CAVE by Fascination Anxiety

These days when I go to a movie or dinner with a friend I want to see God, only to be disappointed when I don’t. Of course I don’t mean the ‘Believe or burn in hell’ God. I mean, for example, the sudden halt of existential chaos out of which an answer nonchalantly appears to a seething question that changes the course of your life.

Sometimes I will buy a ticket and go to a place where the answer will most likely be present, such as the recent Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds concert at the Beacon Theater, Cave’s first series of New York performances since the death of his son in 2015.

In prelude to the concert I re-watched  ‘One More Time With Feeling’, a documentary film in which Cave gives us an intimate excursion through his creative heartbreak and confirms his greatness as a poet. And what is a great poet if not a prophet.

Upon entering the Beacon theater  I was thrilled  to find myself surrounded by a New York City crowd with texture. Cave has been performing for forty years and you could tell by the faces that some had been with him from the start. As everyone got their beers and made their way to their seats I could feel the plot thickening. I could sense his presence was upon on us, but what would be the ultimate message from a man who says he has lost interest in narrative lyrics and has undergone a crucial life transformation?

“I think I am loosing my voice…

Just file it under lost things

My voice, my iPhone, my judgement, my memory maybe. Fuck…

And isn’t it the invisible things, lost things, that have so much mass, and so much weight.

And are as big as the universe.”

Although there were plenty of lyrics and dancing once Cave was on stage, it was the ‘Invisible Things’ that were the driving energy of this performance, deflecting any notion of his age and sorrow. As I listened to Cave and the Bad Seeds with eyes closed in awe of the musical sermon upon us, I went through a metaphysical realization, It said to stop frantically pushing the buttons and step away from the control panel of life. Stop wrangling and forcing fate. Instead, become it’s student and study with the best.

After forty years on stage and the ultimate loss, I wouldn’t care if Nick Cave started speaking in tongues, because, ultimately, he is talking about what hides between the lines.

Here I am, the moonlight man

With my six-shooter, I’m Steve McQueen

Call me a cab, I’m that kind of guy

I have a dream

Sometimes I get the elevator to the top

Of the Burj-al-Arab

And shoot my guns across Dubai

Bang bang bang, I’m that kind of guy

But mostly I curl up inside my typewriter

Curl up inside my typewriter

And wish that I could die

Your legs are so long, they should come with their own elevator

Don’t worry darling, I’ll be coming around to see you later

Because between you and me and my best friend, the housefly

I’m Steve McQueen with a big, beautiful dream

I am God

I am God thinking about God thinking about Steve McQueen

It’s for me the sirens and the sylphs

Do their twilight binding

On Saturday night, I walk on someone else’s stomach lining

Up and down the street, call me a cab

Call me a cab

Now I’m the housefly called God, and I don’t give a fuck

Here I come up the elevator, 60 floors

Hoping I don’t get stuck

And everyone out here does mean

And everyone out here does pain

But someone’s got to sing the stars

And someone’s got to sing the rain

I’m the atomizer, I’m the vaporizer

I turn everything to crud

I like it here in your flesh and blood

I’m the elevator man, don’t you see?

You’re a spine-lashed long legged lovely young thing

Call me a cab, I’ll drive it to the top of the Burj-al-Arab

And fire my guns across your stomach

Because someone’s got to sing the stars

And someone’s got to sing the rain

And someone’s got to sing the blood

And someone’s got to sing the pain

Watch out, you fuckers

I’ve got my six-shooter and my housefly on a lead

I’m Burj-al-McQueen

And I’m coming to make every last one of you bleed

God is great, chances are

God is good, well I wouldn’t go that far

I’m Steve McQueen, the atrocity man

With my strap on black porn dream

But mostly I curl up inside my typewriter with my housefly and cry

I told my housefly not to cry

My housefly tells me not to die

Because someone’s got to sing the stars

And someone’s got to sing the rain

And someone’s got to sing the blood

And someone’s got to sing the pain

Text From ‘One More Time With Feelings’, 2016

Andrew Dominik’s ‘One More Time with Feeling’ is a remarkable black-and-white documentary which chronicles the creation of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ album ‘Skeleton Tree’.

Nick Cave is on tour in the United States this summer these dates:

Article & Illustration by Alisa Minyukova aka Fascination Anxiety