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.



Filed under discussions, who listens to the radio?

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.


Filed under who listens to the radio?

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.


Filed under discussions, who listens to the radio?

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.


Filed under events & opportunities, who listens to the radio?

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


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…


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!!!


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.


Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen

I was looking around over at Pitchfork this evening and discovered, much to my joy that for this week only, you can watch, in full, the 1965 film, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen. The film takes us into the world of Cohen the poet and novellist and provides some extraordinary footage of Cohen reading from his early work and discussing the art of poetry. He is elegant and captivating.



So without any further ramblings… Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen. 

And if you can’t find the time to watch it this week, I also discovered you can watch the complete film here.


Filed under poetry & publishing

Take a ride… the sounds of Kerouac, Cohen & Bon Iver

As the clouds roll in and the humidity continues to rise, dip your toes into the sounds of these new folk sounds. Take a ride to the rugged coast of Kerouac’s Big Sur with the Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard; be mesmerised by the messianic tones of Cohen as he tames the crowd at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival and rug up in the snow storm of Bon Iver’s Blood Bank. You won’t regret it…



Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard – Big Sur

Taken from the soundtrack to the new Kerouac film, One Fast Move or I’m Gone, this is a sweet slice of folk from the pages of Big Sur. And while Kerouac was more of a jazz man, I can see him driving along some mid-west highway, arm out the window, nodding approvingly. There is an ache in both Farrar & Gibbard’s voice that lends an authenticity to Kerouac’s words and the arrangements distill Kerouac’s bummed-out prose beautifully.




Leonard Cohen – Suzanne

Forty summers ago, Cohen stepped on stage at the Isle of Wight festival. His set followed Jimi Hendrix (touted as one of the best of Hendrix’s career) and the audience was close to rioting. Standing in the centre of what had become a political maelstrom, Cohen looking like a ragged messiah, stood undaunted and delivered a set of songs and poems that brought the crowd to a stand still. For the first time, this set has now been released along with DVD footage of the concert and a documentary by Murray Lerner. After his mesmerising tour earlier this year, this is on the must have list.




Bon Iver – Blood Bank

After the release of the much lauded For Emma, Forever Ago, many wondered whether Bon Iver mainmain, Justin Vernon would be able to capture the beauty of his lovelorn debut. Blood Bank puts all those doubts to rest… The warmth of Vernon’s voice sits somewhere in the chest cavity and reverberates, longingly. Images of stacked up cups of blood, snow storms and secrets that fuck with your honour are pieced together to create a song that sweeps you away. Breaking up has never sounded so good…


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Literary Tattoos

Ever had the urge to have a line etched on your skin? If you answered yes, then this anthology is for you.

HTML Giant’s, Justin Taylor and Eva Talmadge are putting together a book featuring images of literary tattoos… so as they say, if you want to be in the book, get in the chair.

For years, I have wanted to have Cohen’s two hearts symbol tattooed on my arm, but my downright fear of pain has so far prevented this. This person obviously does not share my fear…


Unified Hearts


And for that matter, neither does my lovely wife …


julie 'poem'


So if you have some literary ink to share, head on over to HTML Giant and check out the submission guidelines… Somehow, I don’t think I will be in those pages.


Filed under poetry & publishing