Friday, March 7, 2008

2008 PLUG Awards: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and much much more

March 7th, 2008

I will tell this tale with as little attention paid to the masses of hipster stooges and princesses that had surrounded me as possible. This will be a difficult task, because I could write a blog exclusively about that subject... but I do not wish to take anything away from the very intimate and mind blowing evening I had with Mr. Cave.

In all fairness- the "awards" show was OK. A little half assed. Not a lot of glitter. It was like the bastard cousin in a big awards show family where it is only mentioned in embarrassment... but that isn't to say that it was "bad" just a little underwhelming.

The host, Patton Oswald (whom I LOVE--what a hilarious self deprecating bastard he is!) was as funny and sarcastically jolly as ever--but to a stone faced crowd full of fedoras, "ironic t-shirts", and beards his attempts at humor were lost. He made the best of it- with many exclamations of "JEEESUS CHRIIIST"... and numerous moments referring to his fragile ego and small member size- which had me laughing out loud. But, alas, these hipster types are so full of their own skinny panted selves that the concept of a "fragile ego" was completely alien. Not even a slight giggle. The show should've been hosted by Zach Galifianakis-- mainly because he has a beard which would have made him "acceptable". Whatever the case- I liked Patton Oswald's antics. Especially his apathy towards announcing winners! He knew it made no difference.

Then- there was the performances... "White Denim" was first- I believe they are some kind of unknown local band that won some sort of contest for "exposure"-- they were cool. Very energetic. Worth a listen.

Next (I think) was this boring little band that the crowd went apeshit over- they were called "The Forms". It was ambient, and frankly a sound that has been done before. Nothing memorable- but nothing terrible either. Meh. to each his own.

Up next was the ethereal "St. Vincent"- this is a group with a very cool and kind of innovative "sound" it's feminine without being too "girly" which is quite an accomplishment. The lead singer Annie Clark won for best female artist of the year- she was very gracious and cute about it. I will be buying their album.

Then from out of nowhere- we got a british hip hop group called "Dizee Rascal". They were solid, and a little out of place... which the crowd responded rather warmly to- you know, a little more than 2 people actually moved their heads to a rhythmic nod of approval. It's RAP for chrissake- YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO MOVE PEOPLE! That is it's sole purpose and driving force- give the performer SOMETHING!

You know what- that's actually something I can say about the evening over all "give the performer SOMETHING!". Give and ye shall receive. We are there to see them, and they are there to see us and be seen. A concert's success relies on this symbiotic relationship. If you give the performer NOTHING than we can't expect too much in return. Well, regardless- Dizee Rascal performed rather well. Though it is not my preferred musical genre- I can really appreciate the skill it takes to to compose and speak poetry in a rapid musical fashion... that and he was British.

Another performer that got SHAFTED was Jose Gonzales. His stuff is so beautiful and quiet- it can be a wonderful and centering journey into sound... but that's only if YOU LISTEN. The crowd was so talkative and unresponsive to this adorable and reserved man, that his sound was completely drowned out. It's a damn shame too-- because he is very gifted. I really appreciated the contrast too- Dizee Rascal performed this LOUD ass thumping raucous music- and then a little man with a guitar was seated at the tip of the stage plat form with only a spot light. Awww!

Finally, the moment I have been waiting for ALL NIGHT ARRIVES!! YES! Nick Cave and the BAD SEEDS!! There is something to be said about a man who has teetered on the cusp of musical notoriety and obscurity. It has given him the chance to be able to take risks and still afford to survive if they don't "succeed". All I can say is we all hope to be that "Cool" but will never achieve it with such a violent fluidity as Mr. Cave. He emerged in his standard 3 piece suit, hair slicked back, arms gangly and thin, and a 70's inspired porno star mustache (that frankly I cannot STAND).. LOL. The music starts, and i am instantly SMACKED upside the head with a wall of sound, GLORIOUS sound. They opened with "DIG LAZARUS DIG" there first single and title track from their new album. Mr. Cave and the motley crew in tow were electric. Their sound stellar and LOUD. Rock and Roll at it's FINEST. I would also like to add Mr.Cave to my very limited list of "SHOWMAN" these are men that bring a very finite and impeccable performance in a style very much "their own". These are the people that give the audience something very memorable... and it's very intimate- even if they never look you in the eye.

The list thus far is Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, David Bowie, and Siouxsie Sioux. NOW Nick Cave is definitely in the top ranks. I'm sure you're surprised that Trent Reznor isn't in there- there's a reason... he's just not that intimate with the audience. He's an introspective performer. His torture is his own...and I love him for it :::sigh::: but I digress...

Nick Cave is a SHOWMAN through and through. He gives and he gives relentlessly- never tiring out. I've never seen some one so ANIMATED so full of raw graceful and simultaneously undignified energy. He has NO inhibitions when he performs. He is like the Emu when doing a mating dance. It's sexy and graceful to other fellow emus, while the rest simply put- just don't get it. Their loss really. Anyway, I've rambled enough- here's what they played that I can remember. (yes it's out of order and most likely incomplete)

Dig Lazarus Dig
We Call Upon the Author
Red Right Hand (very cool loungey version of it too may I add)
Midnight Man
Lay Down Here and Be My Girl
Moon Land

Closed with More News from Nowhere..

::sigh::: what a great performance.. and for 15 bucks!