4 April 2011

     album cover, leonard cohen from 'songs of love and hate', 1971

CHAPTER TWO - Leonard Cohen

WEEK TWO. conversation by clair and anna



"New York is cold but I like where I'm living,  There's music on Clinton street all through the evening"   lenoard cohen

                                                                            ~  ~  ~ 

Somehow I can only hear this to the tune of America by Paul Simon, although it doesn't quite scan. Perhaps because Songs of Love and Hate is an album of Len's that I don't know. We call him Len in our family since my kids saw him at Glastonbury a few years ago (the one year I didn't go, damn it) and called me after the performance, moved beyond words. My daughter and I then went to the Big Chill, specifically to see him, and stood swaying and singing for two blissful hours... I'd loved the first two albums back in the 70s and I'm Your Man, whenever that was and his words gradually crept into the kids' hearts as well as mine, over the years. I've been going to gigs since 1969 (Crosby, Stills Nash and (for the first time) Young), so I've seen a few, but Leonard Cohen perfoms in a way that touches me and makes me want to be a better person, more like the version of him that I project onto him.
I assume the music on Clinton Street is good music, which would enrich life - is it just nearby so you can always pop in, or is it loud so you can always hear it? And now I think - what if it was drum and bass, night after night? But he likes where he's living, so it's all good.
ps Now I can't work out if I sent this already, but since finishing it I've checked out the album and of course I know most of the songs on it, especially this one - was I thinking I had to own an album to know it?

i think its cos there is often music there...the music becomes part of the walk on clinton st and becomes part of your memory of that town...

i saw len at big chill too.  and i snuck in to the brighton centre and saw his last 4 songs.  the one on my entry was famous blue raincoat. yum...

he's pretty badass.  its a paradox but often true, that the first music of an artist becomes less dated sounding than the music that follows.  songs of love and hate, as it played recently on my record player, had no hint of date, no hint of less, just everything deep and strong and heavily romantic...

'New York is cold but I like where I'm living....'
I like where I'm living too - I was going to write Brighton is... but I like where I'm living, but there's nothing I want to put in that gap. I find the hilliness hard while I have this ongoing exhaustion, but without the hills there'd not be the views and I love the views. 

yes i try to avoid the hills on my bike too ;) the view is great when you get on top of one though...cityscapes do it for me actually...sometimes i think about what i would choose if was going to have one of those wall sized wallpapers which makes a massive massive picture, you know the ones i mean? ... ive seen a cloud and mountain one and the inside of a caravan one! but i would probably be drawn to a cityscape...all that darkness interrupted by all the tiny living lites...

I don't think I'd like that wallpaper, whatever the picture. But I discover (late in life), that I love the city - or this one at least. If I had to make a choice, it's the coast that holds me. I love its endless mutability - the infinite combinations of tide and light and weather. I love feeling on the edge of humanity, not surrounded by it - looking out and seeing the emptiness. I love how it makes me get over myself - I'm nothing, just a grain of sand, here for a moment, gone for eternity.  Inland ain't got that.

mmm...i like to hear about that, i find myself surprised with how difficult it is for me to connect with nature in deep way...the reality that we are on the very edge of a massive piece of land...

i am surprised how the water stays where it is (most of the time)...the way that it natrally comes in and out in and out but creates its boundary and then keeps within it and with so much land to cover it finds itself happy there.  or naturally there...

it is a beautiful evening tonite, at 10pm soooo warm...i just went out walking.  not a single bit of coldness left. all warmed up by the sun...

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