Tag Archives: Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen remembers how he got his song

I came across this enlightening speech given by Leonard Cohen at the 2011 Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony. As ever, Cohen is humble and speaks with genuine beauty. In this speech he touches on the importance of Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca in helping him to find a voice. He also reveals how a young Spanish man playing flamenco guitar in the park helped him find his ‘song’. So I won’t say anymore… Leonard says it exactly how it needs to be said.

 

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The Old Ideas of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen is back with a new album and that ‘golden voice’ has all the warmth and crackle of a needle dropped on good vinyl. In fact, his age-worn baritone sounds like it is plumbing the depth of the human spirit, at times, so still and sonorous that you can feel each breath. The arrangements are sparse, allowing the glorious instrument that is Cohen’s voice to carry the weight of the album; each rasped syllable, etching its mark in the listener’s psyche. Old Ideas may not chart new ground, but Cohen’s path is guaranteed to lead you through the wasteland of existence to a truly intimate interior.

The Guardian currently has the album available to stream in its entirety, so without any further ramblings, here’s the Old Ideas of one of the greatest poet / folksingers of our time.

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New Leonard Cohen Track

After recent years of touring, Leonard Cohen is showing no signs of slowing down, with news of a new album, Old Ideas to be released in January 2012.

It has been touted as his most spiritual album to date, “the album’s ten songs poetically address(ing) some of the most profound quandaries of human existence – the relationship to a transcendent being, love, sexuality, loss and death.”

Pitchfork currently has the first cut from the album, Show Me The Place, available for listening and if it is anything to go by, Cohen’s age worn baritone is sounding better than ever.

This may be the album that kick starts my new year…

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Friday Night with Leonard Cohen

On my travels around the internet, I came across this fantastic reading from Leonard Cohen on February 14, 1966. Leonard reads his early poems For E.J.P and You Have The Lovers and performs his classic, The Stranger Song. And the superb thing is there is a link to download the performance, so you can repeat the pleasure of listening. I also came across this interview where Cohen discusses his poetry.

So, on this rainy Friday night, spend some time with Leonard Cohen… the hours will be richer for it.

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Spreading the love of Cohen…

The great man is playing as we speak in the fine city of Adelaide and then has one final show in Perth on November 24 before departing our shores for what may be the last time. Ever. I chose not to go and see the tour this time around as my memory of the 2009 show is still shining brightly in my frontal lobe. This is a memory I will work hard to keep lit as without a doubt, it is a one of the finest concert experiences I will ever have.

For those who have caught the show during the last two years and for those who haven’t, this download is an absolute gem… Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Mr. Leonard Cohen, live in Texas, 2009.

May these songs shine forever.

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Leonard Cohen live at The Paramount Theatre, Oakland CA, 13/04/09

Not long to wait now for all those holding on to tickets for Cohen’s much anticipated return to Australia in November. So to peak that excitement here’s a link to download his 2009 concert at The Paramount Theatre. Listening to it this morning brought back some incredible memories… truly one of the most emotional shows I have ever experienced.

Download the full show at: Waves and Wires

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Three Moments of Anticipation

#1

Well, I don’t have to wait long for the first event as tomorrow, singer/songwriter/novelist & Richmond Fontaine front man, Willy Vlautin, hits the stage twice in Brisbane and I will be there to catch both performances.

At 4:00pm, Willy will be reading from his latest book Lean On Pete and talking about the writing process at Avid Reader (tickets available here). This for me is the real treat, as Vlautin is one of those rare, outlaw writers, who is farming the rich vein of Americana, much like Steinbeck and Carver, delivering tales from a fractured society, without softening any of the blows. Vlautins prose is achingly real, capturing the unique voice of the fringe dweller and their struggle in all its ragged beauty.

You can watch trailers for his last two books Northline and Lean On Pete, with Willy providing the superb backing music on both.

Then in the evening he will be teaming up with fellow Richmond Fontaine member, Dan Eccles for an intimate acoustic performance at The Troubadour (tickets available here). To get a taste of what Richmond Fontaine are all about, check out this footage of Willy playing two songs from their acclaimed album, Thirteen Cities, in a motel room, which by the way is so fitting for Vlautin, seeing many of his characters live their lives bouncing from motel to motel (his first book was called The Motel Life).

Willy plays The Kid from Belmont St and Capsized from Thirteen Cities.

Hope to see many of you Lost Sharks there…

#2

There are some amazing projects underway, focussing on the life and work of the late Richard Brautigan. There is a documentary currently being shot titled For Richard, directed by Paul Swenson and Anthony Lucero and Lucero is also touted to be directing a feature film adaptation of Brautigan’s classic novel, The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966. Let’s hope both of these projects see the light of day, as previously there were plans to make a feature film based on his novel The Hawkline Monster, with Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman touted as playing the cowboys… imagine that!!!

#3

For those who missed the glory of Cohen in 2009, never fear, the great man seems to be taking a leaf from the Bob Dylan tour handbook and is returning to these shores in November this year. Seriously, if you didn’t see him last time, don’t miss this. For me it is a concert experience that i will carry with me forever. My review of his February 2009 concert is testiment to that.

Presale tickets for Frontier Touring members go on sale Monday May 31 at 12pm.

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