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JV
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 08:03 am:   

I'm moving this Nick Cave discussion here, from the general music thread, because, well, it's Halloween, and because I can...

By al duncan on Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 10:01 am:

You mentioned Nick Cave up on your first post, Jeff. Have you picked up the latest (double) album, Abbatoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus? Absolutely tremendous. I wasn't terribly hot on Nocturama after the wonderful No More Shall We Part, but this is right up there with the best of his stuff, I reckon. I highly recommend it.

By JV on Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 10:45 am:

Al:

Yeah--I love the latest one! Nocturama sucked compared to No More Shall We. But the new one is excellent.

JeffV

By Robert Devereux on Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 08:59 pm:

Cave's always been one of those people I was familiar with, but never felt I needed to buy. I changed my mind after hearing a track from Abattoir Blues, and bought it as soon as I could. I'll have to pay more attention to his other stuff at some point.

By Luís on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 02:07 am:

I agree with you people, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is stone cold brilliant.


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JeffV
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 08:09 am:   

Re Nick Cave--it's easier to pick out his couple of just okay albums rather than recommend his best, because there's so much of it, but here are my personal favorites

(1) Henry's Dream - Relentless, remorseless, and given additional oomph by the couple of slow tracks.

(2) Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus - Hard to tell where this one will eventually wind up on my list of his best, after I've had a chance to absorb it. But it's darn good. One of the best things about it is the *wonderful* use of a full chorus by a choir group. I remember seeing Nick Cave on the David Letterman Show many years ago, and he did a song that had a chorus, but had to use the Letterman band leader and the Letterman band as his backup singers. And they sucked. And it just underscored how important that element is to some of his songs.

(3) The Good Son - Sweeping balladry of subtle savageness.

(4) No More Shall We Part - brilliant stuff...er, but then so is Boatman's Call, and the early stuff has some excellent songs...and the Live Seeds is indispensable...and Murder Ballads is insanely good...

Really, I'm having a hard time picking a top 5...I do think Nocturama is his worst.

BTW--Nick Cave's version of "God's Hotel" is awesome and worth seeking out, especially live versions.

Discography
1984...From Her To Eternity
1985... The Firstborn Is Dead
1986... Kicking Against the Pricks... Your Funeral, My Trial
1988... Tender Prey
1990... The Good Son
1992... Henry's Dream
1993... Live Seeds
1994... Let Love In
1996... Murder Ballads
1997... The Boatman's Call
1998... The Best Of
2000... Two Lectures
2001... No More Shall We Part
2003... Nocturama

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Neddal
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 09:06 am:   

Man, where to start with Mr. Cave...

I've not heard ABBATOIR BLUES (great title!)/THEY LYRE OF ORPHEUS yet. I was very disappointed with NOCTURAMA, disappointed enough that it made me hold off on buying the new set. Based on what everyone's saying here and on what friends have said, it looks like I'm going to have to check it out.

My top five would go something like this:
1. YOUR FUNERAL, MY TRIAL - The first coule of albums have their moments: "From Her to Eternity", and "St. Huck" on FROM HER TO ETERNITY; "Tupelo", "Black Crow King", and "Knocking On Joe" from THE FIRSTBORN IS DEAD, but YOUR FUNERAL MY TRIAL is the the first disc that hangs together as an album , and it has some killer songs, "Your Funeral, My Trial", the creepy, yet beautiful "Stranger Than Kindness", "Jack's Shadow", the awesome cover of Tim Rose's (the guy who wrote "Hey Joe") "Long Time Man", the bilefest "Scum."

2. Henry's Dream - One of the most intense records in his catalogue. "John Finn's Wife" is one of his top songs, and contains some of his best imagery - http://www.bad-seed.org/~cave/lyrics/hd.lyrics.html
"Jack The Ripper" is another favouite. Some trivia, "Papa Won't Leave You Henry" is reputedly about/inspired by Henry Rollins. (Cave and ROllins are old friends.)

3. Boatman's Call - Mr. Cave at his most mournful. Cave ruminates on his failed marriage and his affair with Polly Jean Harvey. I'm told the live version of "West Country Girl" on the tours that followed this record was the closest The Bad Seeds ever came to playing metal.

4. Murder Ballads - In his books, "King Ink II", there's an excerpt from one of Cave's notebooks where Cave and the Bad Seeds express their condolences to the families of the victims in the songs. The body count is quite high. The Bad Seeds are in top form here, especially Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey, and Blixia Bargeld.

5a. Live Seeds - Forget the "Best of" collection, you want a greatest hits? This blistering live set it the place to go.

5b. For a good set of material not from the post "Live Seeds" records, check out the GOD IS IN THE HOUSE DVD. Watch Warren Ellis come close to upstaging Cave, watch Blixia do bizarre things to his guitar, watch Mick Harvey glower...

The Birthday Party - The place to start is with Mutiny!/The Bad Seed. The last set of Birthday Party recordings prefigures much of NC's solo work. The dirge, "Deep In The Woods" is a monster.

Stay away from: Two lectures. Nick Cave is no prof. I have a video of one of the lectures where he drags a very uncomfortable Kylie Minogue out to do one of the songs. I can't remember the title, but it has the line, "I ain't much of a poet, and you ain't much of a muse." The songs aren't that great.

Nocturama - Probably his weakest record. There's nothing awful about it, it's just very...mediocre.

Ok, that's the music. Am curious to see that the writers think of his books...
----
Also, if anyone is interested, I have a spare copy of the GOD IS IN THE HOUSE DVD - so if anyone wants to trade, drop me a line.
----
-N
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D
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 01:47 pm:   

I'm very taken with Abbatoir Blues. Last time I liked him this much was Murder Ballads. I'm not sure if it has to do with his music/lyrics or my frame of mind.
Books - I've only dipped my nose into his King Inks, they sit on the bookcase for when time and mood collide.
I read And The Ass Saw the Angel and found it (unsurprisingly) very dark indeed. Not bleak, more the dark side of human nature being ..deliberate. Not a comfortable read by a long way, but a worthwhile one.
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Geoffrey Maloney
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 02:14 am:   

Jeff and others

It must be being Australian or something but after seeing Nick and his band playing one too many time's at Uni and pub gigs in the 80s, I just lost the plot. Too much intensity for the sake of intensity (and not enough songs that did anything)and Nick throwing himself into the crowd so they would catch him. (Dumb punk boy ploy.) I would have let him drop.

Okay, I guess he might have matured, but after having seen him live too many times, I was in no way impressed to rush out and buy one of his recent albums. And I have heard Murder Ballads and all I could see as I listened to it was Nick throwing himself off stage, but this time with an axe in his hand.

Funny how first impressions stay with you.


regards

Geoff
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 08:17 am:   

I'm going to see him Saturday coming (woohoo!) so I'll be sure and let yez know if he launches himself off the stage, assuming I'm not in traction from him landing on me. To be honest though, I suspect he's past that; last time I saw him - the No More Shall We Part tour - it was all far more brooding melancholy than pyscho punk mania. And actually, much as I like the American Gothic of the "classic" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds sound (the 101 Songs About Southern Serial Killers period, you could say), I think his more recent stuff, (apart from Nocturama, that is) is even more powerful because a lot of it is that bit more low-key. I thought the lectures (that's the one about his father and the one about songs as love letters, right?) were fascinating listening, for they way they helped reveal that deeply spiritual undercurrent that runs through his stuff. He may not "believe in an interventionist god" but I can't help thinking of him, these days, as a sort of Humanist Gospel singer.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, August 08, 2005 - 03:09 pm:   

I got Murder Ballads over the weekend. I like it, although the first half interests me more. I think I should try Henry's Dream next, since I generally prefer more intense stuff
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 09:02 am:   

I got Henry's Dream, and am enjoying it quite a bit.

It's interesting to compare Murder Ballads to metal lyrics. Both aim for dark and disturbing, but most "dark" metal lyrics read like comedy. I'm pretty sure Cannibal Corpse aims for comedy, but others don't. Cave pulls off the disturbing lyrics. But I suppose metal isn't know for lyrical depth.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 04:37 pm:   

The new album's good. Have any of you, read any of his writing?
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al duncan
Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - 01:39 am:   

I read And The Ass Saw The Angel a couple of years back and thought it was great -- full-blown American Gothic including the "Deep South" voice of the protagonist; it's permeated with religious iconography, and has a dark and disturbing storyline that's pretty damn gripping... well worth a look-see.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 10:59 am:   

Thanks, Al. Don't know if I'll ever get to it. Maybe someday.

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