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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree Album Review


There are too many lives taken too early in many walks of life but, with the possible exception of the armed services, none more so than in Rock 'n Roll. Early, often tragic, unfortunate, untimely and ultimately futile death has seemingly been a staple of the profession from its earliest incarnation. It's almost an expected given from time-to-time. Line-ups change because of it, the artists in question often take on another type of, celebrated/lauded/deity status and record companies release endless re mastered collections so that we can fully appreciate 'our' loss.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree Album Review

The tragedy of the unexpected early death of one's son or daughter to an artist is a far rarer thing and as such is more of an unknown. Nick Cave has always been, in my eyes at least, such a strong, powerful, confident and authoritative person. Yes he's capable of creating beauty, baring his soul, capturing love and longing and expressing it brilliantly but always with a certain swagger, an inner belief and a natural charisma. The death of his fifteen year old son, Arthur, has so obviously changed that in so many ways on his, and the Bad Seeds, latest release, 'Skeleton Tree'.

Although 'Skeleton Tree; was started prior to Arthur's passing it is clear in every aspect of the record that each song is somehow channelling Nick's grief. From the opening bars of the vibraphone on 'Jesus Alone' and through very last mournful word that Nick utters the darkness of death is not far away. His sorrow, frustration, confusion and anguish are audible throughout; if not literally in lyrical form, then in his often stark rendering of the songs in his performance. Nick has always been capable of swerving between the tender and the tormented but on 'Skeleton Tree' he sounds older, his vocal is not so polished and at times he sounds fragile. There is a brittle seam that runs through his new record that ultimately captures its emotional sensitivity and its portrayal of such a sad loss. Nick has himself questioned whether his voice is strong enough, and it's not as strong as it is on any of his previous 15 studio albums, but it is no less effective, emotive, soulful or engaging. His ability to lift, suspend or arrest your sensibilities is undiminished as he works through a series of songs that, by his own admission, have a rawness that is more stark and unfinished than most of his previous back catalogue.

Continue reading: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree Album Review

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Announce New Album And Film


Nick Cave

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have announced details of their new studio album Skeleton Tree, whose release will be accompanied by a “stark, fragile and raw” documentary movie out at the same time.

The record, which will be Cave’s 16th studio album and the first since the death of his 15 year old son Arthur last year, is to be released on September 9th. The day before, on Thursday September 8th, a film called One More Time With Feeling will be screened in 650 cinemas across the world.

Nick CaveNick Cave's new album is to be accompanied by the release of a film

Continue reading: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Announce New Album And Film

Five Examples Of Pop Stars Becoming Authors


Morrissey Nick Cave Courtney Love Bruce Dickinson The Decemberists Leonard Cohen

Eagle-eyed indie fans will have seen the hilarious news that Morrissey has been nominated for the ‘Bad Sex Award’ by The Literary Review this week. His first fictional work ‘List of the Lost’, arriving two years after 2013’s notorious ‘Autobiography’, received wildly mixed reviews from most critics.

The nominated passage of ‘erotic’ prose contains the memorable phrase ‘bulbous salutation’. He may be lauded as the lead singer of The Smiths and as a solo artist, but it’s unlikely that his fiction will be remembered in quite the same way, if this is anything to go by.

However, success on the stage doesn’t necessarily preclude a rock star from enjoying successful pursuits as writers. Here are some other, more accomplished examples of rock stars writing prose instead of lyrics.

Continue reading: Five Examples Of Pop Stars Becoming Authors

Music Legend Marianne Faithfull To Celebrate 50th Career Anniversary With Tour


Marianne Faithfull Nick Cave

In celebration of her career's 50th anniversary, Marianne Faithfull is set to release a brand new single, 'Late Victorian Holocaust', at the end of September, 2014. The single is set to serve as the fifth album on her upcoming 20th studio album, entitled 'Give My Love to London'. 

Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull began her music career at the age of 17

'Give My Love to London' is due for release on the 11th November, 2014, with a celebratory tour beginning a month earlier in October. The tour will celebrate her career which has so far spanned five decades, beginning when she was just 17 years old in 1964. The beginning of her career, between the years 1966 and 1970 were spent in a well-publicised relationship with Mick Jagger. 

Continue reading: Music Legend Marianne Faithfull To Celebrate 50th Career Anniversary With Tour

Nick Cave's '20,000 Days On Earth' Could Be Finest Movie Of 2014


Nick Cave Kylie Minogue

Nick Cave's talent for songwriting had never been disputed. In fact, many would consider the Australian amongst our generation's most talented songsmiths and so it came as no surprise that his screenwriting debut, 2007's The Proposition, was heralded as a sharp, sprawling epic.

Nick CaveNick Cave and Kylie Minogue in '20,000 Days on Earth'

Cave's new movie, 20,000 Days on Earth, has been in development for some time. The musician co-wrote and stars in the film, about a fictional 24 hours in the life of the Bad Seeds man. It premiered in-competition in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January, winning two awards. And now, on the eve of its bow in the cinemas, critics agree that 20,000 Days on Earth is one of the most intriguing movies of the year.

Continue reading: Nick Cave's '20,000 Days On Earth' Could Be Finest Movie Of 2014

A Week In Movies: Hudson Wows New York, Planes And Pudsey Premiere, Plus New Trailers For Cave, Knightley And Witherspoon


Kate Hudson Zach Braff Dane Cook Ed Harris Britain's Got Talent David Walliams Nick Cave Keira Knightley Reese Witherspoon Maya Rudolph

Zach Braff & Kate Hudson at the Wish I Was Here premiere

A sleek and sexy Kate Hudson wowed the red carpet at the New York premiere of her new film Wish I Was Here. She was accompanied on the night by director-cowriter-star Zach Braff as well as costars Donald Faison, Ashley Greene and Joey King. The film is about a 35-year-old man trying to figure out his life, career and family. Look through the full premiere gallery here.

In Los Angeles, Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen, Hal Holbrook, Erik Estrada and Brad Garrett were on hand for the premiere of their new animated film Planes: Fire & Rescue, which was held to benefit the L.A. Fire Department. Also in attendance were musicians Kesha, Ludacris and country singer Brad Paisley. Watch the trailer for Planes: Fire & Rescue here.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Hudson Wows New York, Planes And Pudsey Premiere, Plus New Trailers For Cave, Knightley And Witherspoon

20,000 Days On Earth Trailer


In true Nick Cave style, the lines between real-life and fiction are blurred in a drama documentary based on a supposed 24 hours in the life of this seminal Australian rocker. He contemplates his 20,000th day on Earth as he explores his earliest memories, his biggest influences, his biggest dreams and his darkest fears. We see how his creative impulses are brought to life and how he feels transformed during his highly exciting stage performances.

Nick Cave has been the frontman of alternative rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds since 1983, with the group only recently landing their first number one in their native Australia with 2013 album 'Push the Sky Away'. Cave has had a fulfilling creative career outside of the band too, having authored several books and composed several film scores - including this one.

'20,000 Days On Earth' has been artistically directed by film collaborators Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard ('Do You Love Me Like I Love You', 'Run for Me'). It's evocative presmise won it the FIPRESCI Prize at the Istanbul International Film Festival and two awards for directing and editing at Sundance. The movie is scheduled to hit cinemas in the UK on September 19th 2014.

Ivor Novellos Victory For London Grammar As Mercurys Snub Forgotten


London Grammar James Blake Nick Cave Tom Odell

London Grammar lead the honours at last night's 59th annual Ivor Novello awards in London. The trip-hop trio, Dominic Major, Hannah Reid and Daniel Rothman, won Best Song Musically and Lyrically for their track 'Strong.' The award was significant for the band, who met each other at Nottingham University, because it demonstrates a change of fortune when compared to them being ignored at the Mercury Music Prize.

London Grammar Ivor Novello
London Grammar Proved Their Worth At The 59th Ivor Novello Awards.

Speaking before the show, vocalist Reid said of the awards: "It feels really good because it's a songwriter's award and that's why we do what we do, it's a little more chilled than the BRITs as well, it's great."

Continue reading: Ivor Novellos Victory For London Grammar As Mercurys Snub Forgotten

Kanye, Elton, Jack And Lionel: Say Hello To Bonnaroo Festival's Line-Up 2014


Elton John Lionel Richie Kanye West Jack White Warpaint Disclosure Rudimental James Blake Ice Cube Wiz Khalifa Vampire Weekend Nick Cave Janelle Monae

The line-up for this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has been announced and looks to be more impressive than ever with Elton John, Kanye West, Lionel Richie, Jack White and Vampire Weekend all gracing the Manchester, Tenn. stages across the four-day celebration. The festival, which will be held from the 12th to the 15th June this year, will serve up an enviable mix of genres.

Elton John
Elton John Will Lead This Year's Incredible Bonnaroo Festival Line-Up.

Bonnaroo Festival is famous for having provided a stage to one of Kanye West's famous rants last time he played in 2008. The rapper and his fans reacted with outrage when Kanye's originally late night set was shifted to a performance during broad daylight, provoking a classic caps-lock tirade from the short-fused star.

Continue reading: Kanye, Elton, Jack And Lionel: Say Hello To Bonnaroo Festival's Line-Up 2014

Glastonbury Festival 2013 In Pictures: Sun, Cider And The Rolling Stones [Pictures]


Glastonbury Festival Rolling Stones Azealia Banks Arctic Monkeys Bobby Womack Tyler The Creator Damon Albarn Beady Eye Liam Gallagher Oasis Nick Cave Rita Ora AlunaGeorge Mick Jagger Keith Richards Tom Odell David Bowie Jessie Ware

And that's it. Another year passes and Worthy Farm closes its gates on the Glastonbury Festival revellers for another 12 months. Though there's always the distant murmur of someone professing it "the best Glastonbury ever," there was a palpable feeling that this year's festival was among the finest in history. Firstly, there was heightened anticipation given the fallow year in 2012 and secondly, the sun came out. Oh, and The Rolling Stones made their debut, rollicking through a two-and-a-half-hour set on Saturday (June 29, 2013) and scoring five-star reviews across the board.

Mick JaggerMick Jagger Performing With The Rolling Stones At Glastonbury Festival in 2013

The surprise return of David Bowie in 2013 had left many commentators speculating on the possibility of the Thin White Duke headlining the legendary festival, though there was no lingering thoughts of "What if?" once Glastonbury got underway on Friday with a snappy set from Sheffield heroes Arctic Monkeys. Bowie became all but a moot point after Saturday, when Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company played a career spanning set that included 'Jumping Jack Flash,' 'Tumbling Dice,' 'Start Me Up,' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' 'Gimmie Shelter,' 'Doom and Gloom' and 'Midnight Rambler.' "The night belongs to the Stones. By turning on the charm as well as the formidable back catalogue, they prove themselves well worth the wait," said the Guardian's Dorian Lynskey. 

Continue reading: Glastonbury Festival 2013 In Pictures: Sun, Cider And The Rolling Stones [Pictures]

SXSW: Brooding Nick Cave Mocks Texting Fans At Stubb's BBQ Show


Nick Cave South by Southwest Justin Timberlake Prince

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds delivered a stonking SXSW set at Stubb's BBQ on Wednesday (March 13, 2013), with the enigmatic frontman stalking around the stage at the NPR Music showcase and announcing, "We're going to start off with a really long song, and hopefully by the time we're done, it'll be dark."

It would set the tone for a mysterious but brilliant set from Cave and his band, which included the Australian wordlessly mocking his texting fans by imitating their thumb movements - there were more than a few red hipster faces in the crowd. Cave, who played several songs from his well-received new record Push The Sky Away, is one of the highlight acts at this year's festival in Austin, Texas, which also features performances from Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Sound City Players, Green Day and Depeche Mode. 

Cave has written movie scripts, novels and several great songs over the years, though speaking at the 27th annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference earlier this week, he explained how it never gets any easier. "There are all these nasty births," he said of spawning new material,  "[It's like] pushing burning watermelons out of a tiny orifice."

Continue reading: SXSW: Brooding Nick Cave Mocks Texting Fans At Stubb's BBQ Show

A Week In Music - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' 'Push The Sky Away' Riding High, Foal Break New Ground With 'Holy Fire' And Haim Get Close To Nature With 'Falling'


Nick Cave Foals Theme Park Villagers Alabama Shakes Haim Dave Grohl Mindy McCready Bonnaroo Sound City Players

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Push The Sky Away

Albums of Note... Heaped with praise and riding high in the UK charts, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away is not only an artistic triumph but a commercial one, too. Cave’s songwriting style has mutated significantly since his early days as frontman and resident wildcard of The Birthday Party; he now resembles a particularly well-dressed bar fly and his songs are peppered with his quintessentially erudite turn of phrase.

For our reviewer, Push the Sky Away demonstrates Cave and his cohorts at their finest:“Knowing when to stop and what to leave out, when adding more will lessen the quality and having the strength of character to just cut away the surplus is most definitely driven by the ever uncompromising Cave and here it has clearly paid dividends… Push The Sky Away' has a delicacy and tenderness woven through it like a fine silken tapestry of beguiling beauty but it can still be unflinching and brutal.”

Continue reading: A Week In Music - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' 'Push The Sky Away' Riding High, Foal Break New Ground With 'Holy Fire' And Haim Get Close To Nature With 'Falling'

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away Album Review


Nick Cave - Push The Sky Away Album Review

'Push The Sky Away' represents the 15th studio album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, a quite remarkable achievement for a group now in their 30th year, let alone when you consider the plethora of peripheral undertakings that its eponymous frontman has committed to over the years.

Among the chattering masses, 'Push The Sky Away' has more than many other of their previous albums seemingly divided opinion. The sycophantic hero worshippers loved it before they even heard a note and the tantalising teaser trailer merely sent them into hyperdrive, whilst the (largely) grumpy old men, who in their youth once adored him, have failed to 'grow' and develop at the same pace and so have long since missed the point. Their journey ended when they lost the appreciation of the fluidity and evolutionary processes that drive an incredibly creative and artistic talent like Cave's."The man lost it after Henry's Dream. The younger Nick Cave would have despised this stuff" is a typical comment from some of the detractors but it is both inaccurate and incredibly illusory to suggest such opinions; I don't think Nick Cave, then or now, lives having many regrets and in each of his ages he would clearly have seen the worth of his work.
What is probably most striking about the new album, and why it may have caused a stir among some of his older fans, is the overall feel of restraint and reserve. This is not the full frontal 'porn' of The Birthday Party, it is rather more like seminal eroticism and is as such more closely and easily associated with the band's dual album releases of 'Abattoir Blues' and 'The Lyre Of Orpheus' rather than his previous Grinderman-tainted Bad Seeds album 'Dig Lazarus Dig!!!'. Knowing when to stop and what to leave out, when adding more will lessen the quality and having the strength of character to just cut away the surplus is most definitely driven by the ever uncompromising Cave and here it has clearly paid dividends.

'Push The Sky Away' has a delicacy and tenderness woven through it like a fine silken tapestry of beguiling beauty but it can still be unflinching and brutal. Cave has not lost the power to tear at your heart strings before ripping out your innards and strangulating your circulation with jaw dropping imagery, literary sparkle and poetic flamboyance. Cave's prowess at imparting a compelling and often disturbing tale are second to none and there are lyrical gems aplenty here.
The first single taken from the album 'Jubilee Street' is one of the more immediate among the nine track set and serves as a fabulous introduction to the band's latest work. The aching of the strings and the tremendous build of the tumultuous finale are matched only by the utterly brilliant lyrics..."I got love in my tummy and a tiny little pain, And a ten ton catastrophe on a 60 pound chain." 'At The Water's Edge' is a gripping tale of promiscuous city girls "their legs, wide to the World, like bibles open" given extra gravitas by the menacing and unnerving periodic injections of tempered mania provided by Warren Ellis. Here more than anywhere else on the album you can clearly hear the influence provided by the soundtrack scores that Cave & Ellis have partnered on in recent years. The sense of foreboding continues on the Wikipedia inspired 'We Real Cool' and Nick shows he's not lost any of his often provocative wit on the beautifully melodic fragility of 'Mermaids'.

Cave's ability to convey in such a limited time frame what others may take an essay to complete is no more finely captured than on The Bad Seeds latest single, 'Wide Lovely Eyes'. His voice now slightly mellowed with a depth of soulful expression wraps around each word with a caring caress. The metronomic and mesmerising arrangement is a triumph of subtlety and sensitivity.."I watch your hands like butterflies landing" Cave sings in his most emotive tones since 'The Boatman's Call'. Latterly, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds treat us to a real tour-de-force with the indulgence of the heavier, more percussive 'Higgs Boson Blues' where even Hannah Montana plays a cameo role and (As with Jubilee Street) there are some understated backing vocals provided by Children Of The Ecole St Martin. The title track closes out the terrific album with some sweeping organ notes and a booming bass line provided by Barry Adamson set to the intertwined vocal arrangement.

'Push The Sky Away' may have seen a slight shift in Cave's focus as far as inspiration for his material is concerned but it by no means represents a diminishing return from his song writing. Far from being merely content, you are constantly reminded that he is always striving and questioning, pushing harder and for more. His writing is both simultaneously uplifting and often tragic, expressing a mind in constant flux and turmoil providing you with glimpses of beauty and torment. His single, often bloody, mindedness, has seen the band change radically over the years but we should all be thankful that the helmsman, the ever present Cave, has steered his ship with a drive and passion that are unquestionably honest and true.

There are only a handful of artists that have sustained this kind of prolific output and consistency throughout their career and Push The Sky Away (His "ghost baby in the incubator") would give you no reason to think that this will not carry on for some time to come...., hallelujah!

Andrew Lockwood. 

Out Now - US Album Releases - Quality Return For Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, No Need For Guilt With Buckcherry's Confessions, Get Funked Up With Jamie Lidell


Nick Cave Buckcherry Jamie Lidell

Push the Sky Away, the new album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is perhaps the most significant album of this week. It’s the first release from the band since Dig Lazarus Dig! which landed five years ago. Cave hasn’t been entirely out of the picture, of course. He’s still been releasing music with his other band, Grinderman and writing movie scores, too. But it’s the Bad Seeds, the band with whom he has collaborated and performed since 1984 admittedly with varying line-ups) that Cave fans always want to see back on the stage and with a new album on the shelves.

Push The Sky Away does not disappoint and has garnered great reviews, so far. Cave no longer resides in his home country of Australia but in the seaside town of Brighton, in England and the British music press well and truly consider Cave to be one of their own. This week marks the fifteenth album release from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the quality of the band’s raw and grandiose songs shows no signs of dwindling. 

Continue reading: Out Now - US Album Releases - Quality Return For Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, No Need For Guilt With Buckcherry's Confessions, Get Funked Up With Jamie Lidell

Out Now - UK Albums Releases - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Return, Triumphant, Emeli Sande Epidemic Spreads With Live Album Release, Danish Punks Iceage Split Opinion With Controversy


Nick Cave Emeli Sande Hadouken! Iceage

This week heralds the long awaited return of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Of course, we have seen plenty of Nick Cave over the last few years, with 2010’s Grinderman 2 album and his soundtrack work on Metamorphosis and Lawless (both 2012 releases) but Cave’s fans have been waiting since 2008’s Dig, Lazarus Dig! for new output from the Bad Seeds.

As with many of Nick Cave’s album releases, Push the Sky away has been rapturously received (can this guy do no wrong, we wonder?), with a 4/5 review in The Guardian, a similarly effusive 9/10 from NME and a generous 8.0 from Pitchfork. There’s no huge departure in sound here; Push the Sky is very much what you will have come to expect from a Nick Cave album. Luckily, what we have largely come to expect from a Nick Cave album is sublime song structuring, insightful lyricism and quality musicianship – all of which are delivered on Push the Sky Away.

 

Continue reading: Out Now - UK Albums Releases - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Return, Triumphant, Emeli Sande Epidemic Spreads With Live Album Release, Danish Punks Iceage Split Opinion With Controversy

A Week In Music - Eels Back On Form With 'Wonderful, Glorious, Frightened Rabbit Album Uncomfortable Listening, Depeche Mode's Broody New Video


The Eels Frightened Rabbit Funeral For A Friend Quentin Tarantino Depeche Mode Pacific Air Fine Times Fleetwood Mac Nick Cave Paramore Fall Out Boy Primavera Sound Festival

Albums of Note... Mark Oliver Everett (better known as ‘E’) returns as eels, with new album Wonderful, Glorious. It’s a return to the form that we saw from Eels in the ‘90s. In recent years, Eels albums have been a rather bleak affair, as Everett has had to deal with the death of his parents, his sister and his cousin, all in a relatively short space of time. Wonderful, Glorious sees Eels get some of the fight back – literally, in ‘Kinda Fuzzy,’ in which he snarls “don’t mess with me I’m up for a fight.”“this teeth-grit, eyes ahead attitude is something we've come to expect from Eels, and Wonderful, Glorious is at its best when he's at his growliest… By the end you even sense a form of happiness has fallen upon this most maligned performer…"

Frightened Rabbit Pedestrian Verse Album Cover

Frightened Rabbit have parted ways with Brighton indie label Fat Cat and release their third album Pedestrian Verse on Atlantic Records. With most of the album’s tracks having been written around the time of Scott Hutchinson’s relationship breakup, it can make for a pretty uncomfortable listen at times. With a new producer at the helm the band seem to have developed a more free-flowing musical ideal, even if the emotions contained within are high in intensity.“In summary, 'Pedestrian Verse' can perhaps best be described as the sound of Frightened Rabbit doing what they do best. Just how many more fall outs and break-ups Scott Hutchison can through to continue the cycle remains to be seen, but for now this is up there alongside 'The Midnight Organ Fight' as one of the band's finest collections to date.”

Continue reading: A Week In Music - Eels Back On Form With 'Wonderful, Glorious, Frightened Rabbit Album Uncomfortable Listening, Depeche Mode's Broody New Video

What, No Holograms? Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headline Coachella 2013


Coachella Blur Stone Roses Yeah Yeah Yeahs Modest Mouse Lou Reed Jurassic 5 Phoenix The XX New Order Nick Cave Grinderman Wu Tang Clan Social Distortion Tupac Shakur

How do you top having a dead man headline your festival? Well, in all honestly, you’re not going to. Coachella’s talent bookers must have been scratching their heads in bewilderment when it came to topping last year’s Tupac hologram and they’ve done the best they can, given the lack of deceased artists willing and able to play Coachella 2013.

The two Friday nights (the festival takes place both on April 12 – 14 and April 19 – 21) are looking like a highlight for fans of the Britpop revival, with Blur and Stone Roses lending a very British end to the evening. A newly invigorated Yeah Yeah Yeahs (well, Karen O’s dyed her hair blonde, does that count?) also play the Friday, as well as Modest Mouse, Lou Reed and Jurassic 5. Saturday has the French band Phoenix headlining, in support of their recently-announced new album. They’ll be preceded by British electronic gloom-pop band The XX, as well as Postal Service and New Order. The line-up for the Sunday nights is a slightly heavier one, with Red Hot Chili Peppers headlining, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds making yet another return (Cave will be raking it in that weekend, as his other band Grinderman also play the Fridays), Social Distortion and Wu Tang Clan.

Coachella always has an impressive array of legendary / stalwart alternative acts as well as the hottest new bands you’ve only just heard of. What they haven’t got, is anything that’s going to grab the headlines, or the public’s attention in the same way that Tupac’s hologram did. 

Continue reading: What, No Holograms? Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headline Coachella 2013

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Phoenix, My Bloody Valentine And Blur Will Be In The Line Up Of Primavera Sound 2013

Posted on24 January 2013

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Phoenix, My Bloody Valentine And Blur Will Be In The Line Up Of Primavera Sound 2013

Was Kate Middleton Deterred By Hobbit Sickness? Prince William Attends The Hobbit Premiere Alone


Prince William Kate Middleton Ian McKellen Peter Jackson James Nesbitt Martin Freeman Nick Cave

Prince William attended the London premiere of The Hobbit alone last night.

His wife, Kate Middleton, was due to attend but was prevented from joining her husband by the pregnancy sickness that kept her in hospital for much of last week. The Duke of Cambridge was the guest of honour at last night’s glittering event at London’s Leicester Square and told the press “She would have loved to have been here if she could.” Typical, isn’t it? You’re stuck at home, pregnant and sick and hubby deserts you for the night to go to Middle Earth for the evening.

Not only did Kate miss out on watching the new film, but she also missed out on hanging out with all the A-list celebrities in attendance, such as Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellan, Peter Jackson. James Nesbitt and – of course – the star of the film, Martin Freeman. Oh and Nick Cave was there! Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Nick Cave in Middle Earth?

Continue reading: Was Kate Middleton Deterred By Hobbit Sickness? Prince William Attends The Hobbit Premiere Alone

Push The Sky Away - New Album Announced For Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds


Nick Cave

Some good news for fans of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds… the motley crew of rugged old dudes are set to release a new album in February 2013. According to Clashmusic.com, the Australian artist and his long-term band of cohorts will release an album entitled Push The Sky Away on February 18, 2012.

The last time Nick Cave released an album with The Bad Seeds was in 2008, when they came out with the seminal Dig, Lazarus, Dig! In the meantime, Cave has been working with his other band, Grinderman, who have been regulars on the festival circuit for the last couple of summers and he’s also had his hand in a number of soundtrack projects, including The Death of Bunny Munro and The Road. Nick seemed to delight in explaining how the creative process worked for the band, this time around, in a recent interview, saying “I enter the studio with a handful of ideas, unformed and pupal; it's the Bad Seeds that transform them into things of wonder. Ask anyone who has seen them at work. They are unlike any other band on earth for pure, instinctive inventiveness.”

The Bad Seeds have always been the band to whom Cave has returned, since his early band The Birthday Party disbanded. With the current line up of Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunos, Thomas Wylder, Martyn P Casey and Conway Savage, you can expect that Push the Sky Away will be yet another masterpiece in Nick Cave’s enviable canon of work.

Lawless Review


Extraordinary
Director Hillcoat and musician-turned-screenwriter Cave previously worked together back home in Australia on the dark Western The Proposition, and now they have reunited in America for this true story set during Prohibition in the early 1930s. Unsurprisingly, it plays out like a Western. And it also features two of The Proposition's memorable actors, Pearce and Taylor.

The story centres on the three Bondurant brothers in rural Virginia. Eldest sibling Forrest (Hardy) runs the family moonshine business with middle brother Howard (Clarke). But the younger Jack (LaBeouf) wants in on the action and secretly teams up with whiz-kid Cricket (DeHaan) to speed up production and sell their wares to a big-city gangster (Oldman). Then slimy city-slicker Federal Agent Rakes (Pearce) arrives, determined to stop bootlegging no matter who he has to torture and kill. Meanwhile, a sexy barmaid (Chastain) with a shady past arrives to distract Forrest, while Jack daringly woos the rebellious daughter (Wasikowska) of the local preacher.

Continue reading: Lawless Review

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! Album Review


Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Album Review

This CD came embossed with the direst warnings against piracy I have ever seen. It wasn't exactly wrapped in barbed wire, but it did take me a long while to get into, and even then the task was only completed with the aid of a sharp kitchen knife and severe danger to the integrity of my fingers and thumbs. Once this review is complete, I'll be carrying out a controlled explosion in a small pit dug in the back garden to avoid the CD falling into enemy hands. It's for the best, honest. Anyway, this is Cave's fourteenth album by all accounts, and one that's been eagerly anticipated

‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’ swaggers with a street-funk strut, with Nick Cave playing the part of a chronicler of the grimy underbelly of urban life. ‘I can hear chants and incantations and some guy is mentioning me in his prayers’. There are also some genuinely unhinged guitar touches that add to the sense of sleaze and scuzz and an organ that's a bit Doors-y, only good. ‘Today's Lesson’ has a lean, snaky, tense bassline and a chorus that recalls The Stooges, not least in the affirmation that ‘We're gonna have a real cool time tonight’. The brief keyboard solo is pure late-sixties West Coast, and the guitar chops and careers it's wah-wah way through the second half of the song to great effect. ‘Moonland’ begins in swampy lounge-funk mode, with fluttering hi-hats, occasional tambourine and chicken-in-a-basket organ. The guitar is louche, laid-back, and I can't help thinking of half-lit, seamy, late-night drinking dens hidden away down back streets, away from prying eyes.

‘Night of the Lotus Eaters’ is genuinely sinister, a very treated bass accompanying Cave's apocalyptic visions of dragons in the shopping malls (‘They're gonna eat our guns’) while an occasional guitar whines and wails in the background. I don't think I'll be eating any lotus any time soon - not if this is the result, anyway. ‘Get ready to shoot yourself’ comes the order from ‘our catastrophic leaders’. Grim, yet strangely fascinating. ‘Albert Goes West’ picks up the pace with a guitar that's reminiscent of Robert Fripp's turn on Bowie's ‘Heroes’. The vocal (to these ears) is mixed a little low in the loud sections, but on the plus side, we do get to a bloody good listen at the guitar. The utter sleaze underpinning Cave's leering ‘Do ya wanna dance?’ is pitched absolutely perfectly for the song, and the guitar derails delinquently towards the end, produced some really quite horrible noises. Nice. ‘We Call Upon the Author’ is your humble scribe's favourite track on the album. A motorik groove, shards of guitar and some subtle organ touches accompany Cave's spewing, railing words, each verse punctuated with ‘We call upon the author to explain’. There's a weird interlude of very broken dance music and then we're off again, the guitar in freefall, the bass keeping obsessively to its confined groove. Great stuff.

‘Hold on to Yourself’ features a deftly strummed acoustic guitar, some subtly shuffly percussion, an understated electric guitar, Cave in best seedy crooner mood, and just so that you don't get too comfortable, what sounds like a swarm of complaining violins massing to swoop down and sting your ears. ‘Lie Down Here’ has a raging, demented guitar sound, all bent notes and squally chords, with Cave in sleazy entreaty mode - ‘Lie down here and be my girl’. Er ... no thanks, Nick, that's a bed of nails. Underneath all the sleaze and sharp edges, there's actually a sweet little acoustic-driven pop song fighting for its life. It's an interesting battle, and it's hard to say who wins. ‘Jesus of the Moon’ has a lazy, loping feel (imagine the rhythm of America's ‘Horse With No Name’ only a lot darker and you'll be somewhere close). There's a decent turn by the string section to add some creepy atmospherics and mournfulness in tandem with the organ, and - lo and behold! - a flute solo that works very nicely.

‘Midnight Man’ has a sort of ‘Incense and Peppermints’ tautness to the rhythm and the bassline of the verse, decorated by some deft guitar work and a strange mechanised twinkling. It's particularly effective after the organ-driven chorus. It's maybe the prettiest song on the album. The organ is warm in the verse and then bold in the chorus. Any illusion of prettiness is smashed to pieces by the demented guitar in the end section, though, as it rampages through the rest of the song, putting the boot in and the windows through, cackling like a maniac and foaming at the mouth. ‘More News from Nowhere’ is overly long at very nearly eight minutes. For an album that Cave has described as being very Australian, this is the only track that really bears any relation to Australia, conjuring as it does endless skies under which there is very little and nothing really happens. Cave tries very hard to hold the interest with a lot of lyrics, but the music is essentially a bit dull and by-numbers. A bit of a disappointing end.

It's a very decent album, this. It contains references and hints to the New York of Lou Reed, the Detroit of The Stooges and the San Francisco of 1969, plus sundry other moments. The arrangements are good, some of the guitar work is excellent in a thoroughly f**ked-up way, and Cave's undeniable presence seeps through in every single song. It's gritty, seedy and sleazy, and in an age where mainstream music is becoming increasingly sanitised, it's a welcome reminder that there are people out there doing more interesting and less obvious things to good effect.

Jon Watson

3.5/5

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Nick Cave

Date of birth

22nd September, 1957

Occupation

Musician

Sex

Male

Height

1.89




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