Keep on pushin’

October 16, 2013

Several months ago, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released their latest album, “Push the Sky Away”.  I’ve listened to it probably every day since I got my hands on it.  As a huge fan of NC&tBS, I have a lot of thoughts on it.  I’m sure in a year or so, I’ll never want to listen to anything from it, then go back to gushing about the validity of the music or lyrics or cover art, or whatever.

But tonight, I made a revelation about this album.

Aside from seeing it as Nick’s darkest album yet (yes, even more so than “Let Love In”), I see it as a man coming to his senses.  A man who has realized that life has gone by and he’s only starting to experience it.  A man who has made choices and has to come to terms with them.

Maybe that man is Nick himself, maybe it’s the random protagonist narrator he so often portrays.  That doesn’t matter.  What does matter, to me, is that I have realized I can actually write about this.

Songs inspire me.  I’m a musician (although I haven’t picked up a guitar in a long time), and spent much of my twenties writing lyrics that never went anywhere, and music that sort of worked for its purpose.  But I’m also a man who loves music, so much so that if I’m writing a story and there’s silence, I can’t concentrate.  All the background noise gets to me, and I need music to block it out.

Anything by Nick is welcome while I’m writing.  “Nocturama” was played more times than I can count while I wrote “Absolution”.  Maybe someday that book will actually get published, and I can thank Nick in the Author Notes–and mean it.

But another songs do is inspire my writing.  I’ve written stories based on, inspired by, and about, songs.  Not songs I’ve written, but other stuff that I love.  “In the Blue Room”, hopefully getting published soon, was inspired by the music video for “Blue” by The Birthday Massacre, for instance.

As for Nick’s songs?  I’ve never once had an inspiration to write anything from one of his songs.

I was thinking about it, and I believe that it’s because the songs are always such complete thoughts.  A story, from start to finish.  I have no need to write about his stuff, because he’s said what needed to be said already.

Until I listened to “Push the Sky Away”.

I feel like I can write a story about every single song on that album.  Maybe I will.  But I know one thing is for certain–I know that I can listen to that album, no matter what my mood, and smile.

Because it is nothing but damn fine work.  Nick, if you decide right this instant to quit music forever, you’ve left me with a great ending.

I couldn’t ask for more.  And hopefully, the stories I write can do the songs justice.


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