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Back With the Seeds 

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Dig Lazarus Dig!!!

Mute Records

If I'm stumbling out of 7B (a quintessential drinking hole) and making my way down Avenue B, it's a record like Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! that flows through my head. The latest from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds seems to bring me to that place - New York City. It opens with a drunken melody reminiscent of David Johansen circa 1973, closes with the Lou Reed inspired "More News From Nowhere," and in between travels across several sounds that are so Manhattan you can almost smell the street.

Nick Cave is back with The Bad Seeds, a lineup that includes the amazing Mick Harvey who played with Cave in The Birthday Party (a brilliant late '70s/early '80s dark post-punk Australian band). Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is decidedly more upbeat than many of his twenty or so records. However, even one of his most bubbly songs, "Lie Down Here (& Be My Girl)" weaves a bizarre lyrical yarn, "I can't hold back the tide/ and stop your frantic little fingers trying to collect the years that pour from the hole in my side."

Most Nick Cave songs weave strange stories of places that perhaps Kafka would dream. In "Albert Goes West," Cave sings, "Albert, he goes west/he crossed the vast indifferent deserts of Arizona/he had a psychotic episode on a dude ranch that involved a bottle of ammonia." Cave has recently taken solemn, dark moods to the screen, creating the music for the film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck.

Investigate the work of 51-year-old Nick Cave. He's transported listeners to many peculiar places and Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is the latest journey worth taking. -Chuck Arnold


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