November 14, 2008

Nick Cave

Nick Cave was interviewed over at In the interview he said:

"Rock'n'roll is often kind of belittled as being kind of the -I mean, Shakespeare and especially poetry were up here, and rock'n'roll was just a joke.
"I listened to that stuff for years growing up. And then at some point it occurred to me that... rock'n'roll music is extraordinary. It has the effect of literally changing your life, and your entire body chemistry and stuff within a few seconds. And there's something that I've gotten from that that I've never really gotten from a novel or looking at a painting.
"There's certain musicians, like Nina Simone, or Bob Dylan, or Leonard Cohen -if they didn't actually exist, any one of those people- my life would be significantly different. But I could probably get away with not having read
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky or something."

No Pussy Blues - Grinderman

Love Letter - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


Anonymous said...

Honestly, I would have no idea what nick was saying had I not seen Neil Young. When he started playing - that is when I *got* rock.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Yeah. Amazing. So recently!

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Anybody else have a story about losing their rock virginity? I love those kind of stories.

Is it KIND of stories, or KINDS of stories?

jon said...

mine was u2's zoo tv tour. i had heard one, maybe two, of their songs and hardly listened to any rock music at all in my whole life. but my friend got us tickets on the floor for what, at the time, was one of the most spectacular rock shows to hit the stage. i could hardly take it all in. i stood on my chair the entire time. my life has never been the same, and i'm not exaggerating. a world opened up before me. that was november 4, 1994. i always remember the day.

jon said...

i don't know if rock is underrated, but it probably isn't taken as seriously as literature. then again, i went to several panel discussions and presentations on rock n roll at the cultural conference i was at recently. thing is, all they could do was read lyrics and speculate. the speculations usuallly amounted to less than the lyrics themselves, standing alone.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Analyzing rock lyrics? That sounds dangerous. Rock lyrics -even to really really amazing songs- are usually awful standing alone. Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Matt Berninger (The National) being notable exceptions.

Led Zeppelin's 'Black Dog':
"Hey, hey, mama, said the way you move
Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove."

I remember watching a Christian band play a grunge song in 1991 or 1992 at a youth group concert (I was nine or ten years old, watching from the back of the room), and probably 90% of the adults AND kids were plugging their ears and walking out with disgusted, horrified looks on their faces. Behind them in the room remained a small, enthusiastic group of kids who looked like smokers and general peace disturbers, and me and my Dad at the back. That was probably my first conscious rock moment. I'm sure the song was nothing I'd find special today, but I loved the idea (and still do) that this music could drive people out of a room. That's rock and roll: noise, and tearing guitar strings out with your teeth, and a singer commanding you to change your life, like a crazy traveling preacher.

Or maybe my first conscious rock moment was listening to some Larry Norman record at seven or eight years old while reading the liner notes wondering what on earth this long-haired guy was talking about.

Leif Pederson said...

It is kinds of stories if what you mean is that the stories are diverse from one another. It is kind of stories if they fit into a certain genre collectively. As such, it would most likely be "these kind of stories," for this thread.

I remember listening to "Wasted Youth" by Meatloaf, and just loving it, along with the rest of the album. It wasn't any extreme, but it was my introduction to the things they would allow to be said in lyrics within the genre.

Dave McG said...

I spent the better part of a summer in Calgary going to every concert that I could tickets for/afford. I was hungry for Music and real performances. I convinced David and Boyda to come and see a singer named Evan Dando with me. He was the former lead singer of the lemonheads, sort of a left over from the heroin driven grunge days.

It was a solo acoustic set at the Liberty lounge. Almost immediately he started into the crowd, telling them to be quiet or leave.

A couple songs in, he broke a string and in complete silence we all watched him replace it with the wrong string.

He played on and was becoming increasingly annoyed with his guitar and the crowd.

He came to the end of the set and said, 'I'm sorry I suck tonight, but I'm sure some of you suck to, so fuck you.' Then he played some wierd song about pulling heads off of dolls and storm off of the stage, dragging all of his pedals behind him and almost hitting someone in the face with one as he passed.

You couldn't say the playing was great, but I will always remember it.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...


Meatloaf, eh!? Ha. That's awesome.



I think the world can be broken into two radically different groups: those who hear that story and think "Oh man, I wish I could have been there," and those who hear it and roll their eyes, thinking, "what a jerk." I'm solidly in the former category.

Benjamin Hilton said...

hey Matthew, nice blog.

i guess my first great rock experience came kind of late. i was in grade 10 i think. I had always listened to rock and roll on the radio, and my parents raised me with all the classic stuff, but somehow i came across the band sunny day real estate, and when i heard the tune "rain song" for the first time, i remember thinking that it was the perfect music i had been waiting for. suddenly my craving had been wholelistically satisfied.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Ben! Hey, it's been a long time.

Sunny Day Real Estate. They've got some really devoted followers. I have yet to really give them a serious listen. I'm heading to their myspace right... now.

Anonymous said...

yeah, it has been. Are you in film school? if so, then that's fantastic.

i'd say the album's "how it feels to be something on" and "the rising tide" are your best bet to get a good opinion on sunny day. they're 1st - "diary" is popular, but they have a more mature sound on those two i mentioned above. i think they're better anyways. they're drummer is better than the average rock drummer too, which is nice, ha.

take care

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...


I'll be sure to check those albums out.

I am at film school. It is great. Thanks for the vote of confidence.