Sometime this week, Longsufferinggirlfriendoftheblogbeth and I are going to see Amy, Asif Kapadia’s five-star-reviewed documentary of Amy Winehouse’s life. I saw Senna, his similar movie about the late Brazilian Formula 1, last year and thought it was very powerful. Given the interest in death often expressed on the blog, that’s maybe not surprising. Even if that interest itself is. To me at least.

Stroke Bloke and L-SGotBB prepare next week’s blog

[“A particularly apposite week to sign up for the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.” – Stroke Bloke.]

Maybe that’s a little ghoulish. Or maybe it’s healthy. In any event, it’s certainly not unusual. We recently went to see Nick Cave perform at the Edinburgh Playhouse. For all his reinvention as a the sort of renaissance man who performs duets on Top of the Pops about smashing in the skull of adorable Antipodean pop princess Kylie Minogue, he remains a kind of godfather of Goth.

I just can’t get you(r rock) out of my head…

“Edinburgh’s Broadway” – well, it is often surrounded by rubbish tourists – was filled by over three-thousand middle-aged Goths from the environs of Edinburgh (and one cute American). To paraphrase another musician of a certain age, the middle-aged Goths were coming up from behind, and they were actually really, really nice. Even if the queue for snakebites with blackcurrant were a bit much.

(In my mid-Atlantic existence, I’ve discovered that a U.S. snakebite is distinguished from a British one in that it doesn’t add blackcurrant squash to the cider and lager mix – making it less of the ur-Goth drink. Reading on, I discover that there’s an urban myth perpetuated by bartenders that snakebites are illegal. The question is discussed at pub bore-length here. But what seems to be going on is that snakebite “is drunk primarily by younger drinkers who tend to drink it too fast.” And presumably start reciting The Raven like the pissed-up lunatics they are.)

Get a spoon – I can play This Corrosion on these!

In the flight from ghoulishness, then, maybe I should forego Amy and watch 20,000 Days on Earth,  a movie that “depicts a fictitious 24 hour period in the life of Australian musician, model, songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and actor Nick Cave”.

Ian Wiki indicates that the movie received general acclaim on its premiere, so I’ll have to nudge the BBC a step closer to funding-by-poll-tax by finding 20,000 Days… somewhere online.

It’s unlikely that many who aren’t already whole-hog Bad Seeds fans would be able to stomach much of Cave’s self-styled pomposity

Nick reacts to critical acclaim

The Cavemeister has continued to explore the line between fact and fiction in his new book, The Sick Bag Song. As described in this interview, the process of creating The Sick Bag Song started with writing down ideas, observations, memories on actual sick bags during a US tour.

…it’s a character-driven story and that character is on some level a literary invention that just happens to be an ageing rock star…

If you’re interested in the creative process – and do object in the comments if this is, as I suspect, solely of interest to self-absorbed writers – Cave makes some interesting remarks about his. He keeps his imagination in shape by changing the sorts of things he does – novels, screenplays, film and theatrical scores. And, though he’s at pains to deny it, poetry. And how he decides what to share of himself:

The idea of censoring things as you write, it’s just something that I don’t do…. I always choose something that feels right or reads right, or sounds right in a song…

Nick shares the part of himself that loves skateboards?!?!

But for the purpose of the #stroke blog, perhaps the more interesting thing about Cave is his reinvention. From swamp rock to heroin-addled poetry to the devoted father or Papa Won’t Leave You Henry, from Melbourne to London to Berlin to Sao Paulo to Vila Madalena to Brighton.

What all that means, I dunno. He’s an interesting character, but rarely uncomplicatedly sympathetic. Apparently self-effacing, but deeply serious about his work. He seems a little confused about it himself.

I am Nick Cave and there is no going back to what I was. And on some level, I see that as being successful in my job and on the other hand sometimes it’s fucking exhausting.

But most importantly this week, like Nerd Bait‘s Wurdz Boi, he’s interested in mermaids. Make of that what you will.

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6 thoughts on “Mermaids

  1. Nick Cave is all well and good, but… is that The Sisters of Mercy in your first picture? Goth Flashback to 1987! Viva el Doktor Avalanche! Viva Andrew Eldritch and his enormous ego (and fabulously difficult personality)! Lucretia, My Reflection, dance the ghost with me…

    1. Ha! It is! A complimentary bottle of black nail polish for that man! Have I bored you already with stories of the time I saw the Sisters in Philly, and Eldritch came on stage in a billowing yellow silk shirt, declaring “We’re The Sisters of Mercy, and we’re a rock’n’roll band!” Marvellous stuff.

      Oddly, after Debbie Harry and Marc Almond, many of my clearest ’80s TotP memories are of Eldritch and his loyal drummer. All three singles off Floodland, More, and the reissue of Temple of Love with Ofra Haza.

      Good times.

  2. Excellent. “This Corrosion” freaked me out the first time I heard it, as an awkward teenager with no previous Goth experience. Still love that song plus Lucretia, Colours, Ribbons, I Was Wrong, and many others.

    I saw the 21st century version of the Sisters twice in D.C. More dry ice than should be permitted by law. And f***ing loud, of course. Second show was the night after the 2008 presidential election. “You’ve got your country back,” Eldritch said. Seven years later, I presume Eldritch is perversely enjoying the demented state of politics on this side of the Atlantic (recent Supreme Court decisions notwithstanding). If only it would inspire him to create a new Floodland-quality album…

    1. Lovely.

      I imagine him returning with a three-LP collection of Shostakovich-influenced ambient electronica, just to piss everyone off.

      But while we wait for that, there is the Nick Cave movie. Epically self-absorbed, but I enjoyed it for all that.

  3. I’m all for self-absorbed writerly speak, but I’m not the model of your average human being.

    Speaking of mermaids, are Selkies common knowledge amongst today’s Scottish people, or are they just the Kelpies’ forgotten, rotten-fish relatives?

    1. No, they are. Even if in stubbornly unmystical Edinburgh they rarely show their faces.

      Just enough to get a mention in this week’s blog. Thanks for the reminder.

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