Happy Tuesday Party People,
Disclaimer: although this is a space to celebrate women in music, I’m going to digress a little because I have THOUGHTS and FEELINGS.
Here’s the bottom line: last week was crap. Many people I love are American (hi Mom) and it’s hard to see them so displaced in/by their country. I am sad/confused/freaked out/pissed off…
I spent the better part of Wednesday reading the news and treading water with the rest of the world after that Titanic sized WTF and by late afternoon I couldn’t stand to think about it anymore. I tried to distract myself on Spotify (and with Jameson). One of the albums I listened to was Leonard Cohen’s ‘You Want It Darker’ (my third listen). I highly recommend the song ‘Treaty’. You can listen to the whole thing here:
That album feels like a swan song (much like Bowie’s Blackstar) and is almost eerie to listen to. When Adam Cohen was interviewed on CBC a few weeks ago he spoke about how much his father struggled to make the album because he was so sick. It was hard not to anticipate the inevitable. After all, eight years ago I reasoned with my mother over the $120 ticket to see Leonard by saying, “he’s really old, I might never get another chance!”
That concert was one of the best nights of my life and the memory of it is very clear. I was squished between an obnoxious woman with a thick upstate New York accent and a lady wearing too much perfume who wouldn’t shut up about this new book she couldn’t put down called ‘The Hunger Games’. I was very annoyed by both of them and wished I was literally in any other seat. Then the music started and I didn’t give a S**T.
Towards the end of the concert, when the first chords of Hallelujah played, the crowd went WILD. Then Leonard kneeled, took off his fedora, and the whole K-Rock centre went completely silent. It was an Oprah AHA moment for me. After that his music was sacred. It always will be.
Hallelujah is hands down Cohen’s most recognizable work, although most people know Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright’s rendition better than Cohen’s. Even I’ll admit that I prefer Buckley’s or KD Lang’s interpretation. I have always been picky about covers of that song because I think a lot of the time people miss the point. That being said…
Rest in peace, Leonard. Thank you.
Thanks for tuning in.