Cover Image: Darker with the Dawn

Darker with the Dawn

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately, I was unable to download this book before it was archived and so am leaving this as a review/explanation as I didn't know what else to do after finding a few books I had managed to miss in a section of my account entitled Not Active: Archived, Not Downloaded; so I thought it best to clear it up. I have already bought a copy and will leave a review on places like Amazon, Goodreads, Waterstones, etc, once I've completed it and formed my thoughts on it. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for the opportunity.

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If you love Nick Cave, if you want to learn more about his life this is the right book. more words are useless, just read it
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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I found this a bit of a slog to get through. The author links songs by theme across all time periods of Nicks career and also through literary, cultural and biblical influences. There is some biography and reference to interviews but mostly it’s a dry read that had me struggling to be interested even though I’m a fan (except the last two bad seeds albums).

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What fantastic insight into the man that makes the music which makes the man. Love him or hate him, Cave is known for saying the quiet part out loud, for example human emotion in all its glory and putting it on visceral display. It’s loud, ridiculous, and beautiful because he has a habit of getting into the part of the human mind that we don’t want people to see. While his music capitalizes on human nature, it does it in a way that makes the listener feel everything that went into it. It explores the pain and beauty of life, and that’s the thing that makes art so amazing. I loved seeing the parallels between his writing for music and my writing for fiction. We really aren’t so different in our approach, although he is far more disciplined than I am. This one is definitely worth the read. Although it is written more like a thesis on his music, it’s one you shouldn’t let pass you by!

Huge thanks to Rowman & Littlefield and NetGalley for sending me this ARC for review! All of my reviews are given honestly!

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Definitely only for the real fans. And sadly I am not one of them. I struggled with finding enough interest to keep going. And ultimately ran out of steam.

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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Rowman & Littlefield for an advance copy of this book on the musician Nick Cave, his life, influences, art, and the beauty and beckoning that comes from living in the darkness.

The form is dressed in a black that stage lights can seem to lock on, the gaunt frame and raven hair moving closer to the stage front microphone wire like a chain attached to a rock dragging behind. Face pale with eyes that seem to see the cheapest seats, a mouth that looks toothless, or the opening to a coal-mine never closing with yodels, and yelps, words and statements pouring out. At once the form stops, turning to his minions on instruments that never seem to stop, a noise sometimes louder the end of the Earth, a mix of unholy instruments that should never share a stage. Sudden silence, a look an a new sound a song of redemption so wondrous and pure that stones begin to cry and shadows vow to do better. This is how I picture Nick Cave. Cave has been performing his own kind of music longer than some of the mediums to record him have been around. In an industry that promises the same songs, the same way tour after tour, until the last fan is found dead, Cave has always tried to reinvent his sound, his songs, their creations and their legacy. Darker with the Dawn: Nick Cave's Songs of Love and Death by writer and music lover Adam Steiner is a look at this enigmatic singer, his influences and creative styles and the darkness that has surrounded him, by choice, and by fate.

Nick Cave was born in Australia and made his name in the punk scene with his band The Birthday Party, known for its influence, but not for sales. Moving to Europe the band broke up as bands do, and Cave started Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, moving on from the punk ideal, and taking more influences from America, specifically the American South, Blues, God, religion and redemption. The songs were dark muder ballads, God looking for revenge, love ending in trials, and execution chambers, as Cave's addiction to drugs, failed romances, and even the passing of people close to him influenced his creative skills. Books were written, movies soundtracked and written. The influence of violinist and collaborator Warren Ellis along with new members gave new life to the band. And the fact that even in the darkest of times, music and Cave shared a bond that neither could get away from, with the 21st century being some of Cave's most creative and successful eras.

This is the third book that I have read by Adam Steiner and one can tell a few things. Steiner loves music, and even better can writer about it. Steiner has a very nice style and with this one a unique way of introducing the reader to Nick Cave. Starting with probably Cave's most public time 2012-2015 when a documentary was made about Cave and his creation of the album Push the Sky Away, Steiner gives a brief description and allows the book to grow from here. Steiner draws on past interviews, the documentary, and others to describe the making of the album, some of the songs, even the cover for the album. Steiner does this for many songs from Cave's oeuvre, such as Tupelo, looking at the historical influences, the Elvis connection, recording, Cave's state of mind and personal history. Steiner does a wonderful job of bringing all this together and making a portrait of this artist from a young man to seasoned elder.

Recommended of course for fans of Nick Cave or even fans of darker music, as one should know the sources. Music history fans will enjoy the many interactions that Cave has had over the years. And even for musical neophytes who are starting to realise the vast array of musical choices available and want to try a taste of darkness, with a hope to finding a light.

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