One More Time With Feeling
Most of us don’t want to change, really. I mean, why should we? What we do want is sort of modifications on the original model. We keep on being ourselves but, just hopefully, better versions of ourselves. But what happens when an event occurs that is so catastrophic that you just change? You change from the known person to an unknown person. So that when you look at yourself in the mirror you recognise the person that you were but the person inside the skin is a different person.
A new album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds is always worth my attention, and Skeleton Tree – released this Friday 9th September – comes loaded with dark promise, certainly if the opening track ‘Jesus Alone‘ is anything to go by. Cave’s son died last summer when the band were in the midst of recording sessions, which has undoubtedly contributed to the project’s gestalt. As a complementary prelude to the album’s release, cinemas will be showing for one night only the film One More Time With Feeling, a documentary of sorts directed by Andrew Dominik and designed to spare Cave the horror of having to go through the whole promotional nightmare while still caught in the undertow of grief. There’s a 9pm showing at my ‘local’ multiplex tomorrow night, but I’ve weighed up the £15 ticket price and perilous cycle journey there and back in the dark, and decided I can wait for the inevitable DVD release/upload to YouTube. I’m not a die-hard Cave fan and, indeed, came late to the show only about 10 years ago, after a long time of being dissuaded by many an earnest goth in a ‘Henry’s Dream’ t-shirt. This attitude has allowed me, I believe, a certain perspective, meaning that I can comfortably say it’s not all gold that he’s mined. That said, given recent events a large swathe of his back-catalogue that I once dismissed has now acquired an added significance. Cave has never deviated from his chosen metaphor, and stands as a good example of the kind of commitment a serious artist needs to make if they’re going to do anything that survives beyond the blipvert attention span of the monoculture.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jesus Alone