Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today's Lesson...The Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Story ... Show # 254

Coming from Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia, Nick Cave's first band was originally known as The Boy's Next Door. Consisting of Mick Harvey (guitar), Phil Calvert (drums), Tracey Bew (bass) and Nick Cave on vocals the group began playing Punk and Proto-Punk cover songs as well as originals. The band would play songs by bands like Lou Reed, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Ramones, and Alice Cooper. Rowland S. Howard joined as an additional guitarist in 1978, which would result in the band changing their sound. With Howard in the band, they began incorporating Punk, Free Jazz, Blues, Rockabilly and other genres into their music. The Boys Next Door released a full length album in 1979 entitled Door, Door. Following this release, in 1980 the band relocated to London, England. It was at this time that the band changed their name to The Birthday Party. The band brought a new aggressive element to their music. Nick Cave's vocal style was often expressionistic and called demented, scary Gothic and powerful.

The Birthday Party Album was released in 1980. Originally credited to The Boys Next Door, the album was late,r re-released crediting The Birthday Party as the band name (it can now be found on CD as part of a compilation titled Hee Haw). Several singles were released and two full length albums (Prayers On Fire 1981, Junkyard 1982). In 1982, Cave formed a spin off group with Lydia Lunch, the band also moved to Berlin, Germany at this time. With The Birthday Party/Nick Cave backing her, she recorded an album entitled Honeymoon In Red, although it would not be released until 1987. In 1983, The Birthday Party split up. In the later part of 1983, Cave and Mick Harvey put together a new band that would eventually call themselves Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The groups band members would be consistently change throughout their long career. In 2009, Mick Harvey left the group. Ed Keupper (from Australian band The Saints) currently fills in on guitar.

The Bad Seeds also featured a shift in the song writing styling of Nick Cave. His lyrics would often reflect a more literate and lyrical prose structure. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds released their first full length album entitled From Her To Eternity in 1984. The album featured a cover of a Leonard Cohen song "Avalanche" and an Elvis Presley cover "In The Ghetto". In 1985, The Firstborn Is Dead was released. This album lyrically referenced the American South, Elvis Presley and several Blues musicians. Kicking Against The Pricks came next in 1986. The album was a collection of cover songs. The single "The Singer" was a number one hit in the UK. Another album came after this titled Your Funeral...My Trial. This album was more melancholic than previous Bad Seeds albums, partially due to Nick Cave's addiction to Heroin at the time. Following this album, the band went on hiatus for two years. Cave would appear in the film Wings of Desire. In 1988, Tender Prey would be released The album features the well known and signature song of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, "The Mercy Seat". The album also featured songs such as "Deanna", "City of Refuge", and "Up Jumped The Devil".

In the 90's the band kicked drugs and released an album in 1990 titled The Good Son. They also relocated to Brazil at this time. The album is often seen as a quieter album and initially disappointed fans of the band. Now they are more responsive to songs such as "The Weeping Song" and "The Ship Song", which are now standards. Henry's Dream came next in 1992, and Let Love In, in 1994. The Band was also featured at the 1994 Lollapalooza festival to promote this album. Murder Ballads was released in 1996. The album which featured songs about murder, was very successful for Cave (# 8 on the UK album charts). It also contained duets with PJ Harvey and Kylie Minogue. 1997's The Boatman's Call featured a lyrical shift. Instead of chaotic and violent lyrics, Cave instead focused on biographical lyrics and lyrics about relationships. Nick Cave then took a break from the band. During this time he got married, went to rehab and released a spoken word album, Secret Life of Love Songs in 1999.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds returned in 2001 with the album No More Shall We Part. In 2003, Nocturama was released. A double album was released in 2004 titled Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, and a 3 CD collection of B-Sides and rarities, called B-Sides & Rarities. In 2006, Nick Cave formed a Garage Rock inspired band called Grinderman. They released a self titled album the same year and are said to release a follow up. In 2008 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds released Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, it was the bands 14th studio album. Lyrically the album referenced the Biblical story of Lazarus of Bethany. The album featured excellent songs, such as "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!", "Today's lesson", and "Lie Down Here (and Be My Girl)". The album was another high charter on the album charts across Europe.

This Week's Play List:

1. The Saints - Memories Are Made of This
2. Pretty Vanilla - Paper Tiger
3. The Ugly - Stranded In The Laneway
4. The Action - Waiting For The Man
5. Beck - Sunday Morning
6. The Evaporators - Oh Non
7. Sebastien Grainger - It's A living
8. Death From Above 1979 - Too Much Love
9. The Zeros (UK) - Radio Fun
10. The Survivors - Baby Come Back
11. The Kids - Do You Wanna Know?
12. Blue Peter - Radio Silence
13. The Associates - A
14. The Visitors - Euro Girls
15. Crocodiles - Refuse Angels
16. The Boys Next Door - Somebody's Watching
17. The Birthday Party - Release The Bats
18. Grinderman - Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars)
18. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)
19. Sonic Youth - Sacred Trickster
20. Blam Blam Blam - There Is No Depression In New Zealand
21. Brian James - Where Did I Find A Girl Like You?
22. Iggy Pop - Loco Mosquito
23. The Cigarettes - I've Forgot Your Number (Now I'm Telling You My Name)
24. Radio Birdman - What Gives?

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on June, 23rd 2009.

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