Monday, 30 December 2013

Sincerely, Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen in concert. Brisbane, Queensland. 30 November 2013.

Against the backdrop of the star of David, an elderly guy of slight build jogs, nay sprints (I knew it was him then) to the microphone. If I had not seen images of Leonard Cohen, I would have thought it was a roadie on some last minute checks... The spotlight centred on the dark suited and hatted singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. Then he started to sing, inviting his friends, us, to dance. And how the evening danced- from beginning to end. We were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime performance.
1. Dance Me to the End of Love
He was apologising for something- I didn’t quite get what for. Then he professed his love for the tunnels, oh yes the great airport link tunnels of Brisbane. Good to hear someone else who 'appreciates' those tunnels. Get this premier Newman.
2. The Future
3. Bird on the Wire
He introduces his band, and will do so again a few more times during the evening. One thing about Cohen is that he never takes all the credit to himself for the music. Although this is his concert, he generously shares the concert spotlight with the band.
4. Everybody Knows
5. Who by Fire
6. Darkness 

7. Amen
8. Come Healing
9. Lover Lover Lover
10. Anthem 
Second Set
11. Tower of Song
12. Suzanne 
There’s great applause after every song. He kept thanking us for our generosity.
13. Chelsea Hotel #2 
14. The Partisan 
He subtly moves to the shadows as his supporting singers take centre stage.
15. Alexandra Leaving  (performed by Sharon Robinson)
16. I'm Your Man
Then he bows and genuflects and then recites his poetry.
17. A Thousand Kisses Deep (recitation)
18. Hallelujah 
19. Take This Waltz
And so the little elderly gentleman bowed deep and skipped off the stage to sustained applause. At this stage I was quite contented and ready to leave after a couple of hours of great artistic entertainment.

But if I thought that was the main course, i was in for a surprise because what followed was another concert in itself. We were treated to another hour of more of the great classics from the Leonard Cohen high tower of song. Three encores followed before the legend skipped off again. Sincerely I thought. The audience reciprocated with a prolonged standing ovation, perhaps wondering as the man himself thought out loud at the start of the show, if this was the last time they will see the man. We thought that before, but if it indeed proves the last time, well he gave everything he got, and that’s more than enough to cherish for a lifetime or ten, from the man Leonard Cohen.
20. So Long, Marianne
21. Going Home
22. First We Take Manhattan
Encore 2:
23. Famous Blue Raincoat
24. If It Be Your Will (performed by the Webb Sisters)
25. Closing Time
Encore 3:
26. I Tried to Leave You
The show started with an invitation to dance. Fittingly it concluded with another, saved for last.
27. Save the Last Dance for Me (The Drifters cover)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Read - seek mirth and beauty

with music light and gay
Music: Gretchen Peters. Hello Cruel World. Shawn Colvin. All Fall Down.
Mo Yan. Red Sorghum, The Garlic Ballads & Big Breasts & Wide Hips
Running a Marathon for Dummies
Joseph wambaugh. Harbor Nocturne

Music: Davy Graham. Folk Blues & Beyond
Crystal Zevon. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Run To Win, Be A Better Runner
John Joseph Adams. Other Worlds Than These
Mary Murray. When Cane Was King

Music: Willie Nelson. Heroes; Buddy Holly. Listen To Me; All the country
Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson. 26.2 Marathon Stories
Scott Jurek. Eat & Run
Tristan Miller. Run Like Crazy

Music: Neil Young with Crazy Horse. Psychedelic Pill
Peter Ackroyd. The Canterbury Tales

Robert MacFarlane. Mountains of the Mind & The Wild
Fuminori Nakamura. The Thief
Ursula K Le Guin. The Unreal and the Real
Fiction not to bother with:
John Lescroart. David Baldacci. Nelson DeMille. Lee Child. Lawrence Block. Dan Brown.

Fiction that’s not a bother:
Khaled Hosseini. A Thousand Splendid Suns & The Kite Runner
Don DeLillo. Underworld

Richard Dawkins. An Appetite For Wonder
A.C. Grayling. The God Argument
Bill Bryson. A Walk in the Woods
Bernard-Henri Levy. American Vertigo
Don Watson. American Journeys
Philip Caputo. The Longest Road
Lonely Planet USA

Biographies by Graham Nash and on Robert Plant

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Images of Queensland - Gladstone region

Gladstone’s first town hall was completed in 1869, but this building which is now Gladstone’s Art Gallery & Museum was built in 1934.
The Gladstone Power Station with Mount Larcom in the background.  The 153m-tall stacks on the Gladstone – Mount Larcom Road, have been a dominant feature in the Gladstone landscape and history since the 1960s. The Gladstone Region hosts two of the world’s largest alumina refineries, Queensland’s largest multi commodity port and a number of other major industrial giants, including the fledgling Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry.
Cattle crossing at Mount Alma Road west of Calliope. The primary industry of beef cattle production is a traditional agricultural base of the region around Gladstone and contributes millions of dollars annually to the economy.

A great stop for a pie, a burger and something to drink is the Mt Larcom café.

A pair of nocturnal Tawny frogmouths perched low down and camouflaged on a tree branch off The Narrows, an estuarine area near Targinnie.
Mt Larcom

 Many pipelines lead to Gladstone.

Trucks transporting pipes heading west up the Dawson Highway on the Callide range.

A dead wabbit beside a pile of timber in a rural homestead. 
Some people like to keep rabbits as pets, but in the wild, the rabbit is Australia's most destructive introduced pest. 
Compared to rabbits, hares are regarded as a minor pest.

"I heard that," said the bull. "What’s the difference? Don't talk bull…"

Rabbits and hares compete with livestock for food, increasing grazing pressure.

A brolga roadkill. 
Brolgas in flight.
Brolgas grounded.
And penned in with bulls.

Ducks in Lake Callemondah.
Port Curtis reaches far and wide especially at high tide.

A flying fox colony of thousands in trees in a creek in Calliope.

Bats taking to the sky at sunset.

Like a bird on a wire.

Sunset in Port Alma.

Forget the Hollywood Hills. There’s Hollyhills right here in Raglan.
Skippy: "This is not Hollywood."

I've been working on the railroad.

The sun sets over camp in Calliope.

One can camp on either side of the Calliope river, in tents on the rocky river flats on the southern side, or in a camper or trailer on gum tree shaded grassed sites on the elevated northern bank. 
Fishing is a popular pastime near the weir.

Slithering away.

How’s the serenity? 
So much serenity.

Fishing at Auckland inlet near the Gladstone yacht club.

Seagulls at the Boat Harbour.

The Port of Gladstone area is important for cultural and social reasons. It existed well before the Great Barrier Reef was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981. With the range of industries serviced by the Port of Gladstone, it is one of the most studied ports in Australia. In June 2012, the World Heritage Committee issued Decision 36 Com 7B.8, requesting the Australian Government to review the management of the Port of Gladstone in respect of the status of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.