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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: The Sisters of Mercy


Iranian Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari, says he was regularly beaten and threatened with execution while imprisoned in Iran for 118 days. He claims singing Leonard Cohen's song, The Sisters of Mercy, saved him from committing suicide, and gave him the strength to continue.

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This brings tears to my eyes.
Dec/1/2009, 2:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Wow, Katfriend. And I get what Bahari means. I've known the song, know it by heart and can still recite it, since the early seventies. More than once it has brought me back from certain moments. I think what makes the song for me is its absolute lack of self-pity: "when you're not feeling holy / your loneliness says that you've sinned."

Come to think of it I remember another man imprisoned for political reasons and whose soul was saved by a woman. His name was Boethius and he was visited by a woman there whose name was Philosophy. Only, he would be executed by a king named Theodoric, a visigoth who ruled what had been the Roman Empire.

The more things change the more they stay the same, huh?

Tere
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


[url][sign in to see URL]

After all these years, I still cannot listen to it without weeping.

---
"Don't you worry--I ain't evil, I'm just bad".
~Chris Smither~
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Leonard Cohen: He's Grammy's Man

Some artists, like the Rolling Stones back in 1986, get their Grammy lifetime achievement recognition too early; others come, as with Michael Jackson this year, sadly too late. But 75-year-old Leonard Cohen has, as always, impeccable timing.

Cohen's Grammy 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award arrives at the height of the iconic septuagenarian's umpteenth comeback. A wildly acclaimed two-years-and-counting world tour has seen Cohen storm the gates of popular culture as crowds clamoured for sold-out tickets and artists increasingly name-dropped his influence.


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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


But you got away, didn't you babe.
You turned your back on them all.

Cohen said that in the early 70s. From his Chelsea Hotel #2 song. It dissapoints me he accepts honors now in the same way Elton John and Lennon dissapointed me when they accepted knighthood. A hero of mine just got old.

Let's sing another song boys.
This one has grown old and bitter.

Cohen said that too.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


I don't know, Tere, it looks to me like Cohen accepted the award on his own terms:

An unshaved Cohen, sporting a fedora and bolo tie, wryly noted that he never won a Grammy for any of his recordings.

"As we make our way toward the finish line that some of us have already crossed, I never thought I'd get a Grammy award. In fact, I was always touched by the modesty of their interest," he said to loud applause.

The 75-year-old Canadian folk poet did receive a Grammy two years ago as one of the featured artists on Herbie Hancock's surprise album of the year winner.

As a bonus, he recited the lyrics of his comic tune "The Tower of Song" featuring such lines as "I was born like this, I had no choice. I was born with the gift of a golden voice."


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Maybe Cohen believes in his work and wanted more people, especially a younger generation to be exposed to it. Of course, he recently joined the list of musicians whose managers ripped them off for millions. They say that's one reason why he has been doing his latest round of concert gigs. Maybe that's why he accepted the Grammy too: He needs the money and hopes his acceptance will translate into some. His mention of the finish line makes me think the concerts are, in part, a farewell tour.
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Such bitter cynicism over someone receiving an honor they've deserved many times over seems misplaced. If anyone deserves recognition while still breathing, it's Cohen and his ilk. I for one cannot begrudge the praise he receives now as anything but his long-deserved due. Cohen is hardly a "sell-out;" he's always done things on his own terms, and for his own reasons. Now the music industry has finally decided to recognize him; Cohen for one would not be likely to let that go to his head.

Why not simply praise what deserves to be praised?

---
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Arthur Durkee, do please take me out of your sights. This pattern is getting wearisome.

Terreson

Last edited by Terreson, Jan/31/2010, 3:35 pm
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Katfriend, I get your point. And, yes, I know the story of how a manager of his ripped Cohen off. Mine were just the late night thoughts of a poet who, metaphorically, learned at the master's feet at the age of 18 or 40 years ago. For whom L.C. has always been the perfect outrider. And, I think, has realized he will soon have to mourn the loss of a man he has damn near worshipped all of his adult life. That's all.

Tere
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Funny how we can take on our poets personally. I've told this Cohen story before. I think it was in the late 90s when Cohen said that finally session musicians were wanting to cover his songs. He might have been a bit surprised, but by what I can't know. Was it because of the sudden attention? Or was it because he was saying to himself, well, boys how come it took you so long? I say boys pointedly. From the very beginning, circa '67 or '68, women artists have not just flocked to him, or covered him, they have actively promoted his songs. This is interesting to me, especially since his many lyrical addresses to women have been, to say the least, clinically honest. Judy Collins was the first. Not much of an exaggeration to say she single handedly catapulted him onto center stage. And so many others have followed. The fellow Canadian artist, Jennifer Warnes, made an entire album devoted to covering him. And other women have collaborated with him. I still can't figure out what this means or says, not entirely. At the very least it means that women artists have to be credited with keeping his art alive. And I remember the one album he regretted or found lacking. It was his Death of a Ladies Man album produced by the wall-of-sound guy, Phil Spector, Cohen called the finished mix a "catastrophe." I remember the first time I heard the album. It was in '77, the year it came out. I remember how lack lustre his voice was. I remember thinking, he's lost the touch. And this is something else about Cohen that blows me away. Both his self-honesty and that he went back to a style, a delivery, that felt right to him in his gut. How many artists, poets, or authors can say as much? How many have pulled themselves back from false success in order to keep true to themselves? Going through the list I can count them on one hand.

I heard him interviewed a few years ago. He was pretty funny. He was talking about the changing composition of his songs, how it does not much treat anymore with romantic love. From memory he said, when you get old you get evicted from the garden of love. I think those were his exact words. But it hasn't stopped him has it?

French has a word for the kind of singer/song writer Cohen is. It is a term that carries with it enormous respect. Much more so than an award can bestow. It's roots are small. It first meant a satirical song maker, a lampooner. I've heard the word used in Canada about Cohen. The word is chansonnier. The only other song writer I can think of who has been called a chansonnier would be Jacques Brel. That is Cohen's company. A Jewish fellow from Montreal who has had in him, kept protean, all of his life the lyrical capacity for the personal universal.

Certain adjustments are hard. This one is huge.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Tere,

Thanks for some historical and emotional background regarding Cohen. Since I only discovered his work a few years back, I can't imagine what it must be like to have known it and followed him for 40 years. I still don't understand why you felt disappoited in hearing about Cohen's Grammy and in the same way you were disappointed when "Elton John and Lennon. . .accepted knighthood"?
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


A fair question, Kat. In my view outrider poets are at their best left unhonored, or maybe just uncertified. Judging from what you posted above, I suspect that in his instincts L.C. knows as much too. Then, also, the news kind of made me reckon with the fact the man is near the end of his career. Like I said. Certain adjustments are hard. This one will be huge.

But, heh, it was just a spontaneous, unconsidered comment made one late night.

Another bit of L.C. gossip. Can't remember the exact year, maybe '70 or'71. Robert Altman (I think) made a movie called 'McCabe and Mrs Miller.' It is with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, two all time favorite actors. Her character is a prostitute addicted to opium. His is a gambler. And the story takes place in a very wintry, very snow white Pacific Northwest in a camp town from pioneer days. I must have seen the movie a half-dozen times. Back then movie going cost maybe 2$, maybe less. I kept trying to change with my will how the story ends. Anyway, Altman threaded Cohen's songs through the film. Another reason why I kept returning. He was unsatisfied with the product, but it worked for me.

So you see? My Cohen associations are so personal and layered my reactions get disqualified.

Tere
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


[url][sign in to see URL]

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Feb/5/2010, 11:01 pm
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Cohen and Lorca.

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Tere
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


quote:

It dissapoints me he accepts honors now in the same way Elton John and Lennon dissapointed me when they accepted knighthood.



Hey, I knew this already, but you made me go and check. Lennon never accepted a knighthood, and he was never offered one. He initially accepted an OBE but later returned it. Elton John is hardly in the same league of political credibility anyway, although it was damn good when he finally came out as being Gay. Yeah, accepting an OBE involves some heavy compromise and weirdness, but he was pretty young at the time, and hadn't really got into politics much.

Steve.

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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Thanks, Steve, for the correction. Of course he didn't. I was thinking of McCartney. Oops.

Tere
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Yeah, well, McCartney was never in the same league, was he. The most radical he ever got was having a vegetarian wife. He's very much an establishment guy now, even if he does still toot the odd spliff.

Steve.
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Touche.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Did anyone else watch the opening cermonies of the Olympics? I watched it with a friend, and we made guesses about who would perform and who would light the stadium torch. My friend and I both guessed Wayne Gretzky would do the honors, although my friend had heard Gretzky wasn't going to do it. I said I wished Cohen would get to do it but thought they would probably go with an athlete and they did (Gretzky). Then we speculated about who would perform. I said I hoped Cohen would get to sing Hallelujah! My friend said maybe kd lang will perform it, and he was right. Lang sang Hallelujah! near the end of the ceremonies, and when they introduced her, the announcer said that the song was written by Leonard Cohen, Canada's Poet Laureate. emoticon

Last edited by Katlin, Feb/14/2010, 11:22 pm
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Katfriend, and this is going back to '79, I knew I was in trouble, serious trouble, when while going through her record collection I found that the woman I would marry a year later had two copies, that's two copies, of every Cohen album he had made up till then. I registered her infatuation with him and I thought, oh, man, this could be a bumpy ride.

I was right. She was right. Cohen was right about everything.

Tere
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Movie critic Roger Ebert has been battling cancer for 7 years, and he credits Leonard Cohen's music for saving his life. Quick version of the story here (Caution: the picture of Ebert is heartbreaking):

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I love what Ebert says about writing:

"When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was," he once posted on his journal. "All is well. I am as I should be."

Longer version of the story:

"Ebert always had music playing in his hospital room, an esoteric digital collection that drew doctors and nurses to his bedside more than they might have been otherwise inclined to visit. There was one song in particular he played over and over: "I'm Your Man," by Leonard Cohen. That song saved his life."

Read more:

[sign in to see URL]#ixzz0fqxG1iB5
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Kat,

I read the long version and it was worth the read. Thanks for posting.

Chris
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Cohen on Q TV (CBC exclusive)

Cohen discusses women, love, writing, slogans, depression, the enormity of suffering around the world, mortality and Hallelujah!

Last edited by Katlin, Oct/26/2011, 3:22 pm
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Excellent interview, Kat. Thank you very much.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas


Cohen's new album, Old Ideas, is coming out on January 31st. To get a sneak preview of a few songs on the album, check out "Darkness":

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"Going Home" and "Show Me the Place":

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"Listen: Three Songs From Leonard Cohen's New Album"

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"Leonard Cohen shows there's life in the old dog yet with launch of new album"

[url][sign in to see URL]

  

Last edited by Katlin, Jan/19/2012, 10:03 am
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas


Thanks Kat, it's always good to hear from and about L. Cohen,

Chris

Last edited by Christine98, Jan/24/2012, 6:25 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas


Listen to Old Ideas in its entirety:

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Last edited by Katlin, Jan/24/2012, 2:15 pm
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas


“Look, Leonard, we know you’re great, but we don’t know if you’re any good.

A VERY GOOD Leonard Cohen article:

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Katlin Profile
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah!


Wow, Chris, thanks for the link! Excellent article, and I'm loving going through the accompanying links. I'd heard a little about that concert on the Isle of Wight but had never seen the footage or heard the audio before.

Last edited by Katlin, Feb/6/2012, 10:20 am
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