Friday, October 23, 2009

Monday Inspiration – Leonard Cohen

"Any startling piece of work has a subversive element in it, a delicious element often. Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity."
Leonard Cohen

I'm not entirely sure how to begin to express my admiration and love of Leonard Cohen. I think his words and music have always been there in the back of my mind, expanding and growing until now when I can't recall a time without them. Maybe it began with my mom loving McCabe and Mrs. Miller and absorbing that sound into my young psyche. Or maybe it was REM's cover of First We Take Manhattan... or the darkness and atmosphere of Everybody Knows in Pump Up the Volume... or the influence he had on Nick Cave (that's another entire post right there).

Anyway, suffice it to say, it was an honor and a privilege to be in attendance last night in Cleveland for his performance. The sound, the lighting, the pacing, the set list... all impeccable. He was spry, funny, passionate, humble and had the stamina of a much, much younger man. Over 3 hours of heart-breaking, humorous, soul-lifting music and poetry. Oh, and ALL of the musicians were top-notch and often breath-taking in their finesse.

After the concert my mom and discussed the details and one thing we noticed was how well he enunciates (unlike many performers... I'm looking at you Michael Stipe!). This line from Sisters of Mercy hit me like a ton of bricks:

"Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned:
When you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned."

Since I don't have a video of last night's performance to share, this clip comes from his London '09 how and it conveys the lighter vibe of the evening. Enjoy.

For an earlier post on L.C., check here.

1 comment:

A Beautiful Party said...

oh wow! that's exciting that you got to see him. I only know a little bit of his music but everything i know gives me chills.
and it's so nice to know that someone else out there knows Pump up the Volume. i love that movie! Talk hard!