This is a master lesson in dramatic timing. Nobody tells a dramatic narrative like Nick Cave does. He starts with a whisper and builds, over more than seven minutes, to a devastating climax. He’s telling a very modern story about scandal, persecution and paranoia, but … Continue reading Oh My Lord
Nick Cave can make cold creepy crawly chills run down your spine. This songs gives me all the heebie-jeebies. And he’s not even going out of his way to be disturbing. Coming from a man who once made a full album of murder ballads (and … Continue reading O Children
I don’t know why and I don’t know how… This is the height of Gothic romance. Nick Cave is too moody, Gothic and romantic for this world. These are dark corners of the human soul your average strip mall emo kid wouldn’t dare touch. I … Continue reading Nobody’s Baby Now
Only in a Nick Cave lyric would the mundane tropes of a love song – “and she moves among the flowers…” – sit beside references to “ordinary slaughter” and “routine atrocity.” It works because that’s how reality works. The self-conscious particulars mix with the trope-y idealized … Continue reading Nature Boy
The weirdest thing about this video (out of not many; it’s a surprisingly generic effort) is Nick Cave’s tacky t-shirt. Where are the natty suits, oh brave Odysseus? As for the song, well, if you’re halfway literate, you’ll soon figure out I didn’t make the … Continue reading More News From Nowhere
Nick Cave is just the man I need to hear from to reinforce my faith in the basic blind unfairness of the world. The world, and everything in it, is against you, either violently or indifferently, from the moment your mother was foolish enough to not abort you, and the best you can do to survive and keep yourself ambulatory is to sift through the dirt for whatever slivers of beauty you can find to hold on to. And if we didn’t spend the better part of our time psychologically clutching at straws, we would all go insane at the sheer difficulty of taking even one step forward. Hence, our desperate attachment to those that entertain us. There’s alcohol and there’s drugs and there are ill-advised sexual escapades, but it’s addiction to beauty that really gets us through. Just give me one thing of beauty to look at; I’ll never drink again before I stop turning to beauty to elevate myself. Art is the only path to redemption.
I guess you can view Nick Cave in one of two ways; as a high god of heroin cool, as I do; or, you could see the morbid posturing as a bit absurd. It takes supernatural levels of sangfroid to pull off writing songs about going to the executioner without looking like a parody of a strip mall goth. Unlike a lot of strip mall goths **cough cough Robert Smith cough** Nick Cave does not move much merchandise at Hot Topic. Because the genuinely dangerous and subversive are hard to market to the white picket fence demographic. Which all points back to my original point; Nick Cave is some sort of high god of cool, although probably an ill-advised cultural obsession for the young and impressionable. I spend a year or two watching this particular video way too many more times than was healthy, and yes, in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have. And being less of an impressionable young thing, I can see that it’s borderline absurd and ought not be taken seriously. And yet, goddamn it, glamour. Nick Cave is glamorous as fuck, with his murder ballads and his blood play and his hungry mongrel physique. Would you want to cross paths with him in the alleyway behind a cheap motel? No, you might die.