For those that follow me on the FaceBook, you will know that I've been on a bit of a Leonard Cohen kick lately. I tend to do this with artists, be they musicians, or painters, or writers. I get hung up on them, obsess, obsess, obsess and then overdose on them and put them down for a while until I can stomach them again. After which I work them into my usual routine and go about my business whilst obsessing over the next big thing. (not necessarily new thing, just big for me!)
Point being, I have been listening to a LOT of Cohen as of late. I knew him first as that Hallelujah guy. You know, the one that does the slow version of that Shrek song.
Yeah, I know. I suck.
But I made up for it fast when I heard the song Suzanne on the internet radio site, finetune.com. Then another Cohen song played, I think it was Tower of Song. Then another, Light as the Breeze. It seems that when you put in "Folk music" as a tag on finetune, Mr. Cohen comes up quite often. Very often. He might be half the damned lineup for that particular tag. Seems this Cohen fellow was quite the folk musician in his day. One internet search later, and the obsession began.
I fell in love. Though I must admit, at first some of his vocals are a little harsh on the ears. (especially the poppish stuff) But once you get used to his unusual style, you find yourself relishing his unique voice.
Early Cohen is great; epic beat poetry full of strife and anguish and love. I know some folks will want to crucify me for this, but in my humble opinion, this is the man Dylan wished he was.
Later Cohen is rough to get accustomed to when you have the folksy tunes under your skin. His late 70's work melds into a popish feel, then fades back into folksy type work. The nineties still have his great lyrics though the music is a bit electronic.
Then there are a lot of great live recordings. Which is why I am making this blog post. Normally I am the kind of gal that prefers the capture of a really good studio recording to a crappy live one. But, as the man said himself, for you Leonard I will make an exception.
I have come to a strange and definitive conclusion about Mr. Cohen. Listening to his studio recorded work is like aural foreplay. It's like making out with a photo of Mr. Cohen but never quite going all the way.
But listening to his live recordings is like making love with the man. (or maybe just his voice.)
Here is a good example:
This is the song, Who By Fire, recorded in 1974 on the album New Skin for the Old Ceremony.
And here is the same song in 1994, live:
You see what I mean? Yesh! WOOT!
Anyways, I think what I am saying is that if recordings are aural masturbation, and live recordings are electronic intercourse, then what will happen to me if I should ever hear the man play in person?
I can only hope that day comes. (see what I did there? haha!)
ps: I leave you with a link of my favorite song. Enjoy!