Tag: Leonard Cohen

The syllogism of musical identity

People’s sense of identity is very closely related to the music they likePeople stop listening to new (categories of) music after the age of 33 It can therefore be argued that the identity formation process gradually slows down and almost completely stops after the age of 33. This crude syllogism of (musical) identity bothers me….


Did vulgarism kill the voice of the outsider?

Journalists, police officers, scientists, they investigate everything, and still, sometimes they just forget or ignore the obvious, the phenomenon right in front of them, hiding in plain sight. The rise of vulgarism didn’t start in 2016, but it did gain momentum in that horrible year, the same year beauty and empathy lost its voice, maybe…


We are the music makers (1873-1964-1992)

End of year, time to take stock. Time to say goodbye to ideas that have done nothing more but collecting dust. Time to address the most annoying part of getting older; becoming a grumpy old man no one wants to listen to, someone who is increasingly living in the past and only deals in comparisons…


(Be an) Exile on Main St.

Most albums I instantly like or dislike. Some artists I have to get used to. Enter exhibit one: Leonard Cohen. I failed to appreciate Mr. Cohen for a very long time. I liked cover versions of his songs (‘Avalanche’ in the version of Nick Cave, ‘I can’t forget’ in the version of The Pixies), but…


Missed Opportunities

One of John Lennon’s many contributions to everyday philosophy is his observation that ‘life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’. It crossed my mind when I read Glen Matlock’s affectionate words in a Pete Shelley obituary. Talking about the brilliance of the Buzzcocks and taking the time to go to…


Fantasy Football

If the land of music existed, which team would it send to the World Cup Football? Which players would be selected for which positions? Who would be their coach and what type of system would they play? Endless variations are possible, all with their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Numerous decisions have to be made, and…


One set of lines to rule ’em all

I stumbled out of bed/ I got ready for the struggle/ I smoked a cigarette/ And I tightened up my gut. (Leonard Cohen, I can’t forget) There are better opening lines. There are more philosophical opening lines. There are more poetic opening lines. There are more beautiful opening lines. There are definitely more cryptic opening…


This one goes out to the one I love to hate

I’m not starting a political blog, but with the days of contemplation approaching, I dare you to think about the following: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” (Isaac…


Better listen to Leonard

People often die just after their birthday. It is like they need that last event, the last ceremony, to say goodbye to life. Last week Leonard Cohen died. Not after his birthday, but just after Donald Trump won the US presidential elections. Coincidence? Probably, although I can imagine Trump’s election killed the last bit of…


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