If I could breakdown the hours people have sung me songs in my life, Nick Cave would be the one person who has done so for the highest number of hours.
Of course I’m aware Nick Cave was not singing specifically to me, or at least not for so many hours, but forget the work of art in the epoch of its technical reproducibility, to me it definitely felt like he was.
And he kept singing, no matter what, of Heaven and Hell and of love and sorrow, while I was riding the bus, driving, flying at thirty-five thousand feet, lying alone in bed, studying, reading, applying black makeup, staring at him from the crowd, reaching for his hand. I am overly grateful for that (and to Blixa Bargeld, as I’ve already mentioned).
Now Pitchfork says that in Push the Sky Away his songs are less narratively focused, more stream-of-consciousness haze and I agree. And do you know what has emerged from that stream-of-consciousness haze? A damn good piece of advice in my opinion.
you’ve got to push the sky away
And also a confession.
And some people
Say it’s just rock’n roll
Oh, but it gets you
Right down to your soul
Which reminded me of John Cale once saying “I’ve no business in rock’n’roll. I’ve said it over and over, I’m a classical composer, I’m not a rock’n’roll musician – I’d love to conduct a Brahms or Mahler cycle” and then shrugging and adding “I love rock’n’roll”. Or Leonard Nimoy writing I am not Spock, only to change his mind later on and admit that he was indeed, after all, Spock (if you’re interested in pop culture, and Nick Cave not so secretly is, not specifically Star Trek but then again).