East of Eden

No idea why, but this was playing in my head this morning. When looking at the lyric sites they all seemed wrong. Something wrong on the Internet? Well, we can’t have that!

i was told of a place in a distant land
where tortured souls often cry together in anguish
and the scenes at the show
run rather cruel and violent nature

scenes of pain and cruelty where there to be seen
the arena, the town, the place was set for all to watch and see

i was told of a place in a distant land
where the oppressor ruled with an iron hand
and a nation of sad and complacency
left cold and emotionless by history

scenes of pain and cruelty are there to be seen
all the while i should have known it was you killing me

somewhere east of eden the designs will never change
effected through all this fear the world stops at the end of the hall
we watch the lifeforce fade away
the eventual price we shall have to pay

if it belonged to youth then how come the children have none?

From my 4AD CAD 404 CD UK 1986 release. Probably purchased later, as i think originally owned this on vinyl.

20,000 Days on Earth

2DOE_PosterFor the second time in a year we’ve been the cinema! One of our local cinemas shows foreign language films with subtitles – for it’s eternal shame Germany is in love with dubbing… Fortunately this cinema is quite lovely. We’ve only seen films in it’s smallest room, which i’d guess holds less than a hundred, and is a really relaxing space. It’s also nice to leave not feeling like you might have permanently damaged your hearing…

Anyway, Nick Cave. For a long time Nick Cave was a  regular feature of my listening habits. The Birthday Party, Boys Next Door, The Bad Seeds… all of it, right up until… it’s hard to say when exactly, but something changed. The sentimental religiosity? The difficult to watch rockstar midlife-crisis phase? We parted ways. Of course i still listen to the old work, it would be impossible to get Your Funeral, My Trial, From Her To Eternity, Dead Joe, Swampland, Deanna, and so many more out of  memory. Despite one of his early 90s gigs at the Town & Country Club in Kentish Town (playing Birthday Party songs with Rowland) being my favourite gigs of all time, we also stopped going to the gigs.

This film isn’s about any of those things. This is about the recollections of an aging artist and his art. His relationship with his memories, some of the people who shard them. And, a glimpse into the external world that surrounds the internal construction which houses all of that…

Loosely this is a documentary, but it doesn’t feel very honest. That’s probably not a bad thing – it probably only got made as Cave was able to strictly control the image that is projected. No doubt there is a lot of truth in there, but it’s artfully concealed. Very artfully. I’m not really up on cinematic things, but it seemed beautifully filmed to me, with our besuited subject driving and striding through the south coast of england most elegantly.

Despite the music having degraded to a level somewhere around Neil Diamond singing Enka, if you’ve had Nick Cave in your ears for 25 years, you’ll probably enjoy it. Maybe not as much as you’d enjoy a full on nostalgia trip made to the same standards, but one gets the impression that most of those involved don’t recall enough of the details to tell that tale!

As a footnote, i’m jealous of Warren Ellis’s beard. Very jealous.

Paying Respect by Proxy

Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson is currently laid to rest in a temple in Bangkok. As Matt was close by i asked (er, demanded / hassled?) him to drop by, look solemn, and murmur something appropriate. Lots of colourful flowers, sadly a lack of goats.

Quite enough, by the way of eulogy, has been written in the press, but it really is amazing to hear the depth, scale, and scope of his creative endeavours.

May you rest in peaces.

Update: more pictures.


I’m not sure when it started. Probably in my early teens. Friends with older brothers were into this label called 4AD. There were bands like Bauhaus, Xmal Deutschland, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Rema-Rema, This Mortal Coil, and, of course, The Birthday Party.

The Birthday Party were special. Unlike ever other band that ever released anything, each record that they put out became increasingly aggressive, increasingly fucked up, increasingly destructive. The eponymous album might have been wild, but it was nothing compared to Prayers on Fire, which in turn paled in comparison to Drunk on the Popes Blood, which in turned shivered in the shadow of the masterpiece, Junkyard.

All of this was, of course, a heroin induced, alcohol fuelled, speed enhanced nightmare that tore individuals apart… claiming early victims, sacrificed on the altar of post-punk. This doesn’t, didn’t, and shouldn’t, mean a jot to the teenage soul – life is to lived. Consequences are to be paid. To the winners go the prize. And the prize is more of the same.

Here we are, 20 odd years later, and the winners are starting to pay the price.

Goodnight Rowland. As you already noted, when the lighting was right you were the man with most.