Today is the birthday of one of Australia’s premier exports, Nick Cave. Cave has made his mark in many arenas: music, novels, poetry, and film, and probably a few more. His work with his band, The Bad Seeds, changed the landscape of literate rock. Their appearance in one of my favorite films of all times, Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, is the stuff of legend. The use of his song, Red Right Hand, in mainstream television’s The X-Files creeped out an entire generation (and made John Milton roll over in his grave).
Just this month he has released his 2nd novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, garnering some formidable reviews. Find someone, anyone, who read his first novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel (check out Cave reading an excerpt), ask them what they thought, and watch them turn into a sunken eyed, twitchy haint right before your eyes. His two poetry/lyric volumes, King Ink and King Ink II, may take you places you never really wanted to go. His 14 minute epic song, “Babe, I’m On Fire,” with its possessed accompanying video, is so mesmerizingly over-the-top it brings you right back to where you started, well beyond spent.
Have the feeling I could go on for days? Right, mate. So rather than experience all this literate goodness vicariously, sit back and enjoy the tender ballad “The Ship Song” and be charmed right out of your chaps/knickers.
Happy B’Day, Mr. C.
PS. Wonder if he’ll be having a Birthday Party?