The setting at the Copley Symphony Hall is not unlike Leonard Cohen himself. With its stained-glass windows and walls of intricately sculpted marble, the building seems as though it should house sermons rather than symphonies. But at the center of the basilican architecture lies the stage itself, lit in smokey reds and swanky purples that would feel more at home in a brothel than a cathedral. The juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane has long been a tenet of Cohenâ€™s distinguished career, which has been as defined by prayer songs like â€œIf It Be Your Willâ€ as it has by the lurid recounting of trysts with Janis Joplin.
â€œIndie record stores,â€ says Chrys Hansen of Modern Music, the Caribbeanâ€™s most visited record store, â€œare where you go when you first realize there’s a whole new world of music for you to explore.â€ The Internet notwithstanding as perhaps one’s first stop when searching out what the world has to offer musically, Hansenâ€™s words ring sentimental and otherwise true.
Independent record stores, unlike the CD sections of Wal-Mart and Best Buy,Â often featureÂ carefully procured selections of good popular music and local and alternative groups that are either too vulgar or not Hoobastank-y enough for other outlets. The quality of independent record stores is only enhanced by the personal touch offered by the staff.
Leonard Cohen has seen the future, and it is busy. The legendary singer/songwriter/poet/novelist has recently emerged from a fifteen-year absence to embark on a North American tour that includes a stop at San Diego’s Copley Symphony Hall on April 7th.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on March 2nd, and can be bought here. They’re a little on the pricey side, but how often do you get to see a living legend perform?
Mr. Cohen will also bring his songs of love and hate to this year’s Coachella festival, where he’ll be playing alongside Paul McCartney and Morrissey, who are no slouches either. But if you can’t make it to any of his tour dates, you can console yourself with the forthcoming double-CD and DVD set Live In London, set for release on March 31st.
You can also listen to his recent Beacon Theatre performance here, thanks to NPR’s All Songs Considered.
The remarkably active 74-year old has also been making the media rounds lately. The New York Times recently wrote a nice piece about Cohen and the unfortunate circumstances that prompted his new tour, and The New Yorker just published a great new poem of his, which you should read right now.
Tour dates after the jump.