Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Double Dose of Nick Cave

For all you Nick Cave fans out there, I've got two Caveities to share with you. One to read, one to listen to. The first is something for your nightstand: The Death Of Bunny Munro. It's the second novel by Cave, and came out in September. For those of who familiar with Cave, this novel is everything you'd expect from his twisted mind and so much more. It opens with:

"I am damned, thinks Bunny Munro in a sudden moment of self-awareness reserved for those who are soon to die. He feels that somewhere down the line he has made a grave mistake, but this realisation passes in a dreadful heartbeat, and is gone - leaving him in a room at the Grenville Hotel, in his underwear, with nothing but himself and his appetites. He closes his eyes and pictures a random vagina, then sits on the edge of the hotel bed and, in slow motion, leans back against the quilted headboard. He clamps the mobile phone under his chin and with his teeth breaks the seal on a miniature bottle of brandy. He empties the bottle down his throat, lobs it across the room, then shudders and gags and says into the phone, 'Don't worry, love, everything's going to be all right.' "

Of course, as a reader, you KNOW that everything isn't going to be all right with an opening paragraph like that! The book chronicles the accelerating demise of it's title character, Bunny Munro, a man whose lusts guide his bearing, ultimately leading him to a cracked, premature ending. The book starts with his wife committing suicide, and although one never knows for sure, it's fairly easy to guess that it's as a result of her husband's wanton ways. He is left to handle their nine year old son, Bunny Jr. as he careens toward the death that even he subconsciously realizes is fast approaching.

While you're reading, you can also be listening - to White Lunar, the latest audio release from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, his long time collaborator for more than fifteen years with The Bad Seeds, Grinderman and The Dirty Three. It's a double disc release and its sleeves describes itself as thus:
"White Lunar is a selection of pieces taken from various motion pictures and documentaries that we have been involved in, namely The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Proposition, The Road, The English Surgeon, The Girls of Phnom Penh and a variety of pieces selected from our vaults. White Lunar was recorded in Air Studios and Air Edel, London and Scuzz Studios, Ivry Sur Seine between 2005 and 2009. The first CD has the big themes, the orchestra and the songs and the second CD is fractured, haunting and sometimes badly behaved."
As presented by Cave and Ellis above, these are cinematic pieces heavy with portent. On disc one, you'll also find a sneak peak from the soundtrack for The Road, whose full soundtrack doesn't come out for another few weeks. I'm not sure you can listen to both of these atmospheric discs back to back, but they provide an ample of dose of just how powerful Cave's soundtracking efforts are. Stark, haunting, sometimes unsettling, and never trite.

Visit his website, his label Mute, and become his friend on MySpace.

1 comment:

Steph said...

I've just finished The Death of Bunny Munro and loved every page. He writes so evocatively which I guess isn't surprising, given his prowess as a lyricist.

I keep having flashbacks to "curtains hanging like strips of meat". I would love to have an hour of looking at the world through Nick Cave's eyes!