Thursday, March 7, 2024

New Music From Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds!!!

When Push the Sky Away came out in 2013, the departure in sound from previous Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds albums grabbed me right away. I loved 2008's Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! and Cave's concurrent side project Grinderman for their ferocious rebuttal to the aging process, but Sky's total immersion in storytelling and the grandeur employed in the songcraft seemed the exact perfect pinion from that antagonistic sound. There seemed an evolution in writing, production, everything - Push the Sky Away just felt so HUGE. 

Then tragedy struck, and 2016's Skeleton Tree felt like an unbelievably poignant - naked even - response. When Ghosteen hit in 2019, I heard too much of those two previous records in it to feel anything other than... tired by its 11 tracks. I give the album a listen every now and again, but really, I'd just rather listen to Sky or Skeleton Tree (both of which have since suffered dilution at having yet another record released in their image). 

Maybe I'm spoiled by how often Cave has reinvented himself over the years. I got into him shortly before 2004's Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Oepipus came out, after a friend of a friend burned me CDs of  2001's And No More Shall We Part and 1994's Let Love In. I was living with some friends in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood at the time, and I remember smoking a bowl and putting And No More... on. This sudden, immense and immaculate eclipse overtook the world at the start of that record, and it swirled and evolved and stung and didn't relinquish control of my senses until the final track ran out. There was something so dark, so sad, so funny, so intricate... 

I'd heard of the Bad Seeds before then, of course, but just hadn't been exposed to them. I remember, shortly before those burned discs came my way, I was with Mr. Brown and some friends at The Valley Inn in Palos Hills. This was a small neighborhood restaurant in Chicago's south suburbs that featured a bar that stayed open until 4:00 AM on the weekends and yet, impossibly in Palos Hills, didn't get as crowded with the kind of scum that filtered into the 4 AM bars just a few blocks away on Roberts Road. We ran into a friend, John Pratt, and were sitting at the bar drinking beers. John was a punk rawk dude from the neighborhood, and as he regaled us with tales of a recent show he'd been to, a guy from across the bar recognized him and came over to extend salutations. I didn't catch this new addition to our little group's name, but he was wearing a simple black t-shirt that had "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds" printed across the front of it. I remember thinking that shirt was the most punk rock thing I'd ever seen. Not a month later I had those discs, and a love affair began*. 

That's my long-winded wind up to say, when this new track and the announcement of the subsequent record, out August 30. Pre-order HERE, fills me with both hope and dread. The single begins subtle enough that it carried my fears of another Ghosteen with it until the back half of the song begins to gain complexity and, what I can only call a sort of smoldering hope. THIS instills me with hope. I really want to care about another Bad Seeds record.

* Somehow, I had already made the sonic acquaintance of Cave's previous band, The Birthday Party, but hadn't yet put together that this was the same man. Delayed discoveries were still possible in the era before we all walked around with the internet in our hand 24/7. Not an indictment, just a fact. Plus, if you don't explicitly read that this is the same man, it just might take a minute to reconcile that Cave was the frontman in both these groups. I mean, come on. Listen to "Big Jesus Trashcan" and then listen to "Sweetheart Come" (often misheard as Sweet, Hot Cum) and tell me there's no room for disbelief.

NCBD Addendum:

Another NCBD addendum is in order, as I ended up grabbing a few books I had no idea where going to be put in front of me.

A new three-issue limited series set in 1939? Yeah, sounds like a great idea for a Batman setting, right? Ryan at Rick's Comic City put this in my hand, and I found myself strangley compelled to take it home. The art's gorgeous, and since I'm not a regular Batman reader, every once in a while I can really go for a good mini-series with the character. 

I had completely forgotten about the first issue of Beyond Real, which was a freebie from Vault Comics back in early December. I really dug the story—though I'll definitely have to unearth and re-read it now. I was stoked to see issue two on the shelf and only too happy to give Zack Kaplan and Co. my money after the generous first-issue comp and thought-provoking story.

This one was a little tough to actually plunk down the $$ for. Not because I don't want delivery on the cover's tagline: "What if Carter Burke Had Lived," but because after reading two story arcs of Marvel's Aliens books, I really don't ever want to read anymore. But this... this was pretty damn good! It's a three-issue series, so no big investment and I liked what they did with Burke's character enough to want to see where this story goes.

Also, cowritten by Paul Reiser? There was a time when Reiser was on my "most hated actors" list right alongside jim carrey and b. stiller. THAT's how powerful his performance as the sniveling Carter Burke was for me (not to mention his ubiquitousness of his appearances in pop culture in the 90s thanks to mad about ewe). Stranger Things changed that.

Thanks to my A Most Horrible Library cohost, Chris Saunders, for putting this one on my radar. Since Marvel took over, I've long learned to just glide my eye past any comic that says Alien. 


Brigitte Calls Me Baby - This House is Made of Corners EP
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Butthole Surfers - Rembrandt Pussyhorse
Calderum - Mystical Fortress of Iberian Lands
Kaiser Chiefs - Kaiser Chief's Easy Eight Album
Ministry - Hopiumforthemasses
Judas Priest - Invincible Shield (pre-release singles)
Double Life - Indifferent Stars
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars
The Fixx - Reach the Beach
Fleet Foxes - Shore
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman 


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Page (Princess) of Swords - Terror or impetuousness
• Six of Cups - Something new through hard work and a little pain
• V: The Hierophant - Something more, just outside the scope of your tiny little world

Gonna need to shed some (metaphorical) blood in order to get what I'm missing. Another nod to the book, which I took time out of working on to finish this post. 

No comments: