Posts Tagged ‘Nick Cave’


In the dark times / Will there also be singing? / Yes, there will also be singing. / About the dark times.

–Bertolt Brecht


Didn’t really want to say much today. I did enough of that on Saturday, enough that I couldn’t imagine anyone would want to hear much more from more for a while. But I thought I would share the post below from over 10 years back about the song Pirate Jenny from The Threepenny Opera. I heard it early this morning and it reminded me of the story I told on Saturday about pretending to be a pirate in the woods alone. Maybe the draw in wanting to be a marauding pirate was much the same as it was for Jenny– a desire from a powerless person for control and power of some sort.

I don’t know.

But here’s the post and at the bottom are two versions of the song, one a classic theatric version from Anne Kerry Ford and then a version from Nick Cave in collaboration with punk vocalist Shilpa Ray. There are tons of great versions out there, as there always are for great songs, and I almost threw in Nina Simone’s  strong live interpretation of it. Hope you find one that works for you.


Bea Arthur as the original Lucy Brown

It’s one of those cases of one thing reminding you of something else.  I heard Bobby Darin’s swinging version of Mack the Knife yesterday and there’s a line that ends with and Lucy Brown.  One of those parts of a song that your mind is somehow attuned to and always hears whenever the song is played.

Anyway, it immediately reminded me of  seeing Bea Arthur, of Maude and Golden Girls fame, a number of years back in a one-woman show on Broadway of personal stories and song.   Going in, I knew only a little of her career outside the TV roles so I didn’t have high expectations.  I was pleasantly surprised by a great show.

I didn’t know much of her Broadway career and didn’t know she originated the role of Lucy Brown in the original Broadway version of The Threepenny Opera back in the ’50’s.  She told several great tales about the show and then did a stirring version of the The Pirate Jenny.

I’m embarassed to say that I didn’t know much at that time about The Threepenny Opera or Brecht or Kurt Weill.  Had never heard the song  Pirate Jenny and it’s story of a cleaning woman who daydreams of rising from her life of powerless drudgery to become a powerful and cruel pirate.  Great song with great imagery and Bea Arthur’s version was wonderful.  Angry.  You could feel her desire for retribution for every time she was wronged by those who simply overlooked her and  took her for granted.  It was a very powerful song and one that became and remains a personal favorite.

Anyway, here’s a very good version of The Pirate Jenny from singer Anne Kerry Ford:



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And if your friends think that you should do it different
And if they think that you should do it the same
You’ve got it, just keep on pushing and, keep on pushing and
Push the sky away

—Nick Cave, Push the Sky Away


I don’t have the energy or will to say much this morning. I just want to get back to work, prepping my show, From a Distance, for the West End Gallery that I will deliver later this week in advance of the show’s opening on Friday, July 17. The show is coming together well and I find myself more and more pleased as each piece is completed with its framing.

Much like my recent Principle Gallery show, this wasn’t an easy show for me. There was a lot of frustration and high levels of anxiety, both from my reaction to these times and to some other things taking place in my world. Lots of distractions and aggravations pulled at my attention and disrupted any semblance of rhythm I could find.

Just getting to work was work in itself.

But you just keep at it. Keep pushing. Turn it around and use the frustration as fuel.

Push the sky away, as the song says.

One of the new pieces from this show is at the top, one called Far Away Eyes. This was one of the pieces that helped me fight through the barriers that were there for this show. It was a struggle in itself to complete and there were times when I wanted to trash it. But I kept at it, kept believing that it held something for me.

And it did. As I worked, it began to fall into a rhythm that spoke to me and when it felt done, it felt right. The effort seemed insignificant at that point, a small price to get to where it was.

Just keep pushing the sky away, much as it appears the sun is doing to the sky in the painting.

Here’s a performance from this past December from Nick Cave at the Sydney Opera House. He’s singing his song, Push the Sky Away. It’s worth a listen.

Have a good Sunday.

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Come sail your ships around me
And burn your bridges down.
We make a little history baby
Every time you come around.
Come loose your dogs upon me
And let your hair hang down.
You are a little mystery to me
Every time you come around.

Nick Cave, The Ship Song


Hope everyone out there had a decent day yesterday and came through relatively unscathed. Myself, I just felt like a song this morning. I guess there’s little holiday lag that makes me want to not do too much at the moment. Here’s a lovely song from singer/songwriter Nick Cave. I like the original, a beautiful piece of songwriting, but this cover from Puddles Pity Party really hits for me. Maybe it’s the clown makeup and costume, making you have to focus to get past it.

I don’t know. I just like the arrangement and his voice is right for the song. Give a listen, if you’re so inclined, and have yourself a good Boxing Day. Again, if you’re so inclined.


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GC Myers-The New Revelator smI usually take a small group of new work with me for the Gallery Talk I give each September at the Principle Gallery, which takes place this Saturday at the Alexandria gallery.  It’s nice to have a few new pieces to illustrate some of the points I am trying to make during the talk.  This is one of the new paintings that will be going with me, The New Revelator, a 16″ by 34″ piece on paper.

I’ve been finishing this piece over the last few days and it has underwent a dramatic transformation during the last stages, one that took it from a piece that was struggling to find its identity to one that has what I feel is a powerful presence.  When I look at it I see the bands in the field that run towards the center as being not only a crop but as a representation of some sort of communal knowledge or power that runs through our world, unseen.  The Red Tree stands at the center, joining this gathering knowledge with the greater power of the universe  that I see represented here by the open horizon behind it.  There is an ethereal quality in the descending hills, one that gives a feeling of movement through time especially when coupled with the breaking sky.  The Red Tree is the new revelator here, exposing the hidden powers of the universe to those who want to see.

That might seem a bit of a stretch for some, as far as what they see in this painting.  Again, I remind you that this is only what I see here, what this painting holds for me in an emotional sense.  You might see it as simply a landscape with interesting forms and colors.  That is good enough.  Or you may not like it all which, too, is okay.  Whatever the case, the painting stands as it  now, hopefully revealing something for you.

The New Revelator will be at the Principle Gallery this Saturday.  My Gallery Talk there starts at 1 PM and I will be in the gallery before and after if you would like to stop in and say hello.

For now, here’s an interesting version of the great old Blind Willie Johnson song, John the Revelator, from Nick Cave, who always seems to have a unique take on most things.



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I have never seen the HBO series True Blood.  Maybe I’m reticent to get sucked into the current vortex of popularity created by the return of vampires and zombies in pop culture.  I don’t know, but I have never felt a strong desire to watch the show.  Maybe that will change.

One thing that might make me switch on True Blood is their use of music in the show.  Apparently, each episode is titled after a piece of music that is used in that show.  I came across one such piece of music created for an episode that really piqued my interest.  It’s a remake of the 1964 hit She’s Not There from the classic 60’s British Invasion band, The Zombies, performed by my favorite, Neko Case, and the provocative Nick Cave.  I immediately knew that this would not be your typical cover/remake.

Normally, I wouldn’t even want to hear a remake of a song like She’s Not There.  It has held up spectacularly well over the almost 50 years since it was released, as do several of The Zombies’ other songs.  Probably why they still perform and tour after a half decade.   But the idea of these two performers singing it expressly for a vampire series brought up some the possibility of something different than a straight cover.

And I was right.  It has a creepy Cajun bayou thump in its bass and with Nekos’s voice soaring over Cave’s growl, it makes a compelling cover.  Old yet new.  Like a vampire, I guess. 

So, here I am, despite my protests, endorsing a song made for vampires originally sung by zombies.  Here is the new cover with Neko and Nick (hey, that’s kind of catchy) and, if you’d like to compare, the original from The Zombies.

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The Ship Song

On the road today, delivering the group of work for next week’s opening, June 10,  of my show at the Principle Gallery.  It’s always a relaxed drive, knowing that the work is done and now it goes out into the world.  Free running like the image shown here.

Continuing the nautical theme, which I also used in yesterday’s post, here’s a tune from the unique Nick Cave.  It’s The Ship Song.  Enjoy your day!

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