http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2007/0 ... _thou.html
O Leonard, where art thou?
By Shay Quillen
Friday, May 11th, 2007 at 10:17 am in Music, Shay Quillen, General.
Three days after Britney Spears blew off San Francisco, Leonard Cohen did the same thing, failing to make an appearance at the “Leonard Cohen Presents Anjani” show Thursday at Cafe du Nord. This despite word from a high-placed source that there was an “excellent” chance Cohen would show. Ah, well.
What we got instead was a pleasant evening of Cohen lyrics delivered by his longtime lover and backup singer Anjani, albeit one so soft and sleepy that it made Norah Jones sound like Pat Benatar. She was backed by a quartet that played with such restraint and taste that you had to lean forward to hear their solos (except for the percussionist, who played the windchimes with authority).
She mixed older tracks such as “The Smokey Life” and “The Gypsy’s Wife” with material from her recent “Blue Alert” CD. A couple of the new songs, “No One After You” and “Thanks for the Dance,” would hold their own against Cohen’s best material.
Anjani was lovely and charming, but her between-song patter was so quiet I couldn’t make most of it out from the back of the room, about 30 feet away. I did hear her mention that she once lived in Mountain View, a statement greeted with mild derision from the crowd.
One note: I saw more nuzzling, smooching and full-on making out occurring during this concert than I’ve seen in a long time (since Pete Yorn, at least). So if you ever bring an urban sophisticate back to your place with romance on your mind, you might want to seriously consider putting on Anjani’s “Blue Alert” CD. I tell you, this stuff works. (I should let Mr. Male Call know about this.)
Before Anjani, San Francisco’s Conspiracy of Beards male choir sang some of Cohen’s best-known material — including “Everybody Knows,” “Hallelujah” and “Bird on a Wire” — with gusto. Because the 20-plus men wouldn’t fit on the cafe’s stage, they sang in the back of the room, with with one baritone actually leaning on my table. A treat.