“Yet another thread unraveling from the very fabric of society.”

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Legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen passed away on November 10, 2016.

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love

The Crack In Everything Widens: A Dirge For Leonard Cohen By Sezin Koehler

Photo from: www.leonardcohen.com

Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker

Leonard Cohen at home in Los Angeles in September, 2016.

At eighty-two, the troubadour has another album coming. Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny.

Leonard Cohen’s official audio for You Want It Darker.

Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker By David Remnick in the New Yorker

 

David Bowie 1947-2016

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The first time I saw David Bowie, he was staring back at me from the record cover of ‘Hunky Dory.’ Someone had left the record on an upright piano in a hall while I was away at summer camp, and before I first heard ‘Changes’ and ‘Life on Mars?,’ I was perplexed by this strange man who looked like a woman. It would have been very early in my childhood, but it was to have a lasting influence in my thinking about music.

Billy Bragg, a voice of reason in all the noise, said it is “… not only the timing of his death and that fact that he was 69 that links Alan Rickman to David Bowie … both were working class kids from council estates who went to art school where they gained enough confidence in their own creativity that they were able to go on to find fame and fortune … The social mobility that Rickman and Bowie experienced is increasingly stifled.”

That would truly be a shame, because the world needs more people like David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

Starman. Life on Mars. Space Oddity. Heroes. Ashes to Ashes. Under Pressure. Let’s Dance. Modern Love. Black Star. So many songs, sounds and visions. His career spanned six decades.

heroes

Perhaps his shape-shifting nature was what made him so popular. Perhaps it was his extensive collaboration with musicians and vocalists (some with successful results-think Freddie Mercury, others less so-think Mick Jagger). Perhaps it was the staying power of someone who met with failure and bounced back, wrestling with personal demons and using music as catharsis.

He captured people’s imagination in a way that made it all right to be different. In fact, he actually made it cool to be different from the norm and challenge the status quo. According to Annie Lennox, Bowie was “…a quintessential visionary, pushing the limits of his shape-shifting persona. The ultimate iconoclast – gracious, dangerous and legendary.”

He was a black star, but only because we live in a world in which all the characters, as David Bowie’s imagination created them, could exist, however alien. He will continue to inspire as the music lives on. We can be heroes, but only if we can be ourselves, allow young people to imagine, and create visions that resonate and transcend beyond the prosaic realities of life.

Starman – 1972

Ashes to Ashes – 1980

 

Chris Hadfield singing Space Oddity (revised) in Space – 2013

Melodians Steel Orchestra – The Man Who Sold the World for Jeremy Deller’s English Magic – 2014

Blackstar – 2016

References:

Hitt, Carolyn (January 16, 2016) Working class heroes Bowie and Rickman were forging their career paths at a time when the arts were seen as a necessity rather than a luxury, Wales Online

 

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia dies at 66

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“My father and all my brothers played guitar, so before I picked it up, before I could speak, I was listening. Before I started to play, I knew every rhythm of the flamenco. I knew the feeling and the meaning of the music, so when I started to play, I went directly to the sound I had in my ear.”

 

 

World-renowned Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia has died aged 66 

Pete Seeger, US folk singer, dies aged 94

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Through the years, Mr. Seeger remained determinedly optimistic. “The key to the future of the world,” he said in 1994, “is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25924350

Zolas – Knot in My Heart

The strangest thing about this story is that we lived (past tense) across from the house in which this band lives (or at least part of this band.) And yes, I heard, when it was late at night, when was trying to sleep, the bass guitar to this very song. But that’s a good thing. I want to hear bands and people playing music, even if it’s on the porch at 3 am and I work the next day. Creativity takes priority.