Give me another 10-ton catastrophe on a 60-foot chain
July 17, 2014 11:31 AM   Subscribe

After seeing Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds the other night and having my mind blown, I have been in the mood for nothing but Cave and Cave-y tunes. The Nick Cave station I made on Pandora has been remarkably awesome, but it’s left me wanting MORE. Americana-meets-rock, darkly atmospheric, fire and brimstone with a sexy swagger... you get the idea.

Artists that Pandora played who I’m already quite familiar with: Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, William Elliot Whitmore, Rolling Stones, Pixies, Bauhaus, Scott Walker, Neil Young/Crazyhorse.

Artists that Pandora played who I'm not as familiar with, and so would love specific suggestions for the best place to start: Crooked Fingers, Andrew Bird, Greg Brown, Morphine, Guy Davis, Mark Lanegan, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, the Dirty Three (Warren Ellis)

FWIW, the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds albums that I’m most familiar with are Push Back the Sky (I am basically obsessed with "Jubilee Street"), Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus, Murder Ballads, The Boatman’s Call, and Tender Prey. Also am getting into his soundtrack work with Warren Ellis. Need to pick up the Grinderman albums. I haven’t listened to much Birthday Party and should probably rectify that as well (though my sense is that much of their work is more on the noise side than I’m going for here).

And, of course, please suggest any additional artists who fit in with this general vibe as well -- specific songs/albums particularly appreciated.
posted by scody to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
grrr...60-POUND chain! Shouldn't type and actually listen to the song at the same time.
posted by scody at 11:33 AM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Might be already familiar, but PJ Harvey is absolutely excellent. Very dark, sexual, rockin'. The album Stories from the City Stories from the Sea is her most accessible, but I'm partial to Rid of Me (song and album.) Also, this duet by Cave and Harvey (that I believe preceded their romantic relationship) is great.

Concerning the bands you want to check out, Cure for Pain (song and album) is Morphine's best, IMO, but the first three albums are all pretty good.

Caught Nick Cave at Ace Hotel this weekend myself, was absolutely killer!
posted by joechip at 11:49 AM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Check out Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir and see what you think.

I also think that Bill Callahan's past few albums have this, although they rock less than Cave.
posted by OmieWise at 11:51 AM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't have time to link to examples, but 16 Horsepower are along those lines as are The Devastations. You might also check out Tindersticks, particularly the first two self titled albums.

Morphine is wonderful (seconding a Cure for Pain as the starting point). Mark Lanegan - you might look for his albums with Isobell Campbell.
posted by Candleman at 11:54 AM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

On the dreamier side, try LA Witch and maybe Brightblack Morning Light.
posted by rhizome at 11:54 AM on July 17, 2014

seconding PJ Harvey and seconding Cure for Pain as the best Morphine album. Not a ton of swagger, but if you liked Mark Lanegan and Dirty Three, you might like Songs: Ohia (Didn't It Rain and Axxess and Ace) and Magnolia Electric Company.
posted by aka burlap at 11:56 AM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Handsome Family (try In the Air first?), Cowboy Junkies (whose very name is a reference to Cave--start with The Trinity Session).
posted by drlith at 12:09 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

ooh, also maybe American Music Club (or Mark Eitzel's solo stuff) and Smog (Bill Callahan's pre-solo band).

More ideas:
Black Heart Procession
Michael Gira/Swans
Fistful of Desert Blues by Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove
Iggy Pop's Lust for Life (though that's a little more on the rockin' side and not as atmospheric. But he definitely brings the swagger.)
posted by aka burlap at 12:09 PM on July 17, 2014

Check out now defunct Norwegian band Madrugada - in particular "Majesty"
posted by kariebookish at 12:17 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Gun Club
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:32 PM on July 17, 2014

Some of Howe Gelb's copious output would fit right in. I mostly listened to his stuff as it came out while I was in college, so these are my favorites:

The Listener
'Sno Angel Like You
Band of Blacky Ranchette - Still Lookin' Good To Me
Arizona Amp & Alternator - S/T

But there's a lot of Giant Sand out there that will blow out your speakers too.


Cure For Pain
Crooked Fingers - Red Devil Dawn is a strong album, but my easy favorites are their covers EPs.
posted by carsonb at 12:51 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I think of Nick Cave, I often think of Crime and the City Solution, but that's probably Wings of Desire talkin'.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion sometimes gets a little Cave-y.
posted by Mothlight at 1:16 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

That first Crooked Fingers cover EP, Reservoir Songs, is outstanding but I don't know what it has in common with Nick Cave. Highly recommended anyway.
posted by Mothlight at 1:18 PM on July 17, 2014

You want Chris Whitley.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 2:26 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ctrl-F Willard Grant Conspiracy.
posted by mykescipark at 2:44 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

There is a pretty limited catalog for Morphine (Sandman passed away) so go ahead and listen to it all.
You might like Low, especially earlier stuff.
Also check out Raspertina and the Tiger Lilies also perhaps The Heavy
posted by edgeways at 4:49 PM on July 17, 2014

The Apartments
From that article: "French music critic and biographer of Serge Gainsbourg, Bayon, writing in Libération drew favourable comparisons to a diverse range of musicians, both contemporary (Cocteau Twins, Felt, Nick Cave) and preceding (Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Alex Chilton.)"
posted by perhapses at 5:01 PM on July 17, 2014

Seconding Kafkaesque: Gun Club.

Edit: oh, and some more early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds albums: From Her to Eternity, The Firstborn is Dead. From the former, turn up Avalanche in a quiet, dark room, for full swagger and thunder effect!
posted by manyon at 5:35 PM on July 17, 2014

Neko Case! Particularly: Furnance Room Lullaby, Blacklisted, and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

See also her and Nick Cave dueting on a cover of the Zombies' She's Not There.
posted by Bourbonesque at 5:49 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might like some Speedball Baby
posted by Gotanda at 6:33 PM on July 17, 2014

Ben Caplan!
posted by oulipian at 6:35 PM on July 17, 2014

Oh my god, so much good stuff here. Hive mind, you never let me down!
posted by scody at 7:57 PM on July 17, 2014

Little Village was a short-lived project of these fellows. Only one self-titled album, but what a gem.
posted by CincyBlues at 8:01 PM on July 17, 2014

Perhaps Sally Timms (that particular track, though, was written by Robbie Fulks, who is also worth checking out..)

You've already mentioned Mark Lanegan and there was a recommendation above for his work with Isobel Campbell.. I would recommend their album "Hawk."

Also, I'm just assuming you're familiar with the work of Townes Van Zandt, but if not, wow have you got some amazing discoveries ahead of you..
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:47 PM on July 17, 2014

scody: I was at that show at the Shrine. Holy fuck that was good. Let me suggest checking out some live NC on Beats or Spotify. There is a power you get to NC live that don't get in the studio. I mean, eg, you saw what he does with 'Stagger Lee' live.

Also check out Grinderman. Start with 'No Pussy Blues.'
posted by persona au gratin at 1:06 AM on July 18, 2014

Seconding PJ Harvey. Also Patti Smith.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:07 AM on July 18, 2014

Check out Savages, as well. Also Suicide, perhaps.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:09 AM on July 18, 2014

Last one. I promise. Maybe also Hüsker Dü or Mission of Burma.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:12 AM on July 18, 2014

Wovenhand, perhaps?
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:11 AM on July 18, 2014

Try the Swedish band The Janitors. Seriously. Try them.
posted by item at 2:46 AM on July 18, 2014

July Talk
posted by edgeways at 6:08 AM on July 18, 2014

Tom Morello


The album Scar by Joe Henry

The Kills
posted by edgeways at 6:18 AM on July 18, 2014

One additional note about PJ Harvey (whom I recommend highly) in case you're not aware of it -- The Boatman's Call was inspired by Cage's relationship with Harvey, and she's the "West Country Girl" of the song.

Another Bad Seeds album I'd recommend if you haven't gotten to it yet is No More Shall We Part. It takes some getting used to, but I recently discovered that listening to it a couple of times in a row is sufficient to afflict me with a deep sense of existential dread for the next day or so.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 1:40 PM on July 18, 2014

Surely that is 'Cave's' and not Cage (John or otherwise, although a Harvey and John Cage pairing somehow intrigues me)
posted by edgeways at 2:04 PM on July 18, 2014

D'oh! Missed the edit window. Yes, Cave and not Cage. (John Cage could work, but I'd rather not think about a PJ Harvey/Nic Cage pairing.)
posted by McCoy Pauley at 4:07 PM on July 18, 2014

Eric McFadden Trio
posted by polymath at 2:48 PM on July 19, 2014

Nick Cave playing Berlin bar scene, from the 1987 movie Wings of Desire.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:51 AM on July 21, 2014

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