Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
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Casey Butler
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby Casey Butler » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:43 am

Thank you for being nice, Linda...

Analysing individual songs is interesting, but what about the man's entire body of work? What about his reason for everything he does - what about his work and his message?

I'm not trying to pick a bone with anybody though. Every song I've ever heard, every poem I've ever read (though there are lots of his songs and poems I can't afford to even hear and read right now, given the time to do so) is about the same thing. I found a 1993 interview on CBC...

http://archives.cbc.ca/arts_entertainme ... topics/93/ (Scroll right through the video thumnails to "Canada Honors Cohen")

...And saw the excitement on his face and heard it in his voice. It is COOL. I've felt that excitement in a micro-way. It really must have seemed like people were finally coming around.

I finally came around - ten years later! There must be millions of others, don't you think...

Somewhere.

But I went armed, and he shot me with my own rifle. Leonard says what we don't, he won't say what I will, and what I say is just a few more atoms of mud from an over-grazed and neglected pasture. Maybe more atoms of mud from others will help.

Our world is toast, you know.

The irony is that the Borg have lost the big war, but nobody the Borg will listen to wants to tell them.

So the big war goes on and on and on, consuming atoms of mud wholesale, soldiers and sailors alike.

The themes that pervade all Leonard Cohen works are few and fairly important to everybody, as they pervade the works of Layton, Lorca, Whitman, Bacon, Byron, and I wish I had the master list. Look at that picture on the back of "Dear Heather". Who is Leonard waiting for. Who is Leonard singing to. Why aren't we responding with anything but money, criticism or praise, and so-called "love" that won't look beyond the comfort zone of our own little local worlds...

How long does it take I wonder. Where's it going.

How many times has that excitement beamed from the face of Leonard Cohen only to be wiped away by the indifference (or ignorance in some cases) of the unified hearts he loves so much?

I blew it, and I don't know what to do next... I can't get out of this poetry loop. If anybody knows, how about a list of the golden soldiers?

Casey
Cate
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby Cate » Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:25 pm

Hi Casey - thank you for posting that link - The Cohen clips of course are great, but I also found a Layton interview that I hadn't seen before.
It's easy to find clips of Leonard from when he was younger not so easy to find Irving.

So thank you - thank you - I really enjoyed.

Cate
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Casey Butler
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby Casey Butler » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:05 am

You're welcome... I found the videos searching on Irving Layton, actually. A sharp dresser, it must be said. It's amazing how much good good stuff the Internet makes available.

Did you hear what Leonard said in that '93 interview...

"I've been plotting this for generations..."

Lots of plots have been running concurrently, and are coming cacaphonically to fruition today. It is clearly the most exciting time ever - when clarity visits every so often - though it is all so very unexpected.

Another Whitman gem:

When the Full-Grown Poet Came

"When the full-grown poet came,
"Out spake pleased Nature (the round impassive globe, with all its
"shows of day and night,) saying, He is mine;
"But out spake too the Soul of man, proud, jealous and unreconciled,
"Nay he is mine alone;
"--Then the full-grown poet stood between the two, and took each
"by the hand;
"And to-day and ever so stands, as blender, uniter, tightly holding hands,
"Which he will never release until he reconciles the two,
"And wholly and joyously blends them."

Tight, tight, tight, hold on tight! :-)

Casey
imaginary friend
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby imaginary friend » Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:56 pm

Hi Casey,

The CBC archives link is a treasure trove!

Thanks for finding it and posting it; you should start another thread just for the link – others on the Forum would enjoy these clips, and they might not find the link if they're not into the Dear Heather thread.

To others from Canada who see this post – is that Adrienne Clarkson interviewing Leonard in the Beautiful Losers clip??? She seemed determined to engage him in a battle of wits, but her's was no match for his. Love her beehive and 60's eyeliner though 8)
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linda_lakeside
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby linda_lakeside » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:55 pm

Yep. That's Adrienne Clarkson, alright. She did a lot of interviews with Leonard. I'm not sure she was with the CBC for the entirety of her journalistic career, or if she went to CTV - I'm pretty sure I saw her do an interview on Hydra - could be wrong. Funny how time goes...she's finished now with her post, and Leonard is on tour. Somewhat ironic. No, not the best of her interviews, maybe Leonard just wouldn't 'fit into the box' journalists like to try and stuff people into. You're right in that the CBC is a treasure trove. I wonder if CTV has a similar video library? Note to self: google....

Oh, an addendum, thanks to Tom Sakic and others, many items have been dragged out of the CBC library over the years. Truly some great stuff in there.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby imaginary friend » Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:21 pm

Linda!

Great to hear from you. Thanks for the scoop re. Adrienne C. I'm slowly going through the CBC 'treasury'; it's so good to listen to the Master's own dialogue illuminating ideas in his work... easy on the eyes too!

Best,

S.

My 'report' re. Montreal concert was humbly posted in the Summer Tour thread as promised. By every single review and posted account, Leonard seems energized from the love-bath he's receiving (and earning). So hopes are high for a Vancouver concert in 2009!!
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Casey Butler
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby Casey Butler » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:36 am

imaginary friend wrote:you should start another thread just for the link – others on the Forum would enjoy these clips, and they might not find the link if they're not into the Dear Heather thread.
Thanks, I put it under "Comments and Questions", good idea!

Casey
Undertow
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby Undertow » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:42 pm

I personally really like Dear Heather, even the title track. Its incredibly playful and Cohen is just having fun...which is great to hear.

The Letters, No More A-Roving, Because Of, There For You & Villanelle For Our Time are all great tracks IMO. But then, I dont think Cohen has put out a single bad album (even Death Of A Ladies' Man is passable with songs like Dont Go Home With Your Hard-On, Fingerprints & Memories)
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jerry
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby jerry » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:12 pm

Dear Heather is nothing more than a few good songs. That's it. The rest is filler to bulk it up and call it an album. Almost all of DH to me sounds like b-sides or the kind of things you would expect to hear on a boxset. DOALM is more consistent and listenable!
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen
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kwills
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby kwills » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:32 pm

Dear Jerry,
I can't agree with you that DOALM is better than Dear Heather.Phil Spector ruined that album by weakening LC's strongest asset,his voice and his enunciation of his lyrics.The best song on that album is "You Can't Go Home With Your Hard On!"It's okay as background music while doing housework!

Kwills
Manchester 19th June/Cardiff 8th Nov
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linda_lakeside
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby linda_lakeside » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:18 am

Here we go again...DOALM vs. the rest. Some actually love DOALM, saying that the more they listened, the more it 'grew' on them. To each their own I guess. Leonard called it a 'grotesque masterpiece'. Naturally, he's fond of the 'masterpiece', but when you deal with a nut case like Spector, the results are 'grotesque' in one way or another. Lennon had the same problem. My favourite LC CD today is FCC which has tunes from DOALM. I guess it's in the delivery. Spector 's days were done, I think. The sad thing (IMHO), is that Spector took co-writer credits on some of the songs. That is usually far beyond what a producer's 'share' is.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby bobfan » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:50 am

Anne-Marie wrote:
MichaelPlater wrote: I do agree that "No More A-Roving" is a bit crap though.
I don't agree at all. Adore that song... good car music!


Me too although I'm not sure whether 'good car music' is praise or criticism(!) and given Leonard's recent touring schedule perhaps the sentiments were a little premature. I much prefer 'Dear Heather' to 'Ten New Songs' which I find hard to listen to as an album overall. Although 'Ten New Songs' does have a couple of more immediate songs and one certified classic, 'In My Secret Life' I think 'Dear Heather' is more consistent listen and the version of 'Tenessess Waltz', although over twenty years old, that closes the album is great.
Undertow
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby Undertow » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:15 pm

Haha I love DOALM.
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby RainDog1980 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:29 am

I have let "Dear Heather" age with several visits since I got it, on the day it came out.

And the one thing that comes to my mind, much like with TNS, is why not record more live, full band cuts? The songs towards the end (i.e. The Faith) are beautiful, they sound full, and much more fleshed out. I don't know if it was for production value, or what, but that is my only real complaint with this record, that and the over reliance on the female vocal.

I love "Boogie Street" from Live in London... and just compare that with the studio cut. A band really makes the difference, really brings the life to it .
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linda_lakeside
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:49 am

I've given thought to this Dear Heather thing, and unlike TNS, I think Leonard was in a bit of a bind to get it out quickly. TNS was probably not as 'polished' as he would have liked either...I don't know. His whole head-space had to be different then, but then to start work and find out that YOU ARE BROKE must have been a mitigating factor. The female voice always worked in the past, and it did to a great degree in Dear Heather. If it were me, I would have not been able to work at all, I would have drank myself to death, and called it "here's to you, dear bitch". But, he put together some very ethereal moments in that time. In the background there must have been a flurry of activity re: "How do I stay alive - how do I earn a living at MY age?" ...and still, Dear Heather has its perfect moments. Undertow, for me, is one. The Faith another. Still, Leonard likely had to work very hard with his stacks of twenty-five year old 'ideas' and come up with something - so it was called 'experimental and jazzy', and the cream like moments rose to the top. I bet that's an album he'd like to do again, maybe not. But, the pressure must have been excruciating, zen or no zen. I'd bet that 10 New Songs was a similar working experience. But, who knows? He's proven to be a hard worker, when he needs to be, and we can only respect is efforts the more for it. We don't have to love every note he puts out, but we have to love the fact that he 'did what he had to'. I do, at least.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.

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