The Joup Friday Album: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – And No More Shall We Part

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It is hard to imagine an album more beautiful than this. And when you factor in the oddities, the darkness, the punishment and the full out belly laughs – ie the guy in the plastic antlers pressing his bum against the glass – what you have is a musical experience unlike any other. When I first heard this somewhere around eleven years ago it was my first deep exposure to Mr. Cave. It was also unlike any musical experience I’d had up until that point, roughly my twenty fourth year on Earth.

It left its mark, of that there is no doubt.

Speaking of days on Earth, thanks to my lovely wife Sara last night we attended the premiere of 20,000 Days on Earth, the new film by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard – a collaboration with Mr. Cave – that portrays a partially fictional pseudo documentary about Mr. Cave’s life and career. The film is a work of staggering genius (take that Eggers – this one’s for real!) and is probably not only up there with Control as a candidate for my favorite musician-based film ever, but also probably the most beautiful film I’ll see in 2014. The event was a small spectacle when you consider how big something like this could have been, but it was perfect for the poorly managed yet exquisitely operated Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. What’s more, the film’s Distributor, Drafthouse Films, arranged to have the screening followed by an intimate piano performance/Q&A with Mr. Cave. The performance aspect of this was even more beautiful than the film – having Nick Cave practically right in front of me (most suburban multiplex theatre’s are bigger than this room) gently performing what amounted to five of his songs was an experience without peer. I have seen a lot of concerts, many grand, but this is one that I will take to the grave in the full technicolor glory reserved for the deepest etched of our memories. The performance is also especially relevant here because the first of the songs Mr. Cave treated the relatively small audience to was track 4 on And No More Shall We Part, Love Letter. Listen to it here and consider: you think that’s beautiful? In person it was… divine.

Songs Mr. Cave performed: Love Letter – Into My Arms – The Mercy Seat – The Ship Song – People Ain’t No Good.

The final song was especially poignant to the event as the Q&A portion was – aside from a very small number of well-phrased, intelligent questions – a ridiculous reminder of why people just shouldn’t talk. I’m being a bit harsh, but the complete douche bag who first failed at making the banal jest of being a comparable level song writer/performer and then followed it up by asking Mr. Cave to take a picture with his girlfriend – right there and then – really soured the entire experience of audience interaction. Cave was a prince – he even agreed to the picture, until he realized the girl was approaching him for a selfie, at which point he interjected, “Where’s the camera man? I am NOT taking a fucking selfie.” The tactless hipster sprang up and snapped the pic but the damage was done. One final – and quite thoughtful question later – Cave closed with the aforementioned track #3 from 1997’s The Boatman’s Call and it resounded as a closing indictment of the kind of people who look to a performer they should respect as just one more person they can attempt to convince of their own genius. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last Q&A Mr. Cave agrees to do on these shores for some time.

Admittedly this has been a bit more than just the usual Friday Album Post, but I had to set the experience down somewhere, and what better place than here, alongside my favorite record by one of my all-time favorite performers. As always, if you dig And No More Shall We Part, go buy it. Or better yet, go buy it, a Birthday Party record and a Grinderman record and have yourself a Nick Cave party.

You’ll be damn glad you did.

Tag Tommy!

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

One Response to The Joup Friday Album: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – And No More Shall We Part
  1. Tommy Reply

    Ain’t no party like a Nick Cave party!

    Excellent article. Excellent pick. Excellent album. And i can only imagine how excellent that unique performance must have been. Color me green with envy.

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