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Push The Sky Away is the ghost-baby in the incubator
February 14, 2013 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Push The Sky Away, the new album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is streaming now. It's already garnered one negative review.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (38 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I stopped going to his concerts when Blixa Bargeld left. Now that Mick Harvey is also out, I might have to stop buying the albums, too.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:05 PM on February 14, 2013


I stopped going to his concerts when Blixa Bargeld left. Now that Mick Harvey is also out, I might have to stop buying the albums, too.

I'm skipping the current tour since I spent all my money on Springsteen (and I've seen them about 10 times since moving to Australia), but Mick Harvey has been replaced by Ed Kuepper from the Saints and Mark Lanegan is supporting so I feel like I'm missing out.

This new album is much more sedate than the Grinderman stuff or Abbatoir Blues, but not quite as chilled out as Nocturama.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:07 PM on February 14, 2013


"where the 55-year old appears to be shaming a nude woman into defrosting his fridge"

Heh, that's a good line.
posted by awfurby at 4:08 PM on February 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. I like what I hear so far, but above all else I marvel how well the dense velvet quality of Nick's voice has held up over the years.

Yep, I feel old. He's doing just fine, though.
posted by vers at 4:09 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mick Harvey has been replaced by Ed Kuepper from the Saints and Mark Lanegan is supporting so I feel like I'm missing out.

I was set to at least think about it until I realized that with fees and everything, tickets for two people would be about $150, and I'm not paying that kind of money to see The Bad Seeds without Blixa. I do enjoy Mark Lanegan's solo stuff quite a bit, though.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:10 PM on February 14, 2013


Nick Cave was one of those artists I've always been aware of, but for some reason avoided all these years, despite feeling guilty about not giving him a chance. I recently broke through by buying a used copy of "The Boatman's Call" on a whim. It's magnificent.
posted by davebush at 4:11 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I was the match that would fire up her snatch."

Nooooooooooooo :(
posted by basicchannel at 4:12 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


The power of Nick Cave: a few years ago I went to Big Day Out, the annual Australian summer music festival. On that day I saw the Jim Jones Revue, Andrew WK, The Greenhornes, Iggy & The Stooges, Tool, and Rammstein. At 11am I headed off to a small stage to see Grinderman, a band made up of people I see play at least once a year. They were still, almost, the best band of the day.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:13 PM on February 14, 2013


That's a terrible album cover. Not as bad as the cover for Tom Waits' last album, but still...pretty bad.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:14 PM on February 14, 2013


A lot of this sounds like The Proposition soundtrack
posted by dng at 4:20 PM on February 14, 2013


Nick Cave haunts my caving related Google searches.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 4:28 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I sometimes get Nick Cave confused with Nick Cage, but since I'm usually talking about one of them doing something awesome involving shamanistic death rituals and Elvis imitation nobody notices the mistake.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:37 PM on February 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Jubilee Street (NSFW) - featuring Ray Winstone [uncensored version].
posted by unliteral at 4:48 PM on February 14, 2013


I found the album an endless dreary mid-tempo slog. But he's already put out more great music than most artists could ever dream of, so hey, it's all good.
posted by Palindromedary at 4:53 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


'Higgs Boson Blues' reminds me of when I'm jamming and I can't think of lyrics so I just sing about whatever was on Metafilter that day.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:54 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not only has Warren Ellis x2 confused me for years, I am apparently also unable to distinguish Mick Harvey from Mick Harris in my mind.

That aside, I appreciate the review's wit, but there seem to be three fundamental points to it:

1. The music is undercooked,
2. The lyrics are thunderingly awful,
3. It's not okay for a guy over 50 years old to talk enthusiastically about sex.

So far, my jury is out on #1, the examples cited for #2 are pretty damning, but I can't really get on board with the whole "Nick Cave has passed an arbitrary buy-before date and now it's creepy for him to be into the sexy sex."

The Nick Cave, Sex Spelunker persona has always straddled the line between burning intensity and leering creepiness. I don't see much of a difference now. What makes people think that 50 is some sort of magic off-switch after which certain things must No Longer Be Discussed?
posted by Shepherd at 4:58 PM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Nick Cave, Sex Spelunker persona has always straddled the line between burning intensity and leering creepiness. I don't see much of a difference now. What makes people think that 50 is some sort of magic off-switch after which certain things must No Longer Be Discussed?

I have had some personal disagreements with the author and the text, but I feel like I must link Anwyn Crawford's 2009 essay attacking Nick Cave.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:00 PM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


What makes people think that 50 is some sort of magic off-switch after which certain things must No Longer Be Discussed?

I think the problem here is that he's also discussing Hannah Montana.
posted by asperity at 5:06 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


90% of his recent novel The Death Of Bunny Munro was about kylie Minogue's and Avril Lavigne's vaginas for some reason, as well.
posted by dng at 5:09 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


He did work with Kylie. I just found out that the model on the cover of the album his his wife. Wow.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:09 PM on February 14, 2013


Shepherd: the review doesn't seem to be saying that 50-year-olds can't talk about sex; it seems to be expressing annoyance at 50-year-olds who talk about sex in an immature and inexorable way, and then insist on pushing it on you like they've got something to prove. I'm not sure that's a thing as much as the author insists it is, but Nick Cave sure as hell has some weird and confusing lyrics about sex and gender. It will be interesting to see what he has to say on this album, anyway.
posted by koeselitz at 5:09 PM on February 14, 2013


Gee, everyone liked him when he first came to town.
posted by orme at 5:28 PM on February 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I linked to the album stream on Facebook...

then I read the review....

then I deleted the Facebook link.
posted by CynicalKnight at 5:58 PM on February 14, 2013


Listening to the album, it's not nearly as bad as the Timeout review makes it out to be, though it's not great by any stretch of the imagination; 'Jubilee Street' stands out head and shoulders as the best song on the album, and the rest kind of amble along pleasantly until they end.

But, boy oh boy, the lyrics. I'm going to be honest here: I like Nick Cave, but I've always found his lyrics clunky, forced, and kind of shallow. I wouldn't mind so much except that he is always bandied around as some genius rock and roll poet, the successor to Leonard Cohen. But Cohen's lyrics had a grace and subtlety to them that were startling for their beauty, while the best Cave could muster were lines that were startling for being starting.

One of Cave's favourite 'tricks' is ramming deliberately profane (or even just awkward) lines up against elegantly, well-attired poetry, which is how we get that line about the match and the snatch that - shock, horror - appears in an otherwise graceful song about mermaids. Or, more inexplicably, the line 'Wikipedia is heaven' over top of a bed of weepy strings. I'm going to give Cave the benefit of the doubt and assume that these lines are meant to stick out like a sore thumb, but man, I always found it a little tiresome. Cohen likes to do this as well, but he does it with far more grace and tact than Cave; with a Leonard Cohen song, the sacred and profane mingle seamlessly. With Cave, it comes across more like your weird uncle trying to make you uncomfortable.
posted by Tiresias at 6:09 PM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Take rock lyrics out of context, complain that they are shite. Repeat.
posted by fellorwaspushed at 6:26 PM on February 14, 2013


Take rock lyrics out of context, complain that they are shite. Repeat.

Whatever happened to tasteful, classy, mature Rock? You know, Rock the whole family could enjoy and didn’t get people all riled up.
posted by bongo_x at 6:50 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to tasteful, classy, mature Rock? You know, Rock the whole family could enjoy and didn’t get people all riled up.

This + Grinderman + Abbatoir Blues might be Cave's deliberate attempt NOT to slip into the role of Honored Elder Statesman, giving poetry readings and appearing in tasteful magazine profiles as a PTA member, Hollywood screenwriter, and devoted husband. But that image fits too much for him to escape it entirely.

I mean FFS, I've loved the guy since I was 15, but he's worked with both Kylie Minogue and Shia LeBeuf.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:52 PM on February 14, 2013


I stopped going to his concerts when Blixa Bargeld left.

I stopped going to see him when Blixa was in the band.
Henry's Dream was his last good album as far as I am concerned (although Murder Ballads was okay), but when he whipped out God Is In The House/Boatman's Call I tried, and I could not go there. I tried for a few more albums, even Grinderman.

It's fine if you can dig his new jam, but I can't.
I do dig Truck Love., even if it's not a Nick Cave song per se.
posted by Mezentian at 7:39 PM on February 14, 2013


No, I WANNA BE THE GHOST-BABY IN THE INCUBATOR!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:19 PM on February 14, 2013


He's made some excellent albums, including one I consider near-perfect (Let Love In, which for some reason no one's mentioned here yet), but he peaked quite a while ago. Murder Ballads was the last excellent album, after that, he's become increasingly repetitive and tiresome.

Also, it seems he moved from an atheist's dark fascination with old testament doom and gloom to a kind of born-again new testament honest love affair with Christianity, and that's no fun.

But the whole series of albums from Tender Prey to Murder Ballads is very good, and there's the occasional gem outside of that too, especially before. So he's done good, better than the vast majority of musicians. Concerts used to be great too, but I have no idea what they'll be like without Blixa and Mick Harvey. I'm skeptical.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:03 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Take rock lyrics out of context, complain that they are shite. Repeat.

They are shite. There exist good lyrics in rock, you know. I doubt "She was a catch / We were a match / I was the match that would fire up her snatch" could possibly not be shite, even when accompanied by music.
posted by kenko at 9:37 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, can a mermaid even have a snatch?
posted by scody at 11:20 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yahoo Answers says: Fish do. So, once could extrapolate mermaids do.
I suspect Yahoo Answers is not a definitive source when asking the question "do fish have vaginas?".

Further digging suggests they have cloacas. Can the cloaca be accurately be described a "snatch"?

Aye. We need a grizzled old fisherman to answer that. One who has spent many nights alone at sea.
posted by Mezentian at 1:38 AM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't mind so much except that he is always bandied around as some genius rock and roll poet, the successor to Leonard Cohen. But Cohen's lyrics had a grace and subtlety to them that were startling for their beauty, while the best Cave could muster were lines that were startling for being starting.

Leonard Cohen - Don't Go Home With Your Hard-on.
posted by cincinnatus c at 2:29 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I came into his music fairly late (around Nocturama) but I've been really impressed going backwards as well as forward. And I really like the new album, it's got a interesting mix of creepy and beautiful, and there's something to be said about sticking to a consistent sonic tapestry to give an album a particular personality. Jubliee Street is a good song yes, but it's also the most obvious catchy one. There are some really amazing moments in some others that I haven't really seen the band explore before in quite the same way. I'd recommend spending some time with it.

Not sure about the lyrics, there are definitely some ugly places but, as some have suggested, I can't help feel that he's exploring a kind of crude vulgar bad-lyrics thing to contrast with some of the more beautiful lines.

Anyway, there have been other reviews and most are quite positive. metacritic.
posted by troubles at 10:50 AM on February 15, 2013


I like it (no surprise there then!) - here's my humble review.

Also, the launch party gig on 21 feb is to be streamed live on YouTube!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 12:32 AM on February 16, 2013


‘Ghosts… Of The Civil Dead’: Nick Cave’s psychotic cameo in harrowing 1989 Aussie prison drama
posted by homunculus at 4:14 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's been nigh on 20 years sine I have seen it, but Cave's turn in Ghosts .... is a bit more than a cameo.
It a great film, but not a fun one.
posted by Mezentian at 7:08 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


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