Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Book Review: The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave

The Death of Bunny MunroThe Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On July 1st, I saw Nick Cave live in concert, on July 2nd, I saw 20,000 Days on Earth, the Nick Cave documentary. This month I have consumed vast quantities of Nick Cave's oeuvre.

Artistically, when it comes to the written word, he is probably my favorite. I love his blend of dark humour and sex & violence and class. He's a literate, well-versed bastard.

I believe it's a good thing to not mindlessly consume and praise everything produced by a thing you love. I believe it's good to judge the individual works on their own. For example, I'm a fan of the Silent Hill series, but don't think all the games are even that good. I kind of wish I had never spent money on Alice Cooper's Special Forces album. I can't stand Katatonia's early work. I don't even like all of Nick Cave's work.

But, I think I like this book so much because of the author. I think if someone else had written a book with a protagonist exactly like Bunny, I would have loathed it.

Because I know I should despise Bunny Munro, he is a horrible, horrible, horrible (I can't say "horrible" enough!) human stain on the Earth. I feel Nick Cave probably tossed as much as he could into and onto the character to make you hate him and want to see him suffer.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least three or four other characters from other novels which have done far less terrible actions or had been far better people than Mr. Munro and I have judged them, or just simply disliked them or rolled my eyes. Like Johnny Truant from House of Leaves or Astrid from White Oleander .

And yet I felt pity for him, not contempt or hate.

Because, Bunny felt like one of those characters that was a part of Nick Cave, like the male character in the song Dianna or Jubilee Street, Henry Lee or Saint Huck as opposed to, say...Robert Moore or Stagger Lee. And you could tell Nick Cave was having fun writing it. Consequently I pictured Bunny looking like Nick Cave, which influenced my affection for this book, or at least my willingness to let certain abhorrent behaviors slide.

Besides, Bunny gets everything he deserves.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Nick Cave Concert "Review"

I have attended a wide eclectic range of concerts. I've seen Paula Abdul in the height of her fame in the very early 90's, I've seen Weird Al twice, Blue Man Group, Alice Cooper three times, Stabbing Westward, Green Day, Evanescence, Rolling Stones, Don Felder, Cheap Trick, AC/DC, Alanis Morrisette, Sarah McLachlan, Machinehead, Sloan and Dethklok.

Nick Cave is by far the best concert I've ever attended.

In February I purchased two tickets for Nick Cave, one for me and one for my nephew. Unfortunately circumstances resulted in my nephew being unable to attend so I was left with a spare ticket. I asked everyone I knew, but no one could go with. So I went alone.

I had great seats, looking down at the stage, there was no way anyone could block my view. Disability seating, people! (Listen, let's make a pact right now, readers. You wanna see a thing or go to Disneyland? Take me with you, get the perks my friendship offers. Quicker lineups, better seats, yes.)
My seat.

So, the opening act, Mark Lanegan, comes out for a bit. He's...fine. Like an emo Leonard Cohen. He comes, does some songs, some covers, then leaves.

Then Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds come out. They begin with a few from his new album, We No Who U R, which is one of my favorites of his new stuff, then on to Jubilee Street, which builds into this absolute craziness.

Can I just say Warren Ellis (No, not the Transmetropolitan Warren Ellis, apparently the two Warren Ellis' (Ellises? Ellisi?) get that a lot) is a master? During certain parts of certain songs I found myself watching him. At the end of Jubilee Street he just flings his fiddle bow off who knows where. Pretty sure it got lodged in the lighting scaffolding.

All the while, Cave is a jumping, flailing ball of energy and charisma. Cave also randomly *Mic drops!* and is very careless with mic stands. Poor roadie had to keep coming out and standing it back up. By the time Nick Cave got to Tupelo, he was literally wading into the audience. He'll do this a few times during the show.

There was some fun, easy back and forth with the audience. At once point he pulls a guy up on stage
"That's a great shirt," He says to the guy, who's black shirt has a giant kitten on it. "Now fuck off."

Then they launched into Red Right Hand, Papa Won't Leave You Henry then Mermaids, which once you get past the dick joke in the beginning, is a beautiful song.

Then Mark Lanegan came out to sing The Weeping Song with Nick and poor Lanegan is so stiff and "I'm just gonna hold on to the microphone stand for dear life!" and Cave is such a ball of spastic energy that Cave had nothing to work off of, so Mark was pretty much ignored by Cave throughout the entire song. Sorry Mark, you don't have Blixa Bargeld's ...anything. But it was a good try.

They played Lyre of Orpheus, Into My Arms, People Ain't No Good and From Her to Eternity, once again wading into the audience.

Then they played The Mercy Seat and I actually got choked up. The Mercy Seat is the second or third song of Cave's I've ever heard (The first being Loverman, and the second possibly being The Weeping Song.) but it is by far my favorite Nick Cave song. The instrumentation is just so strange and drilling and the song seems to go on forever and it's so full of doom because of the subject matter and I just love it.

But it seemed Cave was having mic troubles and he kept cutting out at "And anyway I told the truth", and he threw the mic down and the song ended in a tattered wail. Then Cave talked to someone back stage for a second, which is what lead me to think it was mic or sound problems. And I don't even care. It was totally and completely The Mercy Seat.

Then they went into Stagger Lee, which is fun as all hell, with the gun-shot instrumentation, the thunder, the screaming, the swearing. It actually gave me a new appreciation for the song.

For the encore they did God is In The House, The Ship song, then he took requests! The request that was honoured was Do You Love Me? because of course it was.

Finally he ended with Push the Sky Away, which again made me choke up because it's a very emotional song. It's one of those, at least in my interpretation, don't give up songs, and we all could use more of those.

It was an amazing concert.

This belongs to me. I purchased it. If you know me, you know why. No, not the penis.

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