52 albums – week 34

Only a few words from me for this post. The rest I’ll pad out with Links, YouTube clips and all the wizardry that WordPress and a fast cable connection affords me.
I should apologise; Dig Lazarus Dig is a great Album, one of his best and it deserves a better appraisal then I can give it. But I’m tired, it’s getting late and tonight I’ll let the internet do my work for me.

There is a famous quote by Mark Twain that goes:
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.

Mr Nicholas Edward Cave, born Warracknabeal, childhood Wangaratta  (sorry absolutely no need to include that bit of trivia, I just love the sound of those place names) has written what i think is an album full of the “right words”.
We’re all big fans here at ‘Cour de la rue Mirool ‘. We have most of the Bad Seeds back catalogue. I’ve seen Nick ‘live’ several times, in fact there is a gap of 26 years between the first time I saw him in concert and the last. I’ve even brushed his coat tails once in a misguided burst of enthusiastic homage; it ended embaressingly 😦
And I absolutely and unabashedly and without a skerrick of shame, love him to death. Not uncritically mind you, in that vast recorded output there are patchy moments. The early stuff could do with a good remastering (and he’s done that). His first band, The Birthday Party were as cool as it was possible to be but these days I have trouble getting past their … I can’t find the right word for it? … Feral Youth? And then there’s that debut novel  And the Ass Saw the Angel which should probably serve as a warning for those aspiring to write Gothic fiction. So yeah there are moments where he is off his game but then he goes and pens a song like
Bring It On

or Love Letter

or More News From Nowhere

or Stagger Lee

or God Is in the House


And as Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary Welsh said after reading the draft of The Old Man & The Sea “Ernest, I forgive you for anything you’ve ever done”.

It would have been easy to fill up 52 weeks without having to step foot off Mr Caves sprawling holdings. He’s nothing if not prodigious, which makes it difficult for me to choose songs. Hence this ramshackle post, chock full of links and song lyrics.
Speaking of lyrics. I know how clumsy they look when you lift them from a song; they need the legs of music and delivery to stand unaided but I’m going to transcribe the title track anyway because it’s funny and clever and well … I just can!

(Dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Back in that hole.)

Larry made his nest high up in the autumn branches
Built from nothing but high hopes and thin air
He collected up some baby blasted mothers who took their chances
And for a while they lived quite happily up there

He came from New York city man, but he couldn’t take the pace
He thought it was like dog eat dog world
Then he went to San Francisco, spent a year in outer space
With a sweet little San Franciscan girl.

I can hear my mother wailing and a whole lot of scraping of chairs
I don’t know what it is but there’s definitely something going on upstairs

(Dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(I want you to dig) (Back in that hole.)

(I want you to dig)
(I want you to dig)

Yeah, New York City he had to get out of there and San Francisco well,
I don’t know and then to LA where he spent about a day
he thought even the pale sky stars were smart enough to keep well away from LA

Meanwhile Larry made up names for the ladies
Like Miss Boo and Miss Quick
He stockpiled weapons and took potshots in the air
He feasted on their lovely bodies like a lunatic
And wrapped himself up in their soft yellow hair

I can hear chants and incantations and some guy is mentioning me in his prayers.
Well, I don’t know what it is but there’s definitely something going on upstairs

(Dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(I want you to dig) (Back in that hole.)

(I want you to dig)
(I want you to dig)

Well New York City man, San Francisco, LA, I don’t know
But Larry grew increasingly neurotic and obscene
I mean he, he never asked to be raised from the tomb
I mean no one ever actually asked him to forsake his dreams
Anyway to cut a long story short, fate finally found him
Mirrors became his torturers, cameras snapped him at every chance
The women all went back to their homes and their husbands with secret smiles in the corner of their mouths
He ended up like so many of them do, back on the streets of New York City
In a soup queue, a dope fiend, a slave, then prison, then the madhouse, then the grave
Ah poor Larry.

But what do we really know of the dead And who actually cares?

Well, I don’t know what it is but there’s definitely something going on upstairs.

(Dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(Laz’rus dig yourself)
(I want you to dig)
Back in that hole Dig yourself

And here are those words in context:

enjoi

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