Listen to the 2nd KCRW interview

Everything about Leonard's 2006 book of poetry and Anjani's album
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Postby tomsakic » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:44 am

Thanks Dem, for this! I listened to the song last night while holding the book - there are 3 or 4 other words changed, and two times, couple of lines were replaced with the new ones!

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:33 pm

I wish for these songs, and I may regret saying this, that Leonard choose to record them with a full band. The tune for book of longing is really great, it deserves something fuller than an old synth. I loved TNS which to me had a perfect sound. But Ia surprise as for the production would be welcomed.


Postby Guest » Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:38 pm

...for example a real horn...

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Postby dick » Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:57 pm

Thanks greg and dem

Agree with Tom that Book of Longing should be a classic -- and I too like the sound it has now...
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Postby Tchocolatl » Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:53 pm

Peter Guest, what you imply means an all different orchestration. This Orchestration implies another kind of organization. It is much more difficult, and sometimes impossible to find the right sound - the sound Leonard Cohen is looking for - when working a piece with other musicians. Knowing that he writes and re-writes everything again and again, the process or working in group for him would be endless, I'm afraid.

What I heard was another Cohen product, therefore, I like it. Don't ask me for logical reasons to explain this, I don't have any, and I don't feel that I have to have any.

Since the first time I heard the song Blue Alert I wished to hear it done by Leonard Cohen. Knowing now that Anjani kind of snatched it from him for her own usage - even though she gives it the royal treatment - I long to hear Leonard Cohen sings Blue Alert even more.
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Postby peter danielsen » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:42 pm

Yes T I agree, that it involves difficulties to use a band. I am not sure that a real "live" recording would do these song any good. But I think a producer very well could use for example a real horn. And also I would be nice to hear another producers take on the synth-sounds. I mean for example "im your man," was programmed by the producer. I dont think Cohen should let go of any control of the production, but he should let someone experienced i synthprogramming help him out with the exact cohen sound. I mean on songs of Love and hate, cohen did not arrange the strings either.
Another thing I think cohen would benifit from, is another production of his own voice. I seems that there is too much middletone and to little hightone. This could raise the sound profoundly.
And dont get me wrong, I think that these new songs are real great, Puppets that to me is about how all of us tend to claim that we were not responsible for our own bloodshed, ending with jewish dance, and BOL which besides a wonderful lyric has a VERY catchy tune.
I think there is a very strong power in these new lyrics and melodies, and I look forward for more.

...I ..... .... ....... made . ..... ...... by ....... music .. ..... .. ......
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Postby Tchocolatl » Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:38 am

That seems all words of wisdom to me, Peter. I don't know what additional comment I could do now.
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Postby linda_lakeside » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:05 pm

Lizzy wrote:I want a copy of this interview.

I had no trouble saving this interview. But, of course, I'm in Canada, where such things are legal. 8) But, I had the option to save to disc.

I thought it was a great interview, in that Leonard was very relaxed, and open. Anjani (first time I learned how to 'really' pronounce her name), was not what I expected. She enunciates very well. 8) Her interpretation of Leonard's Blue Alert, was, to me, a very standard jazz approach, as is her background. But what clever lyrics for a jazz pianist! 'cut your lip on her pleated skirt'? Very non-traditional lyric, back-dropped with a standard 'torch song' approach.

They seem to have a very good understanding of one another. Leonard has mellowed. He's much more relaxed sounding, no acerbic wit, this time 'round. And, I couldn't make out if it was 'whore' or 'horse' either. I'll listen again later, but 'horse' would make more sense with 'cart', but it sure sounded like 'whore'. Great BOL. I loved that. He sounded just fiiiinnne... 8)

This is one project I truly hope 'takes off'. The 'closing time' excerpt sounded very fresh. Great interview.

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Postby ~greg » Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:14 pm

like Tom should have wrote:Usually Dem knows
Thanks, Dem!

"" is in Paris, and it downloads very quickly to where I am.

(Who is "mrstocks"?
And why is he so reckless with his site?)

Even if internet in Greece is a lot better these days, uploading is always slow.
Therefore I thank you again, Dem, for your time and effort in this.

(How do you do it? I mean capture and cut up these things?
Because I know you didn't simply upload my cuts
(I know, because the md5 signatures are different. Which I checked
because I was going to sue you if you had copied mine.
However, that would not have been wise of me, would it? )

(Also, you said elsewhere, about elsewhat: "You can always convert the tapes to DVDs."
How would you do that? I know a few ways, but as our great fellow techno-nerd Bob Dylan
said about these technical things: "things change". )

peter danielsen wrote: Puppets that to me is about how all of us tend to claim that we were not responsible for our own bloodshed,
ending with jewish dance,
It's not arbitrary Jewish dance music.
It's Havah Nagilah.
"...Turks ...out, ...British, ...Balfour Declaration, .. and the yishuv (Jewish community) was celebrating. "

My initial reaction to "puppets" was that Cohen meant by it
the same thing that Dylan meant by: "Only a Pawn in Their Game".

But the wide variety of instances of puppets
makes both that interpretation, and your (Peter's)
"only following orders"-excuse interpretation, untenable.

And now I'm pretty sure that what Cohen means by "puppets"
is that God is the ultimate puppeteer, behind everything.

Which does raise a question about our liability for anything.

And it does contradict Cohen's own earlier assertion that
"a scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god."

(read : "our personal will and schemes
can not be justified as divine will or determinism:
--- God does not will it." )

(But that's not to fault the song.
When I read "Being and Nothingness", a few thousand years ago,
I found contradictions in it. Which normally would have infuriated me,
since, since Pythagoras, I have always thought of mathematics as the one true religion.
They didn't in this case because Sartre was simply giving a straight up description
of "the human condition" as it really is. It is inherently self-contradictory.
"We live in a political world". We live in a physical world. We live in a deterministic world.
And yet we are completely free. And, therefore, totally responsible for our actions.
Which is a contradiction. But it is the way it is.)

Tom wrote: On screen, you can see the sound is coming from Leonard's hard hiting of a key on the synthesizer
in front of him (in his monastery cell). I thought the same happened here.
He probably uses the same Technics.
That's fascinating! ...
to me anyway.

So, -- Cohen hadn't programed the key to make a clucking sound.
He was just hitting it too hard!

Some time ago I listened to a basement tape of Jim Hendrix
playing straight blues. What I found fascinating about it is how
very frequently he returned to the tonic note. And how hard he
emphasized it. Some might say to a fault. But I felt Hendrix
was forcing himself to do this, as a way to help him keep
control of the song.

Likewise Cohen
in the KCRW interview says
Cohen > But because of my limitations, and because of the fact
that my pitch is far from perfect, I need a pad, of the triad,
- just a simple chord playing through most of the song,
so I can locate the tune.
And Anjani, with her training, and her preferences in music,
you know, was disposed to augment, or diminish, or add 9ths
and 13ths ...

Chris Douridas > fancy {..?..}

Anjani > Color, color. I was providing color, ...

Chris Douridas > Even the jazz pianist ...

Anjani > ....that was, yes. -- I was the youthful jazz pianist, with too much to say.

Cohen > so, so, - I appreciate the sounds when I hear them
and when other people sing to them. I appreciate, - I love those chords.
I can actually play a few. It's just that I can't sing to them.
So there were some confrontations between Anjani and I,
during the tour.

Anjani > That was way back. That was in '84.

Cohen > Yeah, that's a long long time ago.
But, uh, ...and Anjani saw my point, you know...but... .

Anjani > ...and then I ignored it.

Cohen > but .. she felt, ... she undertook my education, on the tour, ...
and, uh, know ... tried to refine my ear, in some way,
...which, you know, which, ...which was very difficult for me.

Anjani > Impossible really.
But I didn't give up.
And I didn't realize 'til much much, know I wrote a little story to Leonard,
because it was an apology really,
because I didn't realize until much later, .. um
--who he was, and what his music was,
and the power and simplicity of it.
It wasn't, doesn't need, doesn't need musicians.
Because the lyrics are so incredibly powerful,
that's all you want to focus on, is the voice,
and the lyric.
When I realized that, I immediately realized that I
owed him a big apology, so I wrote him a little
story called "the story of C" about
... (sing-song) what I learned, ... (laughing) ...
and how grateful I was to finally learn it,
and fortunately you can hear the culmination
of that understanding on, ... in Blue Alert,
because it just never would have happened
had I not had that realization.

I love it when performers look like they have to concentrate
very hard on getting the important things right --the notes themselves,
the intonations, the rhythms, the spirit, etc, - even if to the detriment
of some other more trivial aspects, such as, maybe a correct but clearly
too heavy dynamics on the tonic key, --or finger noise on the guitar,
or the rough cut pages on the poetry book.

These kinds of "fingerprints" are usually erased on final products, but I like them.
They give me hope. They mean that no matter how much greater these
great people's genetic predisposition to talent is over mine,
the thing that ultimately makes the biggest difference between
them and the rest of us is their tremendous ability to concentrate,
and to practice. Because that at least is within our fantasy's range
for ourselves. Like Bowie sang: "Should I go out, or should I stay in,-get things done?"
Or, as some other comedian once put it, I could have won the Nobel prize,
if I didn't have to watch all those Gilligan's Island reruns.
(If I can't sing "E lucevan le stelle" the way my father could,
I can always make make a great egg-salad sandwich, like Leonard.)

I love demo versions for another reason too.
It's because in them the essence of the concept of the work,
as distinct from any necessarily arbitrary execution, comes across
so much clearer, - uncontaminated by tricky licks and narcotic
sugar-coating instrumentation.

Cohen seems to acknowledge this in the interview.
He says: "They're very raw. And I don't even know if these tracks are going to survive,
although people like them. Uh, - "people" is like my son, and my daughter."

And me.

(I also love the New England autumns for the very same reason.
Not because of the colors, although they're nice.
But because of the geometry of the landscape
--the "genius loci" / "spirit of place"
- which comes across so much clearer when it's not hidden
under a mono-green blanket of leaves or mono-white blanket
of snow. The saddest thing my mother said to me before
she died was that she didn't like the autumn, because it
reminded her of death. And I think that people who don't
like demos and rough cut performances are reacting to
them the same way. The mortality of the performer,
and therefore their own mortality, is just too clear
and too close if the performance isn't buried
in elaborate packaging.

(Likewise some people don't like naked people.
But I do. Because of the geometry.)


Tom, I have accumulated a huge continuation for the
Comments & Questions > "Diamonds in the Mine" -- Viet Nam ,
thread, which I've been picking at like a scab from time to time
since that time.

Well, you offered to make an mp3 of the Hannover version
and email it to me.

First of all --thank you for that offer! (finally.)

And second of all, if the offer still stands,
and if that is the version with the multiple repeats of the Vietnam verse,
then I suppose I really ought to hear it
before I say another word about it.

(Because I just heard the 1985 Warsaw performance of "Diamonds in The Mine",
as gotten from "Mr Stocks" site (-which I only learned about from Dem, in this thread,
which is why I'm saying this to you here, Tom, instead of there, - because things
get too easily lost in this place)
and it blows away half of what I was going to say about it.
So, with any luck, the Hannover version will blow away the other half.
Then I won't have to say anything about it, and can do something
else instead.)

Therefore, if you do get the chance, then please do,
e-mail it to )

And so now I can remove the following two idiotic
paragraphs from that scab of a post I was working on ....
Tom, the only reason I didn't thank you sooner
for your very kind offer is that I have this fear
that any such sharing of music over the internet leads inevitably
to the harder stuff, -the trading in CDs and DVDs by snail-mail.
Which leads to the licking of stamps. Which is one vice I don't indulge in
anymore (-since they stopped being acid laced).
(I have heard that stamps these days come pre-licked.
But I am sure that this must involve the use of illegal alien child labor.
Which I can not condone.)
And then trading in CDs and DVDs must lead inevitably to the harder stuff still:
the kidnapping and trading of whole live bands.
Which, even if it's only for personal use only, is still immoral.
Please understand me, Tom, I am not judging you about these activities of yours!
It's the sin, not the sinner, anyway. But I do think you should consider the kids,
with their desiccated tongues, and the families of the bands,
who do worry about them, even if they prefer to pretend
that they are not related in any way.
As for myself, though, I don't want any part of it.
Besides, I'm sure I can write much better about the live performances
if I don't hear them. That would only prejudice me on the side of reality.

(In the Leonard Cohen issue of "Essays on Canadian Writing",
(which I think was re-issued as something else)
there is an essay, by an Emerson and a Hooper,
called "Miming/Difference: Leonard Cohen Live".
In it Emerson and Hooper say that neither of them
had ever actually seen Leonard Cohen live.
They had only heard recordings and seen videotapes of some of his live performances.

Well, I should like to point out that all videotapes and recordings are, quite literally,
already taken from just one or a few perspectives, even before any talking
about them, which is, then, thus, twice removed from the original reality.
Here, in this new post of mine, I will be analyzing Cohen's live performances
of "Diamonds in the Mine" from no perspective at all, - thus zero removed,
- having never neither seen nor heard neither hide nor hair of it.
And therefore my analysis here is infinitely purer and less contaminated by
accidental details of reality than even Emerson's and Hooper's was.
And theirs wasn't much contaminated by reality at all, I don't think,
being, as it were, of that new-age-y de-con-struc-tion-ism-ist-ic
acid-bummer type of criticism, straight from la plume de
and derrier de la Derrida, doo wah diddy diddy dum diddy doo.)

wrong: "the story of see"
right: "the story of C"
- thank's Tom!, for that, and for the link }
Last edited by ~greg on Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dem » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:50 am


what I do is that while the interview is streaming
I am recording it as a file on my hard disk
with a little software program
like "All Sound Recorder XP".

Then I just upload it or burn it on a CD-R.

Easy :)

Now about converting video tapes to DVDs
I haven't done this yet but more or less
is the same like converting LP/cassetes to CDs
(which I have done many times).

If you do a little search on the Net you will
find detailed instructions on how to do it.

Or you can go to a video club and ask them
to do it for you but there is no need really to pay
for this.

All you need is to connect your VCR player to
your pc with a cable and to use the appropriate software
that you can download from the Net.

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Postby tomsakic » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:35 am

Hey ~greg,
mp3 is coming these days (as said many times, it means bringing laptop to the office...). About licking stamps: I was trading for 3 or 4 years, and there's no stamps anymore. :lol: The lady in the post office *prints* white sticker with the price :lol: (What's real horror to the old philatelists like me...). (I said "was trading" because I didn't exchange CDs for a year or so... I am now just receiving these new appearances, and sending them further to friends from this forum... hmm, is that the old-fashioned trade?)

I agree about that Miming/Difference article, it's failed joke. But I think I referred to *other* Derridian analysis of Cohen's work in some other thread... It was obviously in fashion there in Canada for some time. Or they all were in Stephen Scobie's class :wink: But his Derridian work re: Cohen is always so down-earth, like his opening article for the 1993 Red Deer Conference.
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Postby tomsakic » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:40 am

@ Peter
I agree with you. I am ignorant about the professional music, unlike you, but I think there are many "real" instruments (remember, music is music, said Sharon about this dispute) included in programmed tracks of Dear Heather (saxophone, trumpet). So I think horn could be added, few additions like that to the synthed track. Also - I think I already wrote this - the vocal should be recorded again, this one is pretty first-hand.

I also like dthat moment in the interview which ~greg quoted... All this "uh, huh, mm, uh", and I have the impression that A. is trying to make that actual topic shorter:-) I recalled immediately The Story Of C (I see now she referred to it.)
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Postby tomsakic » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:14 am

I like the new version of last verse of the Puppets. It makes more sense now; I think it's logical that puppet night "play the after-act" rather than "sing the epilogue" to the puppet day.


German puppets
burnt the Jews
Jewish puppets
did not choose

Puppet vultures
eat the dead
Puppet corpses
they are fed

Puppet winds and
puppet waves
Puppet sailors
in their graves

Puppet flower
Puppet stem
Puppet Time
dismantles them

Puppet me and
puppet you
Puppet German
Puppet Jew

Puppet presidents
puppet troops to
burn the land

Puppet fire
puppet flames
feed on all the
puppet names

Puppet lovers
in their bliss
turn away from
all of this

Puppet reader
shakes his head
takes his puppet
wife to bed

Puppet night
comes down to say
the epilogue to
puppet day

>>> and now:
Puppet night
comes down to play
the after act to
puppet day

(I edites the lines according to the book version!)
Last edited by tomsakic on Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dem » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:57 pm

greg wrote among many other things:
We live in a deterministic world.
This is still open for debate.

I mean, certainly there are levels of this world
("domains" as the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis called them)
that are deterministic
(for example, if I behead you with a sword you will die)
but there are other levels that modern physics
(at least The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics)
say that they seem to be indeterministic.

But then rises the question if our "psychic life" is deterministic or intederministic.

Freud believed strongly that it is deterministic.

Castoriadis who except a political philosopher was also a psychoanalyst
believed that its like the physical world:
deterministic in some domains and intederministic in other.

If the Copenhagen School and Castoriadis are right, then our Universe and our "psyches" are open to the possibility of "free will".

And we are not "puppets".

A conversation between Sergio Benvenuto and Cornelius Castoriadis
that touches some aspects of the subject:

The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

A Case for Free Will AND Determinism

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Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:03 am

The day people will trust their self enough to be able to think by him/her self, instead of having an authority of some sort acknowledging their choices all the time, free will will be healthier in the world.

I'm not talking about anarchy. Of course. The social contract would be still in force.

What do you think of : free will inside a certain deterministic world?

There is much more plasticity to the will that one can think into that deterministic world, and this is maybe what some are calling "free will".

(Puppet with loose strings - just too funny it was to read this).

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