Okay, so I streamed Distant Sky Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen! (See today’s earlier post just below.)
Oh man, it was such a good movie. Although certain songs are gonna make you want to shoot yourself.
Meaning, pretty much any of the songs from Skeleton Tree. They were just too beautiful. Honestly.
The whole concert was amazing. Sort of a full disclosure here, though: I’ve watched quite a number of the homemade – or iPhone made – unofficial videos of Nick Cave’s concerts from this particular tour, so I knew pretty much what would happen throughout. But the production values of this movie in Copenhagen aren’t even in the same universe as any of those phone-made videos on YouTube. Just breathtaking. Truly breathtaking.
Speaking specifically for me, the two early songs he does (Tupelo and The Mercy Seat), were incredibly good and particularly hard to take because of all that life that has now passed under my bridge. So many years ago, I first heard those songs alone in my room in the tenement on E.12th Street and I loved every single moment of discovering Nick Cave. (A tenement that, ironically, Lydia Lunch used to live in, but that was before I put in my own years in that same hellhole in NYC that I called home.)
Anyway. It’s hard for me to understand what the passage of time means. I do not understand it. I only know that you blink and a whole ton of time is just plain gone. I remember every minute, perhaps even every moment, of the “gone” time (I think that’s what makes me neurotic), but I cannot figure out how time “goes.” Where it passes to. And a song like Tupelo triggers something in me from so long ago, which is just so unfathomably deep, and now that he’s added certain lyrics that seem to speak of the death of his own son, it also becomes just too full of love & heartache. And then for me, the song becomes too beautiful for words and, in my mind, or my heart, “too beautiful” translates into something really painful. So hard to endure.
Loyal readers of this lofty blog unfortunately know that I suffer from suicidal depressions. So, no, I don’t own a revolver. I’m just making an illustrative joke. I’m not going to shoot myself.
Nevertheless, Nick Cave’s music, for me, is a minefield. His use of the English language is staggering. There’s a way he strings words together that absolutely confounds me – in its unexpected imagery, its beauty, its darkness, its power. From my perspective as a writer, his use of language amazes me and always has. Sometimes I do not know how to process it. So I think, I have to shoot myself to stop thinking about it.
I have no real clue why any of us are here, but I do feel very strongly that once we’re here, we should stick with it somehow and work it out in the best possible ways we can manage.
There is a very old convent an hour away from me. Carmelite nuns. There is always a room available when my mind becomes too much for me to take. And, trust me, that’s where I go. To the convent. A room with a simple bed, and then a small, very old stone chapel where I’m basically on my knees alone the whole time, talking to Jesus, and that’s no joke. I joke about my ministry all the time on this blog, but I actually did go through divinity school; I did get ordained; I do follow the call of Jesus Christ, my problem (or my joy) is that I hear him in a way that other people simply don’t. And that includes every single one of my professors at school. And I’m guessing includes every single one of those nuns at the convent.
The nuns are amazing, though. So kind. And they have that vow of silence going on that they expect you to participate in. Everything is just so quiet. They’ll ask you to turn in your cell phone and then they’ll tell you where your room is, and then that’s it. Silence until you’re all prayed out and ready to leave.
I guess this is an odd way to give a good review of a movie I loved. But I have so many issues with Time right now, and where on earth it’s going to. And that movie triggered that for me. But I don’t want to lose sight of how beautiful the movie was. And it’s so blessedly un-American. The music is so intelligent; so intellectual, so deeply emotional, complex and often abstract; and sometimes so politically incorrect (his version of Stagger Lee springs joyously to mind) that it is simply glorious to behold — all that un-American, non-Puritanical stuff going on, among thousands and thousands of enraptured people. The audience, I mean. I love it just so very much. Because to me, Nick Cave’s music is all about a Mind thinking; a Heart feeling; art in process.
So I loved it, even though it was hard for me.