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Nick Cave – The Secret Life Of The Love Song & The Flesh Made Word: Two Lectures

The Secret Life Of The Love Song & The Flesh Made Word: Two Lectures By Nick Cave (2000)

A rare and fascinating release this. We’ve been looking for it for some time and our pal mrx kindly got it into our mitts today! Thanks again mrx!

I was lucky enough to catch Nick deliver his Secret Life Of The Love Song  show and perform some acoustic tracks in a small Dublin venue what must be about 10 years ago. It was a rare and unique performance, extremely different and extremely intimate, harking back to the raw autobiographical nature of his greatest LP The Boatman’s Call.

Here’s an opportunity to revisit that show via a specially recorded studio version interspersed with some wonderful sparse revisits of classic Cave tracks.

This CD is fantastic. Amazing not only in how good it is, but even the mere fact that it exists. How many artists would release a CD like this?

The title lecture  The Secret Life Of The Love Song features Nick waxing philosophically and lyrically on the love song, it’s meaning, purpose, and relevance, it’s role in his career – on through an exploration of the critical role of sadness within the true love song and the intense power of this sadness, what’s known by the Portuguese as “duende” and what’s a fundamental element in powerfuly raw Irish traditional “Sean Nos” music.

Cave’s speech is laced with commentary on his own works and surprisingly raw autobiographical ancedotes that any Cave fan will love.

This piece also features 5 wonderful musical interludes.

Starting with the wonderful West Country Girl – with a considerably different arrangement; a good version of People Ain’t No Good; a totally new take on a classic Sad Waters;  Love Letter, subsequently released on No More Shall We Part, but new at the time; and the powerful  Far From Me, the origin of which is expounded upon by Cave.

The second piece – The Word Made Flesh – is a wonderful 17 minute spoken word piece recorded for the Beeb in which Cave talks about The Bible and how it has hugely influenced his life and his writing. Lots more revealing autobiograpohical stuff here too.

This is a must have for any Cave fan.

A wonderfully unique work and immensely enjoyable to listen to.

Not often you hear an espousal of erotographomania on stage these days!

And, you really ain’t heard nothing til you’ve heard Nick quoting Boney-M and analysing a Kylie Minogue pop classic!  

Some more info below:

The Secret Life of the Love Song is Nick’s highly original take on his personal artistic muse, and on the genre as a whole.

Originally conceived for the Vienna Poetry Festival (1998) and performed to great success and a capacity audience at The Royal Festival Hall, London in 1999, this is a special studio recording.

It includes five new and unique interpretations of the Cave songs ‘West Country Girl’, ‘People Ain’t no Good’, ‘Sad Waters’, ‘Love Letter’, and ‘Far From Me’.

The Word Made Flesh is a wholly spoken-word piece, re-recorded, originally conceived and executed for the BBC Religious Services Department in 1996.

 Like any good, or wayward, biblical scholar, perennial penitent Nick Cave knows that the sins of the father are destined to be replayed by the son. History does not record if Cave senior, an English lecturer, led an early life of wild excess and debauchery but, as he approaches middle age, Cave the younger acknowledges that everything he does brings him a step closer to his dear, departed daddy.

Originally delivered at the Vienna Poetry Festival in 1998, ‘The Secret Life Of The Love Song’ is a droll, imaginative appraisal of the form that has most inspired him in recent years. Its frame of reference includes the poets Lorca and Auden, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, as well as Kylie Minogue and Boney M. We may prefer our artists to be slavering inadequates, barely sentient fruitcakes, but both ‘The Secret Life…’ and ‘The Flesh Made Word’ (originally broadcast on Radio 3) are a reminder that sometimes the most impassioned artist can be an acerbic and penetrating critic. In his early solo career Cave was often enraged by critical assessments of his work and these lectures, joining such King Mob cultural landmarks as Ken Kesey, the Black Panthers and, er, Stewart Home, are a deliciously savoured and valuable type of revenge.

But Cave also delivers unerringly emotive rerecordings of his most exquisitely realised compositions (‘West Country Girl’, ‘Sad Waters’ and ‘Far From Me’). Balm for those who think it’s not so good to talk and magnificent examples of what he calls “my sad, gloomy-eyed children”. Long may he tend to their needs, by whatever means may be necessary.

8 out of 10

– NME 


Since I have become a Nick Cave fan and have evangelized his music to friends and acquaintances, I’ve been frequently asked why his music is so dark and brooding. Well, now here I’ve found some answers and you can too.Since I have become a Nick Cave fan and have evangelized his music to friends and acquaintances, I’ve been frequently asked why his music is so dark and brooding. Well, now here I’ve found some answers and you can too.

In Cave’s first lecture, he explains the concepts of “saudade” and “duende” and puts forth the proposition that a love song is not a true love song unless it contains elements of these concepts. Then he goes on to explain why this is so. His lecture is interspersed with his playing of five examples of love songs he has written that are steeped in saudade and duende.

In the course of his talk, he also mentions other musicians like Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and others whose writings betray a deep understanding of those concepts.

In the second lecture, Cave speaks of how the Bible came to influence his writing after the death of his father who had inspired him to write. Songs from his earlier band Birthday Party and early Bad Seeds are informed by the Old Testament and filled with “bile and puke”, but also with the beauty of the Psalms. Later Cave songs have been inspired by the Gospels and show a new and brighter view of life and love. He talks a bit about God and his view of humanity’s connection to the divine. Lest this scare anyone off, I should add that his talk is exploratory and explanatory, not preachy in a Jesus freak sort of way.

I learned quite a bit by listening to this fine CD and have come to understand the music of Nick Cave to the point to where I can explain it to others. Cave has a good speaking voice and a manner which makes interesting what he has to say. I find The Secret Life of the Love Song & The Flesh Made Word to be thoroughly edifying and enjoyable. I recommend it highly not just to hard-core Nick Cave fans, but to anyone who has an interest in writing.

-Kurt Harding

Here be Nicky;


thanks mrx


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March 19, 2009 Posted by | Nick Cave, _ART, _MUSIC, _SPOKEN WORD | Leave a comment

Henry Rollins – Provoked (2008)

Henry Rollins – Provoked (2008)

Label: Henry Rollins
Genre: Comedy
Bitrate: 128kbit av
Time: 01:02:34
Size: 60.37 mb
Str Date: 2008-04-01

Mr Angry is back! I saw one of his spoken word shows years ago, and rather good it was too.

This was recorded live on 11/6/07 at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre and 1/23/08 at Amsterdam’s Paradiso during Rollins’ 2007/2008 “Provoked” spoken word tour.

The CD contains over an hour of hilarious and insightful commentary on topics ranging from Larry Craig to the recent Van Halen reunion with pit stops along the way to discuss kids these days, gay marriage, and the current president’s creative use of the English language.


1. Sex Ed 5:40

2. Kids 5:36
3. Indie 103 Party 6:24
4. Wide Stance Sitter 2:36
5. Horses 3:31
6. Van Halen 14:49
7. Invasion Force 1:49
8. Mandelaism 10:03
9. Natures Wild 5:57
10. Adrian 3:37
11. What I Am 2:32

Here be Mr Angry

Thanks to the original poster

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April 2, 2008 Posted by | Henry Rollins, _MUSIC, _OTHER, _SPOKEN WORD | Leave a comment

Sean Penn Reads Chronicles Volume One’ by Bob Dylan

Sean Penn Reads ‘Chronicles Volume One’ by Bob Dylan

Audio Book / 2005 / MP3 -192kps / 26 MB / Rapidshare

Now, everybody knows that Robert Zimmerman is the colossus that stands astride all of modern music. His work has, aside from a few dodgy spells in the late seventies and early eighties, been consistently, unprecedently and unfeasibly magnificent.

What’s more, Bob has now become a bit of a polymath. We won’t discuss his ‘acting’ work, but he has most recently put his genius hand to DJing with the incredible Theme Time Radio Hour and has also taken the time to write one of the greatest non-fiction books in recent memory. That self same great book was the very fine ‘Chronicles Volume One’ released in 2005 and I still treasure the wonderful hours I spent poring over every paragraph, every word, every letter therein.

The writing style is flawless, as you’d expect, in the tradition of the great american style laid down by Steinbeck, Faulkner, Carver et al. The imagery is beautiful and, of course, every detail of the story of this unique modern genius is absolutely fascinating in the extreme.

As for Sean Penn, Mr P. is a very fine actor indeed, since all the way back as far as Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1982 until today, his work has been remarkably consistent and of remarkable quality – aside of course from a few blips such as the dreadful ‘I am Sam’ and ‘Shanghai Surprise’ (let’s blame that vile troll Madonna for the latter!)

So here we are, with this audio version of the fine ‘Chronicles Volume One’ read by Oscar winner Sean Penn.

Now, generally, audio versions of books for non-visually impaired persons, are anathema to me. Listening to a great book is akin to reading about a great album! It’s bullshit! You cannot gain anything real from it.

Granted, audio versions might work in cases the likes of John Grisham and such shit, where all you have there is some dumb plot and zero style. Therefore, you don’t lose much by listening rather than reading…. and, if you’re dumb enough to want to waste time on that type of material, you wouldn’t notice any difference anyways!

However, although dealing with complex subject matter both stylistically and content-wise, here Penn brings a real veracity to the reading and there is a very nice harmony between the writer, the content and the narrator. This is, of necessity, an abridged version of the magnum opus and focuses on the key areas of the book. Check it out and decide for yourself.

I have mixed feelings about “Chronicles” the book. I have none about the audio version. It’s read by Sean Penn, who has, as an actor, the most perfect pitch for accents and who nails Dylan here. He’s hip, but not too. Annoyed, but not self-righteous. He is, in short, the Dylan you imagine when you think of the private Dylan. I can’t imagine a better road trip than to listen to Sean Penn read Dylan — and then to listen to Dylan. Even a daily commute would be ennobled by Sean and Bob. Heck, I can almost see putting it into my iPod …..
— by Jesse Kornbluth, for

Here she be dylanite dogs;

Now, I only grant you here an opportunity to get an aural taster of the work. Please delete the download within 24 hours and buy the original work!

January 8, 2008 Posted by | Sean Penn, _BOB DYLAN, _MUSIC, _OTHER, _SPOKEN WORD | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan reads Bukowksi’s ‘A Radio with Guts’

Bob Dylan reads Bukowksi’s ‘A Radio with Guts’

In Series 1 of Bob’s seminal and unequalled TTRH show, in the episode themed ‘Radio’, his Bobness reads this great poem from Last Bastion hero extraordinaire, Charles Bukowski.

Here are two geniuses from the very upper echelons of the Dublindog canon.

While this Dylan/Buk thing was going on, should we perhaps have Maria Ozawa sprawled naked near a Chaim Soutine painting, watching Andrei Tarkovsky’s majestic ‘Stalker’, while humming Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ (well, Maria is half-Canadian!!) and sipping Jameson whisky, well I think most of the Dublindog canon top echelon would be covered!

In fact, I think I shall head to Tokyo soon and beseech Maria to make this happen!

Donations are welcomed. Neither Maria, nor supreme art in general, are cheap you know!

Charles Bukowksi – A Radio with Guts

t was on the 2nd floor on Coronado Street
I used to get drunk
and throw the radio through the window
while it was playing, and, of course,
it would break the glass in the window
and the radio would sit there on the roof
still playing
and I’d tell my woman,
“Ah, what a marvelous radio!”
the next morning I’d take the window
off the hinges
and carry it down the street
to the glass man
who would put in another pane.
I kept throwing that radio through the window
each time I got drunk
and it would sit there on the roof
still playing-
a magic radio
a radio with guts,
and each morning I’d take the window
back to the glass man.
I don’t remember how it ended exactly
though I do remember
we finally moved out.
there was a woman downstairs who worked in
the garden in her bathing suit,
she really dug with that trowel
and she put her behind up in the air
and I used to sit in the window
and watch the sun shine all over that thing
while the music played.

So, while I book my ticket to Japland, here’s Dylan reading the great Buk. poem as an intro to ‘Disc Jockey Blu
es’ by Luke Jones and his Orchestra! Enjoy!


The full Dylan TTRH show on ‘Radio’ is here!

Banzai !

January 8, 2008 Posted by | Charles Bukowski, Maria Ozawa, Music_ClassicRock, _BOB DYLAN, _Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour, _MUSIC, _OTHER, _POETRY, _SPOKEN WORD | Leave a comment