Thursday, July 29, 2004

Nick Cave's In

Okay, so today I am commenting on an older issue of Gargoyle. Who says I'm not a little OCD? It's Gargoyle No. 39/40, which happens to be the 20th anniversary issue, which by my calculations, means it's the 1996 issue. How much has changed in a few short years.... well hell, 1996 sounds like just yesterday, but it's actually been a long time, now hasn't it? Ouch.

Anyway, starting off with the memoirs section, there's an excerpt from a book by one of Jack Kerouac's wives, Joan Haverty Kerouac. (I have to admit, even though I was never a huge fan of the Beat poets, though I enjoyed some Burroughs on occasion, it was pretty interesting. There truly is something to that window into a world that you can only imagine, the observer's view of a time during a movement and a famous personality, I guess. For example, I ate up the book Please Kill Me, a collection of interviews of the New York punk scene in the early days, traversing everybody from Velvet Underground to the Ramones to Iggy Pop, to David Bowie and the people who thought he was a poseur, to Sid Vicious and the people who thought he was too fucked up that night to have killed Nancy. Let's face it though, it's kind of all gossip and cattiness, but fun to read.)

But, I digress. A great piece was The Flesh Made Word, by Nick Cave, the musician from bands The Birthday Party and Bad Seeds. His piece delved into religion and God as inspiration, and portrayed Christ as a pretty revolutionary guy, rebelling against the established order, a creative force indeed, who remade THE LAWS and pushed for individuality. (You know, "Jesus surfs without a board" -- you SMC people might recall that that was carved into one of the infamous cafeteria trays that accompanied many a hung-over morning.)

And how does one resist Cave's admission that The Birthday Party's inspiration came in part from his pondering a despotic Old Testament God? "So it was the feeling I got from the Old Testament, of a pitiful humanity suffering beneath a despotic God, that began to leak into my lyric writing. As a consequence my words blossomed with a nasty, new energy," he said. Whoa.

I highly recommend the essay, it was interesting and certainly not even close to what I expected. Cave has written a novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel as well as two books of lyrics and poems, King Ink and King Ink II, both of which I'm interested in checking out.

Interestingly, the poems in this volume don't do it for me like the ones in the other issue I read, No. 47. I kind of wonder if it has something to do with 1996, and what was still going on in the poetry world then. Most of them struck me as more dense, and confessional. However, there were probably 7 or so poems I enjoyed, including more from Silvana Straw, who was also published in No. 47. I just started on the fiction section, and will report on that later.

It's really just luck of the draw that I'm reading both issues of Gargoyle that I have on hand, and I promise I will move onto a new title soon.

Thanks for reading,



Blogger slidge said...

As much as I like Nick Cave, I can never forgive him for poisoning Blixa Bargeld's creative principles, thus destroying the radically innovative sound of Einsturzende Neubauten, which now just sounds like angry Germans doing Nick Cave covers.

Bargeld, the founder of Neubauten, has been performing with the Bad Seeds for quite a while now (he appears with them in Wim Wender's "Wings of Desire").

4:11 PM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Interesting, just as I only just recently started listening to Nick Cave, I also just recently started listening to Neubauten, despite the fact that given my musical tastes, I should have loved both a long time ago (thanks to my friend Jonathan who finally put them into my hands!). Love them both... but I think I like the older EN stuff better, at least from the sampling I've done so far... but wouldn't know enough about it to really comment on the Cave influence...

5:53 PM  

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