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Posts Tagged ‘Leonard Cohen’

It’s always a little disconcerting to come across someone, a performer or artist, that is well on their way to a brilliant career yet remains completely off your own radar. That’s how I felt the other day when I saw a segment on the CBS Sunday Morning show, where a reporter, Bill Flanagan,  was talking about music to give this holiday season.  He talked about the new box sets from the big names then he talked for a brief moment about a 21 year-old British singer/songwriter named Laura Marling who he said, “ Is not only wiser than her years – she’s wiser than MY years.”

He also said that older listeners would hear echoes of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen and that young listeners would hear the voice of a new generation coming into its own.

Pretty high praise.  I decided I had better check out this person.

Wow.

I was knocked out.  There were tons of videos out there and going through several, I couldn’t find one that wasn’t verging on brilliant from this very young looking girl with a sad, detached blankness on her face.  You could hear traces of the artists he mentioned in the easy phrasing of her lovely voice which made it somewhat familiar but there was indeed something new in her synthesis of what she had absorbed in  her very young life.  Something well beyond her years.  It was all just wonderful, even the music from her earliest album released just days after she turned 18.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t stumbled across a talent this big before now.

But thankfully, I have.  As I said, there is a great number of her  songs out there online and I have yet to find a clunker.  Here’s a newer song called Sophia.  I was captured by the line from its chorus–… I am wounded by dust… 

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Well,  the auction to raise some funds for the relief effort in Haiti has ended and $5000 was raised, which will be dispersed in the next day or so.  In relative terms, it’s a small amount but it was the result of the donations of a handful of regular people, not Wall Street financiers .  If this is happening all over the country, all over the world, it becomes a massive amount.  An amount that can bring a suffering nation back to its feet.  I think  the thing that can be taken from this is that when small actions are tied together, great things can be achieved.  It’s about creating an atmosphere of optimistic effort.

I wanted to write about how we could use this as a starting point to battle our natural tendencies towards cynicism, selfish greed and so many other negative traits that hinder us as a people.  Intolerance.  Schadenfreude.  The negative region of our identity that is the playground for perennial negativists like Limbaugh and his ilk, whose incredible wealth is supported by keeping the masses apart.  The last thing people like that want is any type of unity of spirit.

Their pessimism is an easy tonic to sell.  Unfortunately.  And all too many of us are ready to take a swig of this terrible tonic.

But I ‘ve already deleted two paragraphs.  It’s too easy when examining such a subject to be sucked into the vortex of negativity these people espouse.   All I will say is that nothing great has ever been achieved by such negative thinkers throughout history.  Every great achievement has been accomplished despite these pessimists by people with vision and optimism, people who focused on broadening human possibility.

Hallelujah.

That being said, here’s one of my favorite versions of Leonard Cohen‘s wonderful composition, Hallelujah.  It’s from the late Jeff Buckley.  Powerful tonic…

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GC Myers 2001Running a little late this morning, getting work ready to be delivered next week, and I check the stats for this blog to find that it’s hit and passed the 500,000 hits mark for this year alone.  I’m kind of stunned because when I started this blog last year I was struggling to get 100 hits in a day and the idea of a half million views seemed kind of ridiculous.

Now, I realize that all of these hits are not real readers.  I do submit, on a daily basis, to a blog-surfing engine, Alphainventions, that generates tremendous traffic from all over the world.  Many of these folks have never heard of my work or blog and simply stop because they are attracted to the images at the top of the post, which is a good thing for someone whose work is based on visual imagery.  Many will only stop once or twice but many become regular readers.

So, what does it mean, this 500,000 number?  I don’t really know.  I guess there is a certain validation of the power of the visual image.  I can get a pretty good idea of the reactive power of a painting by how many people respond to it on the blog, so in that way it’s useful to me.

But beyond that, it’s probably just another number, albeit a fairly large one.  I’m going to think about this today while I plug along in the studio but first I think I’ll listen to a little Leonard Cohen.  Here’s his Tower of Song

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