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

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:28 pm
by LisaLCFan
vlcoats wrote:... I keep feeling like I am rushing things....
Hi Vickie,

You clearly have a different concept of "rushing" than I do! It seems to me that you've set a rather leisurely pace, all things considered! Besides, there are no rules, there is no "wrong" way to go about this journey: whatever you do is "right", so stop sweating it, and just enjoy! ;-)

I am glad that you like Recent Songs. That album, indeed, has some of Leonard's most poetical lyrics. As for the music, I've always been rather fond of the mariachi band (in a moderately bemused way)! All in all, a huge contrast from its predecessor.

I can hardly wait until you get to the 80's! I have a fondness for that era of Leonard's work -- it was when I discovered him, and the three albums that are next on your list were the ones that most resonated with me for a very long time. Be prepared for more contrasts from what came previously, but good ones, I think!

Cheers,
Lisa

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

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:20 pm
by vlcoats
LisaLCFan wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:28 pm
I can hardly wait until you get to the 80's!
I am about to go on to the 80s, but it will be a couple more days. I am still stuck on the the poetry of "Recent Songs" and in awe of his talent. Plus we have been crazy here on the farm. Not only the usual spring chores, but someone shot a dog on the ridge across the river from us and after searching for two days, we found him halfway up the ridge under a pile of brush. After a couple weeks in the vet's and a sheriff investigation, (where we found out that shooting a dog for no reason in Idaho is NOT against the law! :shock:) he is safe at our place. It has turned our life upside down. He is a 75-pound pit bull (of course), but unbelievably sweet and well mannered. Not sure why I am sharing this story, but listening to Leonard on my way to work and back is incredibly calming and centering for me, which I need right now! I think my favorites on "Recent Songs" are "The Window", "The Gypsy's Wife", and especially (right now) "Ballad of the Absent Mare". My husband likes "The Guests", and recently told me, "I just realized why you are so infatuated with this guy. It's the lyrics, because you love poetry so much." Too funny! Like I haven't been saying that for the past 4 months!

Take care! (haven't heard from "its4inthemorning", hope all is well)
Vickie

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

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:51 pm
by its4inthemorning
Hello Vickie (and Lisa),

I too have thought, maybe our ongoing dialogue is misplaced in this section of the forum, but of course anyone can feel free to chime in, so what harm is done?

Sad news about the dog, and really admirable that you and your husband took the time to find it and minimize its suffering. Pit bulls have a bad reputation, but some can be very friendly, it depends on how they were raised. No excuse for shooting it unless it threatened the shooter or was killing his animals. I am involved with an animal shelter down here, and sadly we see many, many cases of pit bulls being raised to be aggressive, and then abandoned when the owners don't like the result.

Tax day has finally passed, so I now have some time to devote to music. Will start with a refresher course on Recent Songs, I am especially interested in "Ballad of the Absent Mare" which I seem to now barely recall.

I vaguely recall an interesting video where Leonard was being interviewed in his kitchen and plays (a recording I think) of "The Window" to get the interviewer's impressions. If I find it I will post a link. Will have more to offer on "Recent Songs" when I do my homework. (Previously I characterized "Recent Songs" as part of Leonard's 1980 period, but Lisa is right of course, these songs were all written and released before 1980.)

We visited Montreal a couple of years ago and were so taken by the city that we are tentatively planning another trip this summer/fall. Aside from the various LC landmarks, there is plenty to see; Montreal is a beautiful city, and its residents are friendly and justifiably proud. Lisa, where in Canada do you reside?

4

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

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:48 am
by LisaLCFan
its4inthemorning wrote:Hello Vickie (and Lisa),

I too have thought, maybe our ongoing dialogue is misplaced in this section of the forum, but of course anyone can feel free to chime in, so what harm is done?...

We visited Montreal a couple of years ago and were so taken by the city that we are tentatively planning another trip this summer/fall. Aside from the various LC landmarks, there is plenty to see; Montreal is a beautiful city, and its residents are friendly and justifiably proud. Lisa, where in Canada do you reside?
Hello! At least there's some life here, and I guess the moderators are happy for that, so they are just letting us be!

I live in Edmonton, sadly very far from Montreal (you are closer to it than I!) -- I'd visit often, if it weren't such a long way (and a considerable expense). It is, indeed, a beautiful city: I was there just once, several years ago, and I'd love to go back.

I love "Ballad of the Absent Mare" -- it is delightful, and provides such evocative images.

Cheers!

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

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:46 am
by LisaLCFan
its4inthemorning wrote:...I vaguely recall an interesting video where Leonard was being interviewed in his kitchen and plays (a recording I think) of "The Window" to get the interviewer's impressions. If I find it I will post a link...
p.s. I think that is from the documentary film "The Song of Leonard Cohen" by Harry Rasky, if I am not mistaken.

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

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:44 am
by B4real
Hi all,

Here’s the clip you were referring to of The Window and it is from The Song of LC (Harry Rasky’s tour of 1979 film)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUszJI_6WPA

btw....I reckon the Recent Songs album is for sure one of LC’s finest and that song (a personal favourite) is a major contributing factor to it!

I have both the film and Rasky’s book relating to it. The film is great to watch and the book well worth it to read. Here’s part of what Rasky said about The Song Of Leonard Cohen:

“Leonard Cohen is the city. He is the French and English Canadian. He is the searching youth. He is the confused Canadian. He is the voice of loneliness. He is religion. He is a lyric. He is a sound. He is the wandering Jew. He is many things. And the film must reflect this. The interweaving of his many meanings is the key to the total effect. The film is a symphony of his sounds and our visualisation of what we feel those sounds mean. In telling his story we should be able to tell a lot about ourselves”.

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

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:49 pm
by its4inthemorning
B4Real,

"Thanks for the trouble you took" to find the link for us!

I had forgotten that one of the listeners in the video was LC's best friend Irving Layton. Not sure who the woman is, she looks too young to be Irving's wife, but you know how those poets are.

It is always enjoyable to interact with other fans; sadly it is rare for us to find others in our circle who are into LC, so the forum must suffice.

4

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

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:14 am
by B4real
Hi 4, my pleasure to do so!

In Rasky’s book there are two photos from scenes of that video with the woman in it and the caption at the bottom reads l to r: Irving Layton, Sandra, Leonard Cohen, (Hazel Field in the background in one of them).
Rasky comments in the text about Sandra, “the silent blonde offered her one comment to the pair of poets”. In the video she says, “That is so beautiful, that’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever written”. Every time I watch this clip I can’t escape from the awe-struck expression on her face as she continually looks at Leonard who remains nonchalant ;-)
its4inthemorning wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:49 pm
It is always enjoyable to interact with other fans; sadly it is rare for us to find others in our circle who are into LC, so the forum must suffice.

That's true for me too so I say again - many thanks for this forum!

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

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:33 am
by AlanM
btw....I reckon the Recent Songs album is for sure one of LC’s finest and that song (a personal favourite) is a major contributing factor to it!
I agree, Bev. If I could only take one LC album to my desert island it would be that one.
Sadly the only song to appear on the extended tour(s) on any regular basis was The Gypsy's Wife.

During the 1980 tour to Australia we were blessed with The Guests and The Window - both of which featured the exquisite violin playing of Raffi Hakopian who also featured on the album.
We also had The Smokey Life - a haunting duet with Sharon Robinson, as well as Ballad Of The Absent Mare.
My guess is that Raffi's playing has influenced you quite a bit! A lasting memory is Raffi caressing his violin with a cloth when he wasn't playing, presumably to try to counter the humidity.

Alan

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

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:53 am
by vlcoats
LisaLCFan wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:48 am
I live in Edmonton, sadly very far from Montreal (you are closer to it than I!) -- I'd visit often, if it weren't such a long way (and a considerable expense). It is, indeed, a beautiful city: I was there just once, several years ago, and I'd love to go back.
I love "Ballad of the Absent Mare" -- it is delightful, and provides such evocative images.
I wish it were possible to quote everyone at once because I so much appreciate all of your comments and love reading what you have to say about him (4, Lisa, B4)

As I was playing "Ballad of the Absent Mare" for my husband today (in my weekly ritual of trying to influence him to love LC by playing his music during our weekly shopping trip to town), he pointed out that I am drawn to it because it reminds me of our ordeal with that dog. When he was shot, we were outside feeding our donkeys. We heard a gunshot followed by a dog yelping. When we looked up, we saw 2 men running on the dirt road that cuts across the ridge on the other side of the river. The dog was trying to follow, but they got in their car and drove away. We followed a blood trail for 1/2 a mile but lost it when it went up the ridge. We searched until it was dark and raining without luck. We tried again the next morning but didn't find him until our 3rd try that evening. (My husband is a retired rescue swimmer with the Coast Guard, and he is the one that spotted him). The bullet had gone in his neck but missed the spine and came out his throat but missed the trachea. The vet named him "Lucky". I understand that "Ballad of the Absent Mare" isn't really about a lost horse, but so many emotions it evokes remind me of those 2 days searching for that dog. Especially "and the crickets are breaking his heart with their song", because the steep ridge was quiet except for the sound of the river and the cows on the ranch at the end of the road and cars on the highway below. And although the grass on our ridge will be brown in a few weeks, it is green now, like in the song. But even if it weren't for our ordeal with "Lucky", I know the song would have resonated with me.

I will watch the YouTube link regarding "The Window" in the morning when our satellite internet is quicker. Thank you both B4 and 4 for providing it!

As for the mariachi band on "The Lost Canadian", you would think I would love song since I was born there (Trail, BC) but it isn't a favorite. I love music from Central and South America (our son was born in Peru), so it isn't the mariachi band. I guess it is because I don't speak French, but even after reading the translation, I wasn't drawn to it.

A song I love from "Recent Songs" that I didn't mention is "The Traitor". To me, it is another song that shows what an honest person he was when it comes to romance. But who knows... maybe it wasn't about romance at all. Some of his songs that I think are about romance or love or even sex, end up being about something else entirely.

Curt, you must be glad to have tax day over. Your family must love you. I have heard (not having any) that every family needs a lawyer, a tax guy, and a doctor!

I am opening "Various Positions" this week. So excited!!
Thanks everyone! I really do appreciate you.

Vickie

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

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:58 am
by LisaLCFan
vlcoats wrote:...As for the mariachi band on "The Lost Canadian", you would think I would love that song since I was born there (Trail, BC) but it isn't a favorite. I love music from Central and South America (our son was born in Peru), so it isn't the mariachi band. I guess it is because I don't speak French, but even after reading the translation, I wasn't drawn to it....
I am not sure if you know this, but Leonard did not write "The Lost Canadian": it is an old Canadian folk song. Here is some information about it:

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/e ... rrant-emc/

Clearly the song and its lyrics meant something to Leonard, or he would not have included it on his album! I could hypothesize, as others have, as to why he was drawn to the song, but one need only bear in mind that Leonard, who of course was born and raised in Montreal and loved that city (and Canada) intensely, was nonetheless often wandering elsewhere in the world, maybe feeling lost, exiled, sad, longing for home. And, of course, the sense of loss and longing for "home" may also be metaphorical, simply a yearning to be where one feels they belong. Or, maybe he just liked the song! It does tend to feel a bit out of place on that album, but perhaps that is its charm (and its point...).

As for the Mariachi band, who knows why? They do reappear in "Ballad of the Absent Mare", of course. Speaking of which, "and the crickets are breaking his heart with their song" is one of my all-time favourite lines.

I am envious of you, about to hear Various Positions for the first time! To me, it has some of Leonard's best songs on it, ever, perfect syntheses of lyrics and melodies (one of which has become ridiculously famous, sung by just about everybody, but you're about to hear the original!). I love that album so much, but as I've admitted, I am extremely biased for this new era of Leonard's work. It will touch you in whatever ways to which you are open.

Cheers!

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

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:21 pm
by vlcoats
LisaLCFan wrote:
Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:58 am
I am not sure if you know this, but Leonard did not write "The Lost Canadian": it is an old Canadian folk song.
I think I remember reading that somewhere and was expecting to like it more than I did. Likely, the fact that it is all in French throws me off. My family was constantly moving between my father's family in Canada and my mother's in Oregon when I was growing up, so I never learned the language. Besides, the whole French thing wasn't so popular in BC as Quebec. Consequently, I can't understand what he is saying on this song unless I am looking at the lyrics.

I LOVED the YouTube clip of "The Window"! Thank you Curt and B4 for sharing it! I remember reading about the man Layton in Simmon's biography of Leonard. He looks like a very interesting man. I like his hair. I noticed that the advertisement YouTube chose to pair with the clip was for an antidepressant. I thought that was funny. The live footage of the song was great. The violin on "Recent Songs" is beautiful, and I think it has influenced me as well. Does Raffi play on any other albums?

Lisa, you make "Various Positions" sound perfect, and I am sure you are right. I just opened it but there are no pictures or lyrics inside the cover. I like to read about the album again before I hear it for the first time, so I will probably listen tomorrow after a little research.

Thanks everyone!
Vickie

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

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:09 am
by its4inthemorning
Vickie,

I made a discovery yesterday that is embarrassing for one claiming to be a died-in-the wool fan. If you recall, I mentioned I was going to spend time with Recent Songs as a number of the tracks, such as "Ballad," seemed very fuzzy to me. Having invested in a good stereo with a 300-CD player, I never moved on to the modern methods of storing and playing music, and absolutely everything I have is on the CD player. So, yesterday I sat down to play Recent Songs, and--get this--I do not have it--which means I never heard it! Now it all makes sense that some of the songs are unfamiliar; the ones I mentioned as my favorites were either heard on live or compilation albums (The Guests and The Gypsy's Wife) or on you tube videos (The Window). After we rediscovered LC in late 2009, I purchased all the CDs after SOLAH in groups from Amazon two or three at a time, and somehow I skipped Recent Songs. So in a round about way, I have you to thank for the opportunity to hear a "new" LC album! I am ordering it today.

Re the violin, Raffi Hakopian was involved with LC's 1979 and 1980 tours, he may have played on some later studio albums but I really don't know. When LC was trying to piece together the band for his 2008 renaissance, I recall reading (maybe in Sylvie's book) that he encountered problems finding a violinist. As a result, he went in a different direction and replaced the violin with wind instruments using Dino Soldo. Dino is an excellent musician and played clarinet, saxiphone, harmonica, and some sort of electric woodwind for the band. He added a new flavor to many of the songs and was very popular with most fans including us. After the prolonged 2008-2010 tours LC took a year off, and then geared up to go on tour again in 2012. For some reason (I have never heard an adequate explanation why), at the last minute he replaced Dino Soldo and his woodwinds with Alex Bublitchi and his violin, so the violin was very apparent in the 2012 (and 2013) tours. It was said that LC felt so badly about replacing Dino at the last minute that he paid him the full share he would have earned for the 2012 tour out of his own pocket.

Enjoy Various Positions, EVERY track has much to offer.

4

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

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:45 am
by LisaLCFan
its4inthemorning wrote:...I made a discovery yesterday that is embarrassing for one claiming to be a died-in-the wool fan. ... yesterday I sat down to play Recent Songs, and--get this--I do not have it--which means I never heard it! Now it all makes sense that some of the songs are unfamiliar...
Okay, that is too hilarious! I'm sorry, but you will have to turn in your membership card due to this flagrant violation of "died-in-the-wool-fan"-ness. ;-)

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

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:18 am
by vlcoats
LisaLCFan wrote:
its4inthemorning wrote:...I made a discovery yesterday that is embarrassing for one claiming to be a died-in-the wool fan. ... yesterday I sat down to play Recent Songs, and--get this--I do not have it--which means I never heard it! Now it all makes sense that some of the songs are unfamiliar...
Okay, that is too hilarious! I'm sorry, but you will have to turn in your membership card due to this flagrant violation of "died-in-the-wool-fan"-ness. ;-)
Oh 4... that is very funny and definitely made my day! Not just because it is hilarious as Lisa mentioned, but now I have heard something you haven't. Score! I am very interested to find out which of the songs you haven't heard yet that you like the most.

Thank you also for the info on musicians on the albums! I did read Sylvie's book, but it was in such a rush (during winter break when school was out of session) that I don't recall all of the details. I always try to reread sections pertaining to each album before I open each CD, but spring is here (much like your tax time 4!) and I didn't get a chance to reread everything about "Various Positions" today, but I am going to listen to it tomorrow on my way to work regardless.

I just saw on the main site that there is a Hydra meet up this summer. Are any of you going, or have any of you been there?

Thanks again for making my day!!
Vickie