Tag Archives: Nick Cave

Can you feel my heart beat

Can't remember anything at all

I've been listening to "Higgs Boson Blues" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on repeat for about a week now. I recommend especially this version from Austin City Limits in 2014:

Who cares— / Who cares what the future brings?

How many times have I played this song on repeat now? Dozens and dozens and dozens of times. Looking for the secrets. Interpreting the signs. Holding the threads in my hands, trying to braid them back together.

He's got the real killer groove / Robert Johnson and the devil / Don't know who's gonna rip off who

I've invested time—consciously and unconsciously—thinking about this song. It floats back there in my mind, droning and droning. Nick Cave floated into my consciousness by way of Tom Waits on Pandora—and it makes sense to me. These aren't your prototypical band leaders—and yet, what hill wouldn't I follow either of them over, as they growled whatever it is that they were growling.

Take the room with a view / I see a man preachin' / In a language that's completely new

On repeat. On repeat. On repeat. On this loop, this phrase catches my ear; on that loop, another one instead.

There is a Led Zeppelinesque feeling of depth to the song that evaporates, Led Zeppelinlike, with a few quick hits of a spade. Nothin' but dirt under there. But that title and introduction—physics—and the nonlinear story afterwards—mystics—wrap themselves around me like a vine. What were you doing peering into a song for meaning anyway? Like a vine, you can chop it off, and it grows back anyway.

Drivin' my car / Flame trees on fire

What does it mean? Does it mean...

Can you feel my heart beat? / Can you feel my heart beat?

It's at this point where the music has mostly trailed off yet

Can you feel my heart beat? / Can you feel my heart beat?

there is still a current pressing forward.

I don't get Nick Cave's stage presence at all. It's got a cult fervor to it—and go ahead and count me among the cult's members. I'm not sure you'd see me up there in the front row offering my hand to his chest while he

Can you feel my heart beat? / Can you feel my heart beat?

offers himself to the crowd—but I can't exactly say that I wouldn't be there either. It's awkward if you analyze it, but if you just float and float and float and feel it, the rises and falls and short bursts and long lulls all pull you downstream.

Drivin' my car / Down to Geneva

At some point the float trip has ended, slowly, the current spread amongst the delta mud, and who's to say what has transpired along the way?