I'm very honored to be part of the Leonard Cohen exhibition opening at the MACM next week.
I recorded my cover of "I Can't Forget" in a cheap motel room just outside of Montreal, in homage to the image that song inspired in me when I first heard it. The song will be played in an installation at the MAC along with covers by Julia Holter, Moby, The National, and many others whom I admire. I wrote a text to accompany the piece that you can read below.
When I was 14, a boy sent me a pirated cassette tape of a Leonard Cohen cover album called I'm Your Fan. The boy was handsome and loved poetry, and his father was in prison for gauging a woman's eye out in a bar. I was of course desperately in love with him. The songs on that tape were all about lust and longing, and they seemed to provide a perfect soundtrack for our burgeoning, yet ultimately doomed romance.
When I listened to the stories inside of those songs, I always envisioned myself as the protagonist – the seeker, not the sought. I was the one 'burning up the road, heading down to Pheonix' where I had this old address of someone that I knew. I pictured myself there in the future, a somewhat worn out, tattered drag version of myself in a roadside hotel, on a quixotian mission to gather fragments of lost romances together in order to reassemble them into some picture of myself that I could recognize. As I listened to those songs then I felt a duty well up inside of me, – a duty to author a life for myself that would live up to the passion, romance, and tragedy of all those prescient Leonard Cohen lines.
And here I am. And here we are now. In the conscious crosshairs of time's arrow.