Nick Cave : Classic or Dud ?

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O.K. so I've only listened to 'Tender Prey ' and 'The Best of ' - so I don't know if he's got any better but I found them patchy for someone who's said to be such a great songwriter. I know he's been influential but when asked about my musical faves - they'll be invariably called Nick Cave copyists - which may be true but I like them MORE.WHAT SHOULD I LISTEN TO TO CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE

'Arr ferk the nun inna jesuz bluud . . .DONKEY ! '

Geordie Racer, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

CLASSIC! I'll concede that his last two albums (new one included) haven't been as exciting as some of his previous work, but I personally feel his songwriting has remained top-drawer. That said, however, I truly miss the fire and brimstone of his more energetic work. To my ears, the last truly great album of his was MURDER BALLADS. While essentially a collection of covers, it showcases Cave & the `Seeds' range pretty nicely...from the cinematic to the savage. I'm also a huge supporter of the live album, LIVE SEEDS, recorded on the HENRY'S DREAM tour. The live renditions of tracks like "Papa Won't Leave You, Henry" and "John Finn's Wife" (among others) actually improve on the studio versions, I feel. Hands down, however, my favorite album of his remains THE GOOD SON. I'd also urge you to go pick up the "best-of" by the Birthday Party (Cave's previous outfit) dubbed HITS, which finds Nick in a much more aggressive vein. In any event, I truly feel that no matter how histrionic he may be, there is turly no one like him.

Alex in NYC, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Birthday Party one of the greatest groups ever. His solo stuff, up to and including Tender Prey, all classic. Since then, a little patchy. I thought Let Love In and The Boatman's Call were both marvellous; Murder Ballads and Henry's Dream were a mixture of the good and the overblown. I think he's relying on his style and charisma a bit too much these days, but then he must be around 40, so he's kept it up pretty well over the years. The Mercy Seat is certainly one of the greatest records ever made.

Johnathan, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

In all fairness to the man, he's now a middle-aged father of an eight- year old. It's probably a bit harder (and less exciting) to be a frightwigged, bedraggled harbinger of squallor when you've reached this point in your life.

alex in nyc, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

.. that is - unless you're the Geordie Racer !

Geordie Racer, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I was duly fortunate to catch the man in concert not three weeks ago in LA -- he opened with a solo piano version of "West Country Girl" that was loud, pissed off, mean and beautiful all at once. Age, etc. hasn't slowed him down at all. The show itself was utterly brilliant -- just him, piano, Warren Ellis, the Dirty Three drummer and Susan Stenger on bass, and it was amazing. The solo rearranged version of "Papa Won't Leave You Henry" is my number one 'must have an mp3 of it *NOW*' track right at present.

Classic? Beyond classic, fucking godlike more like. Try the _Live Seeds_ album, _Kicking Against the Pricks_ or _Let Love In_.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Your mileage may vary with Nick Cave, as I've found out, even amongst Nick Cave fans. We were sitting around at a local record store, talking music (good place for it, I guess), when Nick Cave's recent albums became part of the conversation, and favourite Cave record also crept in. I ventured Let Love In as my personal favourite, which often tends to be scoffed at by people who prefer the earlier, bleaker material. One of the guys there went so far as to say I wasn't a "true" Nick Cave fan, whatever the hell that means. I think you can pull something from almost all of his albums, but I find Let Love In and The Good Son to be compelling, and Tender Prey to be a great record as well. Hell, I even liked Boatman's Call.

Sean Carruthers, Tuesday, 17 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I wouldn't call him a dud but I don't think he's the classic songwriter he's now painted as - he seems to carry this great Romantic Artist burden around with him which is a bit quaint and on, say, the Boatman's Call when he seems to try and get serious it comes over as rather fusty. Interestingly in the new Mojo he's a very sympathetic interviewee - he seems very dissatisfied with Boatman's Call and generally squirmy when the interviewer flatters him.

There's been a real shift in how Cave is perceived. When I first started reading the press he was always treated as this borderline nutter goth smack freak, now he's an Important Figure, and in between there was this oh-it's-another-Nick-Cave-album period, which would always qualify the "He's good" with a big "But". I think that got it right, pretty much.

A handful of stunning tracks though - "Mutiny In Heaven", "Tupelo", "The Mercy Seat", "The Ship Song", "Do You Love Me?", "Stagger Lee". So surely not a dud.

Tom, Tuesday, 17 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Sorry, Ned, but totally Dud. I especially dislike Cave's stifling seriousness and the ham-fisted band. The Birthday Party were dire also - they just couldn't get close to the lowdown, dirty drug n' murder blues. Sad thing was, they THOUGHT they could.

Dr. C, Thursday, 19 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Major major dud.

the pinefox, Friday, 20 April 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
I prefer NC to the Birthday Party. Also, this has probably been discussed elsewhere but Mick Harvey's Gainsbourg albums are very nice.

Mary (Mary), Thursday, 26 June 2003 12:40 (sixteen years ago) link

i think Cave's only got a few sorts of songs he can do well, so it's been lots of repeating himself for me -- and most of his albums have great songs on them plus substantial tracts of filler

The Good Son proved the leonard cohen territory was his ie a very well structured running sequence, and ambience that almost saves also-rans like "weeping song",
but he dropped the ball on Henry's Deam so badly that i really haven't been able to bother much since

I mean there are a few songs on Let Love In, but for me that's as patchy as the album that preceeded it (Henry)

i believe he can only do so many really good ballads though, and that he's revisited those same ballads so often with the recent albums

i say there're have been so few rock songs that i can count them -- "The good son" & "the hammer came down", "Long time man", "Jangling Jack", "John Finn's wife" -- that's one or at most two good rock songs for each of those albums ! (oh "papa won't save you Henry", "who will be the witness", "jack the ripper", "weeping song" all lousy songs, such rock-by-numbers stuff, will not save him)

go back to your funeral my trial for the whole range, great title track ballad through the true freak-show feel of "The Carny", (better than anything the residents had produced for oh, so-long), and then the great whine-o-drone of "long time man" and the succinct birthday party punch of "scum" -- a classic album, from when Cave had to produce decent stuff to keep his job and maintain and propogate his reputation

"Murder Ballads" a great Aussie cash-in for then career dwindlings of Kylie and Nick (and what an unexpected couple !! proving they're both really show-biz and contenders for legit. rock star -- i thought Cave had some outsider cred -- maybe this was needed to break the concept to new audiences ?? it worked i suppose, but just a big-budget re-rendering of "long time man" idea to me)

ok the birthday party and early bad seed stuff didn't get the easy pay-checks the concept and oomph of their mere presence deserved as real-life art in the public eye, so
good luck to him for those initial flashes of real brilliance

maybe he'd be best served by a "greatest rock songs" and "greatest 'love' songs" double greatest hits, and then save those good songs for singles and forget the nine-yards albums

(ie you should not produce a whole filled out album if you don't have enough good songs)

george gosset (gegoss), Thursday, 26 June 2003 13:41 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm not going to adress all yr points, most of which I disagree with, but I've never really understood the bad rep of 'Henry's Dream'. It's really his most succesful 'eclectic' album since and 'tender prey'. As said upthread, the songs sound even better on the fantastic 'Livce Seeds' album. 'Plain Gold Ring' is a gem on that one..

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Thursday, 26 June 2003 13:47 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't think it's at all surprising that he dated Kylie, because in its own dark, reverent way his material is just as generic, conservative, synthetic and lifeless as hers.

Momus (Momus), Thursday, 26 June 2003 14:39 (sixteen years ago) link

at his show in chicago last week it struck me that nick reminds me of a dark-souled neil diamond for the alt rock set. and i mean that in the very best way possible.

otto midnight, Thursday, 26 June 2003 14:48 (sixteen years ago) link

so momus, of all people, is saying that nick cave is conservative: nothing shocks me anymore.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 26 June 2003 15:13 (sixteen years ago) link

His stuff is utterly brilliant, including his last couple of albums. Nocturama is among his best, and No More Shall We Part may lack heavy punkish stuff but at times it suits the mood better than anything else. For me, Your Funeral... My Trial, The Good Son, and Let Love In just manage to top those last two.

Tijn, Thursday, 26 June 2003 17:07 (sixteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
I'm reading his biography The Bad Seed again, so I threw on my copy of the B-Day Party's Hits, and I must confess it gets a little old after awhile. I prefer the recent live album I've got over it, but I'm curious if the full-length B-Day Party albums play better than the compilation does (better paced, maybe?).

I've only heard three Cave solo tracks: his cover of Neil Young's "Helpless," which I love, his cover of the Beatles, "Let It Be," which I despise, and that song "I'll Love You Till The End Of The World," which is pretty nice. I'm guessing people would recommend The Good Son as the place to start checking out his solo work? From Her To Eternity?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 13 July 2003 23:10 (sixteen years ago) link

*ahem*

I trust many of you already know what my full first name is.

Mmm hmm.

So, um, what about my opinion regarding Nick Cave? Well, when you're able to selfishly claim that song for yourself, what other answer can you have but CLASSIC? All those naysayers can just kiss me. And Momus? I happen to like Kylie Minogue, too. She comes from a magical little place with little elfin fairies who spread their pixie dust all across this land. What do you say about Kylie's collaborations with the Manic Street Preachers? MSP also like Kylie.

But back to Nick Cave. Classic. A surprising one, too, considering how little I actually care for country. But I like this brand of graveyard country rock. And damn, I need to play "City of Refuge" now.

Innocent Dreamer (Dee the Lurker), Monday, 14 July 2003 00:13 (sixteen years ago) link

big bad dud, the birthday party were dud too altho they had a couple of cool bass lines

duane, Monday, 14 July 2003 00:13 (sixteen years ago) link

jesus kylie has chose some rotten people to collaborate with for "rock" cred or whatever she was doing, the manic street preachers suck the dog too

duane, Monday, 14 July 2003 00:15 (sixteen years ago) link

duane how could you?!? rowland s howard is a gtr hero of mine

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 July 2003 00:16 (sixteen years ago) link

when i saw them he was the worst thing about it, he just played on hi treble & tried to hurt people because he was sick cause they couldnt get any gear in christchurch

duane, Monday, 14 July 2003 00:21 (sixteen years ago) link

that's what i love about roly poly

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 July 2003 00:21 (sixteen years ago) link

fuckin spoiled brat, the correct thing to've done wouldve been to not even show up for the gig & actually put some real effort into trying to cop

duane, Monday, 14 July 2003 00:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Uh, duane, the Manics contacted Kylie first, way back in 1991 or somesuch. It wasn't until years later that Kylie wanted to do anything with them. The Manics have gone on the record as being fans of Kylie's music, even the teenypop '80s years.

What do you think of The Bad Seeds? Surely you must like them... ?

I'm going to listen to my namesake song again.

Innocent Dreamer (Dee the Lurker), Monday, 14 July 2003 00:24 (sixteen years ago) link

RSH lives just round the corner from me. his face seems to have partially melted off

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 July 2003 00:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Dud. He lost is instantly when the Birthday Party broke up. ADMIT IT!!! Tracy Pew was always the cool one.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Monday, 14 July 2003 02:58 (sixteen years ago) link

Dud. He lost it instantly when the Birthday Party broke up. ADMIT IT!!! Tracy Pew was always the cool one.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Monday, 14 July 2003 02:58 (sixteen years ago) link

ooops, double post, sorry

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Monday, 14 July 2003 02:59 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't think it's at all surprising that he dated Kylie, because in its own dark, reverent way his material is just as generic, conservative, synthetic and lifeless as hers.
-- Momus

I may be new and not know shit but I do know I don't like this kid at all.

ben welsh (benwelsh), Monday, 14 July 2003 02:59 (sixteen years ago) link

nar Rowly is still a legend!! he did a great gig a few years ago with a version of Lou reed's "Oh Jim" that sent shivers (fnarr) every which way

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 July 2003 03:02 (sixteen years ago) link

dude totally lives off the royalties to "Shivers" i'm sure

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 14 July 2003 03:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Yes, sorry Jim, forgot about Rowly. The cover to 'Prayers on Fire'. Two drop dead cool human beings. Melbourne was right about something after all.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Monday, 14 July 2003 03:12 (sixteen years ago) link

Classic. I love everything from the Birthday Party up through the new solo stuff. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that No More Shall We Part is his best, most consistant record since Prayers on Fire.

Clay, Monday, 14 July 2003 03:44 (sixteen years ago) link

Am I the only one who likes Henry's Dream?

s1utsky (slutsky), Monday, 14 July 2003 03:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Am I the only one who likes Henry's Dream?

No, I really like it as well.

Clay, Monday, 14 July 2003 03:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Is that what your album is going to be like then?

s1utsky (slutsky), Monday, 14 July 2003 03:52 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't follow you. Are you thinking of someone else?

Clay, Monday, 14 July 2003 03:55 (sixteen years ago) link

Uh, duane, the Manics contacted Kylie first, way back in 1991 or somesuch.

whatever

What do you think of The Bad Seeds? Surely you must like them... ?

no

duane, Monday, 14 July 2003 05:13 (sixteen years ago) link

i shouldntve posted that it just sounds rude & mean, sorry. but nick cave is 1 of my top unfavourites.

duane, Monday, 14 July 2003 05:17 (sixteen years ago) link

One very positive thing about Nick Cave's solo records, even from the start is that they sound quite good. In the past couple of weeks I have been going back and listening to "My Funeral, Your Trial", "The First Born Is Dead", "Tender Prey" and "Kicking Against The Pricks"; listening to these on headphones has really made me further appreciate the arrangements and production.

The last record of his I bought was "Murder Ballads" and I didn't really like it much and at the time was getting into some different music. I've been curious about the last three, but not enough to search them out.

earlnash, Monday, 14 July 2003 12:56 (sixteen years ago) link

The new one is pretty damn good, I think, if a little more mellow than usual.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Monday, 14 July 2003 13:02 (sixteen years ago) link

But, it should be said, it's not "Boatman's Call" mellow. It's more, like, AAA mellow. It's nice, though.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Monday, 14 July 2003 13:07 (sixteen years ago) link

my old roommate tim had bad luck with the ladies during the couple years my wife and i shared a big ol house on the hills above ithaca ny. with him. so he spent alot of the time in the bars, where as i was happily ensconced drinking at home and being married. tim and i were both cooks but i mostly did days and he mostly did nights. if you have ever worked nights in a restaurant you know how tought it can be to wind down when you start your work day at like 3 in the afternoon and get done at 11 at night it takes alot of booze. but it was the same for me as well, only, i started at 8am and started drinking after shift at 4 so my sleep cycle was more "normal". anyways, about twice a month he would come home smashed and depressed. the walk to our house was up a huge painfull hill that only got the blood and alchohol flowing thru the sysetem. depressed and womanless he would crank up some nick cave and sit on his bed and stare at the floor and mumble along with the lyrics, blacked out of his mind. it was a barometer for his smashedness, if i heard nick at night then i knew tim would only have vague recolections of the night before. fortunetly tim is the kinda guy that no matter what he does you just cant get mad at him. i donno why. it was a blessing and a curse to have him as a roommate. just like nick cave- a blessing and a curse. ive never bought any of his records
but ive wished i was him now and then. hes crazy!!. i dont know why his pulpy voodoo shtick never worked for me- i mean i love screamin j hawkins, the cramps, misfits, t. waits- all that kitchy shit but nick annoys me. last week my wife and i went up to prospect park here in brooklyn to see a free show under the stars at the bandshell. it was a tribute to lenoard choen with
linda thompson, laurie anderson, marc ribot, nick cave, and loundon wainwright. all the heavy hitters. it was pretty boring,
or maybe i im pretty boring. sonic youth and wilco were better the night before in central park.

kelly denison-cole (dustjacket), Monday, 14 July 2003 19:07 (sixteen years ago) link

CLASSIC if just for the *awesome* cover of "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart" on Kicking Against The Pricks. I'll admit I stopped listening after Henry's Dream , but everything up to that was super. Plus, he let me beat him at pool once.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Monday, 14 July 2003 23:34 (sixteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Stupid (that is the poster's name) had asked for some thoughts on this abortive thread. Well here are some thoughts of mine for you. Offhand I would say either Tender Prey or Let Love In as a starting point.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 21 February 2004 01:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks Ned, I'd already checked your reviews on allmusic out (I always do, you're rarely wrong I find: Cranes, The Wedding Present, Disco Inferno... the list of bands you've unwittingly set me up to love is growing every week), I was just looking for a few more opinions. Those two certainly sounded appealing, I guess I'll start with those then. Cheers, once again.

Stupid (Stupid), Saturday, 21 February 2004 01:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Yer welcome. Hope you didn't mind the thread lock-and-redirect, but I didn't want to lose Scott's opinions either.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 21 February 2004 01:36 (fifteen years ago) link

I pretty much posted that so that someone would show me to the old one I couldn't find, so it's all good.

Did you check out Aereogramme by the way?

Stupid (Stupid), Saturday, 21 February 2004 01:40 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm pretty sure part 2 is the best thing he's done this decade

better than push the sky away ? what i have heard of the 1st part was ok but a little samey, that part is def. not his best of this decade.

je est un autre, l'enfer c'est les autres (alex in mainhattan), Saturday, 5 October 2019 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

with the analogue synths and the choir sounds... it's like he's singing over a Kosmische album from the late 70s sometimes

StanM, Saturday, 5 October 2019 21:37 (two weeks ago) link

the second disc is absolutely better than push the sky away and i say this as a big fan of that album

ufo, Saturday, 5 October 2019 22:30 (two weeks ago) link

weirdly what this album reminds me the most of is magical cloudz which i never really expected from a nick cave record

ufo, Sunday, 6 October 2019 13:43 (two weeks ago) link

haven't fully digested it but surprised anybody would prefer it to the last two. It's certainly beautiful and but seems to be a bit too soundtracky (and not unlike some of Cave and Ellis's soundtracks) and a bit too lacking in variety and tension? And surprised anybody would say Skeleton Tree is all tension and no release, when the penultimate song Distant Sky is perhaps the most beautiful recording of the last 10 years.

dan selzer, Sunday, 6 October 2019 18:55 (two weeks ago) link

for me it's the most interesting thing he's done, or at least the thing i like the most since Abattoir Blues. probably because some of the first disc definitely sounds influenced by mid 90s Current 93.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Tuesday, 8 October 2019 15:52 (one week ago) link

the opening of the title track feels very "warszawa" to me

the whole album is continuing to grow on me, i think i was caught off-guard by it opening with "spinning song" which is one of the most minimal and skeleton tree-like tracks, but i even like that a lot now. "ghosteen speaks" is the only one i haven't gotten into yet, it's still quite formless and is mostly synth drones plus backing vocals "wwhoaaaaaaaaa" over and over

ufo, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 11:04 (one week ago) link

with the analogue synths and the choir sounds... it's like he's singing over a Kosmische album from the late 70s sometimes

I'm sold on that!

michaellambert, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:45 (one week ago) link

Or like a later Alice Coltrane record, which both he & esp Ellis are noted fans of

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:50 (one week ago) link

Hmm, thinking of this in terms of one of Alice Coltrane's ashram cassettes helps. My first listen found it too tract-like, too dependent on the words to click. But framing it as devotional pondering may help.

bendy, Thursday, 10 October 2019 15:10 (one week ago) link

Nick what do you think Antifa is fighting for

http://www.theredhandfiles.com/why-do-you-write/

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 18:18 (five days ago) link

Or against, rather

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 18:18 (five days ago) link

nick: "self-righteous belief and the suppression of contrary systems of thought" is bad. "lack of humility" is bad. "paternalistic and doctrinal sureness" is bad.

also nick: people who are religious and believe in god are indisputably wrong and should probably be shunned.

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 22:16 (five days ago) link

i couldn't care less if people believe in god but i found his antifa commments quite shocking.

stirmonster, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 22:50 (five days ago) link

No one even brought up Antifa, he could have left it at his thoughts on woke culture, which I disagree with but whatever, old white dudes gonna old white dude

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 23:01 (five days ago) link

whatever, old white dudes gonna old white dude

bravo

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 00:45 (four days ago) link

I was at his Sunday 'Conversations...' show here in SF -- which was quite good -- and he did talk about free speech as such in the context of his version of "Stagger Lee" but didn't go THAT far, let's say. But I did think "Hmm..." when I heard it.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 02:24 (four days ago) link

Bunch of UK and European dates announced for next year:

https://www.nickcave.com/tour-dates/

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Friday, 18 October 2019 09:34 (two days ago) link

Lotte Lehmann, the German soprano, had this line about how 'only that is convincing which is truly felt' and as I listen to Ghosteen I'm tempted to reverse it: clearly I'm meant to feel something, but that putative emotion is buried deep in layers upon layers of smug theatrical artifice. I don't buy his incantations in the least, and all I'm left with as a newcomer to his oeuvre is the man's Reputation.

pomenitul, Friday, 18 October 2019 10:02 (two days ago) link

I think that's fair, or at least not unfair. Context carries a lot of weight on this album. Getting into Cave via this album would be a little like diving into Autechre and starting with "All End."

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 October 2019 12:17 (two days ago) link

He's not even that great in concert these days. Around the time of Henry's Dream and Let Love In the concerts were extraordinary, the Bad Seeds were such a force back then. Some of the best live shows I ever saw. I find Cave's shows quite boring now.

Fried Egg Sandwich, Friday, 18 October 2019 12:42 (two days ago) link

Having gone to one of the Skeleton Tree arena shows it sort of worked, and I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I have the urge to go this time round.

OTM about the Henry's Dream shows, they were the ones with the Mercy Seat endurathon version iirc.

So, your CV says you're a (checks notes) DJ and stand-up comedian (aldo), Friday, 18 October 2019 12:48 (two days ago) link

I'm too much of a johnny-come-lately to have seen him around that time, but the Skeleton Tree shows were incredible for me, just this total communal love-fest.

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Friday, 18 October 2019 13:00 (two days ago) link

the Push the Sky Away tour was fucking amazing

I don't dig the album, but I'd really recommend seeing Once More With Feeling before you dismiss it all as smug showmanship

tbh I think he's a bit lost but for understandable reasons

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 18 October 2019 13:13 (two days ago) link

Yeah, I saw Once More With Feeling. In 3D! It was okay. Don't know if it was a necessary film to make, I just felt a bit sad after I saw it and wished the album was better. The Road To God Knows Where is good if you've not seen it.

Ellis is a weak link for me, I just don't like what he brings to the band. Sonically I find him a real turn off.

Fried Egg Sandwich, Friday, 18 October 2019 13:18 (two days ago) link

Lately I might agree with that. He's a wild man, so it's kind of too bad these days he's relegated to playing little micro synths or whatever. But when he picks up his violin or a guitar he's pretty rocking.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 October 2019 13:40 (two days ago) link

I would agree with most of that, I like Skeleton Tree more than you but this isn't his best era for sure

Ellis can be so great, Dirty Three was so amazing live and he was great on the Push tour

but yeah this new one reminds me a bit of when I go to Guitar Center to get strings on sale and end up fucking around with doing droney pads on some display synth for fifteen minutes

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 18 October 2019 13:52 (two days ago) link

Can't remember which tour (Abattoir Blues possibly) but I saw The Dirty Three support the Bad Seeds once, Warren was absolutely amazing then. He played in the Bad Seeds the same night too. Crazy energy.

I wonder how many people who put Ghosteen in their albums of the year lists will be listening to it in one, five, ten years? It just doesn't feel like an album to be listened to much for me. I could always go back to Let Love In because it's such a stonkingly good, end-to-end killer record, but these last three albums just don't have that pull. They feel like worthy pieces of art that were important for Nick to make, but as music albums, not so compelling.

That fucking awful Bunny Munro book (I remember Q describing it as "like being hit over the head with a squeaky sex toy) was the beginning of a sharp artistic downward trend for Cave.

Fried Egg Sandwich, Friday, 18 October 2019 14:54 (two days ago) link

it'll be in my albums of the year list and i probably will be listening to it occasionally for the next 10 years, it's really that gorgeous

ufo, Friday, 18 October 2019 15:03 (two days ago) link

i understand why the change in sound may not really interest long-time fans at all though

ufo, Friday, 18 October 2019 15:06 (two days ago) link

I wonder how many people who put Ghosteen in their albums of the year lists will be listening to it in one, five, ten years?

incredibly boring way of thinking about music ahoy

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 18 October 2019 15:13 (two days ago) link

Boring or not, I think it's not a totally unreasonable stance/standard. The broader question is, is it an album that you'd put into regular circulation as something you'd reach for before another album, either by the same artist or not? I don't know. I think of something like "Vulnicura" by Bjork, which I really liked at the time but haven't listened to since (and I never heard her most recent album). Or the second Bon Iver album, which I recall being kind of cool, but which I haven't felt the need to listen to since its release as well. I mean, there are only so many hours in the day. There are something like 20 Nick Cave albums at this time, that could be all I listened to, but if I was jonesin' for Nick Cave I'm not sure what it would take for me to grab the new one (or any of the recent ones) over the 5 or so I like a lot more.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 October 2019 16:10 (two days ago) link

I could always go back to Let Love In because it's such a stonkingly good, end-to-end killer record, but these last three albums just don't have that pull.

I feel the same way, Eggsy. As you said, Nick *had* to make them, and I respect that and find things to love on all of them, but they're so laden with context for me that they're hard to revisit. "Ghosteen" just slays me. As a parent, it's one of your my nightmares writ large.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 18 October 2019 18:28 (two days ago) link

Some not particularly coherent thoughts that I might come back to:

a) I guess he has to make the music he has to make, at this point.

b) I guess he's in a position (financially, whatever) that he can make the records he needs to make.

c) I don't like the idea of "Good music will be listened to in the future". You can play a record once and it change your life. There's no expectation that you watch a good film multiple times, I don't think.

djh, Friday, 18 October 2019 18:53 (two days ago) link

this new one reminds me a bit of when I go to Guitar Center to get strings on sale and end up fucking around with doing droney pads on some display synth for fifteen minutes

hahaha OTM

meaulnes, Friday, 18 October 2019 18:54 (two days ago) link

I wonder how many people who put Ghosteen in their albums of the year lists will be listening to it in one, five, ten years?

I wonder this about literally every new record I've purchased since 2010 or so (with the exception of NTS Sessions 1-4) but I also acknowledge that this is a 'me' problem and not a 'music' problem. I also concede that I still get a lot of enjoyment from the ritual of getting swept up in the fever that still accompanies the release of particular albums. Last month when every message board was talking about Fear Inoculum? That was fun as hell. I dunno if I'll be listening to that album in five or ten years (probably not) but I had a good time getting swept up in all the excitement (see also: A Moon Shaped Pool). Ghosteen feels like one of those albums. This is why I am always loath to declare 'omg best album since xxx' and such, even when it might feel that way at the time.

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 18 October 2019 19:06 (two days ago) link

He's not even that great in concert these days.

I saw him on "The First Born Is Dead" tour, which was as wild as anything. He encored with "Wild World" which almost made up for me never getting to see The Birthday Party.

I think I have probbaly seen him play a dozen times since then including one TV recording in G

stirmonster, Friday, 18 October 2019 20:51 (two days ago) link

He's not even that great in concert these days.

I saw him on "The First Born Is Dead" tour, which was as wild as anything. He encored with "Wild World" which almost made up for me never getting to see The Birthday Party.

I think I have probbaly seen him play a dozen times since then including one TV recording in Glasgow in front of an audience of around 100 which was so intimate that Blixa was practically sat on top of me while he was playing.

But the best time I

stirmonster, Friday, 18 October 2019 20:53 (two days ago) link

He's not even that great in concert these days.

I saw him on "The First Born Is Dead" tour, which was as wild as anything. He encored with "Wild World" which almost made up for me never getting to see The Birthday Party.

I think I have probably seen him play a dozen times since then including one TV recording in Glasgow in front of an audience of around 100 which was so intimate that Blixa was practically sat on top of me while he was playing.

But the best time I ever saw him was last year in an enormo-dome which I was expecting not to enjoy. He managed to make a 15000 capacity venue feel more intimate than that TV recording.

sorry for the muti posts - my phone is having a meltdown.

stirmonster, Friday, 18 October 2019 20:56 (two days ago) link

I've seen him a few different times since the mid '90s, but I haven't seen any of the recent big shows, just clubs and theaters. Speaking of context, what throws me a little bit is his stylistic turn came with Push the Sky Away, well before the death of his son, and even most of Skeleton Tree was iirc written or recorded before tragedy hit, too. Of course, that album is eerily resonant with what we, as fans/listeners, know happened, and the 3D movie subtly but explicitly expands on that feeling. So of course the new one is the first composed and recorded after the death of his son, and we listen with that in mind, but contextually I hear it as very much of a piece with the last three first and foremost. I'm honestly curious where he goes next, whether he stays in this minimal electro-acoustic mode or moves on to something else.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 October 2019 21:33 (two days ago) link

"He's not even that great in concert these days."

this is a bewildering statement to me. He's exceptional. Different than the 80's and 90's yeah, but that was a long fucking time ago.

akm, Friday, 18 October 2019 21:44 (two days ago) link

On a separate note: Robert Ham (who...used to post here? still does? my brain is soft on this point) earlier today overheard a guy talk about this guy's friend who has a pizza place in the San Juan Islands in Washington. To quote Robert, the pizza place guy "is having a mural painted featuring Nick Cave, David Bowie, Joe Strummer and one other famous rocker he couldn't remember the name of sitting around a table eating pizza together." Needless to say I want to see this thing immediately.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 18 October 2019 21:58 (two days ago) link

Pics or it hasn't happened

So, your CV says you're a (checks notes) DJ and stand-up comedian (aldo), Friday, 18 October 2019 23:19 (two days ago) link

I’ve seen Nick Cave a slightly embarrassing number of times going back to Henry’s Dream. The highlights were the tours for The Boatman’s Call and Abattoir Blues, absolutely exceptional shows with the new material feeling super vital. I’ve seen the last few outings and the new stuff has been good but for me they get a bit rote when the setlist warhorses are wheeled out - Red Right Hand, From Her to Eternity, Tupelo, Into Your Arms, Ship Song. I get why you’d want to play those songs and if any of those shows was your first NC show it would totally deliver.

The show I saw on the Push The Sky Away tour had Jubilee Street as like the 3rd song and it was unbelievable, one of the most extraordinary live music moments I’ve ever seen. I could have left at that point totally satisfied.

umsworth (emsworth), Saturday, 19 October 2019 00:50 (yesterday) link

Nick Cave, David Bowie, Joe Strummer and one other famous rocker
Bob Marley or GTFO

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 19 October 2019 02:31 (yesterday) link

Iggy IMO

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Saturday, 19 October 2019 04:27 (yesterday) link

saw bad seeds in a theatre san diego in 2017... still probably the best rock show i've been to. never seen a band with dynamic range as broad as that. nick's presence was out of this world, and being part of the crowd rushing the stage was surreal.

meaulnes, Saturday, 19 October 2019 12:23 (yesterday) link

No More Shall We Part tour for me. I'm more or less a casual fan but to this day it was one of the best rock shows I've ever attended.

The new record's just ok imo. I really love "Night Raid" but none of the others are sticking. FWIW I didn't much care for Skeleton Tree either.

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 19 October 2019 12:30 (yesterday) link

yeah. it's a shame the last two records don't really hold up to the amount of fuss - and magnetism - of the recent documentaries, tours, talks, etc. i really do think the seeds are world class musicians and nick's an amazing writer, but i just expect something a little more than microkorg for an hour.

meaulnes, Saturday, 19 October 2019 13:49 (yesterday) link


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