Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
its4inthemorning
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby its4inthemorning » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:08 am

Vickie,

So, you took the leap into SOLAH! Here are a few of my comments on the first five songs:

Avalanche--Such a captivating song, I just love his guitar work (which he was still able to replicate during the 2008-2013 concerts). I know there are some interesting threads discussing the meaning of Avalanche on this site.

Last Year's Man--This is where the exquisite "blueprint" lyrics appear (in fact we listened to it here last night). Love "the wilderness gathering in its children" towards the end.

Dress Rehearsal Rag--By far, IMO, LC's most depressing song, but that has never prevented me from listening to it, some very clever lyrics as you probably noticed.

Diamonds in the Mine--One of those rare LC songs that I never cared for very much. I recall reading that it was written while he was in Nashville and Susanne Elrod (mother of his children, not the Suzanne by the river) was not writing to him enough.

Love Calls You by Your Name--Another favorite from our favorite album. A few years ago a group of amateur musicians/LC fans from Europe (Netherlands I believe) made a "rock" cover of this song which I thought was superbly done. If you wish, I will hunt down the link so you can listen to it (I often wonder if Leonard ever heard this cover, and if so, what he thought).

Except for Avalanche, I do not think LC played any of these songs in any of his 2008-2013 concerts,

Would, of course, like to hear your thoughts of SOLAH.

Curt
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
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vlcoats
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby vlcoats » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:54 am

its4inthemorning wrote: Would, of course, like to hear your thoughts of SOLAH
Thank you for sharing your comments on Songs of Love and Hate. What an awesome album, each track so different but still with themes that intertwine like Joan of Arc and 4 o’clock. I love how he does that. I had noticed it before, with the color green in a few songs of Songs of Leonard Cohen and again the color of Nancy’s stockings is green in Songs from a Room

The songs......You called it “taking the leap” into SOLAH, and that is exactly what it felt like when I first heard Avalanche. Like I had jumped in and wouldn’t be getting out. It was amazing and another favorite of mine. I remember you saying that he didn’t play The Stranger Song during his last tours perhaps because it would be difficult for older fingers, but yet he played Avalanche. That is interesting. I have avoided reading threads about song meaning because I wonder sometimes if people try to see things that aren’t there, and also, I want to come to my own conclusions. I am having questions about some of these lyrics thought, so I might. To me the avalanche is that overwhelming something, that everything important, that LC is able to tap into with his art, and he bears that ability like a hump on his back while others worship him for it and come to him as if they have something in common with him. But they aren’t like him, because they can only be a part of the avalanche when he shows it to them; they can’t see it without him. Another thing I love about Avalanche is that my husband actually liked this one!!

I love the lyrics in Last Year’s Man too. My favorite thing about the verse you mention is the Jesus/Cain correlation. I have always found it interesting that men say women are attracted to ‘bad’ boys like Cain. Is it because men themselves want an excuse to be like him or because they despise him? I also love the verse about Bethlehem and Babylon and the lyrics, “skylight is like skin for a drum I’ll never mend”… where does that come from?

I like Dress Rehearsal Rag partly because it captures such a depressing time in anyone’s life and a crossroad I have never been able to imagine coming to. People close to me have though, like my father, my sister, and my son, so I am curious about it and wonder about what it would be like to feel that way. I do love the lyrics about the memory of the girl with chestnut hair and how it makes him clench his fist.

You are right; it is hard to like Diamonds in the Mine as much as his other songs. The way he growls it out is like he doesn’t even want us to like it and doesn’t like it so much himself either! When I played it for my husband, he just looked at me and said, “Okey Dokey then!”

I would love to see the link for that rock version of Love Calls You by Your Name! It is one my favorites on the album too. He really gets me with the intimate way he says “And here, right here”. I could listen to that again and again. I love the way the music and lyrics gain momentum and then recede over and over. Leonard Cohen is just so good. (I have a hard time thinking of him in the past tense, I can't imagine how much you all miss him)

You didn’t talk about the other 3 songs, 2 of which are also favorites of mine (this album has so many!).
I was immediately taken by Famous Blue Raincoat. I knew from Simmons biography that there have been covers of this song, and I wasn’t sure if I would recognize it. The beautiful melody felt more than vaguely familiar but not the words. My parents are gone and my sister said they never listened to him, so I don’t know where I heard it. I would have been 12 or 13 at the time, so it could have been anywhere I guess. Of course the lyrics are what I love about it most. The line about the gypsy thief with the rose in his teeth makes me wonder if it was a letter to himself. He signs it L. Cohen, but he called himself a gypsy boy in Song Long Marianne, and he sounds so remorseful saying that he never tried to take away the trouble from Jane’s eyes. That sounds like the type of thing we might accuse other people of, not ourselves. Regardless, it is a beautiful and haunting song and the images are powerful.

The introduction to Sing Another Song Boys was jarring after that, but he certainly did a good job of sounding bitter. I am very curious what this one is about. For now, the La la la’s at the end are my favorite part.

Joan of Arc, was a great ending for the album. I like how he says she complains “I want the kind of work I had before, a wedding dress or something white to wear upon my swollen appetite” and how she winces and cries in the end. It is sad and of course well known and inevitable how she dies, but so pretty the way he puts it and again a very haunting song.

Your post closed by saying “Except for Avalanche, I do not think LC played any of these songs in any of his 2008-2013 concerts”. Did you mean just the first 5 songs or all of the songs on the album?

Last of all, I am still curious if you think I should wait to watch the DVD I’m Your Man until I have made it through all of his albums to the point in time it was made? I don’t want to spoil anything, but I also want to watch it badly! I am having a hard time not typing in “Leonard Cohen” when I go to You Tube, because I want to stay chronological. I also am having a hard time not reading all of the threads on this forum, but I want to wait and read them when I have caught up to them all.

Thank you again.... and sorry for the long post.
Vickie
its4inthemorning
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby its4inthemorning » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:08 am

Vickie, don't have the time to immediately respond other than to (hopefully) put a link hear for the "Love Calls You by Your Name" by Ricky & Slinger. Haven't heard it in a year or more, that's what I am going to do right now.

Leter!



https://youtu.be/8iQzwxPJGZQ?t=81
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
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vlcoats
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby vlcoats » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:27 am

It worked! And I really LOVED it! Great version, and I think LC would have liked it too. They kept the intensity and the intimacy and the tension of "And here, right here" in a great way. Nice take!
Thanks so much for sharing it! I will listen to it again for sure.
Vickie
its4inthemorning
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby its4inthemorning » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:59 pm

Hi Vickie,

Glad the link worked (although when I clicked on it the song is part-way in, so I had to manually move back to beginning, wonder why?

My earlier post only concerned the first five songs on SOLAH since that was as far as you had gotten. Re the last three songs:

Famous Blue Raincoat--this has always been our favorite LC song. He played it in all of the concerts we attended. Took me awhile to fully understand and appreciate the melody, especially the changes when it moves to the last line of each verse ("did you ever go clear," "she sends her regards," "so I never tried," and "sincerely, L Cohen.") The first few times I heard FBR I (embarrassingly) misunderstood the lyric "thanks for the trouble you took," I neglected to link it with what followed and thought the singer was thanking someone for taking the trouble to do something rather than for taking the trouble from her eyes. I always liked the "sincerely, L Cohen" ending, but for some reason he stopped singing that at some point and replaced it with "sincerely, a friend."

Sing Another Song Boys--It took me awhile to associate the moneylender/pawnshop idea with the later references to items that one would, in fact, find in a pawnshop-- glasses (binoculars or telescope), microphone, clarinet, Nazi dagger). The version on SOLAH is actually a live version from the 1970 Isle of Wight concert. LC's performance at Isle of Wight is available on DVD and highly recommended.

Joan of Arc--Not much to say, the song speaks for itself, an LC classic. I remember the day of the concert we attended in Paris we were in Notre Dame cathedral, and on our way to the front of the cathedral we passed a statue of Joan of Arc. I told Joann it was an omen that he would play "Joan of Arc'' that night. Alas, he did not. The only one of these last three songs on SOLAH that he played in the later concerts was FBR.

I only very occasionally look for others' interpretation of LC's lyrics, and to be honest, I do not necessarily try to conjure of what this or that means. I am content to let the lyrics work with my mind and create whatever imagery they do. Maybe I am just too lazy to search for "meaning."

I would just bask in LC's first three albums for awhile more before moving on. These three albums may be characterized as his "early" work. At this point his music (not lyrics) started to undergo changes, in part I think due to influences by those who were producing the albums. (Although some may be inclined to include his fourth album in the early work group.)

You said you bought the "I'm Your Man" DVD. If I am not mistaken, this is a DVD of covers of some of LC's songs by other artists, just so you know. Again, I highly recommend the Isle of Wight DVD.

It must be rewarding to work in a school library. And challenging, educators wield immense power in the shaping of our culture. Me, I am in the midst of preparing income tax returns, which is far, far away from doing something that really matters in the long run. We all entered the zoo called humanity and we all choose our own cages!

Curt
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
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vlcoats
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby vlcoats » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:06 pm

its4inthemorning wrote:I only very occasionally look for others' interpretation of LC's lyrics, and to be honest, I do not necessarily try to conjure of what this or that means. I am content to let the lyrics work with my mind and create whatever imagery they do. Maybe I am just too lazy to search for "meaning."
Glad to hear that not everyone overthinks his lyrics! It takes away from what he is giving us to do that, right? I do often wonder what he meant by things and imagine it might have been this or that, but mostly I just want to take it in.

I ordered the DVD of the Isle of Wight concert at your suggestion. I remember Simmons account of it in her biography and it sounds pretty amazing.

How disappointing to not hear Joan of Arc after seeing the statue. But how jealous I am of your being able to see him at all, especially more than once and in such wonderful venues!

You suggested I wait before going on. That is easy. I don't feel like going on to his next albums yet anyway, although I have New Skin for the Old Ceremony and the dreaded Death of a Ladies Man still wrapped, waiting for me on my desk. I am going to order the rest of his studio albums now too. I would feel better to have them all sitting there waiting. It is surprising how much I like Songs from a Room the more I listen to it and I am very content to be listening to his first three for awhile. But I will watch the Isle of Wight DVD the moment it gets here!

Yes, I am happy working in the library. It is peaceful and I imagine working with number would be too. I am a bit of a hermit in my way and I like things that are uncluttered but also inspiring, so the library has just the right amount of order and, being in a school, chaos. But yes, it is a cage just the same.

Thank you again for your suggestions!
Vickie
its4inthemorning
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby its4inthemorning » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:58 pm

Hi Vickie,

I was somewhat in your situation in 2010 when I rediscovered LC. At that time I had only been familiar with his first three albums, and in short order bought the next eight ("New Skin for the Old Ceremony" through "Dear Heather"). This resulted in an overload when I listened to these albums all at once (an overload you are avoiding). Although I am intimately connected to many of the songs on these eight albums, I have not "spent much time" with at least half of them. When you get past SOLAH (but, does anyone ever really get past it?), I am thinking of taking remedial action by mimicking your methodical progress through these albums.

Have you had an opportunity to view the Isle of Wight DVD yet?

Regards,

Curt
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
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vlcoats
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby vlcoats » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:38 pm

its4inthemorning wrote: When you get past SOLAH (but, does anyone ever really get past it?)....
I am really enjoying SOLAH and listen to it daily on the way to work and back, with breaks for the first two albums when I miss them. Every time I listen, I find something new and appreciate each song at another level. I am tempted to go through it all like you did, but I really want to try and take my time with his music. It's like slowing down when you are reading a good book but more so.

We live in a remote area of Idaho, so I turn to Amazon to get my Cohen fix. I ordered "Isle of Wight" but haven't received it yet. It is coming from one of their partners and that usually takes longer. It has shipped, but tracking says it is in Kentucky now and I won't receive it until between Mar 6th and 21st! Torture. I could have driven the 2 1/2 hours to our closest "big city" (Spokane), but we don't go there often. We have too much to do around the place.

Talk soon,
Vickie
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby LisaLCFan » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:03 am

its4inthemorning wrote:... The only one of these last three songs on SOLAH that he played in the later concerts was FBR...
May I please correct you? Leonard played "Joan of Arc" on November 11, 2012, in Portland, Oregon (it was the first time in the 2008-2013 tour that it was played), and I happened to be in the audience. Here's a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9L7uS7RcXQ

I think he played it at one or two other concerts after that, but I can't recall precisely. I do recall very clearly how thrilled I was to hear it that night!
its4inthemorning
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby its4inthemorning » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:23 pm

Lisa, you are correct, I now remember seeing that "Joan of Arc" was played at Portland and hoping it would be included at Kingston the following month. Somewhere on the great forum someone posted a complete listing of all the songs played in the 2008-2013 concerts, how many times performed, etc., but I cannot find it any more. Lucky you to see "Joan."

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby Mollydog » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:22 pm

I believe the only other time was a day later in Vancouver. I was lucky enough to be there. :D

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/leonard-c ... a93d9.html

(Welcome to the forum, Vickie!)
1972 London/1974 London/1985 Montreal/1993 Ottawa/2008 Montreal,London O2/2009 NYC Beacon,Kingston,Ottawa X 2,Barcelona,Las Vegas,San José/2010 Malmo,Las Vegas X 2/2012 Verona,Vancouver,Montreal X 2,Ottawa,Kingston/2013 NYC, Hamilton
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vlcoats
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby vlcoats » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:24 pm

Mollydog wrote:I believe the only other time was a day later in Vancouver. I was lucky enough to be there. :D
http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/leonard-c ... a93d9.html
(Welcome to the forum, Vickie!)
Thank you Mollydog. I'm grateful the forum is here. That's an interesting website! Everyone who saw him live was blessed, that is for sure, no matter what he chose to sing. Wish I had been among you!
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B4real
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby B4real » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:33 am

Just thought I'd also add a welcome to Vickie :D and some additional info about Joan of Arc being sung on the 2008-2013 world tour.

Firstly, Lisa and Mary how wonderful to have experienced that song sung live then! I was hoping it would have surfaced in Australia maybe at one of the concerts I went to over those years but it was not to be :(

Joan of Arc was also played during the Old Ideas Tour at both soundchecks in 2012 in Dublin 11th Sept and Quebec 2nd Dec - the latter being on the last live album Can’t Forget – A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour released in 2015.

And of course, there are those previous earlier concerts where it has been sung many times.
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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vlcoats
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby vlcoats » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:19 pm

B4real wrote:Just thought I'd also add a welcome to Vickie :D
Thank you B4real! Once again, I am jealous of you all for the concerts you have seen. I am waiting for my "Isle of Wight" DVD to arrive (it is taking forever). That is the closest I will get to seeing him live.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Hello, I'm new to this forum... (introducing yourselves)

Postby LisaLCFan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:03 am

B4real wrote:...Joan of Arc was also played during the Old Ideas Tour at both soundchecks in 2012 in Dublin 11th Sept and Quebec 2nd Dec - the latter being on the last live album Can’t Forget – A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour released in 2015...
My gosh, I actually forgot that (how could I? ha-ha!) -- yes, the 2012 version of Joan of Arc is on that very lovely album! Thanks for the reminder, Bev! And, yes, I was incredibly lucky to have heard it live! It was truly just a fluke of circumstances that I ended up in Portland that night -- not a place I'd normally be!
vlcoats wrote:...I am waiting for my "Isle of Wight" DVD to arrive (it is taking forever). That is the closest I will get to seeing him live.
If you haven't already purchased them, I highly recommend both the DVD of "Live in London" and the Blu-Ray (or DVD, but the former if you have a Blu-ray player) of "Songs from the Road", because that will give you an incredible taste of what it was like to see him live on the last tour ("Live in Dublin" is also available on video, but I would start with the first two -- they are, I think, the most magical). Of course, I know you're back in the early days with his studio albums, so Isle of Wight represents those times beautifully, but I was not around back then, and all I know first-hand is the last tour, and the later videos capture it quite well, indeed!

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