Writing up my experience of getting in to the Anjani exclusive last month made me realise the Thoughtcat site was long overdue for a single Leonard Cohen page, gathering together the various LC-related things I’ve done over the years. The page features links to, amongst other items, my review of the 2004 all-star Brighton tribute show Came So Far For Beauty featuring Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Rufus Wainwright and other luminaries, a video of me providing guitar backup for an excellent singer at the 2002 Hydra convention open mic, transcripts of TV interviews I’ve done for Speaking Cohen, and a letter I had published in the Guardian in 2000 putting them right on a Len-related feature. There’s even a Leonard Cohen Name Generator, which I constructed several years ago with the help of a couple of friends but never linked to on the site. (Contrary to appearances this doesn’t just generate the name ‘Leonard Cohen’ each time you press the button, but rather a funny adjective-noun combination based on Cohen lyrics.)
My new LC page in turn prompted me to look at the main Thoughtcat site and how it all hangs together via various threads of knicker elastic. I’ve finally gotten to grips with these wonderful things called dynamic page templates so each page now has a common banner and links without messing about with frames; I’ve tightened up the formatting of certain pages and sections, such as Retro Dustcovers; and I’ve deleted a few links to some of the older stuff which hasn’t been updated in years and provided some new editorial about these bits on the Archives page.
Maybe it’s just a spring-cleaning thing but these updates come hot on the heels of new web stuff by Thoughtcat’s friends Dave Awl and Chris Bell. Dave – whose Head of Orpheus was the first significant Russell Hoban site on the web – has, after spending ‘several years trying to avoid blogging’, finally given up the struggle and emerged with Ocelopotamus, a beautifully designed blog bursting with pertinent and witty comment. Liquidambar author Chris meanwhile has revamped his own site to include a stack of short stories from his collection The Bumper Book of Lies – which is also available in traditional book form! – and some newly-discovered writing. Enjoy.