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Old 15th Aug 2004, 22:55   #11
Colyngbourne
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If it's over forty-five minutes (your old 22 and a half mins per side of an LP) I get suspicious, unless there's a lengthy 7 min/14 min masterpiece begging to be included. That said, on my Velvet Underground double album, one side simply has the oft-played Sister Ray, plus Venus in Furs.
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Old 16th Aug 2004, 9:47   #12
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Hmmm. Are they bought together, or do you have to buy two seperate albums?

If the former, it sounds like the trick that the excellent Lambchop pulled with their Aw, C'mon / No, You C'mon album earlier this year.

And didn't Tom Waits release two totally seperate albums a couple of years ago?
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Old 16th Aug 2004, 10:20   #13
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They're being sold as one item at an oddly priced £8.99 on Amazon:

Disc: 1
1. Get Ready For Love
2. Cannibals Hymn
3. Hiding All Away
4. Messiah Ward
5. There She Goes, My Beautiful World
6. Nature Boy
7. Abattoir Blues
8. Let The Bells Ring
9. The Fable of the Brown Ape

Disc: 2
1. The Lyre of Orpheus
2. Breathless
3. Babe You Turn Me On
4. Easy Money
5. Supernaturally
6. Spell
7. Carry Me
8. O Children
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Old 18th Aug 2004, 0:13   #14
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Quote:
Ass saw the angel is a dark, disturbing and 'enormous' read. sat here I can evoke Euchrid's pathetic frame, the sound of Mule (the ass) kicking the pans, Beth being hailed as the second coming.... Have read it several times and hope to do so again. It does take some determination to press on at times; but that just adds to the experience and I've assumed it was a deliberate technique for the reader to 'share' in the depths that Euchrid was reaching. The description of the mother is an apt way to describe my former mother in law.
I'll probably be reading that book as soon as I finish "Imperium" by Kapuscjynski (or however you spell it). So it might be a week or two.
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Old 17th Sep 2004, 10:33   #15
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Pretty encouraging review today in the Indy :D

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Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus, MUTE
By Andy Gill
17 September 2004


When is a double album not a double album? The not entirely persuasive answer is, apparently, when it's two separate albums that are only available for purchase together. Well, that's cleared that up. Taken together, though, Abattoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus may be Nick Cave's best work, in which his liberal use of gospel choir and the apocalyptic tone of songs such as "Get Ready For Love", "Hiding All Away" and "Abattoir Blues" are balanced on the second disc by the salvatory power of love in "Carry Me", the elegiac, anthemic closer "O Children", and "Babe You Turn Me On". On the latter, the delicate interplay of piano and guitar colours Cave's desire to escape a time when: "Everything is collapsing, dear/ All moral sense has gone/ It's just history repeating itself". Not that it's entirely mired in last-days religious fervour: the epic gospel-rock sweep of "There She Goes, My Beautiful World" finds a blocked Cave contemplating the methods other artists employ to trigger inspiration. Compared to the meagre offerings of most contemporary songwriters, this is a 10-course banquet: Cave's fund of classical, poetic and religious reference is fully stocked, and the Bad Seeds haven't played with quite this fire for many an album.
Roll on, Col's birthday!
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Old 17th Sep 2004, 10:47   #16
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Yes I've seen it well-reviewed elsewhere, although one of those, rather worryingly, was by someone who thought that Nocturama was a "return to form". Apparently the song "Nature Boy" is so "Come Up And See Me (Make Me Smile)" that it's practically actionable.

The Guardian gives it foive:

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The future of Brighton's ruined west pier has vexed East Sussex for decades, and last month a new voice joined the debate. Nick Cave's familiar face appeared on the front page of the Brighton Argus, wearing an expression of glowering discomfort. Perhaps he had been warned in advance of the accompanying headline: Rock King Cave Backs West Pier "Jungle" Bid. The 46-year-old singer was throwing his lanky frame behind a plan to grow "hardy plants" around the rusted steel structure: "It's a gamble, but an exciting one - something the community could watch evolve." His enthusiasm seemed to startle the man who devised the scheme: "Nick has this thing about wisteria, but I don't know if it would grow".

Long-term Cave fans might find the story equally startling. The artist now apparently known as Rock King Cave has been many things in his career, most of them pretty rum - heroin addict; leader of "the most violent band in Britain", the Birthday Party; playwright, eager to provide "a perpetual onslaught of pornography and violence"; chronicler of mankind's darkest impulses in song - so there's something incongruous about the notion of him as a pillar of the community with a "thing about wisteria". Viewers of last year's South Bank Show may have felt a similar sensation when the camera showed Cave's "office": a flat that he had clearly declined to redecorate. Judging by the visual evidence, the previous occupant had been a little old lady.

Cave chided those who claimed he had "grown soft" since ditching drugs and discovering domestic contentment on 2001's No More Shall We Part. However, last year's Nocturama seemed exactly the kind of record that might have been written surrounded by chintz. With the Bad Seeds tastefully restrained and lyrics about lovers rowing boats and dropping gloves in the snow, it sounded like a Merchant-Ivory adaptation of a Nick Cave album.

Whatever Nocturama may have appeared to signify, it clearly did not herald any slowing-up in creativity. Less than 18 months later, Cave has returned with a double album, recorded without long-term Bad Seeds guitarist Blixa Bargeld, and broadly split by mood - Abbatoir Blues is snarling and bilious, The Lyre of Orpheus gentler in tone.

Bargeld's departure seems to have shaken Cave and his cohorts in the best way imaginable. The Bad Seeds sounded reined in on Nocturama, a waste of perhaps the most distinctive backing band in rock. Here, they sound energised and unfettered. There is a surfeit of breathtaking moments: Hiding All Away's finale, where they shift from queasy funk to full-on hellfire-and-brimstone mode; the angular repetitions of The Lyre of Orpheus; the opening of Windswept, with Cave singing "through the windswept coastal trees, where the dead come rising from the sea", over a frantic, rolling backing of hammering piano and pattering drums, whose the cumulative effect is enough to give you motion sickness.

The albums frequently take the listener by surprise. Breathless offers the hilariously improbable sound of the Bad Seeds attempting to play calypso. Nature Boy is a rewrite of Steve Harley's (Make Me Smile) Come Up and See Me, and may well be the catchiest song this year to include the lines "I saw some ordinary slaughter, I saw some routine atrocity" and a reference not just to Sappho, but to "Sappho in the original Greek". Those concerned with Cave's plans for the west pier should also note that the song uses wisteria as a metaphor for rambunctious sexuality: he does indeed appear to "have a thing".

Cave also has a sense of humour (he once penned an open letter insisting that he would not "harness my muse to this tumbrel, this bloody cart of severed heads and glittering prizes", certainly an original way to decline an MTV award), a fact that emerged in No More Shall We Part and becomes even more evident here. Repeatedly, the lyrics make you laugh out loud. His retelling of the myth of Orpheus ends with everyone concerned profoundly unmoved by his lamentations: God ("a major player in Heaven") throws a hammer at him, while Eurydice emerges from the underworld and threatens to shove his lyre up his arse.

There She Goes My Beautiful World picks at the subject of writer's block, snapping disconsolately at other artists' means of finding inspiration: "Gauguin, he buggered off man, and went all tropical." Abattoir Blues is packed with standard apocalyptic Cave imagery, but he sounds most horrified about a visit to Starbucks: "The sky is on fire, the dead are heaped across the land," he moans. "I woke up this morning with a Frappucino in my hand."

You can't really imagine anyone else in rock writing lyrics like that, but then, you really can't imagine anyone else making an album like this. Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is an entirely unique return to form.
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Old 17th Sep 2004, 11:33   #17
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Must confess I've become increasingly underwhelmed by Cave since The Birthday Party days - though I admit I haven't listened to much recently. It's sort of tasteful bad taste if you know what I mean. I don't think he's topped the couplet on "Deep In The Woods" "Yeah I recognize that girl, I took her from rags right through to stitches/oh baby, tonight we sleep in separate ditches."

But when it comes to the West Pier. Man's a genius. The number of people - who couldn't have ever been Cave fans - I've heard discussing "Nick Cave's" plan...
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Old 24th Sep 2004, 15:53   #18
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I think he's as much of a genuis as you can get these days. Anyone read his intro to the Pocket Canons bible? Can't remember which book - maybe Revelations - that would suit him, or maybe Job?

I got the lecture 'the Secret Life of the Love Song' t'other day - haven't listened to it yet, but will report back...

...and I loved 'And the Ass Saw the Angel' - dark, brooding, biblical - just my cup of whisky...
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Old 24th Sep 2004, 16:23   #19
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I'm gradually listening to Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus. I haven't really listened to the latter at all yet so can't comment. Abattoir Blues though opens with a cracking Cave classic (and yes, I am one of those people who complains when Disney call a new film a "classic"), "Get Ready for Love" which seems to refer more to the love of God than of a good Cuban cigar. A couple of the other songs are memorable on a couple of listens - specifically those already brought to our attention by reviews: "There She Goes (My Beautiful World)", which is a bit more rockin' than one might suppose from the title, and "Nature Boy" which is the poppiest Cave song for some time, although - call me tone deaf, it's not an insult, it's purely accurate - I can't for the life of me hear the likeness to "Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile)". Like shouldn't it at least have the same tune or something if Cave himself is going to call it a "rewrite"? But then I am someone who didn't see the similarities that The Flaming Lips' "Fight Test" bore to "Father and Son" even after they started having to pay 75% of their income from it to wherever it is Yusuf Islam's royalties go these days.

Otherwise there do seem to be a few filler tracks on Abattoir Blues, though whether that will dissipate with time remains to be seen. And the songs are mostly very long. Both these factors may be partly the result of Cave's stated intention to "hit the cunts with a double album" at a stage in his career when people might be expecting him to slow down productivity rather than speed it up. Are all 17 songs essential? Further bulletins as events warrant...
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Old 24th Sep 2004, 16:30   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self
But then I am someone who didn't see the similarities that The Flaming Lips' "Fight Test" bore to "Father and Son" even after they started having to pay 75% of their income from it to wherever it is Yusuf Islam's royalties go these days.
But, but, even I could hear that one! Good song, though.
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