"Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
ladydi
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" - DVD & 2CD - April 2009

Postby ladydi » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:24 am

Hi BV,

I agree with you. The tour now is very different from the tour in July of 2008. Leonard has become more relaxed. The band is more relaxed. They now have become one....a living and pulsating organism that know their music...know their moments...they are fluid. As a result, they are having the time of their lives! They connect with the audiences and they connect with each other!

Once Leonard got over his cold/flu, he has come back gangbusters! The videos from Venice are proof!

These suberb musicians are on a roll....each is so talented in their own way...and with Leonard they are now as smooth as silk. Not enough credit has been given to Roscoe Beck. Without him, we would not have had the combination of talents that we do. He was so aware of each individual and their artistic ability, and somehow "knew" that this grouping would create the masterpiece we now are witnessing! Leonard asked him to find him talent...and he did. Roscoe is not only an awesome artist in his own right, but he has orchestrated every move we see now!

Can't wait for the "best of" dvd!

Diana
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jeremek
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" - DVD & 2CD - April 2009

Postby jeremek » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:23 pm

burningviolin wrote:Bought Live in London CD today as I wanted to get it after I'd seen him live. Great concert captured but I think there is a difference between this years performances and the one captured last year. I think the band is sounding even tighter but more relaxed and LC's voice is stronger than has been captured on the CD! Great stuff! :D
HI !
I apologise if I misunderstood your words. Whether in 2009 the new CD appeared concert from the itinerary this year ?
j.
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" - DVD & 2CD - April 2009

Postby burningviolin » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:59 pm

Hi Jeremek,

What I meant was that I didn't get to see a concert last year but from the concerts I was at this year I felt that the performances this year were even better than what was captured on the 2008 CD! The set list changes from show to show but that wasn't what I was referring to, I was referring to the level of performance.
2009 Liverpool 14/07/09, Dublin 20/07/09, Belfast 26/07/09, Lisbon 30/7/09, Barcelona 21/09/09.
2010 Sligo (x2), Lille 25/09/10 Las Vegas 11/12/2010
2012 Wembley 8/9/12, RHK 11/9/12
O2 London 2013 O2 Dublin 2013
"I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned."
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jeremek
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" - DVD & 2CD - April 2009

Postby jeremek » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:15 pm

Thanks, Burningviolin

I thank for the explanation. I understand your deliberations now. (it is wonderful, that you can be at concerts in 2009).

greetings :) j
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sturgess66
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby sturgess66 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:03 am

Barnes & Nobel Review of "Live In London" - by Robert Christgau

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bn-review ... 2Pid=22560
Unbeautiful Winner:
Leonard Cohen

08/17/2009
By ROBERT CHRISTGAU

As someone who admired poet Leonard Cohen's second and last novel Beautiful Losers in 1966, before Cohen was a recording artist or I was a music critic, I followed Cohen's musical career with admiration from the beginning. But the admiration was always cut with skepticism -- a skepticism that the focus and reach and three-hour duration of his February 19 comeback concert at Manhattan's Beacon Theater blew away. My conversion experience was far from the only one that night, and proved replicable -- when Cohen stopped in Seattle two months later, a friend walked in with my level of show-me and left with my level of holy-moley. Having kicked off the U.S. phase of a world tour already nine months old, the Beacon concert was soon followed by Live in London, a double-CD and/or DVD vividly documenting pretty much the same songs and stage business I'd witnessed. It prepared the way for two sold-out May concerts at NYC's much larger Radio City Music Hall, which will be followed in turn by, holy moley, an October 23 appearance at Madison Square Garden. Tickets begin at $113 and top out at $4,800. Crave a little conversion? Pony up.

Scheduled to turn 75 September 21, Cohen is on a roll that began five years ago, when he found out his money was gone. The somewhat murky story begins in 1994 after his last previous tour, which left him so exhausted that, as is his wont, he decided to transform his life. So he relocated for five years -- five years! -- to a Zen monastery on Mount Baldy in California, where he assisted his longtime guru Joshu Sasaki Roshi and was ordained a monk in 1996. Cash flow much diminished, he was persuaded by his manager and friend Kelley Lynch to sell his catalogue to Sony in 1997, and once off the mountain set up a foundation to protect his assets from the taxman. In 2004 he learned by happenstance that the foundation had been drained of funds, and although Cohen eventually won a $9.5 million judgment against Lynch, who by 2005 was claiming she was homeless, he hasn't been able to collect.

Cohen clearly got screwed. But if it's hard not to sympathize when the creator of a lament as gorgeous and profound as "Bird on the Wire" will never see another penny from it, it's also hard not to snicker when a tax shelter goes belly up. The just plain sympathetic part came with this tour, as Cohen, having envisioned an old age of comfortable seclusion, transformed himself into a public workhorse. A rabbi's grandson who still keeps Sabbath yet has always been fascinated by the redemption myths of the Catholics who dominate his primordial Montreal, he was born again by going back to work.

Cohen never intended to shut down altogether. In early 2001 he released Field Commander Cohen, a circa-1979 live CD sprucer than 1994's Cohen Live!, and then, shortly after September 11, put out his first studio album since 1992's The Future. In historical context, the brave pessimism and sage metaphysics of Ten New Songs seemed so prophetic that it should have been called The Future II. But Cohen's unbeautiful voice proved so sere it was swamped by the attendant women on 2004's Dear Heather, where a Lord Byron cover and "Tennessee Waltz" outshone originals so paltry that not one was deemed worthy of the tour four years later. In 2005, awash in lawsuits, Cohen talked up Blue Alert, his collaboration with jazz singer Anjani Thomas, who happened to be his attorney's ex- wife as well as his own current consort. But it barely sold, and only the title track belongs in the same sentence with any number of songs Cohen has composed with backup-singer-turned-producer Sharon Robinson. In a long, eloquent 2005 interview for Norwegian radio -- the Marianne of "So Long, Marianne" comes from Norway, and he's a chart-topper there -- Cohen reported that he'd begun a new album, which, unsurprisingly, never materialized: "I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel. I need ten songs, you know, I have to fill up 50 minutes, and you want it to be good."

In the same interview, Cohen explained with practiced humility, "I just keep working until something arises that is better than me. . . . Sometimes the songs are really good, sometimes they are okay, I hope." One hopes that after this tour is over, Cohen will invest his accumulated wealth circumspectly and that by late 2010 the impressive snatches he's played visitors will add up to a really good album. His voice has revived -- exercise has been good for it, and where in the '90s he was still learning how to sing loud after decades of milking his refined croak for intimacy, now he can declaim in moderation. He's had more trials not involving the nearness of death than anyone past 70 should bear. And the evidence suggests that he was ordained for cause -- that he's finally achieved equanimity without peacing out.

Rock and roll has produced a surprising bounty of old men with something to say. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Randy Newman -- rather than credibly courting eternal youth a la Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney, these seniors explore the aging process with an edge that's been rare in pop music, where nostalgia is such a staple. Cohen fits this paradigm, with two significant differences. The first is that he's rock and roll only by association. He's really a Gallic chansonnier, in it for the lyrics rather than the liberating musical intensity even Dylan has made a vocation. The second is that he was always old -- older than Elvis and also more sophisticated, the kind of artist you'd look up to at 24 only to find yourself surprisingly, alarmingly entering his age group four decades later.

These disjunctures only strengthen Live in London. Cohen launched his recapitalization armed with a decades-spanning body of really good songs that his cult deserved to hear. Spirit calmed, voice weathered by exposure, arrangements honed by wisdom and practice, he was positioned to revisit this oeuvre without risk of generational grotesquerie, because he'd written from the vantage of maturity to begin with. As always, the DVD provides neither the full social immersion of the concert nor the provocative abstraction of the sound recording, but at least you get to see Cohen trot on stage (at my show, he skipped off), and the worshipful close-ups of concentrating soloists are less banal than usual because the songs reward that kind of attention. The CDs, however, are definitive. There's more really good Cohen out there, and individual albums going back to 1968's Songs of Leonard Cohen remain very much worth hearing. But the thoughtfulness of everyone involved renders the new recordings aurally consistent and verbally definitive. Circumstances rarely afford artists the chance to leave a testament. Live in London comes pretty close.

In someone of Cohen's long-term accomplishment, that's plenty. But it leaves the content of the bequest open to scrutiny. The standard objections cite Cohen's bummer quotient -- his supposedly terrible voice and his supposedly unremitting pessimism. Me, I've always enjoyed his sprechgesang, which he shares to some extent with all the old men on my short list except the goy (who oddly enough is Canadian). True, God gave Dylan, Reed, and arguably Newman more physical voice. But not even the Reed of "Candy Says" has better simulated the one-on-one whisper, and at his most clownish Newman can't match Cohen's deft self-mockery. That's why Cohen's pessimism has never bummed me. Of course this isn't party music. But the best of the darker songs are so well-stated they're bracing too -- the poet's version of Gramsci's optimism of the will -- and in album format they share time with a Jewish-Buddhist fatalist's spiritually advanced form of gallows humor.

Musical and philosophical questions remain, however. Hardly a master tunesmith, Cohen has nevertheless created, rejiggered, reappropriated, and partnered into existence a body of melody without which his songwriting would mean little. But just as he never aims for rock and roll release, he maintains a distance from that melody -- he doesn't inhabit a song like his beau ideal Hank Williams or his formal counterpart John Prine. Crucial to the distance are the backup girls on whom he so skillfully, respectfully, and obsessively relies. This is limiting, and Cohen knows it: "I ran with Diz and Dante/But I never had their sweep," shrugs the Zen poet who situates Hank Williams 100 floors above himself in the tower of song. And thematically there are also limits, as Cohen's female helpmates make manifest.

There are Cohen chroniclers, especially literary ones, who prove how worldly they are by treating his interest in sex as an amusing side issue. But even up against Mick Jagger and Marvin Gaye, Prince and Madonna, Cohen qualifies as a devout erotomane. For its fleeting moment Beautiful Losers was radiantly graphic, and I challenge anyone to name another songpoet so fond of the word "naked." In one of his few stupid public pronouncements, Cohen told the New York Times in 1968 that only after sharing an orgasm with a woman did he believe he'd met her, and at 50 he was still averring that only women kept him sane on the road. At the Beacon, my sense of oneness with my fellow communicants was disrupted by the knowing cheers that greeted two raunchy lines: "giving me head in the unmade bed" and "if you want a doctor I'll examine every inch of you."

Now, I think intellectuals underrate sex myself, and to each her or his own. Cohen loves women, and women often love him back -- fine. But I sense that many of Cohen's male fans get a vicarious kick out of his multifarious affairs that doesn't bring them any closer to the goal articulated by his most crucial backup singer, Jennifer Warnes, whose 1987 tribute album Famous Blue Raincoat helped revive his career: "the place where God and sex and literature meet." The only friend I've ever had who was a major Cohen devotee is also the only friend I've ever had to make a play for my wife. That's not what I mean by to each his or her own. I want to take sex seriously my way, not Leonard Cohen's way -- much less his fanmen's way.

Striking, isn't it, that even musician Warnes brings up literature. Granted, her quote arrives via Cohen's biographer, Canadian English prof Ira B. Nadel, whose valuable if unexpectedly dated 1994 Various Positions could be hipper musically. But I've been reading Cohen as well as listening, and it's been a pleasure except for my second pass through Beautiful Losers, which for all its serial orgasms and multivocal texts lacks narrative generosity. "Skip over the parts you don't like," Cohen advises readers of the new Chinese translation in 2006's Book of Longing, a self-illustrated miscellany billed as his first poetry collection since 1984 -- a delightful profit-taker that includes droll reports on the monastic life; an erotic appreciation of his May-December love object Rebecca de Mornay; a "Thank You Ruler of the World/Thank you for calling me Honey" for a waitress seen in a double mirror; and such epigrams as "oh and one more thing/you aren't going to like/what comes after America" and "life is a drug that stops working."

There are also a few lyrics, including a Dear Heather quickie that begins "Because of a few songs/wherein I spoke of their mystery/women have been/exceptionally kind/to my old age," gets better, and has it all over the recorded version. Due to envy, snobbery, and the devotion to rhyme and scansion that impelled him toward the pop charts, Cohen gets small respect as a poet, but unlike most song lyrics, his do read. Unfortunately, the best proof isn't for sale in the U.S.: Omnibus Press's alphabetical Lyrics of Leonard Cohen, 113 all told, and fascinating to down in that arbitrary order. Known masterpieces like "Dance Me to the End of Love," "Famous Blue Raincoat," "Anthem," and "A Thousand Kisses Deep" demand and reward instant rereading. Songs from a Room, Death of a Ladies' Man, and Dear Heather read as flat as they'd always sounded. Songs from 1984's Various Positions suggest that maybe Columbia refused that album because the performances didn't do them justice.

Most interesting, however, was to then read Yeats, who Cohen loves. Yeats smoked him, of course -- Yeats smokes everybody. Still, the evolution from the lissome flow of "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" to the steely reassessment of "Vacillation" certainly paralleled the shifts in tone and line I'd felt as old Cohen lyrics followed hard upon newer ones. Cohen went up the mountain to learn how to cast a cold eye, then came down and found himself compelled to tell us about it. And without losing what had been learned, his eye warmed a little. That's a long-term accomplishment worth cheering.

Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide column appears monthly at msn.com. He is a critic at All Things Considered, writes for the National Arts Journalism Program's ARTicles blog, teaches in NYU's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, and has published five books. His highly searchable website is robertchristgau.com.
And this is a response to that review by Carolyn Kellogg posted in the Los Angeles Times today -

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketc ... cohen.html
43 years of skepticism: Christgau on Cohen
August 18, 2009 | 11:45 am
LC-Los Angeles Times.jpg
Robert Christgau is a legendary rock critic -- on his website, he calls himself the Dean of American Rock Critics -- and as he's been writing about music a long, long time, he's got the kind of experience and knowledge to bring to a review of the performance CD/DVD sets by 75 year-old Leonard Cohen.

But sometimes history can work against you. Christgau's column for the Barnes & Noble review begins:

As someone who admired poet Leonard Cohen's second and last novel "Beautiful Losers" in 1966, before Cohen was a recording artist or I was a music critic, I followed Cohen's musical career with admiration from the beginning. But the admiration was always cut with skepticism -- a skepticism that the focus and reach and three-hour duration of his February 19 comeback concert at Manhattan's Beacon Theater blew away.

If I read that right, Christgau has followed Cohen's career with admiration/skepticism since 1966.That's 43 years.

Is it that Cohen has suddenly changed? Perhaps -- Cohen has a constantly-evolving persona, and Christgau outlines his recent evolution from well-heeled troubadour to surprisingly broke monk to hardworking road performer.

But maybe it's because as a critic, Christgau has begun to want something different from Cohen. Later in his piece, he explains:

Rock and roll has produced a surprising bounty of old men with something to say. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Randy Newman -- rather than credibly courting eternal youth a la Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney, these seniors explore the aging process with an edge that's been rare in pop music, where nostalgia is such a staple. Cohen fits this paradigm, with two significant differences. The first is that he's rock and roll only by association. He's really a Gallic chansonnier, in it for the lyrics rather than the liberating musical intensity even Dylan has made a vocation. The second is that he was always old -- older than Elvis and also more sophisticated, the kind of artist you'd look up to at 24 only to find yourself surprisingly, alarmingly entering his age group four decades later.

Not to say that Cohen was in his 60s when Christgau was 24 (his age in the aforementioned critical year of 1966). But it seems that, four decades later, Christgau has caught up to Cohen, who really isn't that much older than him at all.

-- Carolyn Kellogg
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby AvidCohenFan » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:20 pm

I've always liked Christgau - the only critic who mentions Randy Newman enough. But I'm not sure what the point of Carolyn Kellogg's article is about - just saying they aren't too far apart in years?

Can someone also explain (I'm kind of dimwitted today) what Christgau meant by: 'But it barely sold, and only the title track belongs in the same sentence with any number of songs Cohen has composed with backup-singer-turned-producer Sharon Robinson'.
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby Bird off the Wire » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:28 pm

He's referring to 'Blue Alert'; stating only the title song on that album stands up in comparison to the songs on 10 Songs.
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby tomsakic » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:08 pm

Wow, never heard anybody dismissing Blue Alert CD so easily...

Interesting comparison - particularly because the title track was the only one which originally was done for Cohen's own next album... I still hear only that song as possible choice for the next CD, But there are some other songs on the CD which can stand any comparison to the Cohen standards: never Got To Love You (which is actually based on early version of Closing Time), and The Golden Gate.

But yes, Blue Alert (title track) can be imagined as the vintage "old Cohen", with the smoky deep voice, that atmosphere of the bar, and sensual lyrics.


The tone of the article overall is cynical without obvious reason... Why is he dismissing his voice, Dear Heather CD, Book of Longing ("profit-taker" ... "billed as his first book of poetry since 1984"), Blue Alert, Anjani, Cohen's capacity to make the new album...? (Then that weird paragraph about sex and fans?) This is the typical wanna-be-cool writing in the contemporary US press I tend to DISLIKE very much. Particularly when it quotes Cohen's sentences like "I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel. I need ten songs, you know, I have to fill up 50 minutes, and you want it to be good." without realising it cannot be quoted as the real state-of-the-things, but more like the artist's usual uncertainty about his current work in progress. (And the work develops slowly when Cohen is in question.)

I like Carolyn Kellogg's comment, she has the point indeed. Cohen *always* was so good, it's only that some people needed time to get it.
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" - DVD & 2CD - April 2009

Postby susanne30072009 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:29 pm

jarkko wrote:I don't think there are definitive plans nor details at this point, but the original idea has been to include every song performed during this tour in the "best version" selected from the video footage archive (all concerts of last fall and many of the 2009 tour have been filmed in HD)
This are great, great news!! Can't wait to have them. I was in the audience last fall 2008 and this sommer. LC, the Sisters, Sharon ant the whole band is getting better, as the tour goes on. Like wine, you know. It's obvious, that they have great fun. Personally, i really hope, that they come back to europe. I know, it's been a very, very long and hard tour. But the feeling on the tour this summer was so warm, so intensive, that i really hope, the tour will maybe goes on next year or so. And the CD / DVD with all the songs, they've sing on this tour, it's like a dream come true. The Songs really sounded different, as longer the tour goes on. And i mean it in the positive way!! So please let it come true. Wish you all the best: Susanne
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sturgess66
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby sturgess66 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:49 pm

Blog on Leonard's MySpace about Christgau review:
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Unbeautiful Winner: A Review by Robert Christgau

Unbeautiful Winner: Leonard Cohen
By Robert Christgau
8/17/09

Circumstances rarely afford artists the chance to leave a testament. 'Live In London' comes pretty close.

As someone who admired poet Leonard Cohen's second and last novel Beautiful Losers in 1966, before Cohen was a recording artist or I was a music critic, I followed Cohen's musical career with admiration from the beginning. But the admiration was always cut with skepticism -- a skepticism that the focus and reach and three-hour duration of his February 19 comeback concert at Manhattan's Beacon Theater blew away. My conversion experience was far from the only one that night, and proved replicable -- when Cohen stopped in Seattle two months later, a friend walked in with my level of show-me and left with my level of holy-moley. Having kicked off the U.S. phase of a world tour already nine months old, the Beacon concert was soon followed by Live in London, a double-CD and/or DVD vividly documenting pretty much the same songs and stage business I'd witnessed. It prepared the way for two sold-out May concerts at NYC's much larger Radio City Music Hall, which will be followed in turn by, holy moley, an October 23 appearance at Madison Square Garden.

To read the rest of this compelling review, visit BarnesandNoble.com.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bn-review ... 2Pid=22560
http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuse ... =506454936

And was also put on Leonard's FaceBook today:

http://www.facebook.com/leonardcohen?ref=nf
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby Liamberney » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:01 pm

Thank you Sturgess66 for digging out all this stuff. It was remiss of me not to thank you for your contribution to the Barcelona concert thread. I found this piece intelligent and provides a good insight into what's going on with this 'resurrection'.
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby LEONKA » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:11 pm

Hallelujah,I have the CD and DVD Live in London.My eyes would still like to watch.DVD Live in London I can not stop listening and watching.My heart and mind of living for leonard. His voice is like a siren calling,look at his eyes as seduction magic.Charismatic Leonard.O something changed melodies are LIVE IN LONDON. :razz: :razz: 8)
kevycanavan
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby kevycanavan » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:46 am

Hi everyone
my first post here.


Has anyone any info on the best of 2008-2009 DVD?

thanks and regards from Northern Ireland
Kevy
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LEONKA
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby LEONKA » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:51 pm

Missing my booklet with the lyrics of songs. :neutral:
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Re: "Leonard Cohen Live in London" > DVD & 2CD (April 2009)

Postby Carmen » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:00 am

I have ordered the Isle of Wight DVD/CD from Amazon and it is due to arrive in my hands somewhere around January 10th.
I can hardly wait!

Carmen

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