Old Ideas is Leonard Cohen's new album, officially released today. I bought it yesterday from the Amazon MP3 store, and I've been listening to nothing else, ever since. I'm a big Leonard Cohen fan, and it seems to me that this album represents a kind of distilled essence of Cohen, like a martial arts form conducted by a wizened master who reduces each movement to its sparest, most essential gesture.
Cohen's voice is so whiskey-gravelley here that he goes all the way through Tom Waits at times and enters Isaac Hayes territory, challenging the woofer under my desk. He's given up nearly any pretense of singing, and the best word for what he does on Old Ideas is "reciting," and this low-down-dirty spoken word is backed with pure and angelic female singers, which evokes Jennifer Warnes's classic disc of Cohen covers, Famous Blue Raincoat. The instrumentation is a bit of country, a bit of jazz, and stripped down to essentials: brushed cymbals, muted horns, a hint of klezmer clarinet.
The lyrics are as deceptively simple as the rest, at first blush just more of the Cohen we know and love, but the more I listen to them, the more I find myself falling into them. You can read the full lyrics here, and NPR is streaming the whole album here.
dj BC writes, “In 2006 I mixed a bunch of New Orleans artists with Wu Tang rappers to make the record ‘Wu Orleans.’ 11 years later, here’s part two, with ten new songs. Free MP3 download of both albums here. A very limited run of vinyl with all 20 Wu Orleans songs on two records, […]
It’s been seven years since we previewed Theft: A History of Music, a comic book that explains the complicated history of music, borrowing, control and copyright, created by a dynamic duo of witty copyright law professors from Duke University as a followup to the greatest law-comic ever published: the book was due out years ago, but the untimely and tragic death of illustrator Keith Aoki delayed it — until today.
Announced today: So It Is, a new album of Cuban-inspired jazz from the monumentally amazing Preservation Hall Jazz Band (previously), due out on April 21. Available today: Santiago, an instrumental track from the album that will MAKE YOU DANCE.
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Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]