Sep 30, 2010

Thursday Music

I'm not sure why I like Leonard Cohen. His voice isn't that appealing, but his songs compel me. I know it's silly to try and find great vocals in modern music, but for the most part someone's singing ability is not a deal breaker. Sure there are bands like Rush who I can't handle largely due to the fact that every time I hear the singer wail I want to destroy every item in my reach.

Cohen; however, has songs which can be best described as unique and the lyrics draw me in. Sure sometimes I have no idea what it is he's trying to say with some of his songs and some would consider him a poor man's Tom Waits, but the poetry of his songwriting has me taking away something new every time I listen to him.

So today I bring you Leonard Cohen's 'The Future', which has been stuck in my head this morning for reasons I can't explain.

"I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That's what sitting on your ass does to your face." - Leonard Cohen


Siobhan said...

I love Leonard Cohen too and am often berated for it. I find his songs do just as you described.

wigsf said...

My first real exposure to Leonard Cohen came back in college. I was familiar with some of his musical writings through the performances of them by other artists. Specifically Don Henley's wonderful version of Everybody Knows. In college I took several electives that were as far from my program as possible. As I was studying computer programming, I focused my electives on the study of the written word. One such course was a study of Canadian short stories. The very talented professor in the course, Dr. Burke Cullen pushed to squeeze some poetry into the syllabus. I'm glad he did as it was this that exposed me to Leonard Cohen.

I used this opportunity to study some of Cohen's works as well as his life to a small degree. What I found was a huge catalog of reviews of Leonard Cohen. Apparently everybody loves this guy's art.

As I read his poetry and listened to his music I was overwhelmed by a single idea, a single thought: 'this is poetry'. That sounds obvious, but I couldn't word it any differently. That was the phrase stuck in my mind. Everytime I hear Suzanne, I am reminded of that phrase, this is poetry. Is that what good poetry should do? I don't think so. I don't think good poetry should reinforce the idea that poetry is poetry. I think poetry should be an avenue for the audience to not just experience but be a part of art.