There are few artists who can cross multiple genres skills these days. How many artist do you know who can sing, write books, act and paint? The one man who can accomplish all of this is Aussie’s answer to royalty, Nick Cave.
Cave has been a front man for several band’s including his most recent endeavor Grinderman. He is known for his haunting and often times volatile stage performances. However, few people know that his first love was art. He attended college to become a painter and then became obsessed with religious-gothic art. However, due to his somewhat pornographic depictions and interpretations of biblical passages, he was thrown out of the college.
At this time he was also singing for a local Australian band called The Boys Next Door, who evolved into the violent punk band The Birthday Party. A name Cave came up with while reading Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” scene that took place at a birthday party. In the early eighties The Birthday Party broke off into Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, which is still going strong and touring every few years.
Cave also started writing and acting with director John Hillcoat in the late eighties with the movie “Ghosts of the Civil Dead”. This was based loosely on the terrible treatment inmates where receiving in the Australian prison system. This is an amazing work that is meant to be seen on the big screen, but unless you have your own home theater including home theater seats to view this masterpiece, then you might have to suffer watching this on a small screen, which looses it’s magic.
Another collaboration Cave did with Hillcoat was the Australian homage to the western called “The Proposition” which tells the tale of a gang of brothers who must decide their fate and turn in one of their own or let another die. This movie is a bit bloody at times, but again, best seen while you relax in those home theatre seats and view it on the big screen. Some movies aren’t made for the small screen and this is one of them.
If you have decided that you like Cave, you can stay in your home theater seats and watch the documentary “God Is in the House”. This is one of the best live performances ever captured on video of any artist. There is also a documentary about Leonard Cohn called “I’m Your man” in which Cave performs a few songs and talks about the importance of Cohen.
Now if you want to get out of the home theater furniture and cuddle with a good book, Cave has two excellent novels. One is a southern gothic tale called “And the Ass Saw the Angel” which was penned in the early nineties. His more recent endeavor is “Bunny Monroe” which is more along the lines of Henry Miller with its explicit scenes. Either of these books are good for bed time reading.
Nick Cave is one man who can and does do it all. He is one of the few who is multi-talented in all areas of art. It seems unfair that one man should have so much talent, but when you do it as well as him, you can afford to be greedy with it.
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