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Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:20 am
Just returned from New York, where we were treated to one Hell of a fabulous show Friday night at the Knitting Factory -- Perla Bettala, Julie Christenson, Paul Ostermayer and surprise guest appearance by Bob Metzger, as well as some outstanding work on the piano, drums and base. One of the best concerts of my life. Julie's amazing "A Singer Must Die" and Perla's " Bird on a Wire" were outstanding moments. Paul Ostermayer was just simply outstanding all night long.
To top it all off, Saturday we were treated to a taste of Leonard's yet-to-come new CD by his producer Leanne Ungar, and Lorca Cohen was with us. Amazing, surprising, VERY different stuff. I can hardly wait.
This was my first event, and one I am eager to repeat. Wonderfully realized and planned -- fabulous booklet and poster, and Leonard himself sent us all gifts of special Cups of Mercy and the Book of Mercy. So generous. I am overwhlemed. I am exhausted!
Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:38 am
That's great just to read how much you enjoyed this event!
What do you mean exactly by "VERY different stuff"?
Details. Could you give some details?
Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:15 am
Wish you could have been there!
Leonard is still heavily into his synthesizer, which will no doubt dismay some folks who were hoping for accoustic. The music is multi-layered, funny, poignant, gets under your skin -- essential Cohen, only different from anything he has done before -- even Ten New Songs. One of them ends with what sounds like a chorus of angels. The rhythms are often complex and strange. The title song, "Dear Heather", is a spoken poem with rythymic background music, LC intoning "Dear Heather, please walk with me again, with a drink in your hand and your legs still white from the winter, with your legs still white from the W-I-N-T-E-R-AND-YOU-........" (as far as I remember it!). It keeps going over and over in my head even now. Some folks were thrilled with what we heard, others said "I don't know,... , I think he's lost me this time..."
Of course, all of us will snatch it up as soon as it comes out, and discuss it endlessly. There is mention of 911. One of the first songs makes reference to the psychic demands of all the ladies who would like to jump the poor man's bones for being "kind to women" (my take on it). I'll be very interested in seeing what others think. Others will be adding remembrances as the days go by, and someone's memory is bound to be better than mine.
Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:37 pm
Sounds like a great time. Tell me, did you get to listen to all
of the new CD? Your description of it alarms me.
I was really hoping for a guitar driven album.
Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:22 pm
Hello. We heard about 3/4 of the new album or what comes to eight songs if I remember right. There are twelve songs or thirteen songs, I cannot remember. The other songs according to were not finished yet.
This was a wonderful gift from Mr. Cohen. I would type more on the event but I do not have the time to. I will be in NYC until Friday, June 18th, but I just wanted to check up on the message board and see what was going on.
Also, meeting all the fans and getting to meet Jarkko was wonderful. I have made some friends here definitely.
"The Guy In The Lou Reed Hat..."
Cohen's new album
Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:42 am
The new CD produced by Leanne Ungar was presented to us in Davis Hall on Saturday night as a surprise. She asked us if we wanted to hear more. Of course. She said she didn't want to be the Jazz Police but insisted we turn off all our tape recorders.
Leonard put a spell on us with Dear Heather using an unusual attention drawing device of actually spelling out the word "winter" and "white" as described above. There was a lot of reading or chanting to music rather than singing which, in the way he does it , is even more evocative than singing. Villanelle for our Time is probably the most optimistic prayer he has ever composed, had revolutionary communist overtones, went something like "through bitter searching of heart" paraphrase, man will find his way back to the commonwealth. I wondered what "back" meant in this song as I don't remember when there ever was such a commonwealth on this planet, Leanne didn't know either, and said she'd ask him. Nevertheless the song was deep and spellbinding. First cut was "Go No More a Roving" a Lord Byron poem set to music long ago by Richard Dyer Bennet, Cohen's version was more rhythmic but less lyrical. "The sword outwears the sheath and the heart outwears the breast ,the heart must pause to breathe and love itself must rest. Though the night was made for loving and the day returns too soon, yet we'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon." Sex songs such as Because Of hinted that the pause would be brief. The presentation was the high point of the event for me, as it was a break from hearing the same wonderful songs performed over and over. I like the new album, give it a 95. You can dance to it.
"Sincerely L. Cohen" was a play we saw Sunday afternoon performed by a competent off-Broadway cast of actors and actresses who weren't familiar with Leonard's work until they got into doing the play. It was composed entirely of Leonard's work, songs, poems , novel fragments and prayers. It had everything except Leonard Cohen.
And thanks to Leonard, king of Cups, for the Cup of Mercy. We could use a cup of kindness for toasts to Auld Lang Syne.
***Webmaster's note: the lyrics of "Villanelle for Our Time" were not written by Leonard but by F.R.Scott***
Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:07 pm
Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:33 am
Like I said
on another thread,
Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:48 am
Lucky, indeed, to have had so many special people work so hard to put this togehter, and that all the pieces finally worked out so wonderfully in spite of the many setbacks encountered.
We did not even have the energy to stick around for a lot of the open mic stuff that went into the wee hours. I was truly sorry not to be able to stay up til 1 am to see some of the folks ( but I could have done with less of some others).
There were two absolutely delightful and beautiful ladies from Florida who had fallen in love with LC after learning a line dance to "Dance Me to the End of Love" at their senior center. They were just eating everything Cohen up, and were a real kick to be around. There was so much to do we missed a good third of the happenings. I really hope we can get to Berlin in 2006.
Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:06 pm
Dear Jeannieb, thank you for your kind words, and for your summary, and also to smccallon, lightning, pipkinra.
Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:57 pm
This new album sounds exciting. Looking forward to it. Is it due for a Fall release?
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:06 am
I have posted some comments and first impressions elsewhere
(in the New York Event section of The Forum -- let's discuss
the Event there and not here in the News section, OK??)
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:04 am
You're the man!