Nonfiction: Leonard Bernstein Through a Daughter’s Eyes

In “Famous Father Girl,” Jamie Bernstein is a warm, wry observer, peeking from the wings as her father glories, sifting through the jumbo pill box when he falls apart.
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Leaner, meaner Leonard Fournette primed for huge 2018 season

Unsatisfied despite a solid rookie year, the running back has dropped 17 pounds and looks ready to run wild this fall. His teammates are believers.
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The best-case scenario for Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors

If Leonard is locked in and returns to his MVP form, the Raptors should project as a legitimate threat to the Warriors, Celtics and Rockets.
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How LeBron’s move changes Kawhi Leonard trade talks

Our experts discuss L.A.’s new complications in a Leonard trade and what other options San Antonio could consider.
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Wait, Leonard Bernstein Wrote a ‘Peter Pan’ Musical?

It’s not the Mary Martin vehicle you loved as a child. But Bernstein’s version is getting a rare revival at the Bard SummerScape festival.
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Seven best Kawhi Leonard trades we’d like to see

The All-Star forward reportedly wants out of San Antonio. Our NBA Insiders give seven deals that work.
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The uncomfortable silence of Kawhi Leonard

What’s behind the tension between the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard’s camp? And how will the NBA’s most fascinating mystery end?
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Source: Spurs’ Leonard won’t return Thursday

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will not return Thursday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
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Blake Bortles, Leonard Fournette overcome poor Jaguars defense to beat Steelers

The Jaguars couldn’t count on their elite defense, but the offense proved up to the task to propel Jacksonville past Pittsburgh to the AFC title game.
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Spurs’ Parker: Leonard back in ‘couple weeks’

Tony Parker estimated Kawhi Leonard would return to action “in a couple weeks, three weeks,” after working out with the two-time All-Star during his injury rehab.
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Best rookie performances of Week 5: Leonard Fournette runs through Steelers

Best rookie performances of Week 5: Leonard Fournette runs through Steelers
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Newcastle health boss Sir Leonard Fenwick sacked

Longest serving NHS chief executive Sir Leonard Fenwick called it “an orchestrated witch hunt”.
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Star Trek’s Terry Farrell Engaged to Leonard Nimoy’s Son Adam Nimoy

Adam Nimoy, Terry FarrellOkay, Trekkies, get ready to geek out at this beautiful news…
Don’t tell Worf, but Terry Farrell, who played fan-favorite character Jadzia Dax on the ’90s series Star Trek: Deep…

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Leonard Cohen’s Favorite Greek Singer: Athena Andreadis

Many years ago while visiting Greece, Leonard Cohen was asked who his favorite Greek singer was. “Athena,” he replied without hesitation. While making his final CD, “You Want It Darker,” Cohen found out that Athena had moved to Los Angeles and immediately asked her to sing the chorus of his song “Traveling Light.”

Before moving to Los Angeles, Athena had been on a dynamic trajectory in Europe releasing three albums and performing at the Glastonbury Festival, Royal Festival Hall and throughout France and Greece. The Guardian called her “brave and original” and The Daily Mail wrote that Athena was “Radiating class and oodles of talent… a voice blessed… this rare diamond ought to shine.” Here in the U.S., Billboard hailed her as “a talented rising pop star” with “a voice blessed.”

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Produced by Ethan Allen, Athena’s debut U.S. CD “Ready for the Sun” features studio greats Adam Levy (Norah Jones), Deron Johnson (Miles Davis), Jimmy Paxson (Stevie Nicks), Michael Ward (Ben Harper) and Jonathan Flaugher (Ryan Adams).

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Photo by Monika Lightstone

I was fortunate to see Athena perform many of the songs from the CD at Hotel Cafe last Tuesday. Personally I loved “Autopilot,” “Everything To Me” and the soulful, contemplative ballads “Where Wildflowers Grow” and “All of You.” In the tradition of Adele, Whitney Houston, and Aimee Mann, Athena’s voice is both heartwarming and majestic.

I asked Athena about the CD and she said that it was “about being ready for the light even in the darkest of places where our hearts have broken and it’s cold, where we have shrunk and dried up and it feels so very small and scary to be exposed, yet knowing, as so many poets – from Rumi to Mary Oliver to Leonard Cohen – have pointed to, that it’s those very cracks, those wounds, where the light enters, the joy too I feel seeing that people are gathering the courage to live in harmony with one another and with our own self within and that ‘peace’ to become the natural, the unquestionable, the mainstream.”

For more information please visit www.AthenaAndreadis.com

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Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen dies aged 82

The singer-songwriter and artist Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82.
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Tributes to ‘godfather of gloom’ Leonard Cohen

Tributes have been paid to Leonard Cohen, the so-called “godfather of gloom”, whose influence as a poet and songwriter has endured throughout his career.
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Leonard Cohen, Epic and Enigmatic Songwriter, Is Dead at 82

Mr. Cohen was an unlikely and reluctant pop star, but his lyrics captivated other artists and gave him a reputation as “the master of erotic despair.”
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Without Further Ado, Here Is Every Cover Of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ We Could Find

We know there is a secret chord that every musician in the whole wide world has played, and it pleases us all. Or rather, chords. More specifically, the chords that make up “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, whose death was announced via Facebook on Thursday. And actually, some renditions might please us more than others. 

More famous than the original is Jeff Buckley’s version, an emotional take whose quiet intensity most artists find themselves trying to imitate. It’s perhaps most closely followed by Rufus Wainwright’s version, which appeared on the soundtrack to millennial favorite “Shrek.” K.D. Lang has covered the song, as has Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, several contenders on “The Voice,” more than a few (very impressive) a cappella groups and dozens of other instrumentalists and vocalists alike.

Below we’ve compiled a Spotify playlist with 141 versions of the song after Cohen’s original. That’s 10-and-a-half hours of “Hallelujah,” plus a few YouTube videos for good measure. Enjoy.

But wait, there’s more …

 

Some kids on Russia’s version of “The Voice”:

LeAnn Rimes:

Bon Jovi:

Norwegian “Pop Idol” winner Kurt Nilsen:

”The X Factor” finalist Alexandra Burke:

”The X Factor” finalist Jeff Gutt:

YouTuber Hayley Richman:

YouTuber Luciana Zogbi:

Anyanya Udongwo on Ukraine’s version of “The Voice”:

Anna Clendening on “America’s Got Talent”:

A band called Gungor:

YouTuber Kimberly Freeman:

Straalen McCallum from Australia:

And, finally, Celine Dion:

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Leonard RTW Spring 2016

Yiqing Yin is moving Leonard ever further away from its roots as a purveyor of ladylike silk prints with a strong Asian influence.
 
For her spring collection for the French label, she created patterns in a kaleidoscope of primary colors that were inspired by Pop Art and graffiti. They included a multicolored ballpoint pen scrawl, hand-painted checks and collages incorporating newspaper print and cartoons. A cocktail dress with a fan-pleated bustier top, for example, looked as if it had been made from the torn pages of a magazine. Like most of the outfits, it was worn with sneakers to convey a nonchalant attitude.
 
“It’s like color therapy — colors that generate a strong emotion with a lot of innocence and purity,” said Yin, dressed in black from head to toe. “It’s a shriek of delight to get out of winter and monotony.”
 
Yin’s deft hand with pleating was still apparent in this collection, in particular on a red eelskin bustier dress, yet the lineup lacked the sophisticated textural interplays that have become a hallmark of her tenure. If one thing has been made clear in recent years, it’s that Leonard cannot live on prints alone.

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Joan Rivers, Leonard Nimoy and More Honored During Emmys’ In Memoriam Segment

Sunday’s Emmy viewers said goodbye once again to Joan Rivers, Leonard Nimoy and the other entertainers who’ve died throughout the past year. Set to the sounds of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the tribute spotlighted the following people:

Mike Nichols, Polly Bergen, Jerry Weintraub, B.B. King, Wes Craven, Gary Owens, Clark Terry, Anne Meara, Taylor Negron, Jack Rollins, Martin Milner, Bud Yorkin, Stuart Scott, Brandon Stoddard, Marv Adelson, Bob Simon, Patrick Macnee, Harris Wittels, Glen A. Larson, Stan Freberg, James Best, Jenna McMahon, Harve Bennett, Ed Sabol, Ann Marcus, Joan Rivers, Ernest Kinoy, Marty Pasetta, Gilbert Lewis, Albert Maysles, Sam Simon, Jack Carter, Dick Van Patten, Ian Fraser, Jan Hooks, Elizabeth Pena, Howard Lipstone, Frank Gifford, Judy Carne, Ray Charles, Rod Taylor, Donna Douglas, Richard Dysart, Joseph Sargent, Edward Herrmann, Jayne Meadows, Alex Rocco, Dean Jones and Leonard Nimoy.

 

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Here’s a Sneak Peek at Leonard and Penny’s Big Bang Theory Wedding! (It’s On, People!)

Looks like we’re going to have a Big Bang wedding! Despite the fact that Leonard (Johnny Galecki) admitted to kissing another woman, he and Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) have landed in Las Vegas and are ready…


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Hal Leonard Guitar Method – Guitar Setup & Maintenance: Learn to Properly Adjust Your Guitar for Peak Playability and Optimum Sound

Hal Leonard Guitar Method – Guitar Setup & Maintenance: Learn to Properly Adjust Your Guitar for Peak Playability and Optimum Sound


Used – (Guitar Method). Here’s your complete guide to getting your guitars to play and sound their best! In a convenient 6 x9 size, this full-color edition features step-by-step instructions and photos that teach you how to adjust the action, truss rod, bridge saddles, nut, intonation and more on electric and acoustic guitars. Basic electronic repairs are covered as well. If you’ve been timid about “looking under the hood” of your guitar but don’t want to keep spending money at the repair shop,

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Remembering Leonard Nimoy

I knew it was coming.

I’d steeled myself for grim news when I read earlier in the week that he’d been admitted to a hospital due to chest pains, but that didn’t make it any less of a gut punch to actually see the headline that Leonard Nimoy, 83, was gone.

This one hurts for a variety of reasons. The older you get, the more aware you become of the immutable passage of time. Your own mortality starts feeling more starkly pronounced, as does that of the people close to you, and the people you admire. Certainly Nimoy falls into that latter camp. While he amassed a raft of impressive accomplishments during his many years in and out of the film industry, it’s of course for his pointy-eared alter ego as the original Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock, such an indelible part of so many of our lives, that he’ll rightly be remembered, in death just as he was in life.

With Spock, the dispassionate, half-human, half-Vulcan officer who manned the science station on the U.S.S. Enterprise, Nimoy found the kind of character performers both clamor for and disdain (often at the same time). He assured himself a place of permanence in the pop culture conversation while also chaining himself to that role forever and always. And while he attempted to branch out in other directions following Trek‘s cancellation in 1969 (including a two-season stint as “The Great Paris” on TV’s Mission: Impossible), it wasn’t long before Spock came calling once again, and Nimoy answered.

While reticent at first (he even wrote an autobiography in the early ’70s with the pointed title I Am Not Spock), the actor did reprise his role for the Trek animated show, and eventually returned with the rest of the crew for 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which in turn launched a string of five movie sequels over the next twelve years (three of which Nimoy himself was intimately involved with shaping). By the end of that run, which included a guest shot on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Nimoy had long since come to be viewed by many (including the late Trek creator Gene Roddenberry himself), as “the conscience of Star Trek.” And indeed he was.

By all accounts a gregarious and self-effacing guy, Nimoy nonetheless took his role, his work, and his fans seriously, and he was beloved right back as a result. Despite some early headaches in the post-TV, pre-movie Trek era thanks to typecasting, it’s plain to see that the franchise gave Nimoy far more than it ever took from him. (His second bio, from the mid-’90s, seemed to reflect his own acknowledgment of this fact, bearing the amended title I Am Spock.) Indeed, from the ’60s right up to his death, he never stopped working, including a particularly memorable (to me) voiceover, and directing the hit comedy Three Men and a Baby in 1987.

More than that, he was also the perfect point man to help pass the torch of the original Trek crew to its new iteration via his key role in 2009’s J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Trek reboot, which gave us this memorable moment between the two Spocks. By itself that would have been fitting enough goodbye, but they found a way to include him in 2013’s sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness as well. At the time, I thought Nimoy’s cameo there was reflective of lazy writing more than anything else. But looking at it now, I view it as a little gift from the filmmakers to us. One final chance to spend some too-fleeting moments with an actor and character we loved so much.

For the perfect perspective on his passing, here’s Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet, from five days ago. LLAP indeed, Mr. Nimoy. Thanks for giving us so many perfect moments for our memories.


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Leonard Cohen’s Triumphant “Problems”

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The mere release of “Popular Problems,” two days after Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday last month, is remarkable in and of itself. (How many 80-year-old sex symbols and style icons are there?) But it also caps a decade in which Cohen conquered troubling neuroses and fears to mount worldwide tours that were invocations, convocations and spiritual gatherings, not to mention money-makers, that returned Cohen, who’d been swindled out of his life savings, to financial security. His is one of the more amazing runs in music history.

Nomen est omen. The name determines the life. In Cohen’s case, he has become the priest, and not just for a cadre of followers around the world; he is also a seeker, a pilgrim ever struggling to find satori — in wine, drugs, women, in isolation and among the world, in words and in song.

“Popular Problems” finds Cohen’s baritone deepened, his voice more raspy, but each word distinct, each phrase launched like an arrow at a target. The accompaniments, produced by Patrick Leonard, are spare — piano, violin, a chorus of back-up singers, digitalized beats that are melodic in contrast to Cohen’s own probing lyrics.

This may be my favorite collection since 1988’s “I’m Your Man.” It is about optimism in the face of age, war, terrorism and the ongoing challenges of love. Cohen opens with “Slow,” a sly declaration of style over age, singing “It’s not because I’m old / It’s not the life I led / I always like it slow / That’s what my momma said.”

“Slow,” however, is no oldster’s apologia, but rather a credo akin to slow cooking, or slow networking, an acknowledgement that slow and mindful is how to savor life — a feat Cohen has spent a lifetime pursuing.

A decade ago, Cohen was ready to retire. He had become overwhelmed by a fear of disappointing his live audiences that he could not go on stage. Then, after becoming a victim of embezzlement forced him back to work, Cohen took up a tour so arduous — filled with three-hour shows each night — a tour so powerful, so joyous, so satisfying, that in just three years, Cohen earned his way back to financial stability. “Popular Problems” is a capstone to the artist’s triumph over his own demons. In “A Street,” he sings, “The party’s over / But I’ve landed on my feet / I’ll be standing on this corner / where there used to be a street.”

The nine songs on “Popular Problems” present meditations on Jewish heritage replete with biblical imagery (“Born in Chains”), and applies that imagery to Hurricane Katrina (“Samson in New Orleans”), love and love lost (“My Oh My,” “Did I Ever Love You”) and war (“Almost Like the Blues”) and songs that combine them all (“Nevermind”), tackled with both seriousness and self-deprecating humor. As he sings in “Almost Like the Blues,” “There’s torture and there’s killing / There’s all my bad reviews / The war, the children missing / It’s almost like the blues.”

One cannot read the lyrics on “Popular Problems” without appreciation for the zen of Cohen: His words are heavy with meaning, with counterpoints of humor, irony or cynicism; there’s meter to his lines and, occasionally, a clever rhyme. His lyrics present a man at home with his past and with his cultural tradition. He sings, “My father says I’m chosen / My mother says I’m not / I listened to their story / Of the Gypsies and the Jews / It was good, it wasn’t boring / It was almost like the blues.” He even ends his album on a declaration of optimism as plain as it is direct, “You Got Me Singing.”

“You got me singing / Even tho’ the news is bad / You got me singing/ The only song I ever had … You got me thinking / I’d like to carry on.”

Rave on, Leonard Cohen. Happy birthday, and many more. Eighty is but a stepping stone in your Tower of Song.

This article originally appeared in print in The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles
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The Bride’s Wedding Music Collection: Hal Leonard Listen Online

The Bride’s Wedding Music Collection: Hal Leonard Listen Online


New – (Piano/Vocal/Guitar Songbook). A great collection of popular, classical and sacred songs for wedding musicians or engaged couples who are planning their service. Over 40 categorized songs, plus a website to hear audio clips! Choosing the perfect wedding music has never been easier! Songs include: Bless the Broken Road * Canon in D * Everything * Forever in Love * God Gave Me You * Grow Old with Me * I Will Be Here * In My Life * Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring * The Lord’s Prayer * Love Never

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Justin Leonard Autographed Golf Magazine – 2000 Edition

Justin Leonard Autographed Golf Magazine – 2000 Edition


Justin Leonard Autographed / Signed Golf Magazine – 2000 Edition
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An Interview With Photographer Leonard Nimoy

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Jason Landry: Where does Leonard Nimoy the photographer go for inspiration?

Leonard Nimoy
: It pops up. I don’t go to any particular place looking for it. It has to arrive. It’s the kind of thing that has to touch something in me when I read or see or hear something that’s relevant.

It’s unpredictable, as it should be. I try not to force an issue because then the work feels forced, too intellectual, and not spontaneous — not out of the subconscious or the unconscious. I’m working very hard at trying to be in touch with the creative process rather than the intellectual process.

JL: From what I have read, you started making photographs as a teenager and built a darkroom in the family bathroom. At what were you pointing your lens back then?

LN: Family members, mostly. I still have a photograph that I did of my grandfather on the banks of the Charles River. I shot it with a camera that I still have, a bellows camera called a Kodak Autographic. It was one of these things that used to flop open when you pull the bellows out on to the track. These cameras were made with a little lid on the backside that you could open and inscribe something on the back of the film as a kind of a memory of what the photograph was. I never used the autographic feature, but I did use that camera to take pictures with, then I built an enlarger using that camera as the heart of it. I found a suggestion for that idea in a Mechanix Illustrated magazine: how to build your own enlarger using a metal lunchbox. For the light housing, I used one of those lunchboxes that had a dome-shaped top and I put a sock in there and a seventy-five-watt light bulb and cut a hole into the bottom of the lunchbox, mounted it onto a make-shift wooden frame, mounted the camera onto that, and then used a couple pieces of glass for the negative holder. I was able to take a photograph with that camera and then enlarge it with that camera.

JL: Going back to Robert Heinecken, was there anything specific that he taught you or might have said to you that left a lasting impression?

LN: Yes. As I mentioned, he was very strong on “theme,” and if you wanted to be a photographic artist, you should not be just shooting pictures willy-nilly, and at anything you just happened to see or come across, but stick to his or her thematic thrust. And as an example, he said if you are walking down the street with your camera, and you see a person falling out of a high building, you don’t shoot a picture of that falling person unless the theme of the work that you’re working on has to do with the affect of space on the human figure. If you simply shoot it because it was happening, you have moved to photojournalism.

JL: “There’s poetry in black and white.” You said that in an interview once when describing black and white photography. Is the use of black and white a nostalgic thing, or a way that photographs should be displayed based on the subject matter?

LN: It has to do with nostalgia and subject. I grew up doing my own printing. Always enjoyed it, always enjoyed going into the darkroom and experimenting with a print. I did not move into developing or processing color. I stayed with black and white. I still think to this day that I prefer to work in black and white if it has to do with poetry or anything other than specific reality. I have worked in color when I thought it was the appropriate way to express the thought that I was working on. My Secret Selves project had to be in color. It was so specific to the individual and what they were bringing to the portrait session. Color is more specific and black and white is more poetic.

JL: For many years you were on the other side of the lens. How does it feel to be behind the lens directing your subjects through photography?

LN: It’s liberating for me. I don’t have to perform — don’t have to take on other identities. It’s using a different part of my creative process, which I enjoy. It’s refreshing.

JL: What is the most important lesson that you’ve learned through photographing people?

LN: How to make a subject or model comfortable in front of my camera. The other is that people come in all shapes and sizes in their psyche, and not just in the physical and metaphysical sense, but in their psychological condition. And it’s a search — you are searching constantly to find out who this person is. What is it that you want to extract from this person? There was this wonderful video of Richard Avedon taking a portrait of an actor, and he said to his subject (paraphrasing), “think of nothing…just let your mind go totally blank.” And he takes the picture. And then I asked myself, what is Avedon looking to show here? Is he thinking that by telling this person to think of nothing that something wonderful or something special is going to emerge? Thinking of nothing could also make for a very dull picture. It could also create a blank canvas for people to project into. Every photographer has to find their own way into this territory. It’s a life-long search. I don’t think anyone every perfects it and is done with it. It’s a work of art and it’s never complete.

JL: If you were advising a young photographer today, what would your words of wisdom be?

LN: Stop worrying about the nature, design or qualifications of your equipment. Master your equipment so you know how to get the shot you want, but above all, search for the reason to be taking pictures. Why are you taking pictures? Why do we shoot pictures? I say the same thing to actors who want to develop a career as an actor. You must master your craft and then put it aside and concentrate on the more difficult aspect of the work. What is it that you want to do with that craft? What do you want to express? What do you want to explore? What do you want to find out? What do you want to present to people? Those are the issues that you have to search for.

Check out the rest of this interview in the book: Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography.

And check out Leonard Nimoy’s photographic projects at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA.

(Portrait of Leonard Nimoy with Shekhina. Courtesy the Artist and R. Michelson Galleries.)
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