11 April 2008
Nick Cave and the Bad Taste in my Mouth
From Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Fan Page on Myspace:
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!: The Book
I pre-ordered mine yesterday - get yours before it's gone!
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!: The Book: Strictly Limited
Strictly limited edition, hard back, four inch square book, forty-six pages long, with three inch CD inside with the track 'Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!'. This book contains handwritten lyrics and notes from Nick Cave, photos and the story of the song 'Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!', along with an interview with Nick, and artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster about their story along with pictures of Sue and Tim working on creating the installation artwork for the front cover of the 'Dig...' album. All the material is not available anywhere else and has been specifically put together by Nick for this book.
Nick Cave: The little book is about the making of the song "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! It is a curiosity that deals with the preparation and final glorious outcome of a project that began on the back of an envelope, a literal 'scrap' of an idea and ended up evolving into a genuine cultural icon and classic rock'n'roll song, due to the collaborative efforts of myself and Brit artists Sue Webster and Tim Noble. The song, which is a comic re-imagining of the Lazarus myth (placing the recently 'risen' Lazarus in 70's New York City) is accompanied by an eight foot square light sculpture, employing over 750 light bulbs, built by Webster and Noble. This little book documents the journey of this mammoth collaboration. Dig it!!!
Alright. As most of you know, I'm obsessed with Nick Cave. I think he is one of the biggest geniuses to ever grace music and literature. I own all of his albums, whether it be on CD, Vinyl, or MP3. I have read and written about his incredibly good novel And the Ass Saw the Angel. I have listened to his speeches The Secret Life of the Love Song and The Flesh Made Word numerous times, memorizing passages which I can deliver in a wicked impression of the man. I even own an autographed copy of the first volume of King Ink, which I keep propped up against the lamp by the side of my bed. It is one of the two last things I see before I close my eyes and go to sleep at night, the other being Jacki's face (which I value more--let's not think I am deranged obsessed).
When his new album came out, I was at first rather unimpressed and I did not like the title track. At all. After a few more listens and seeing him at the Plug Awards, where he played mostly songs from his new album, I grew to agree with him that it was a "monstrously good new album" and that I had too hastily judged it. I listened to it again last night after taking a week or two break from it at Erica and Gary's place after midnight, and I loved it. The lyrics on the album are especially good. The textures and noises are of particular note and deserving of relish and revel.
But for fuck's sake, it is not the crowning achievement of music in the twenty-first century. The worst song on Grinderman is probably better than DIG!'s first track. So why the constant ego indulgence? The cover art, no matter how big in real life and how famous the post-modern or post-post-modern artists are, is nothing more than the title of the record as a neon sign, and there is no other album artwork to speak of--a couple of black and white pictures of individual seeds and Cave. The main focus is, rightly, the words, like a poetry book. Black type on white pages. Fine by me. A song from an album that is only out this month in America and last month in the UK is neither a "genuine cultural icon" or a "classic rock'n'roll song." The Lazarus that is resurrected (or rather not resurrected, nor indeed Lazarus, come back from the dead, come to tell you all) in Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" will remain a cultural touchstone much more so than what is nothing more than an ephemeral generic three chord rock song lacking a bridge and containing good lyrics. This kind of bragging is not attractive or true when the Gallagher boys from Oasis do it, is not welcome or justified when Marilyn Manson does it ("If I was Your Vampire" is the new "Bela Lugosi's Dead"--shah, and monkeys might fly out of my ass), and is not any more acceptable or warranted when literary and musical master Nick Cave is doing it for a song that is barely out of the doorway.
I usually love Cave's rich allusions to the bible and to other poets and writers, but give me the clever and compelling "I'm not getting any" blues of Grinderman's second and last track any day over this half-baked song.