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The Monday Hotness: Plumcake’s All-Time Favorite | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Monday Hotness: Plumcake’s All-Time Favorite

Until last year the best show I’d seen was hands down the 2001 Austin Music Awards in 2001 when John Cale of the Velvet Underground did a duet with Alejandro Escovedo of Leonard Cohen’s  Hallelujah which is my favorite song of all time and if ANY of you say that Jeff Buckley’s whiny-ass version was superior to the original even though the original had those awful cheesy synths,  I will BAN YOU FOREVER SO DON’T TEST ME ON THIS OKAY.

Today’s Monday Hotness is responsible for the single best live performance I’ve ever seen (including theater, ballet AND that Vietnamese lady who did a trick I totally thought was an urban legend and which I can never, EVER unsee). He put on a three hour show and then came out for SEVEN encores of two or three songs each.

The man, the legend, the only guy I’d leave the Archbishop for: Leonard Cohen.

from "I'm Your Fan"

He was a  successful Canadian poet for a decade before he recorded his first album, “Songs of Leonard Cohen” in 1967.

Cohen didn’t fit in with the naivete of the folk movement and his next releases including “Songs from a Room” and “Songs of Love and Hate” (two sentimental favorites) grew increasingly dark and introspective.

New Skin for the Old Ceremony” released in 1974 is probably his babymakin-est album and in the song Chelsea Hotel #2 he sings a song recalling an unnamed woman “you were famous, your heart was a legend” who had provided him an Intimate Service in the famous hotel.

In a rare moment of indiscretion (at least of that variety) Cohen revealed the mystery woman was Janis Joplin who, having died four years before the album’s release, never got the chance to defend herself. Cohen said revealing her name was the one great regret of his career.

I first heard Leonard Cohen when I was in fifth grade or so in the movie Pump Up The Volume, where Christian Slater’s character opens his radio show with LC’s deeply sardonic Everybody Knows.

cohen-01-by_david_boswell
The in my early 20’s I explored his catalog (I’d like to put a knowing “If you know what I mean” but sadly it was not to be) and fell in love with pretty much everything he ever did because if there’s one thing I love it’s a mystic with a dirty mind.
Live Songs

and let’s make no mistake, for all his sainted melancholy, Mister Cohen is a dirty, dirty bird as I suspect all great spiritual men are (what, you think I like the Archbishop because I’ve got an eyebrow fetish?)

leonard-cohen-3-high

I mean RIGHT?

The one misstep in his discographical career is the production of Various Positions where the Evil Synthesizers of 80’s Death do their best to ruin several of the best songs in the English language including Hallelujah (and again, do NOT test me) and If it Be Your Will.

LC fedora

As he aged his wavering tenor mellowed into a warm silt-bottomed bass. Click to listen to him read his song/poem A Thousand Kisses Deep, which inspired a niche perfume of all things)

courtesy of my colleague, Jay Janner

I’ve had several religious experiences in my life –including the weekend Andre proposed and took me to the top floor shoe salon at Saks Fifth Avenue ON Fifth Avenue and told me I could have everything I wanted– but only two have ever come close to sitting in Row A for Leonard Cohen’s first concert in the United States in 16 years, and all spiritual matters aside, when you’re a 75 year old Buddhist folk singer and sweet young things are still throwing their bras at you? That’s some serious Hotness. Amen.

13 Responses to “The Monday Hotness: Plumcake’s All-Time Favorite”

  1. marjorie November 16, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    lady, we have very similar taste in men. (except henry rollins. him you can keep.)

    LOOK AT MR COHEN’S HANDS. he has gorgeous, gorgeous hands.

    i suspect mr cohen (for some reason i can’t call him leonard) is one of those fellows it’s best not to know much about personally. but So Long Marianne and Hallelujah (THE ONE TRUE HALLELUJAH, AMEN SISTER) are all i need to know.

  2. Riona November 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    He’s hotter than hot. We saw his concert in San Jose on Friday (we’d seen him earlier in Seattle). They were both in the top 3 of all the shows I’ve seen.

    You should hear the women in the audience during “I’m Your Man”, when he sings “And if you want a doctor, I’ll examine every inch of you.” Mucho shouts and claps.

  3. Katie November 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more. For another lovely interpretation of one of Cohen’s pieces, check out Canadian singer Jenny Gear and her cover of “Alexandra Leaving.” She sings a version that does it justice.

  4. Mrs. Hendricks November 16, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    Of course! A perfect, perfect Monday Hotness, perhaps the most perfect of all time. I don’t like to hear anyone sing “Hallelujah” except Leonard Cohen, but I adore Jennifer Warnes’ covers of other songs on “Famous Blue Raincoat.” What is it about him? That voice, I think, and obviously, the words. But that voice! Well done.

  5. raincoaster November 16, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    Let’s talk. As a Canadian Woman Of A Certain Age, I sometimes feel I’m the only one he hasn’t slept with. He’s sure to look me up next tour, if only for consistency’s sake.

  6. monkeyparts November 16, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    HALL-AY-LOU-YA!
    Love him.

  7. chachaheels November 17, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    Maybe he hasn’t slept with us, Raincoaster, but I sure do feel he’s doing something to my mind when I listen to him/read him/look at him, don’t you? It’ll have to do, for now. Or, in your case, till the next tour date.

  8. Sarah G. November 17, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    AMEN,

    The last three songs on The Future (Light as the Breeze, Always, and Tacoma Trailer) absolutely bring me down to my knees.

  9. g-dog November 17, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    I recently heard an interview of him with Terri Gross (Fresh Air) on NPR – taped a couple of years ago. Very interesting man – one of those incredibly obviously intelligent & really interesting people who thinks they are not really that special – he doesn’t think he is a great singer or songwriter or that smart or “hot”, etc. (or at least that is what he seemed to be sincerely saying vs. false modesty). This is the kind of person you could talk to all day every day for years and never get bored… At least that’s my one exposure take on him ….

  10. Valerie in San Diego November 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I totally agree with you :-) Don’t miss Tim Footman’s new bio of Leonard Cohen then… http://www.amazon.com/Leonard-Cohen-Hallelujah-New-Biography/dp/1842404725

  11. Riona November 18, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Everybody loves a dirty, dirty mystic. You speak the truth.

  12. Anna November 20, 2009 at 3:00 am #

    I saw him in Los Angeles- there are only a handful of 75 year old men I’d sleep with, but him? Top of the list…especially if he sang to me first..

  13. sabrina November 21, 2009 at 11:47 am #

    Have you seen this? http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/episode/2049-ladies-and-gentlemen-mr-leonard-cohen/1 — A film about him from 1965. Just watched it – go see!