the monkey and the plywood violin" line. The sun is finally setting, and we climb the mountain to Palau Sant Jordi for the show. Now we are seated, just several rows back from where Javier will be on stage. Eventually the concert reaches Manhattan, and Christelle's aim is perfect. We can see LC making the the toy monkey wave to Javier right in front of us. The crowd loves it, it is good to be alive. Then the long walk downhill from the venue, and the taxi to downtown Barcelona where we have a very late but delicious tapas meal.]

FBR: LC with his guitar again. My favorite song, but here it is played at too fast a tempo for my taste, I like the original slow version. The otherwise excellent concert lighting falters at the end of FBR, LC is made to appear to have a blue "clown" nose. This can be overlooked.

Closing Time: This is a song LC always seems to enjoy singing (maybe because he knows he is almost done for the night?). It must be incredibly difficult to remember the lyrics, everything goes so fast there is no time to think.

I Tried t Leave You: Final appearance of LC's guitar. As I mentioned once before, there is a lot going on in this short little song, I like it a lot. Nice opportunity for a final showcase of the band.

Save the Last Dance: LC obviously likes this song, but I would really prefer to see him do one of his songs--any one--instead. Just my opinion.

I wrote more than I had intended, likely far too much. I hope there are a few bits that interest you, enough to make wading through it worthwhile.


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:09 am
by MaryB
its4inthemorning wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:37 am

I wrote more than I had intended, likely far too much. I hope there are a few bits that interest you, enough to make wading through it worthwhile.

OMG Curt,

I don't remember the last time it was so worthwhile to wade through a critique! Brought back so many memories when you did your comparisons. Thank you very much for your thoughts!!!!

Affectionate regards,

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:16 am
by vlcoats
I agree with Mary (and thank you for joining us MaryB!). Your opinions of the songs on Live in Dublin and your flashbacks have added much to my imagination of what it might have been like. I really do appreciate that you took the time for this post.
I was going to comment on some of the songs, but I don't think I will. I don't think I can, really. My only experience is the audio CD. It is different than having the DVD for a visual, much less having any experience of actually being there.
Thank you again. Your post has made Live in Dublin a special CD for me.

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:53 pm
by its4inthemorning
Accumulated miscellany.

Vickie: We are all teachers and are all students here in "Advanced Leonard Cohen" studies, and your insights are especially interesting because they come from the viewpoint of a "recent discover" of the subject matter. I always enjoy reading your snippets about your husband's reaction to all of this. His questions and comments to you are often humorous, but they also usually contain some truth. For example, while we all labored over lengthy posts trying to decipher "Avalanche," I recall part of Dave's one-sentence analysis was, "he chose the words that he did because...they rhyme and sound awesome together..." That phrase perhaps describes half the job of a poet, yet none of us directly mentioned it in our analyses! (Of course, your anecdotes about Dave also provide fodder for my childish cartoons.)

B4: I would have picked up on the "Pillars of Creation" sooner if I had only clicked on your image and enlarged it. When I do this, the Pillars are rather obvious, and the real effect of your visual becomes apparent. It is a fantastic work of art. Thank you for the instructions for posting photos, I will try to learn from them. Everyone else can manage to post photos (Jean in two languages), I should be able to as well. I would like to blame my difficulties in using technology on some mental affliction, but I must admit that it is really due to laziness.

Jean: I empathize with you being in the situation of caring for a devoted, but aging, animal-friend. The sad fact about pets is that they have much shorter life spans than humans, so it is common to have to see them fight their final battles. We have a cat graveyard out back under some giant lilacs where there are nine little battle memorials (tombstones). Our little "Green Lilac Park."

Alan: You've gone AWOL on us, hope everything's OK.

MaryB: Thank you for your kind words. I see that you attended three concerts in June 2008, within the first month of when Leonard returned to touring after the 15-year hiatus. It would be very interesting to hear your recollections and impressions of those concerts, especially in terms of how those early concerts differed from the later shows after Leonard and his band settled into the routine of touring.


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:11 am
by AlanM
Alan: You've gone AWOL on us, hope everything's OK.
I didn't think I was Absent WithOut Leave, more MIA (Missing In Action), OK probably more accurately Missing In Inaction!
I was this close to posting when I read your brilliant insightful treatise and got blown away, with little else to add then and now.
I had wondered if the sound from the DVD was differently engineered to the CD sound. I just got round to playing them together this morning, and to my ears, they do sound the same.
The differences that I do know are [1] more chat on the DVD/BluRay; [2] 3 extras on the BluRay, including one of his funniest songs, Anyhow with its extended intro about taking up smoking.
It would have been better if the 3 bonus tracks could be played as a group, rather than having to search for each one individually via the menu. I must confess that I have copied these tracks onto my hard drive, so I can listen to them as part of the overall 2013 concert experience. BTW I have also assembled my own version of Songs From The Road Vol 2 & 3.
I agree that the sound seems more "sterile" than Live In London and Songs From The Road, and although there are not many differences between the concert play lists, there are changes in band personnel as well as arrangements for some songs.
Visually it is great, however my preferred version of The Partisan is Ghent, 2012-08-14, where they are ALL standing up (except Rafael) - looks great. Yes, that one is on my Songs From The Road Vol 2 & 3.

When we were discussing friends I mentioned that a group of us have a movie night each month. The August one was Dr Strangelove and a quote from the script is that a Doomsday Machine is no benefit if the other side is unaware of its existence. So - I missed the riddles, Bev - I was so easy to defeat ... I didn't even know there was a war.
Should I be on the look out for more?


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:48 am
by vlcoats
Please don’t take my reluctance to comment on the live albums as anything more than my own sour grapes. I will get over it.

Any of you who are parents here know that feeling that you get when all of the sudden your child has grown to adulthood, as if behind your back. That feeling of “Wait a minute..... What just happened here?” The live albums make me feel like that even more than the experience of hearing Leonard age so quickly from studio album to studio album. He is so alive on the live albums that hearing him age is more real, and for some reason listening to the Live in Dublin audio CD is much more emotional to me than watching the Live in London DVD. Maybe that’s because my experience with him has been mostly audio.

It’s hard to listen to Live in Dublin and hard to talk about it without getting a lump in my throat because I can’t stop thinking, “He is 79 years old,” and other things even harder to think about.

I will say that I especially loved “The Gypsy’s Wife”, and I can’t ever again imagine life without having this song to listen to.

Nice to see you are still in the ranks Alan!


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:00 am
by vlcoats
Feeling a little crazy tonight.
I am uncomfortable with my posts lately, and then today at a regional librarian meeting, we were asked to participate in one of those let's-get-to-know-each-other things, where they go around the room and everyone shares something. This time, everyone was asked to name the last 3 books they read (not as unusual as it sounds, librarians read a lot). When it was my turn, like a deer in the headlights, I told the truth (all Leonard Cohen biographies). Seeing the blank looks, I tried to backpedal by saying I was also reading a poetry book, but of course that was Stranger Music. A fellow school librarian tried to rescue me by saying, "He wrote Hallelujah, right?... You must really be a fan." There was no way I was going to tell her that the reason I was glad our November meeting was on the 12th is because it wouldn't conflict with our trip to Montreal.

When I told this story to Dave, he rolled his eyes and nudged me and said, "A person could use the word word 'fan', but I'd pick a word that has a few more letters in it."

And tonight, I found myself confirming our 2nd set of return tickets and an extra night for our trip to Montreal so we won't miss the special museum invitation that forum members are lucky enough to have received, as well as paying extra for us to sit next to each other on our flights since we are not frequent flyers with that airline.

I know this does not sound crazy for those of you who have been fans for years so thanks for listening.


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:22 am
by B4real
Vickie, your reactions and experiences are absolutely normal around here! And Dave is uncannily right about the "fan" word! Maybe he's been paying more attention to LC than you are aware, ha! Leonard used to always say he didn't like to use that word because we were more than that to him. He forever delighted in using the word "friends" to describe us here!
And knowing you have been pre-occupied lately I don't think you noticed my post on this page above with some links for you to buy the DVD you wanted of Live in Dublin:
viewtopic.php?f=9&p=366615#p366572 or maybe you've just settled for the CD :)

Alan, As you know, I like doing things a little differently, so yes, you could keep a look out just in case ;-)

4, Great review! I love your 3-way thought pattern - virtual, memory and reality - and you said you don't do creative writing (btw, it was perfectly fine before you edited it many times and still is) ....or art! Just look what has happened to you since you started posting in this thread ;-) I agree that it would also be excellent to hear from MaryB about her thoughts of those early 2008 concerts. They were really important events to be at and I would be delighted if she would share her experiences here!

Mary, I would love it if you want to do that!

Jean, as you probably know I've recently discovered that some of my ancestors were from the old Normandy St Leger en Yvelines-Rambouillet and L'Áigle districts of France..... and now I know why of all the languages I could pick at high school to learn I chose French ;-) Lately I've had a sudden urge to re-learn French again and I wish I could instantly speak it as well as you do English!

And finally, for those of you who are going to Montreal I'll bet you that you will be sitting down to a virtual concert including Leonard :D My crystal ball shows me that it will be one that has been recorded during the last world tour and the video of which no one has yet publically Vickie, I reckon you will get to see him 'live' after all :D

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:41 pm
by its4inthemorning
I have a time-consuming real-work project that I cannot put off any longer. Also, I have a sense I have been talking too much on this thread and not listening enough recently. Consequently, I am going to sit back for a week or so and just enjoy what you all have to say. But I would like to say something I've been thinking about first:

It seems like this thread has taken on a life of its own. For some reason five of us have gravitated here of our own free wills and seem to enjoy each others' electronic company. We are all from vastly different places separated by thousands of miles (save perhaps Alan and Bev, but Australia's a big place), with different backgrounds, interests, and personal situations. But due to a single commonality--the Cohen gene--those differences seem not to matter.

I love the very high level of civility that is always present. I love the way we probe into each others' lives and thoughts, but never intrude. I love the way that the thread sometimes veers off-topic in interesting ways, but always comes back home. But most of all, I love the different perspectives on Leonard's work that I never would have considered. Thank you for all this!


Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:35 am
by vlcoats
4--- You have never talked too much! Here is hoping your hiatus will be brief!

Everyone else - If you are available please help me. I am at a hotel in Boise tonight because of a work conference, and I have internet access! I mean real internet access!! At home I have no choice but satellite internet and anyone with that kind of access knows what I mean. So I have full access to YouTube tonight! And I brought my Kindle so I can see it on a bigger screen than on my phone.
B4! Alan! Jean! ... if you are awake, please send me a couple links for the kind of stuff that you know I like before I get too tired and have to go to sleep. I've been up since 3 a.m. and it is now 7:30 p.m. and I have to get up at 5:30 a.m.
Help a sister out.
Edited to add ideas- interviews, my favorite songs, Jewish and Zen stuff, any string instruments.

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:32 am
by vlcoats
Crisis averted. .... I found an interview on CBC from 1980 with Patrick Watson from the 'Authors' series where his expressions say as much as his words.
Sorry for the 'all call'