I’m Your Man: Updated

Monday, December 11th, 2017

LC new UK ed

UK publisher Vintage/Penguin has released a new edition of I’m Your Man: the Life of Leonard Cohen – the first English-language edition of the book that includes a final chapter. Picking up from where the first edition of  Sylvie’s book ended in 2012, when it was first published, it covers Leonard’s life and work until his death in November 2016.

Creem Dream

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Sylvie was interviewed on film by Jaan Uhelszki as part of the upcoming documentary Boy Howdy! The Story of Creem Magazine. Or, to give the Detroit-based monthly its full name: Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine. Of course there were other rock magazines in the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Creem’s heyday – Rolling Stone, for example, which was recently the subject of a two-part, four hour documentary. But where Rolling Stone was a mainstream success, Creem was more underground and idiosyncratic,  and way cooler. It was home to many of the most legendary and influential rock writers included Lester Bangs, Richard Meltzer and Nick Tosches. Sylvie became a correspondent and regular contributor at the end of the ’70s.

Here’s a couple of pages from Creem’s yearbook of its writers!

Creem yearbook



Even the airport tipped its hat

Monday, November 20th, 2017

LC mural ssMontreal, November 4th-10th 2017

mural 2

It’s hard to describe the whirlwind of emotions that came from being in Leonard Cohen’s birthplace on the first anniversary of his death. The city certainly went all-out with its tribute. Even the airport added a sculpted fedora on top of the “O” of Montreal. Down at the old port, a place where Leonard loved to wander as a child,  his poems were projected on the walls of the monumental Silo #5. There were other murals on the sides of buildings around the city. Adam Cohen, Leonard’s son, and Hal Willner, who curated the tribute concerts that formed the basis of the film “I’m Your Man”, organised a concert at the Bell Centre with a host of stars to raise money for arts charities. But chief among the homages was the vast and impressive art exhibition commissioned by MAC – the Musee d’Art Contemporain. The exhibition had actually planned to open while fedora montrealLeonard was still alive – the curator John Zeppetelli came to San Francisco to talk about it with me a couple of years back. Leonard, who gave his blessing,  would surely have appreciated the highly original art he inspired. Much of it was digital, but at the same time very human, and  largely created by younger artists. I joined some of IMG_20171109_154007_resized_20171110_021131907those artists onstage at a panel discussion of Leonard and art at MAC – George Fok, Kara Blake and Clara Furey. They were fascinating. That week I also did two  one-hour interviews onstage at MAC. Here’s a link to the one in English with CBC host Eleanor Wachtel. http://tinyurl.com/y7qnaeg7.  The other onstage interview was in French with Montreal poet and author Chantal Ringuet – if museum crackI find a link I’ll post it later.   A number of Leonard Cohen fans came from Europe to participate in the tribute. I was really happy to get to sing a few Cohen songs for them with Montreal musician L’il Andy  at the beautifulChapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, whose statue of Mary, “Our Lady of the Harbour”, is referenced in Leonard’s song”Suzanne.” I also sang at the French-language bookshop Librairie Gallimard, just a few steps from Leonard’s old house, where the translators and publishers and I launched the new edition of the first French version of my book, I’m Your Man: La Vie de Leonard Cohen. That same night the first snowfall came, the snow started falling – fat clusters of white  like tiny crumpled napkins. It was very hard to say goodbye to Montreal – and Leonard.

Museum: http://macm.org/en/exhibitions/leonard-cohen/

Music: http://youtu.be/811cY7Fwl4k 


Montreal – Sylvie joins tributes to Leonard Cohen

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

7b Our lady of the harbourMontreal has organized a variety of  artistic and musical events across the city in November, paying tribute to Leonard Cohen on the first anniversary of his death, ranging from a concert at the Bell Centre headlined by Elvis Costello, a building-sized muralof Cohen in his famous fedora, and a major multi-media exhibition at MAC (Musee D’Art Contemporain/Museum of Contemporary Art).

From 6th, when the exhibition opens, until 9th November, the art museum will also feature various staged events. These include panels, round-tables and on-stage interviews on the subject of Leonard Cohen, his life and his work.

Sylvie will be appearing in several events, in English and in French, and will separately be doing TV and radio interviews in English and in French, sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by Elisabeth Domergue and Francois Vella, the two women who translated  the French-Canadian new edition of I’m Your Man: the Life of Leonard Cohen.

In addition, Sylvie will do an event at the Librairie Gallimard, a bookshop near Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home, where there will be songs (in English) and readings (in French). She will also sing with Canadian Americana singer-songwriter L’il Andy at a private concert for the Leonard Cohen Files Forum, many of whom have traveled from Europe for the tribute event, at the Chapel de Notre-Dame de Bon Secours, its building topped by the statue of ‘Our lady of the harbour’ that appears in Leonard Cohen’s famous song “Suzanne.”

Please see the tour page for further details.

Two hats, no uke

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

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Jim White, the metaphysical singer-songwriter who counts David Byrne of Talking Heads among his biggest fans, is working on a new acoustic album and asked Sylvie to sing on it with him. Jim and Sylvie first sang together at the Poisson Rouge in New York and then last year at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco. Sylvie – who has been a huge fan of White’s work since his 1997 debut album The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus on Byrne’s Luaka Bop label – is featured singing in songs Land Called Home, Plywood Superman and Walk A While with Me.

Votre homme!

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Quebec cover copy

A French-Canadian edition of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen has been published by Edito in Quebec. It is a paperback, 575 pages, and translated by Elisabeth Domergue and Francoise Vella.

Sylvie and the translators will all be in Montreal in November, to mark the anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s death. Among the celebrations to mark this sombre occasiom in Leonard’s hometown are a concert at the Bell Cntre – organised by Leonard’s son Adam Cohen, who will appear along with Elvis Costello, k.d lang and more; with all proceeds going to charity – and a major exhibition of Cohen’s life and work at MAC, the city’s contemporary art museum.

Sylvie will be in Montreal to do readings, signings and interviews, as well as meet-ups with Leonard Cohen fans and Forum members.

The continuing travels of I’m Your Man…

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Turkey bk
Two new editions are available of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. The Turkish version, translated by Dugyu Akinand, is titled I’m Your Man: Cohen’in Hayati.  And due for release in China is an e-book edition of the simplified-Chinese-characters translation pictured below.

China 1





Everything is Broken

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Hi! Sylvie here. The words of that Bob Dylan song have been running through my head nonstop since I last posted on this page in March. I had gone to Tucson, Arizona, with twelve new songs to record with Howe Gelb, but on the night of  my first day in the studio I had a nasty accident, breaking a whole lot of bones. Since those bones included my arm and wrist – as well as some nerves in my hand – I haven’t been able to play ever since.  Slowly but surely I’m getting better and champing at the bit to get back into action. I did a speaking engagement in Pennsylvania last week and managed to sing two songs, and  I sang backup at my friend Colin Gilmore and Adam Traum’s show in San Francisco. On Monday  7th August I’ll be singing at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco, with the great Bart Davenport backing me. Hopefully I’ll be ready to  go back and finish that album by the end of the year. And talking of bones. here’s a very fine dog to snuggle up to.

Dog love

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017


At the soundchek for a show with Giant San at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall in Felton, California, journalist Jason Reed asked Sylvie if he could interview her on video for “Inner Edge Music.” Jason wrote, “If you’re not familiar with Sylvie’s music, you’re missing out. Her passion and skill with the ukulele are second to none. There is a confessional twee-like vulnerability to her songs, harkening back to the innocence of youth, with twangs of American heartland sentimentalism mixed in. If you combined the vocal stylings of Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star and Neko Case, and added some stellar and minimalistic ukulele playing, you’d have an approximation of Sylvie’s sound. It’s filled with solace and beauty. Her debut self-titled album was released in November of 2014 to positive critical reviews, including commendations from Devendra Banhart and Brian Wilson.”

Here’s thevideo:   http://inneredgemusic.com/sylvie/

Back to the desert

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Sylvie is heading back to Tucson, Arizona soon to record a new album. Howe Gelb of Giant Sand will once again be producing and adding his musical magic along with Thoger Lund. The new songs Sylvie is recording include several that she has played at recent shows – including “Keep Dancing,” “Nothing,” “Creation Day,” “Waiting For The Shadows,” “Imaginary Boy” and more.

Sylvie will also be doing a few shows in the Tucson area. Please see the tour page for details.

Here’s a pic of Sylvie performing with Howe and Thogerat the Henry Miller library in Big Sur.

SS HG TL Big Sur2 copy