March 31, 2010

The Lost Canadian

I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
... Leonard Cohen

Things have been looking up lately. So why have I been listening to so much Leonard Cohen? He's not exactly the king of shiny happy music, is he? And this has been a very recently developed taste, as I have had very little interest in his music previously to the here and now.
Is it the whole yin/yang thang? A balance to feeling too giddy? Is it my advancing years? Is it a sudden interest in Buddhism (well, definitely not the last one).

I dunno, I saw him on TV a while back, in a concert from last year and I found the experience exhilarating. The arrangements were sorta peppy. I think it's the bass lines. They lift the songs in a way that the accompaniment in similar balladeers like Tom Waits just doesn't.
Most of his lyrics are pretty dark, but not depressing.

For a "cult" musician, Cohen has been in pop culture continuously. His two songs (Waiting For The Miracle and The Future)that were featured in (and framed) Natural Born Killers were especially relevant in that tale two psychotic lovebirds.

And as he ages (I think he's 70), does anyone rock the fedora and dark suit better?

So, here's to ya, Lenny! Long may you warble!

This was actually the first time I ever heard of Leonard Cohen:

Maybe there's a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah


YankeeBoy said...

Actually one of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs is "Everybody Knows" which I first heard (not done by him) in the movie "Pump Up The Volume". Those lyrics really capture the cynicism of the times - despite having been written 30 years ago.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Canada sure gave the world some good ones back in '60s. Good ones with legs. My favourite Cohen performance is "I Am a Hotel", a longish video he shot for the CBC back in the '80s.

infinite fool said...

Mrs. Infinite has placed a moratorium on "Famous Blue Raincoat" and "Suzanne". She also insists that the only version of "Hallelujah" that remains acceptable is John Cale's (in spite of its Mike Myers connection).

In exchange for keeping her Leonard Cohen exposure to a minimum, she has promised never to play another ELO album in my presence.

Piley said...

great toons Nazz.... I'm Your Man, what a peach of a track!