Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

While Nick Cave and comrades venture out with their efforts in new band Grinderman, Mute has issued a double CD/double DVD chronicling the tour immediately following the release of Cave/Seeds' Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus double album. (Abbatoir marks the first tour and recordings since Einstürzende Neubauten guitarist and core Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld left the fold in 2003, and yeah, die-hards will notice an ever-so-slight change in onstage chemistry.) The DVDs showcase two London appearances (featuring a practically all-inclusive Seeds, multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis included) while the CDs offer tracks from a span of European performances. The entire recorded effort is as good a live representation as I've seen/heard, with respect to the maturing and legendary songwriter and his band. Viewers/listeners will witness the attention and aggression of the energetic and distinct Cave dichotomy of God praise and perversion that rightly make a Bad Seeds concert a dramatic reading, a gospel recital and a fucking rock show. See, Abbatoir was rock 'n' roll surprise; Lyre was more a lush wonder. This collection honorably melds Cave's two personalities while adding classics such as "Deanna," "The Weeping Song," "Stagger Lee" and an obligatory couple of "Red Right Hand"s, as well as Nocturama necessities "Bring It On" and "Wonderful Life." (Unfortunately omitted is "Do You Love Me?," which would have been a knockout with the incomparable back-up gospel singers that Cave allows to occasionally steal the show...but who are we to quibble?) Many Cave fans will wail about the Aussie gloomusician's sparse history of touring Texas; at least now there's a more recent (2003-2004, but we'll be grateful for what we can get) live recording to satisfy appetites for the time being. Collectors will also appreciate "Bring It On" video-shoot footage, promotional videos for Abbatoir/Lyre and Nocturama tracks, as well as a short film titled Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus.

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