Making ROOTS AND BRANCHES: “Famous Blue Raincoat”

It came out in 1971, the year I graduated from high school, on Songs of Love and Hate. I was hooked. It manifests a perfect combination of mystery and unintended obfuscation that seems to contain some kind of self-sabotage at the core of one’s being. Cohen continued to play it his …

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On Dictation and Songwriting

In terms of songwriting, the notion of taking Dictation is the process of getting the material from elsewhere. It’s like Jean Cocteau, in his film Orphée, at his car radio, taking dictation straight from the Other. As Cocteau explains, “I feel myself inhabited by a force or being. It gives …

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