The Secret Life Of The Love Song
June 2, 2013 4:24 PM   Subscribe

The Secret Life Of The Love Song: Nick Cave’s amazing lecture on songwriting.
posted by homunculus (15 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh, how has this not been linked here before? That picture reminds me of John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.

The lecture itself, which provides no less than a truncated artistic autobiography along with Cave’s creative philosophy at the time, is very much a product of that occasionally rather humorless period of his work,

Why is 'rather humorless' a bad thing?

Here's the full text. The key bit, I think:

All love songs must contain duende. For the love song is never truly happy. It must first embrace the potential for pain. Those songs that speak of love without having within in their lines an ache or a sigh are not love songs at all but rather Hate Songs disguised as love songs, and are not to be trusted. These songs deny us our humanness and our God-given right to be sad and the air-waves are littered with them. The love song must resonate with the susurration of sorrow, the tintinnabulation of grief. The writer who refuses to explore the darker regions of the heart will never be able to write convincingly about the wonder, the magic and the joy of love for just as goodness cannot be trusted unless it has breathed the same air as evil – the enduring metaphor of Christ crucified between two criminals comes to mind here – so within the fabric of the love song, within its melody, its lyric, one must sense an acknowledgement of its capacity for suffering.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:28 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is lovely; I look forward to hearing the entire thing.
posted by desuetude at 4:48 PM on June 2, 2013


Fan-tastic.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:19 PM on June 2, 2013


As an erotographomaniac... thanks.
posted by dobbs at 5:58 PM on June 2, 2013


As a person who had already spent the day listening to Nick Cave (for various reasons), thanks.
posted by Seamus at 7:02 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Through various turns of fortune, I find myself living at a house where Mr. Cave is a regular visitor when he travels to L.A. My housemate is a longtime collaborator of his, and has a seemingly endless supply of Cave stories enough to test the most patient ear.

If you haven't yet heard the one about the "gold statue of a seminude Nick on a horse", which was (is?) to grace his hometown in Australia, do yourself a favor and read up on it. (Keeping in mind that each ridiculous detail, such as requiring Kylie Minogue to attend the unveiling ceremony in gold hotpants, has been imposed by Nick in a decade-long effort to ensure that it never comes to pass. Unfortunately, each of his increasingly bizarre demands have been met or agreed to by the enthusiastic powers-that-be in Warracknabeal.)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:33 AM on June 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


(appologies for a bit of a derail there)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:44 AM on June 3, 2013


The Boatman's Call, his album from this period that is the context for the lecture, comes highly recommended by me.

Its a really great, warm, intimate, piano driven collection of love/lost love songs that includes lyrics like "I don't believe in an interventionist God/But I know, darling, that you do"
posted by C.A.S. at 2:03 AM on June 3, 2013


This was great, thanks for posting homunculus.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:50 AM on June 3, 2013


Nick Cave invited my young relative's children's choir to sing with him in concert on his current tour. He hung out with the choir back stage, chatted with the everyone and was by all accounts super nice to them.
posted by zippy at 9:20 AM on June 3, 2013


If you haven't yet heard the one about the "gold statue of a seminude Nick on a horse", which was (is?) to grace his hometown in Australia, do yourself a favor and read up on it. (Keeping in mind that each ridiculous detail, such as requiring Kylie Minogue to attend the unveiling ceremony in gold hotpants, has been imposed by Nick in a decade-long effort to ensure that it never comes to pass. Unfortunately, each of his increasingly bizarre demands have been met or agreed to by the enthusiastic powers-that-be in Warracknabeal.)

I don't see anything bizarre about that, and the reaction is a sign of Australians' tall poppy syndrome. Before I moved to Aus, all I really knew about Australia was Nick Cave and AC/DC, and Bon Scott's grave is a frequent pilgrimage spot for visiting rock musicians. And he's getting a statue. Why not honor the cultural giant who put Warracknabeal - and the country - on the cultural map?

I was outraged last night when I turned on the TV and saw Red Right Hand being used for a tourism ad, especially after Nick's famous quote about not wanting his songs in ads because people got married to the Ship Song.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:21 PM on June 3, 2013


In Lou Reed´s remarkable song "Perfect Day" he writes in near diary form the events [...] but it is the lines that darkly in the third verse, "I thought I was someone else, someone good" that transforms this otherwise sentimental song into the masterpiece of melancholia that it is.

Fantastic insight. That line is totally the eye of the duck of that song!
posted by yoHighness at 6:02 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't see anything bizarre about that, and the reaction is a sign of Australians' tall poppy syndrome.

I'll have to Google "tall poppy syndrome," but I maintain that "requiring Kylie Minogue to wear gold hotpants at my statue's unveiling ceremony" (as a condition of the subject's consent) remains in the realm of "bizarre."
posted by ShutterBun at 5:31 AM on June 5, 2013


That was 'taking the piss', but so many people act like having a statue of Nick Cave is beyond the pale. Like he doesn't deserve to be honored by a statue, despite putting his town on the map.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:00 PM on June 5, 2013


A day in the life of Nick Cave
posted by homunculus at 9:25 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


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