Saturday, November 27, 2010

Even Loud, Secular Music Can Heal the Soul

On Monday night Jah and I went to see Grinderman at the Riveria.

At one point I nudged her in the ribs, "He just said Krishna!" and we both laughed with delight.

"He," of course, was Nick Cave - who was as animated as I've ever seen him, and seemed to be feeding off the wild, out-of-control energy of guitarist/bouzouki/mandocaster/etc-player Warren Ellis. Wow, wow and wow. Talk about giving one hundred percent.

I don't know that I've ever seen "old" people rock harder.

I don't know if I've ever laughed that hard at a show.

And I don't know that I've ever seen the band having that much fun at a concert, either.

Afterwords, I felt alive.

And backstage, the band looked spent.

And I felt a little bit guilty.

And alive, and back in touch with my old little-s self.

Some days later, I realized: God and the creative force are one and the same.

And when you block this force, you're causing great harm.

Thank you, Jim!


I also caught up with Cynthia Plaster Caster after the show. She is indeed running for mayor of Chicago as a write-in candidate - and she is hard on crime. Read more here.

Read Greg Kot's review of the show here.


  1. I totally agree that God and the creative force are the same. (In fact I imagine God more as a force/energy than a being, per se). In any case, I have to imagine the blockage of that energy causes dis-ease.

    So if yoga is about getting in touch with our true selves (god/ spark of the divine/ Supreme Self etc.) I think we practice yoga when we express our highest elves through our art (or our craft/ our way of being/ our life's work/ etc). In fact my understanding is that for many artists the creative process is often meditative *and* it involves being an instrument to transmit something greater then themselves. Art and yoga are not mutually exclusive. If there's lots of ego in the art it may not be yogic, but I do think a lot of art and artists understand yoga even without having studied it.

  2. BBB - well-put! I've been thinking the same thing (that when the ego is involved, the art is less than divine; hence my love for the artists who create work regardless of the fruits of their efforts; it's something they *have* to do. There's no choice in the matter). The painter Alice Neel comes to mind (she used to scrimp and save to buy canvas and paint).

    And so does the yogi Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who taught in obscurity (and for no money) for so many years.


    I like the idea of expressing our highest elves. It makes it sound like fun, rather than a long, difficult process of letting go of attachments.

  3. Anonymous12:59 AM

    She is 'hard on crime'

    I like that.

  4. i remember running into you at television.
    never dismiss the power of music. kirtan is NOT everything. oh, the comment on "old" musicians-jeff beck, richard thompson, todd rundgren & on new years day, 84 years young chuck berry :-) i can't stop & i do NOT feel guilty for loving music.
    anyways, everything is god. you know that.

  5. Imagine if Nick Cave lent that voice of his to bhajans -- wow!

  6. hmm...i kind of feel the same way about screamin' jay hawkins :-) ever hear him sing "old man river"? wow.