Tag Archives: Blue Alert

Two Anjani Performances On Her Birthday

Happy Birthday, Anjani Thomas

I can’t think of a better way of celebrating Anjani’s natal day than simply posting two of her performances that are special favorites of mine.

Anjani Thomas – 1985

Anjani Thomas Stars On Jools Holland Show

anjani-innermostdoor

Although Anjani sang “Innermost Door” on the Jools Holland Show as part of the promotion of the Blue Alert album in 2007,  this video didn’t surface online until two years later.1

When asked about about this performance, Anjani responded,

I was so honored to do on this show. Jools’ love for music and musicians is so real and supportive, and he’s a such a versatile artist that he played keyboards for The White Stripes in the same show!

This was filmed in a cavernous studio that was refrigerator cold. I could actually see my breath in the dressing room and had to wrap myself up in a towel and jump up and down to stay warm.

I was really happy that Jools’ played piano for me so I could focus on the vocal and not worry about my shivering hands.

When Meg and Jack came on the decibel level went off the charts. I have never heard a band make so much music out of guitar, bass and drums…

There was so much energy in the room it seemed to encourage the other bands on the show to play even louder to make an impression.

Talk about feeling old — I had my fingers in my ears for most of the filming! But it was a thrill and definitely the highlight of that tour.

What I wrote when I first posted this video in 2009 is as true today as it was then:

In light of the production values of the recording and, frigid environs notwithstanding, the quality of Anjani’s own performance, this may be the best video of her work.

Anjani – The Innermost Door (Jools Holland Show – June 1, 2007)

The Duets: Anjani & Leonard Cohen Sing Never Got To Love You & Whither Thou Goest

One reason these duets are among my favorites is that the Heck Of A Guy site was privileged, thanks to Apolinary POlek, who provided the recordings from a radio broadcast, to be the first online source of the  duets Anjani and Leonard Cohen sang in Warsaw in 2007.2

Leonard Cohen and Anjani Duet – Warsaw 2007

The duets in the following video were performed at the April 24, 2007 Leonard Cohen Presents Anjani concert at Joe’s Pub in New York.

Credit Due Department: Photo atop post is by Tom Stockill. The 1985 photo of Anjani is a video screen capture, as is shot of Anjani just under  the heading, “Anjani Thomas Stars On Jools Holland Show.”  The close-up of Anjani and Leonard Cohen singing at Joe’s Pub was found  at BrooklynVegan. The photo of Leonard Cohen and Anjani singing in Warsaw was found at Polskie Radio.

  1. Unsurprisingly, the video was uploaded by a1000kissesdeep, aka Tom Sakic of A Thousand Kisses Deep. who has a knack for finding and contributing extraordinarily rare and extraordinarily wonderful videos. []
  2. See
    Whither Thou Goest – The Best Leonard Cohen-Anjani Duet You (Probably) Haven’t Heard and  Never Got To Love You – Another Leonard Cohen-Anjani Duet You (Probably) Haven’t Heard []

Video Available Again: Anjani Sings “Crazy To Love You” At Leonard Cohen-Glenn Gould Prize Gala

Crazy To Love You – Anjani Thomas With Neil Larsen

Unavailable online for the past few weeks, this rendition of “Crazy To Love You”1 by Anjani with Neil Larsen on the keyboards – by all accounts, a high point of the May 14, 2012 Glenn Gould Prize Leonard Cohen tribute concert held in Massey Hall, Toronto, can again be viewed.

Other videos of Leonard Cohen – Glenn Gould Prize Gala musical performances have also returned online and can be viewed at Videos From Leonard Cohen-Glenn Gould Prize Gala Online Again: Adam Cohen, James McMurty, Cowboy Junkies, Jimmie Dale Gilmore …

Video by Arlene Dick of Arlene’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook

  1. From the Anjani Thomas-Leonard Cohen Blue Alert album []

Video: Anjani Sings “Crazy To Love You” At Leonard Cohen-Glenn Gould Prize Gala

Neil Larsen Accompanies Anjani Thomas

By all accounts, this rendition of “Crazy To Love You” (from the Anjani Thomas-Leonard Cohen Blue Alert album) by Anjani with Neil Larsen on the keyboards, was a high point of the May 14, 2012 Glenn Gould Prize Leonard Cohen tribute concert held in Massey Hall, Toronto.

Video by Arlene Dick of Arlene’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook

Anjani Exquisite On "Innermost Door" Video

anjani-innermostdoor

Anjani Thomas Stars On Jools Holland Show

Although Anjani sang “Innermost Door” on the Jools Holland Show as part of the promotion of the Blue Alert album two years ago, this video only recently surfaced online.1

Anjani On Jools Holland, The White Stripes, And Anjani

When asked about about this performance, Anjani responded,

I was so honored to do on this show.  Jools’ love for music and musicians is so real and supportive, and he’s a such a versatile artist that he played keyboards for The White Stripes in the same show!

This was filmed in a cavernous studio that was refrigerator cold. I could actually see my breath in the dressing room and had to wrap myself up in a towel and jump up and down to stay warm.

I was really happy that Jools’ played piano for me so I could focus on the vocal and not worry about my shivering hands.

When Meg and Jack came on the decibel level went off the charts. I have never heard a band make so much music out of guitar, bass and drums…

There was so much energy in the room it seemed to encourage the other bands on the show to play even louder to make an impression.

Talk about feeling old — I had my fingers in my ears for most of the filming! But it was a thrill and definitely the highlight of that tour.

Best Of Anjani

In light of the production values of the recording and, frigid environs notwithstanding, the quality of Anjani’s own performance, this may be  the best video (so far, at least) of her work.

Anjani-The Innermost Door (Jools Holland Show 2007)

  1. Unsurprisingly, the video I found was uploaded by a1000kissesdeep, AKA Tom Sakic of A Thousand Kisses Deep. who has a knack for finding and contributing extraordinarily rare and extraordinarily wonderful videos. []

Happy Birthday, Anjani

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A Gift For Everyone On Anjani’s Birthday

To celebrate Anjani’s  birthday, I’ve put together segments of a few of her performances (especially her work with Leonard Cohen on the Blue Alert album) as well as some photos of her and screenshots from Heck Of A Guy posts about her.

Anjani, thanks for the dance.

Anjani’s Birthday Montage

The Next Anjani Thomas Album

Will Not Be Blue 2

Blue Alert II - NOT The Next Anjani Album

As I Was Saying To Anjanikins,

After receiving a dozen emails asking me about the long-impending Anjani album, I put into motion a cleverly devious investigatory strategy. Using a listening device that could also transmit, I surreptitiously dialed her number and slyly asked her “What’s up with the new album?”

Faced with that type of sophisticated interrogation, she soon spilled the beans.

Well, a few beans at least.

It’s About Time

Those of you who follow the adventures of Anjani may know that once upon a time in lala land, this album was originally scheduled for completion early this year. The rate limiting step, it turns out, was not writer’s block.

Psychiatrists use the term, “overdetermined” to indicate an effect (e.g., an emotion, an element of a dream) that has multiple causes, any of which might be sufficient to account for the effect. One might analogously consider Anjani’s efforts to develop the songs on this album overinspired.

In the past year, Anjani has sequentially invested herself in at least three distinct and independent projects she felt confident would result in an album.

The good news for those of us waiting for the final product is that it appears that none of these schemes were aborted because they were found to be unworkable but because a better concept came along.

The most recent delay has an odder origin.

After putting together a playlist suitable for the album, hiring musicians, and the 27,442 other details of creating a CD, including recording the tracks, Anjani, who had been working with a voice coach, found her vocal range and strength had improved so markedly that those already recorded songs possessed significant potential that could be realized only by reworking them and performing them with her newfound capacity.

Yep, the current wait is the result not of an entertainer’s injury or illness impairing the capacity to perform but because of an improvement in that entertainer’s skills.

With only moderate haranguing from me, Anjani volunteers a guarded, hedged judgment that the album will be released no later than the end of this year.

Content and Style

Anjani is less explicit about what the next album will be than what it will not be.

For example, Anjani’s next album will not be Blue Alert II. Blue Alert is a gorgeous set of songs that are so intrinsically private and powerful that it is impossible to imagine them being performed anywhere other than the most intimate venues.

Further, …

Anjani’s Next Album Will Also Not Be

Anjani, the first Anjani Thomas Album

Anjani, the first Anjani Thomas Album

… a reprise of her first album, Anjani (above) or her second, The Sacred Names (below), which was, like Blue Alert, produced by Leonard Cohen.

The Sacred Names, the second album by Anjani Thomas

The Sacred Names, the second album by Anjani Thomas

The new album will, in fact, be significantly different from any of her previous efforts.1

Anjani slots the songs in a genre once called “soft rock” – before that once highly valued category was subsumed and eviscerated by the amorphous blob known as “adult contemporary” – with portions of folk, world music, and jazz added to the mix.

Perhaps more intriguing than her precise words was Anjani’s enthusiasm about the forthcoming album. While she has never been less than gracious and generous when we’ve written or talked, this conversation was striking for the animation and genuine excitement she demonstrated as she spoke of the flow of the work and songs that wrote themselves, leading her rather than her constructing them.

More mundane but, I would contend, just as significant is the sustained and ongoing work that has been the hallmark of her involvement in this album. This is distinctly atypical of her usual style which she has outlined this way:

“I quickly discovered that I did not have the wherewithal to sit in a practice room for four, six, eight hours a day. This is not in my nature – and it has, unfortunately, continued to the present day. “I’m notoriously uninspired when it comes to practicing,” she said. “But give me a deadline and, two days before, I’ll sit down and work my butt off.”2

The most striking comment, however, occurred as our conversation was ending with bit of social chitchat (e.g., “How are the kids?” “How’s Leonard?” “Is the weather nice out there.?”). Anjani paused for a moment and, referring to the songs destined for the new album, commented, with a lilt to her voice,

It’s the kind of music that makes you feel like dancing
- and I want to feel like dancing.

It was the strangest thing, but I was absolutely convinced that dancing was exactly what she was doing that moment.

Which made me feel like dancing too.

  1. From her response to my suggestion, it also seems safe to rule out a Bluegrass tinged blend of ska, blues, and grunge performed by Anjani, Junior Brown, and Hannah Montana, backed by an 41 piece all girl, all accordion band. []
  2. Breathing easy in her own style by Bernard Perusse, The Gazette, June 1, 2006 []