Thursday, November 17, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Leonard Cohen has been such an important figure in my life since I first learned about him in December 1984, when his seventh studio album, Various Positions, was released, that my son is named after him. It was only fitting that my son was the one who first told me about Leonard Cohen's passing. I was teaching the third of my four classes today and had to process the news more slowly than if I wasn't working.
I was fortunate enough to see Leonard Cohen in concert a few times on different tours, and got to meet him before one of those shows. He stepped off the tour bus in front of the Fillmore in San Francisco on October 28, 1988 (11 months to the day before my son would be born), and walked right over to greet the five of us who were in line waiting for the doors to open several hours later so we could get front row seats. Hoping that something like this might happen, I had brought along a copy of his first novel, The Favorite Game, and he signed it for me. I told him how important he and his poetry, novels, and songs were to me, and in that deep voice of his, he replied, "Thank you so much for your kind, gracious words" and shook my hand. The only thought about Leonard Cohen performances that makes me happier than that one is that my son saw him in concert on more than one occasion, too. My son called me in Korea from Portland's Rose Garden on December 8, 2010 (the first time Leonard played there) as he waited for the concert to start. I got to hear the moment that the lights went down and the crowd responding accordingly.
Leonard Cohen's work has been with me through some of my darkest hours and some of my brightest, and a great number of times between those two absolutes. I'm sad but sadness passes, and I will celebrate all of the joy that Leonard Cohen has brought to my life today and always.
The first song that came to mind when my son broke the news to me was "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye." I always thought that the world would be a much better place if all relationships could end the way Leonard sings about in this song. I think some lyrics from this song are appropriate for Leonard's passing, as well: "But let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie/You eyes are soft with sorrow/Hey, that's no way to say goodbye." Thank you for everything, Mr. Cohen. You are missed.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
I'm proud to announce that I am now a member of the Scream Team at the UK-based Scream horror magazine! For my first piece, I have reviewed the 2015 Korean exorcism movie The Priests. Have a gander at http://www.screamhorrormag.com/priests-film-review/.
For my second piece for the ultra-fun When It Was Cool website, I review my two favorite albums from seventies hard rockers Angel, "On Earth as It Is in Heaven" and "White Hot." Have a look and feel free to crank up the video links in the article. Thanks, as always, for reading!