How DrHGuy First Connected With Leonard Cohen: 2. Anjani Sends DrHGuy Pandoracious Response


Update (2017): Introduction

This is the second in a set of 1HeckOfAGuy1 entries that I am reposting in response to some newly minted fans asking how l first came to meet Leonard Cohen:



The content below was originally published Aug 16, 2006.

Anjani Writes Again

Flaunting her perspicacity, a reader, Mrs. Linklater, presciently posed this rhetorical question after perusing my post, Anjani – A Muse Amused?, which was itself written in response to the appearance of a comment by Anjani to a still earlier post I wrote lauding her album, Blue Alert:

Why does this all make me think of Pandora’s Box, as it were?

I’ll leave it to you, gentle reader, to supply your own rhetorical interpretation of and answer to Mrs. L’s query, but it does appear that the story isn’t over.

DrHGuy Promoted To Rascally Scamp

The latest episode in this mini-series has arrived in the form of this comment from Anjani appended to Anjani: A Muse Amused?

Dear HGuy,

I write regarding a number of points:

1. As a fellow proponent of proper syntax and spelling, kindly correct the typo in that comment from “my” to “me”

2. The Contact and Subscribe tabs at the top of the page don’t lead anywhere but home.

3. You rascally scamp! Never would I consider a fourway with Tina and Joan Jett…however, Tina and Tanita remain an intriguing possibility.

Yours Truly,

Comment by anjani — August 12, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

To Recap: Anjani and DrHGuy

Anjani Thomas is an altogether impressive singer-songwriter, whose album, Blue Alert, has garnered critical acclaim and a growing audience. It has also become my personal soundtrack since I belatedly discovered it three weeks ago. The songs from Blue Alert, suffused with Anjani’s smoky voice, are simultaneously a seduction into and a requiem for love that the singer unflinchingly and, indeed, passionately advocates all the while acknowledging that love is, in the end, not only insufficient to rescue us from the human condition but is also itself a source of pain.

And, it must be said, or, at any rate, I’m certainly going to say it, Anjani is easy on the eyes.

My primary occupation these days, on the other hand, is dashing off posts on the decantation of ketchup, recipes for chocolate infused vodka, hacks for opening combination locks, the styles of bloggers in Ohio and Australia, the Gay Games Rowing Matches in Crystal Lake, and, on occasion, my admiration for and fantasies about gorgeous women who sing tremendous songs.

And my looks are, if not a burden on the the eyes, an acquired taste.

DrHGuy & Anjani Up In A Tree – OK, Up Two Different Trees

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  1. was a predecessor of Cohencentric []

How DrHGuy First Connected With Leonard Cohen: 1. Anjani – A Muse Amused?


Update (2017): Introduction

Some newly minted fans have asked how l first came to meet Leonard Cohen. Now, multiple “Leonard & me” narratives have been published recently featuring folks who performed or collaborated with him, those who interviewed or photographed the Canadian singer-songwriter only to subsequently realize they had bonded into intimate associates, others who met him by sheer serendipity, and still others who came into Leonard’s sphere of grace because of family connections, geographical proximity, mutual sexual attraction, overlapping friendships, or shared involvement in music, Judaism, poetry, food, literature, Zen … My story is less intellectually/spiritually profound than, say, accounts of spending hours sipping coffee and smoking exotic tobaccos while debating Kabbalistic archetypes with Leonard, but it does have the merit of being unique.

It begins with my July 25, 2006 1HeckOfAGuy.com1 review of the Leonard Cohen – Anjani Thomas collaboration, Blue Alert. The next step is described in the Aug 8, 2006 followup entry I’ve reposted below:

Anjani Re DrHGuy: Jejune, Yet Not Without A Certain Charm

This Sunday past, the Heck Of A Guy Blog had an unexpected, but unquestionably welcome, visitor, who left, as a calling card, a comment on Music Recommendation That Will Make You Want To Kiss Me.

Go ahead, check it out at the bottom of that post; I know you’re curious about who it is. I’ll wait here, humming along with the Jeopardy tune that plays while each contestant scrawled his or her “Final Jeopardy” answer, in the form of a question.

Cool comment, eh?

And, take a look this screenshot of the Press page of the Blue Alert web site:

presskiss500OK, before I get the emails and comments informing me that, as that New Yorker cartoon has it, “on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” I am all too aware that that the comment could have actually been written by a large, malodorous, unshaven, chain smoking publicist’s assistant of indeterminate gender paid scarcely more than a living wage to reinforce and influence impressionable bloggers who write positive reviews of Anjani’s music. But, you know what? I don’t think Anjani rolls that way.

In any case, I’m certainly choosing to believe otherwise.

In fact, I think if I had handled things differently, …

Where I Might Have Gone Wrong

After re-reading my review of Blue Alert, I recognize that it may have been well put yet off-putting and that, despite my enthusiasm for her music, I might have constructed a more seductive post.

I now realize, for example, that labeling one section, “Lenny & Anji,” could be considered, at least by the more staid sort, as a tad presumptuous – or even flippant. Further, I would admit that comparing my serendipitous discovery of the Blue Alert album to the blind date that led to the catastrophe known as my first marriage was not an altogether ideal association.

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  1. was a predecessor of Cohencentric []

Photos: Leonard Cohen Presents Anjani – Paris 2007

anj3These shots from Leonard Cohen Presents Anjani at the New Morning Club in Paris on July 11, 2007 show Anjani Thomas (and Leonard Cohen) performing in support of the Blue Alert album. Photos by Chris Holmes. More photos, information, and video can be found at Photos & First-Person Account: Leonard Cohen and Anjani Thomas Appear In Paris 2007.



Video: Leonard Cohen, Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, Barenaked Ladies – Toronto 2006


Two years before the 2008 World Tour, Leonard Cohen spent the Saturday afternoon of May 13th, 2006 listening to – and occasionally singing along with – Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, and the Barenaked Ladies performing his songs. An earlier post about this event can be found at Videos & Photos: Leonard Cohen, Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, Barenaked Ladies At Indigo – Toronto 2006. Now, a new video has surfaced. While this imperfect video covers only a portion of So Long, Marianne and adds little to the previously published videos and photos of this show, I’m posting it in the belief that any documentation or reminder of this delightful event is worthwhile.

Leonard Cohen – Toronto 2006
Video by japewisteria

From the YouTube description:

We didn’t have iPhone’s or GoPro’s back then. I recorded this on a Canon portable camera, which I regrettably forgot I had on me till the mid-point of the song. Anjani, Ron Sexsmith, Stephen Page from Barenaked Ladies, and a very energetic guitar player on backup. This was a rare Toronto appearance that coincided with the launch of the Book of Longing, his last book of poetry in 2006. There was no signing. It was the last time I saw him in person, and the closest I ever came to him. So long, Mr. Cohen. You will be missed and cherished.

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Linda Sturgess, who alerted me to this video.

Animation Of Leonard Cohen Dancing With Anjani Soars In Popularity

anjanidceSurprisingly (at least to me), Leonard Cohen’s death triggered multiple postings of several of Cohencentric’s Leonard Cohen Animations. The gif of Leonard Cohen dancing with Anjani Thomas, from the official Leonard Cohen – “Because Of” Video, has been the most popular with hundreds of postings since the Nov 10 announcement.

View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations

4 Photos Of Leonard Cohen At The Richard Goodall Gallery

Leonard Cohen @Richard Goodall Gallery, 8th July

Photos taken by Neil Jaworski at the July 8, 2007 opening of A Private Gaze – The Art of Leonard Cohen at Richard Goodall Gallery in Manchester. View these and other photos at Picssr: Neil Jaworski. Note that Anjani Thomas is also seen in the below photo.

Mr Cohen’s artwork from that exhibition can be seen at Leonard Cohen at Richard Goodall Gallery.

For more about this event, see Leonard Cohen at the preview of his art exhibition in Manchester by Aidan O’Rourke (Aidan: July 8, 2007)

Leonard Cohen @Richard Goodall Gallery, 8th July

Leonard Cohen @Richard Goodall Gallery, 8th July

Leonard Cohen @Richard Goodall Gallery, 8th July