Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First we take our meds, then we take Cleveland: Leonard Cohen

I found myself dropped into a Flomax commercial or perhaps a Town Hall meeting waiting for God, Godot, or Obama... Gritting my teeth, tapping my foot, breathing deep, hoping that Tom Waits would slither onto stage and spoil the show. I didn't pack my razor blades and I wanted them to all get away from me. It was a beautiful room (Allen Hall) but sold out and packed in and the heat was stifling. Salt and peppered, bespectacled, baby boomer-psychologist-lawyer-retiree-smelling crowd. Fuck. I was at a Leonard Cohen show, not grinding away in the waiting room of my therapist's office.

A PBS special? No surprises with his perfect band and his perfect voice (he can't help his godlike voice as he will tell you, but it really is godlike to support his all-too-serious-poet-godlike-complex) and perfect sound...

Leonard Cohen is fucking cool. A 75 year old smooth ass motherfucker. Smartly dressed, gentlemanly, surrounded by warm lights, women, beautiful, sexy and stylish words.

I can't deny that I really like some of his later stuff, but it's always one soprano saxophone solo away from being incredibly elevatoresque. I can stand behind In My Secret Life and Everybody Knows, but First We Take Manhattan?

The words. It's hard to find a rival, and that is why I was there. Step away from the synthesizer. The women: well, the women kinda stole the show. If It Be Your Will was owned by Antony of Antony and the Johnsons in I'm Your Man, but the Webb Sisters took it down. Harp and acoustic guitar. It was the better than anything that Senor Cohen pulled off all evening. But that's not to say that the rest of the evening was bad. His classics were really done tastefully, (holding my breath for the 80's synth to relax) and he stayed within his range. He's over 70 for christ's sake, so I'm not harping on his performance, which happened to be awesome, I just have a strange taste left from his penchant for disco/80's synth pop.

Behind in everything, behind in everything,