Untitled Document

Nick Kushner 12/11/82 - 6/15/16


Nick Kushner 12/11/82 - 6/15/16

My best friend and blood brother Nick passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago, leaving behind family and more friends than I think he knew he had. We'd had a falling out and hadn't spoken in quite some time but I'd always hoped that the air would clear and we'd be able to start over again. Looks like the universe had other plans.

If we had a core to our friendship it would have to be Marilyn Manson but, though Manson was an incredibly significant and substantial part of our lives together, there was a lot of music beyond that and I thought it important to keep as much of it as possible, and this playlist was born.

Many of these songs he posted on his Facebook and I've tried to include any comments he made in connection to these bands. Other songs are inside jokes or somehow pertain to something we did or somewhere we went. I added a bit of the backstory to some of the songs where applicable. Some of the stories aren't publcicly consumable, many I'm sure I've forgotten.

Thanks to Brad Jaeger for contributing several tracks I'd missed.

And as a parting note, a lot of the songs included here are pretty heavy with references that some people might think insensitive to include in a memorial playlist. Those people didn't know Nick. He curated this playlist himself a track at a time while he was alive and he'd be dancing and drinking to it with the rest of us. He wouldn't want to be sanitized after the fact, to be portrayed as someone he wasn't. Nick wasn't perfect (and who is?), but he was not only unashamed of the not-so-clean parts of himself, but he displayed those parts as he did all the rest of his art. He wasn't always virtuous. He wasn't ever PC. But he was always Nick and it's with respect for him and his life that these songs were brought together to comfort those he left behind the way he'd want to comfort us himself if he were here to do it.

So uncork a bottle, break a glass, consume whatever it is that fuels your shenanigans and settle in to listen and to remember Nick, that beautiful son of a bitch. We miss you more than you'd ever have believed.

Alice In Chains Man In The Box We listened to AIC an album at a time in pretty heavy rotation.
Burning Retna Write My Name In Blood I got this song from a Cleopatra compilation disk (The Black Bible, actually) and played it for him because I said it was a good song for him. He liked it so much that he adopted it himself. One of the few songs I gave him that we didn't already have in common.
Chuck Mangione Feels So Good King Of The Hill was our all-time favorite show. We had probably six seasons of it on DVD and we'd pop one in and fall asleep watching it. Chuck Mangione was sort of a running gag on the show and he made several appearances in various episodes, and each time he appeared this song was usually featured so it earned a spot on the playlist.
Dannii Minogue I Begin To Wonder I think he said at one point that he thought Dannii was better than Kylie. Maybe.
Death In June She Said Destroy He played a lot of Death In June but it wasn't my cup of tea so I didn't keep most of what he gave me. I did like this one, so here it is.
Donovan Hurdy Gurdy Man This came on the radio one rainy spring afternoon when we'd ventured into Williamsburg on a record-buying excursion. I remember being in a fucking horrible mood for reasons I don't recall but he knew I liked this song so he queued it up without asking me if I wanted to hear it, and then neither of us talked until it was over. Felt much better afterward. He usually knew what to say, but he was good at knowing when to not say anything and I still felt like he was on my side.
Edith Piaf Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien Another of his favorites.
Elton Motello Jet Boy Jet Girl Not enough songs let you sing HE GAVE ME HEAD, so here's one at least.
Guns n Roses One In A Million "the excerpt i posted is sadly very relatable right now..." Nov 3, 2011

One of his favorites to sing in public. Loudly. Usually on the subway. Though luckily we never ran into actual trouble with anyone I was always pretty sure we were going to get beaten every time Nick burst into song.
Iggy Pop Nightclubbing We'd play this sometimes while we'd do our makeup for parties. Along with many others but hearing this song makes me think primarily of strutting around taking photos of each other before we left.
Meat Beat Manifesto Cancer "Meat Beat Manifesto were amazing live. only band i'll ever pay to watch push buttons & play an iMac onstage and still be blown away by it." Feb 20, 2011
Melanie Brand New Key We were in Vegas in 2011 for Halloween and we were walking down the hall of our hotel (we stayed at Circus Circus) and of course it was like 3am and we were drunk. Nick was bouncing off the walls like a pinball sort of singing this song a bit and punching the wall for emphasis. "I'VE *punch* got a BRAND *punch* new PAIR *punch* of rollerSKATES *punch*" Honestly I'm surprised that wasn't what got us kicked out of the casino.
Ministry Just One Fix We saw Ministry play in June 2012. Fucking great show.
Neon Trees Animal This song was in one of the heavily pushed Vegas commercials that was being aired at the time of one of our trips out there, so hearing it reminds me of that trip.
P!nk Dear Diary This was the first of many songs that made me have to ask him what the deal was with his music collection though honestly I have absolutely no room to talk.
Patsy Cline Walkin' After Midnight Another King Of The Hill reference, from the episode with the competitive dog dancing.
Patti Smith Rock N Roll Nigger I would've put Manson's version in here but he's very well represented as is and Nick liked Patti's version just as much.
Pet Shop Boys West End Girls I don't know if Nick had or liked this song but the line "Kicking in chairs and knocking down tables /
In a restaurant in a West End town / Call the police, there's a madman around / Running down underground to a dive bar / In a West End town" neatly summarized many of our outings, particularly Halloween or New Years Eve in Manhattan. He'd break glassware in bars, rip posters off walls, punch phone booths, kick trashcans over into the bike lane, all kinds of fairly minor mischief was fair game once he had a few glasses of wine in him. If you weren't in mortal terror of retaliation from passers-by or the police you were never really out with Nick.
Peter Murphy Marlene Dietrich's Favourite Poem We were at the She Wants Revenge/Peter Murphy song the night my grandfather died. I should've been in the car driving back to Ohio trying to make it before he passed but my mom had said he probably wouldn't last the night and we'd had the tickets for a long time so I stayed for the show. I think this song was being played when I got the text that said he'd passed and when I told Nick he gave me a tight hug and we stayed like that for the duration of the song, arm in arm and swaying "like a couple of faggots", as he'd said. Then he laughed and hugged me tighter.
Pixies Where Is My Mind This is one of those songs that I was never sure if he'd picked it up after hearing it on the bus or if he'd liked it beforehand.
Scatman John Scatman I can't remember how we ended up on a Scatman kick but at one point we'd downloaded all of his albums and had the songs ranked according to how much we liked them. We read his WIkipedia page aloud over dinner, we read his interviews. I don't know how the Scatman entered our lives but I'll never shake him now.
Shooter Jennings/Marilyn Manson Cat People He posted the David Bowie version of the song to his Facebook once. I don't know if he ever managed to hear Manson's version but I'll use that one here with apologies to David as his version is the other best version.
The Bolshoi Away This song had a tendency to come up when the iPod was on random and it still does, really frequently. Never figured out why.
The Mission Swoon Someone played a longer slower version of this song on internet radio before I moved to NYC and I was going crazy trying to find it. Nick told me it was The Mission but every instance of the song I could find was this faster version because the slower 7:30 version is rare and I kept insisting that wasn't the song and he kept insisting it was. In the end I finally found it titled "Swoon (Reprise)" on the Aural Delight album and sent him a copy so we each had both versions.
The Moody Blues Nights In White Satin I have no idea how this happened but Nick and Marissa and I spent probably five hours creating an infomercial for a fictional spa treatment for the penis called the Aqua Johnson and this was the soundtrack, so we must've heard it three dozen times that night and every time I hear it I remember that video. I think to date the only people other than the three of us to see it is Hazekiah. It's our "Groupie", ahaha
The Psychedelic Furs Shock - Shep Pettibone Mix At one point we were giving one of our mutual friends a ride back to her side of the neighborhood and this song came on the iPod as we were driving. She started laughing and said something like "who even likes the Psychedelic Furs anyway" and we both insisted that this song was fantastic and was deliberately downloaded because we enjoyed it so much.
The Smashing Pumpkins The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning

He showed me Watchmen one night and I really enjoyed it. About a week later he had this song on repeat for probably a solid hour or more while he was working and I was having a fairly terrible night for reasons I can't remember. Eventually we went out, he took this photo of me that I titled after some of the lyrics from this song because it factored into the night so heavily.

The Stone Roses I Wanna Be Adored He played this one a lot.
The-Dream Falsetto Nick and I would sometimes hold little competitions where we'd try to out-ridiculous each other with songs we liked. This was one of his winners but I liked it so much I kept it. We also did a fairly epic country version once and I thought I had the playlist written down somewhere but I can't find it