I vividly remember my family's teasing when someone at the dining table (often but not always me) announced with fresh awe and delight something everyone else already knew: "Look who discovered America!" they would jibe, and I sensed great affection and pride underlying the ridicule. Well Savtadotty has just discovered Leonard Cohen.
It's not as though I'd never heard of him, mind you. Just that his material in his own voice seemed too dark for me to enjoy before. Then I heard Rufus Wainwright's version of Hallelujah on Want Two, and I had a revelation: either Cohen's songs were getting more cheerful or I was growing ready for him. So yesterday, browsing at the Third Ear, I took home the DVD of a tribute concert produced by the venerable Hal Willner, and performed by some pretty cool cats: the Wainwrights (all except Loudon), one of my new favorites Joan Wasser, Bono (forgive me for mixing him up with Sonny Bono, 'cause that's just how old I am), Nick Cave, Anthony, Leonard Cohen himself, and talented others I had never heard before. They called the concert Came So Far For Beauty, most appropriately because it was performed in the Sydney (Australia) Opera House, but for me it meant a distance travelled in time as well.
Leonard Cohen appears as usual in a suit, and that just tickles me, because he looks to me like a college professor, a surgeon, Philip Roth, or a guest at a funeral. I didn't even know he was still alive. Excuse me while I go immerse myself in fandom. Look who discovered Canada!