Archive for April, 2008

Contemplating the divine

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I am not a believer in the divine, however, there are at times some cracks in that belief (to quote Leonard Cohen – “there is a crack, a crack in everything – it’s how the light gets in”). Certain things seem to connect on a deeply primal, emotional level. The songs and works of Leonard Cohen being some of them. He is one of the very, very few artists whose works I have listened to almost constantly for the last 20 years of my life. I simply cannot hear these songs too many times. In fact, very often, when I listen to an album of them, and it is finished, I can think of nothing else to play, but the same thing again. For this reason, I am incredibly happy that he is touring again (one last time?) and that I have managed to get tickets to see him perform (ok, so they cost me several limbs, but it was worth it).

I’m not usually a big fan of cover versions (despite having produced a cover of a Johnny Cash song with my band My Silent Wake – which of course is the best cover version ever), but in some cases, there are versions which somehow transcend the originals. For instance, the Hendrix version of Dylan’s “All along the Watchtower”, or James Taylor’s version of Carole King’s “You’ve got a Friend”. Particularly, I’m not a big fan of cover versions of Leonard Cohen’s songs, especially those covered by Rufus Wainright. However, there is a notable exception, performed by one of the most exceptionally talented maverick artists for a generation. I highly recommend watching John Cale perform a truly divine version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” embedded below. (And then go listen to some Velvet Underground).

Surely, this is how the light gets in