June 25, 2008

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds / Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

Artist: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Title: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Hometown: Australia / UK
Label: Mute
Street Date: Out Now
RIYL: Nick Cave in all his artistic endeavors, David Byrne covering Lou Reed, American literary heavy weights, sex, Iggy Pop in his Sunday best, those with a fear of God and the Good Book
The Hits: Night of the Lotus Eaters, More News from Nowhere
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - If you are me Moderate if you are everyone else Strong

God I love me some NME. Only they would have a headline like "Nick Cave: I was traumatised by the Bible."

I however would like to add to this headline "and Nick Cave states the obvious."

The man has been dropping Bible bombs in his music from day one. The only difference this time around is that Nick has ditched the piano and revisited the guitar. If you care for Nick Cave and all his Leonard Cohen ways, you will accept this new record with open arms. If you are like 99.5% of the press you will probably also give it a 9 out of 10 stars rating. If you are like me and sit on a fence about the skinny man in black, then on the fence you will remain. It sounds like the Nick Cave of the past decade to me but you can expect that kind of indifference from a barely fan. (AKA me)

Nick Cave preaches from the pulpit located somewhere on the dark side but this time the seedy under belly (Bad Seeds pun intended) calls NYC its home. Here is what Nick says about the concept behind this record:

"Ever since I can remember hearing the Lazarus story, when I was a kid, you know, back in church, I was disturbed and worried by it,” explained Cave or the record’s inspiration. “Traumatised, actually. We are all, of course, in awe of the greatest of Christ's miracles - raising a man from the dead - but I couldn't help but wonder how Lazarus felt about it. As a child it gave me the creeps, to be honest.”

The new album updates the resurrected man’s story.

Cave explained: “I've taken Lazarus and stuck him in New York City, in order to give the song, a hip, contemporary feel. I was also thinking about Harry Houdini, who spent a lot of his life trying to debunk the spiritualists who were cashing in on the bereaved. He believed there was nothing going on beyond the grave. He was the second greatest escapologist, Harry was, Lazarus, of course, being the greatest. I wanted to create a kind of vehicle, a medium, for Houdini to speak to us if he so desires, you know, from beyond the grave.” He added: “Sometimes, late at night, if you listen to the song hard enough, you can hear his voice and the sad clanking of his chains. ‘I don't know what it is but there is definitely something going on upstairs’, he seems to be saying. It is, most of all, an elegy to the New York City of the 70's."

It is only a matter of time before some city slicker takes this record and turns it into a hip musical that I would never care to see but everyone else will think is the best thing since Cats. It could happen but I pray that it doesn't.

PS: The UK pressed a limited version that comes with a 60 page book.

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