Leonard Cohen – RIP

Leonard CohenThis has been a tough year for music.

David Bowie died in January; Prince in April.

And yesterday, Nov. 10th, legendary singer-songwriter and all-around poet Leonard Cohen died at the age of 82.

He leaves behind about 50 years of music, so much that is so close to all matters of death and depression.

I think I first ran across him in college, and my first (and only) record – vinyl – of his, his 1975’s “Leonard Cohen – The Best Of” was purchased sometime in the late 70s. It was always one of my favorites, and yes, I did later get the CD.

He is probably most well-known for his song “Hallelujah,” (especially as covered by Jeff Buckley), but I like the “Best of” songs. Whimsy (“So Long Marianne”, “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”), love and loss (“Chelsea Hotel #2”), and some pure poetry:

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

— “Bird on the Wire”

A true artist and a hard worker – he just released an album, “You Want It Darker,” less than a month ago.

Famous Blue RaincoatAnd if you are a Cohen fan and want a treat, check out Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat: The Songs of Leonard Cohen – brilliant covers, especially “First We Take Manhattan.” Warnes has a great range – she can do the quiet, intimate songs, and she can let loose as does in “First We Take Manhattan.”

And if I recall correctly, Cohen sings with her on one of the songs (“Who by Fire”?). Nice touch.

Good luck finding a copy, however. Seems to be out of print and the copies I’ve seen are really expensive.

Reality check

I was just looking at my blog posts, and the titles of the last three are:

  • President Trump
  • World Champion Chicago Cubs
  • Bob Dylan – Nobel Laureate

Let’s say a guy was in coma for the last six months or so – ask him which of those three titles are true.

(Yep, all)

President Trump

Well, this happened (screen capture ~2am CST):

Trump victory

Yes, this took me by surprise, but sometime around 1:30am CST (today; morning after election day Nov. 8), Hillary Clinton (D) called Donald Trump (R) and conceded the presidential race.

Trump will be the 45th president of the United States this coming January (2017).

It’s going to be an interesting next few years…

World Champion Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field

Well, there’s a headline I never thought I’d read, much less write.

But last night – Nov. 2nd, 2016 – the Chicago Cubs vanquished the Cleveland Indians and the curse of the goat with an extra-innings 8-7 victory.

And they did it in the least Cubs way possible – winning in extra innings (they always seem to lose in extra innings), and after being down three games to one in the series. Impressive come-from-behind win for anyone, extraordinary for the Cubs.

Yes, the World Champion Chicago Cubs. Last time that was written (not by me, of course) was 108 years ago, in 1908. Wow.

In other news: The weather in Hell will be below 32°; random reports of flying pigs have been filed in the Chicago area.