Scott died yesterday aged 88.
I'm a fan of Mark Ryden, whose latest exhibit The Gay Nineties West, has just opened at LA's Kohn Gallery. As a companion piece Ryden enlisted a number of musican friends Tyler the Creator, Weird Al, Katy Perry, Nick Cave, Kirk Hammett, Mark Mothersbaugh and more to record original covers of the song "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)." It's a quirky bonus for his already unique artwork.
"Life is about seeing for me. I'm very voyeuristic." Nick Cave
A man is going to Geneva to discover the nature of matter and the possibility of the absence of a God and on the way he is seeing through history various tableaux of spiritual collapse which ends with a vision of Miley Cyrus floating in a swimming pool. This is how Nick Cave explains the meaning of Higgs-Bosun Blues, the nine-minute epic from Push The Sky Away, the most recent release from Cave and the Bad Seeds. It's a remarkable explanation for a song on so many levels. The song aches with melancholy and resignation and yet...there is always that 'yet' with Cave, it is never fully realized into a fully-fledged answer or response to the abyss, to the absence, but there are hints that all can be well without that. You can watch the interview and hear more about his process and views on song-writing below.
It's amazing when you suddenly realize that you have been journeying with a particular person's creativity for a long time, and that it has been woven into the fabric of your life as a resource for one's own reflections and interactions with the business of living. This is very much the case with Eels, the band that functions as the creative outlet for Mark Everett, I own all his albums and they stretch back over twenty years.
His latest release, Eels perform the Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, came out this past Tuesday and was pretty much recorded before his last release but then shelved in favour of perhaps a more upbeat selection of songs. And there is no doubt that this collection is haunted by a significant level of loss and pain, although that is hardly knew to any fans of his music. The tragic aspect of his life has been recounted many times and his ability to process those dark threads with brutal honesty and emotional openness is what makes his music so appealing to me.
Cautionary Tales is a song cycle chronicling a lost love and as such it strikes a major nerve for me right now. The lyrics expose all the aspects of a broken relationship-the things said, the things left unsaid, the undoing and untying, the bonds that can't be broken in spite of circumstance, it's a beautiful and very raw.
Although his work can be brutally honest and process incredibly painful things like the loss of a family member to cancer, as in the song below, which is a favourite of mine, there are very upbeat and beautiful features to botht the music and the man-to see him/them live, is a wonderfully uplifitng and he is far from morose and introverted. Anyway, wanted to mention this new release, it shouldn't be missed, but I'm going back to listening to it now.
“The thing I felt was lacking on the first version was that there was enough of me pointing the finger at somebody else, but there wasn’t enough of me pointing the finger at myself. Then I realised that it should become a record about taking responsibility. Because I realised that in the end, the only thing that any of us can change is ourselves; there’s nothing you can do about anything outside of yourself. So that became the key to the record.”
There seems to be something of a soul revival going on right now. St. Paul and the Broken Bones from Alabama and The Texas 10-piece known as The Suffers are a couple of the bands bringing new life to sixties soul. I love a good horn section so I can listen to this stuff all day.